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Corporate Law

New SEC Focus: Painting the Barn, Not the Sistine Chapel

Posted May 7, 2009 3:48 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission may soon be using more discretion in civil investigations, focusing on the big fish rather than the small fry.

Speaking today at a program on corporate investigations sponsored by the American Bar Association, an SEC official and the general counsel of the FBI said they hope future investigations will focus more on the big picture and efficient use of prosecutorial resources, reports the Blog of Legal Times.

“There’s going to be just a great, great effort to bring people around to recognizing that we need to paint the barn and not the Sistine Chapel,” said Steve Korotash, associate regional director for enforcement in the SEC's Fort Worth, Texas, office. “We can finish the case when we get the first two or three people, and then we can move away and say, ‘For reasons of prosecutorial resources, we can stop now.’ It’s never been that way before.”

Korotash also said he would like to see more SEC focus on current wrongdoing rather than allegations of securities fraud made years previously.

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