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Joel R. Levin Named Director of Chicago Regional Office


Washington D.C., April 5, 2018 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Joel R. Levin has been named Director of the Chicago Regional Office.  He will join the agency next month.

Mr. Levin is a veteran federal prosecutor who has served in various senior leadership positions in the Department of Justice over the last 25 years.  Since 2014, he has served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, where he manages a staff of approximately 290 attorneys and support personnel and oversees the operation of both the Criminal and Civil Divisions of the office. Mr. Levin also served as the Acting U.S. Attorney in that District from March to November 2017. 

Mr. Levin previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Milwaukee from 1980 to 1984 and in San Francisco from 1984 to 1997, where he rose to the position of Chief of the office’s Criminal Division.  In 1997, Mr. Levin joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, where he eventually was named as Deputy Chief of the Major Case Unit and Chief of the Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Section.  Mr. Levin was part of the trial team that successfully prosecuted former Illinois Governor George Ryan on corruption charges. From 2008 to 2014, Mr. Levin was a member of the White Collar & Investigations practice at the law firm Perkins Coie LLP.  Mr. Levin is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and for the last ten years has served as an adjunct professor of law at Northwestern University. 

As Regional Director of the SEC’s Chicago Office, Mr. Levin will lead a staff of approximately 270 enforcement attorneys, accountants, investigators, and securities compliance examiners involved in the investigation and prosecution of enforcement actions and the performance of compliance examinations.  The nine-state region overseen by the SEC’s Chicago office is home to roughly 20 percent of the nation’s population.

“We are excited that Joel has agreed to bring his extensive law enforcement experience and judgment to the SEC’s Chicago Regional Office,” said Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.  “Under Joel’s leadership, the talented staff of the Chicago Regional Office will continue its important mission to protect investors and markets in one of the nation’s busiest regions.”

“Joel has spent years conducting or supervising investigations of complex securities frauds, financial crimes, and other white collar matters,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.  “His experience at the helm of one of the busiest U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the country makes him an excellent choice to lead our Chicago office.  We are very fortunate to have him join our team.” 

“Joel’s significant leadership experience will be a great complement to our talented and dedicated examination team in the Chicago office,” said Peter B. Driscoll, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.  “His years as a prosecutor and in private practice specializing in complex financial and white collar matters will be a great asset to our program.”

Mr. Levin added, “I am excited and honored to have this opportunity to lead the SEC’s Chicago office.  In my work at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, I have repeatedly witnessed the dedication and success of the SEC in protecting the integrity of the markets and bringing to justice those who target retail investors.  I very much look forward to joining the talented men and women of the Chicago SEC Office in continuing that important work.” 

Mr. Levin received an undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1976 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1979. 


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