By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 20, 2009
The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday announced that Robert Khuzami, a former federal prosecutor and lawyer at Deutsche Bank, will become the agency's new enforcement director.
Khuzami spent 11 years as a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, including as chief of the office's securities and commodities fraud task force.
He has prosecuted insider trading, Ponzi schemes, accounting and financial statement fraud, and other issues. In addition, he helped prosecute the case of the "blind sheikh," Omar Abdel-Rahman, in connection with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center
Since 2004, Khuzami, 52, a graduate of the University of Rochester and Boston University School of Law, has been general counsel for the Americas at Deutsche Bank.
"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," Khuzami said in a statement.
Khuzami will take over at a time when the agency is investigating two of the largest financial frauds in U.S. history. The enforcement division is pressing a civil case against Bernard L. Madoff, who allegedly orchestrated a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. This week it announced a $9.2 billion fraud case against Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford, two associates and three of his companies. The SEC has been widely criticized for its failure to detect Madoff's alleged fraud, and the agency's inspector general is investigating the handling of the case.
SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro has pledged to reinvigorate the SEC's enforcement division and began talking to potential candidates to replace Linda Thomsen, the SEC's enforcement director since 2005, even before taking over as President Obama's nominee to head the agency.