Read time: 2 minutes

Criminal Investigation Targets SEC Attorneys For Insider Trading

Isn't it great, how our SEC is such an ardent watchdog of Wall Street's wrongdoing? CBS News has learned that two attorneys at the Securities and E

Isn't it great, how our SEC is such an ardent watchdog of Wall Street's wrongdoing?

CBS News has learned that two attorneys at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are under "active" criminal investigation by the FBI for trading stocks based on inside information.

Accusations against the two lawyers - a man and a woman whose names have not been released - are detailed in a report by the SEC inspector general obtained exclusively by CBS News.

The report, based on a review and analysis of "more than two years of e-mail and brokerage records," puts increased pressure on a commission that has come under fire lately for failing to detect the $60 billion Bernard L. Madoff Ponzi scheme, and turning a blind eye to the Wall Street financial crisis.

"We ought to be outraged if there is one insider trading information that’s leading to personal profit," Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, told CBS News.

In response to the IG report, Grassley sent a letter to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro expressing that outrage and requesting detailed information about the stock holdings and trading practices of all SEC employees.

"It’s hard to imagine a more serious violation of the public trust than for the agency responsible for protecting investors to allow its employees to profit from non-public information about its enforcement activities," Grassley said in his letter to Schapiro.

According to the report, the male attorney under investigation by the FBI works in the Office of the SEC's Chief Counsel and "has access to a tremendous amount of nonpublic information."

The report alleges both the male attorney and female attorney - who works in the enforcement division - "traded in the stock of a large financial services company" despite being told by another SEC employee of ongoing "investigations of that company." The report calls this is a direct violation of SEC rules.

Can you help us out?

For 17 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.

More C&L Coverage

Discussion

New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team