• Obama Administration Creates Multi-Agency Financial Crime Task Force; SEC Reports Increase in Enforcement Activity
  • December 10, 2009 | Authors: Charles E. Dropkin; James P. Gerkis; Jeffrey A. Horwitz; Bruce L. Lieb; David A. Picon; Andrea S. Rattner; D. Eric Remensperger; Kathy H. Rocklen; David W. Tegeler
  • Law Firm: Proskauer Rose LLP - New York Office
  • On November 17, President Obama signed an executive order creating a new multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force to increase investigation and prosecution of financial crimes connected to the financial crisis and to try to deter future fraud.

    The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, led by the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder, replaces a corporate fraud task force created in 2002.  It includes more than 20 different federal agencies, including the SEC, the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as state-level agencies.  The task force’s initial meeting is scheduled to be held within 30 days. 

    Robert Khuzami, head of enforcement at the SEC, said that specialized units at the SEC would focus on derivatives and securities, insider trading and market manipulation, and fraud among hedge funds and investment advisers.

    The SEC announced that it opened more inquiries and doubled sanctions in the fiscal year that ended on September 30.  Fines and orders to forfeit illegal profits more than doubled, totaling $2.4 billion in the 12 months through September 30, while new investigations rose 6 percent to 944.