Rose Romero, Director of Fort Worth Regional Office, to Leave SEC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., March 9, 2011 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Rose Romero, Director of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office, will be leaving the agency in mid-April after 21 years of government service as a federal prosecutor and securities regulator.
As Regional Director in Fort Worth since March 2006, Ms. Romero oversaw all aspects of the office’s operations including its enforcement, regulation, and litigation programs. She is planning to practice law in the private sector. Prior to joining the SEC staff, Ms. Romero served for 16 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Texas.
Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said, “I want to thank Rose for her years of dedicated service to the law enforcement in general, and her leadership of the SEC’s Fort Worth Regional Office in particular. The many successful cases brought by the Fort Worth office are a testament to her commitment and ability, and I wish her continued success in her new endeavors.”
Carlo di Florio, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, added, “I want to thank Rose for her teamwork and collaboration in support of the exam program. Under her leadership, the Fort Worth office’s examination program integrated the management structure of its broker-dealer and investment management units to better respond to the changes in the financial services industry. Rose also played an important role in our recent self-assessment and restructuring to improve coordination across the National Exam Program. We wish Rose the best of luck in her future career.”
Ms. Romero said, “I am blessed to have had the opportunity to work with the talented and dedicated professionals in the Fort Worth office. Their commitment to the mission of finding and prosecuting fraud has been remarkable. I will be forever grateful for their dedicated service and their unwavering support.”
Under Ms. Romero’s leadership, the Fort Worth office brought highly significant cases covering the full range of the SEC’s enforcement program, including:
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases including the $81.4 million in criminal and civil penalties levied against Swiss global logistics firm Panalpina Inc.; the $10.3 million penalty imposed against Houston-based Willbros Group; and the $23.5 million penalty against Houston-based Pride International.
- Complex insider trading cases such as Acxiom Corporation, which involved an elaborate scheme orchestrated by hedge fund insiders to illegally trade in the securities of Acxiom and Tempur-Pedic International; a case against a former Perot Systems Inc. employee who made $8.1 million in illicit profits by trading on inside information relating to Dell’s proposed acquisition of Perot Systems Inc.; and a case against a New York-based securities analyst employed by a major investment bank who disclosed inside information ahead of the $45 million buyout of TXU.
- Accounting and corporate reporting cases such as the case against New Orleans-based hurricane restoration company Home Solutions of America Inc. and seven of its executives for recording and reporting more than $40 million in improper revenue through an expense deferral scheme, and the $10 million case against the CEO and CFO at Oklahoma-based Quest Resources – which led to the officers’ criminal convictions and sanctions against three of the company’s auditors.
- Offering fraud cases in which the courts ordered emergency relief halting the fraud and freezing assets, including the $100 million Millennium Bank Ponzi scheme; the $55 million fraud perpetrated by Amerifirst Funding and its principal Jeffrey Bruteyn; the $33 million fraud case against Francesco Rusciano and Ponta Negra Fund 1 LLC in which most of investors’ funds were recovered. Many of these cases also led to criminal prosecutions and convictions.
- Significant Fair Fund distributions to harmed investors including a $113.5 million distribution from the Royal Dutch Shell Fair Fund, and a $50 million distribution to harmed investors in the AIM Advisors Inc. market timing matter.
During her tenure with the government, Ms. Romero has received commendations and awards from numerous agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Drug Enforcement Administration.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Ms. Romero received her BA degree from Texas Christian University and her JD from Southern Methodist University.
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