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Martinez to head SEC’s unit that sorts tips, complaints

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Vincent L. Martinez will head the influential unit that sorts through the hundreds of thousands of tips and complaints submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission each year, the agency announced Tuesday.

Martinez is no stranger to the Office of Market Intelligence (OMI). When the unit was created in January 2010, he served as one of its first assistant directors. But he left the following year to join the the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he was the first director of the office that handled interactions with whistleblowers.

Robert Khuzami, the outgoing head of the SEC’s enforcement division, said the SEC unit Martinez will be running drives the agency’s enforcement effort by acting as a central data collection point. “Vince has the vision and dedication to lead that effort given his talent, commitment, and prior service,” Khuzami said in a statement.

Khuzami created the OMI when he revamped the enforcement division. The office was a key feature of the restructuring and an attempt to address the SEC’s botched response to Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme. The agency’s inability to piece together tips on Madoff’s scheme contributed to its failure to detect the fraud.

Martinez, who also served as a staff attorney and senior counsel at the SEC prior to leaving the agency, replaces Lori Walsh. Walsh, who has been the OMI’s acting chief, will resume her previous role as the office’s deputy chief.

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