Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Mary L. Schapiro has announced that former federal prosecutor Robert Khuzami has been named director of the division of enforcement.
Previously, Khuzami served as a federal prosecutor for 11 years with the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
As chief of that office's Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force for three years, Khuzami prosecuted numerous complex securities and white-collar criminal matters, including those involving insider trading, Ponzi schemes, accounting and financial statement fraud, organised crime infiltration of the securities markets, and IPO and investment adviser fraud.
Khuzami most recently served as general counsel for the Americas at Deutsche Bank .
"I'm pleased to have Rob join the SEC in such an important role at this crucial time," says Schapiro. "As we work to improve investor confidence in the markets, our enforcement efforts are vital. Throughout his career, Rob has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to prosecuting wrongdoers and protecting citizens. As a former federal prosecutor, Rob is well-suited to lead the SEC's division of enforcement as we continue to crack down on those who would betray the trust of investors."
Khuzami says: "As head of the SEC's division of enforcement, the staff and I will relentlessly pursue and bring to justice those whose misconduct infects our markets, corrodes investor confidence and has caused so much financial suffering. I am honored to join Chairman Schapiro, the Commissioners and the dedicated SEC staff in this critical effort."
Under Khuzami's supervision, the Task Force brought numerous noteworthy securities fraud prosecutions. In US v. Lino and related cases, more than 100 defendants were arrested in an undercover sting operation, which constituted the largest simultaneous arrest in a securities fraud case in Department of Justice history.
Charges in the cases included racketeering, securities fraud, a scheme to defraud union pension plans, extortion, and the solicitation of murder. The case concerned the publicly traded securities of 19 companies and the private placements of 16 other companies. Those charged included 11 members and associates of all five New York City crime families.
In another case, US v. Bennett, 11 defendants were convicted of running a Ponzi scheme for fraudulently selling more than USD1.0bn worth of equipment leases and related debt instruments to more than 12,000 investors. Defendant Patrick Bennett was sentenced to 30 years in prison.