HAROLD DEGENHARDT, HEAD OF THE SEC'S FORT WORTH OFFICE, TO LEAVE THE COMMISSION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., Aug. 15, 2005 - Harold F. Degenhardt, District Administrator of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Fort Worth District Office, has announced that he will leave the Commission in September to become a partner in the Dallas office of the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP.
Mr. Degenhardt became the District Administrator of the Fort Worth Office in May 1996. In that role, he has been responsible for the agency's enforcement and examination programs in a four state area of the Southwest. Prior to joining the Commission, he was a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Dallas Office. As a member of its Litigation Department, Mr. Degenhardt specialized in general commercial, securities, antitrust, insurance and product liability litigation. Prior to that, Mr. Degenhardt was a litigation associate from 1973 to 1977 with Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander in New York City and a litigation partner with Coke & Coke in Dallas, Texas.
Under his leadership, the staff of the Fort Worth Office has achieved an exemplary record of productivity in its program functions, has developed an active investor education program and has forged effective partnering relationships with foreign securities regulators as well as with state securities regulators and other law enforcement agencies. During his tenure, Mr. Degenhardt oversaw the handling of high profile matters involving insider trading, accounting and disclosure fraud, stock manipulation and broker-dealer and investment adviser/investment company violations. The Fort Worth Office also has maintained an aggressive and effective examination program that has resulted in a number of enforcement referrals to the District Office's enforcement staff.
Among the more notable enforcement cases brought by the Fort Worth Office during this period were
In the Matter of Dynegy Inc. -- which involved an action against the company and certain corporate officers and employees for the fraudulent use of special purpose entities in violation of GAAP and pre-arranged "wash sales" or "round-trip" energy transactions;
In the Matter of i2 Technologies, Inc. -- which involved a $1 billion misstatement of software license revenue in violation of GAAP;
In the Matter of Aim Advisors, et al and SEC v. Mutuals.com et. al. involving market timing and/or late trading;
In the Matter of Fleming Companies -- which involved fraudulent earnings overstatements by this major grocery wholesaler and which also involved actions against certain of its vendors for their role in the fraud;
In the Matter of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and "Shell" Transport and Trading Company, p.l.c. -- which involved a fraudulent 4.5 billion barrels overstatement of proved hydrocarbon reserves; a $6.6 billion overstatement of the standardized measure of future cash flows and the material misstatement of reserve replacement ratios, which are key performance indicators in the oil and gas industry; and
Report of Investigation Pursuant to 21 (a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Commission Statement on the Relationship of Cooperation to Agency Enforcement Decisions -- this milestone Commission report arose from a Fort Worth case, which resulted in no charges against a company as a result of its model cooperation with the Commission, once the misconduct was discovered.
Linda Thomsen, Director of the SEC's Enforcement Division, stated, "Hal has played a critical role in the success of the Fort Worth Office's enforcement and examination programs over the past several years. Under his leadership and guidance, the Fort Worth Office has initiated a number of important cases that have made our markets safer for investors. I wish Hal continued success in his return to private practice. We will miss him."
In announcing his plans to leave the Commission, Mr. Degenhardt said, "For the last nine years, I have been honored to be part of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's mission and to serve with its highly committed and effective staff of substantive program professionals and support personnel in both the field offices and in the home office. I have never served with such an extraordinary group of dedicated people." Mr. Degenhardt went on to comment, "Any closing remarks would be incomplete without singling out the staff of the Fort Worth Office. The job that they have done and the results they have achieved are unequalled in the Commission. To them I say, 'thank you for your hard work, your dedication and for allowing me to be part of this team.' "