U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
SEC Seal
Home | Previous Page
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Richard H. Walker, Director of Enforcement, to Leave the SEC



Ten-Year Tenure at Commission Also Includes Service as General Counsel and Director of Northeast Regional Office

Washington, D.C., July 10, 2001 – Richard H. Walker, Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement, announced today that after 10 years of service, he will be leaving the Commission and will return to the private sector. He has not yet accepted a new position and will remain at the Commission for a short period to assist with the transition to a new Chairman.

Acting Chairman Laura Unger said, "America's investors have benefited greatly from Dick Walker's presence at the SEC. He has served the Commission masterfully in three demanding positions, bringing enormous intellect, judgment and grace to each. He has been a leader of the staff, an ambassador of the agency, and a respected colleague and friend."

Mr. Walker said, "It has been a privilege to spend 10 years at this great agency and to work with colleagues who are the best in government. I am extremely proud to have had a hand in the Commission's work and to have contributed to its mission of protecting investors. The opportunity to serve under three distinguished Chairmen and nine outstanding Commissioners, working side by side with countless members of the staff who inspire me daily with their talent and dedication, has been the highlight of my legal career."

Mr. Walker became Director of Enforcement in 1998 after serving as the Commission's General Counsel from 1996 to 1998 and Regional Director of the Commission's Northeast Regional Office in New York from 1991 to 1996. As Director of Enforcement, Mr. Walker headed the Commission's largest Division and directed the Commission's nationwide enforcement effort. He spearheaded the Division's attack against earnings management and other financial reporting abuses, established the Commission's Internet enforcement program, and led the Commission's efforts to secure more criminal prosecutions for violations of the federal securities laws.

  • Mr. Walker was the driving force behind some of the most significant financial fraud cases ever brought by the Commission, including those involving W.R. Grace, Livent, Cendant, McKesson HBOC, Microstrategy, Sunbeam, and Arthur Andersen, and the 1999 landmark auditor independence case against PricewaterhouseCoopers.

  • In the Internet arena, Mr. Walker created the Division's Office of Internet Enforcement and led the Commission's attack against Internet securities fraud. Those efforts have resulted in approximately 250 cases to date, including successful prosecutions relating to manipulations of PairGain, Emulex and Lucent.

  • Mr. Walker forged strong partnerships with federal, state and local prosecutors and the F.B.I., resulting in record numbers of criminal prosecutions of securities violations. He aggressively attacked microcap fraud and organized crime involvement in securities activities through coordinated civil and criminal prosecutions. He also orchestrated the Commission's participation in major undercover sting operations, including Operation Thorcon (resulting in multiple successful prosecutions and civil cases arising out of bribes by corrupt promoters) and Operation Uptick (involving the largest number of people ever charged with securities fraud -- over 100 -- including organized crime affiliates).

Mr. Walker received numerous awards during his tenure at the Commission, including the Chairman's Award for Excellence under both Chairman Levitt and Chairman Breeden, the Commission's Distinguished Service Award, the Presidential Rank Distinguished Service Award and the Commission's Law and Policy Award, awarded for his participation in the government's successful appeal in U.S. v. O'Hagan, which upheld the misappropriation theory of insider trading.

Before joining the Commission, Mr. Walker was a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in New York City. He began his legal career as a law clerk to Chief Judge Collins J. Seitz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Mr. Walker received his B.A. from Trinity College in 1972 where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D., cum laude, from Temple Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Temple Law Quarterly.



Modified: 07/10/2001