Robert Khuzami, who led the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division’s pursuit of financial industry wrongdoing related to the subprime crisis, plans to step down as early as next month, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
Bloomberg reports that Khuzami, 56, notified SEC Chairman Elisse Walter of his decision earlier this month, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Walter has yet to choose a replacement, the people said.
Then-Chairman Mary Schapiro hired Khuzami in 2009 to help restore the agency’s image after it was battered for missing Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. He carried out the biggest shakeup in the enforcement unit’s history, eliminating layers of management, expanding investigators’ legal powers and creating five specialized units to police Wall Street.
Under Khuzami, the SEC filed more than 130 cases related to the financial meltdown, including 57 actions against senior corporate officers. His investigators have taken aim at lenders who generated subprime mortgages as well as Wall Street traders and investment banks that bundled the home loans for hedge-fund managers who wanted to bet that house prices would collapse.
He oversaw some of the biggest settlements in SEC history.Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) agreed in July 2010 to pay $550m over claims it misled investors about a mortgage-linked investment; Citigroup Inc. (C) reached a $285m settlement and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) forfeited $154m for their roles in similar deals.
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