Paul Berger, Associate Director of Enforcement, to Leave Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., May 18, 2006 - The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Paul R. Berger, Associate Director of Enforcement, will leave the Commission. He will become a partner in the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, resident in the firm's Washington office.
Linda Chatman Thomsen, the Director of the Division of Enforcement, said, "For fourteen years, Paul Berger has brought 200% to the job of protecting investors. He is an intrepid investigator who has used his keen intellect, abundant creativity and sheer hard work to tackle the full array of securities law violations. He has been a great mentor, a great leader, a great colleague, and a great friend. We celebrate his service and wish him all the very, very best."
Mr. Berger said, "I have had the distinct privilege and good fortune to work on behalf of American investors for 14 years and to do that by working with the most extraordinary group of talented, dedicated professionals. Reason, good judgment, and fairness are the hallmark of the people that I have worked with and I am proud to have been associated with such a sterling example of good government."
Mr. Berger, 56, joined the Commission's staff in 1992 as a staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement. He became a branch chief in 1994, an assistant director in 1996, and an associate director in April 2000. During his tenure, Mr. Berger supervised and conducted investigations and enforcement activities that spanned a wide array of matters, including financial fraud, insider trading, auditor independence, illicit payments under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), executive compensation, Regulation FD, and broker-dealer cases. Since 2000, Mr. Berger has chaired the Financial Fraud Task Force, a group that takes on difficult and leading edge investigations that may enable the Commission to send important messages that will help fulfill the Commission's mission of protecting investors.
Mr. Berger has participated in bringing several notable enforcement cases, including:
- Financial fraud cases against Lucent, Xerox and six senior executives; KPMG (based on Xerox audits) and five audit partners; AremisSoft and senior management (working with the Department of Justice to successfully freeze assets in the Isle of Man and repatriate $200 million to the U.S.); ACLN and senior executives (freezing over $45 million in four European countries); Huntington Bancshares and senior executives; Take-Two and senior executives; and Livent and senior executives;
- FCPA cases against Titan (with the Department of Justice, the largest FCPA settlement ever); ABB Ltd, the first Commission case to seek and obtain disgorgement in an illicit payments case; Triton; Baker Hughes; Syncor; and Monsanto;
- Executive compensation cases against General Electric and Tyson Foods;
- Auditor Independence cases against KPMG for the Xerox audits; Ernst & Young for independence violations with respect to PeopleSoft (resulting in successful litigation in which the Chief Administrative Law Judge barred Ernst & Young from accepting new audit client for six months); KPMG for the impairment of the AIM Funds; Moret Ernst & Young; PwC in connection with Avon's audit; and PKF UK concerning the AremisSoft audits;
- Regulation FD cases against Schering-Plough and its former chairman/CEO; and Flowserve and the company's CEO and director of investor relations;
- Broker-Dealer cases against Knight Securities, the first fraud case ever filed against a broker-dealer for failure to provide "best execution" to institutional clients; and NationsBank, a sales practice case;
- Insider Trading cases involving the former Chairman and CEO of an investment bank, and Deephaven Capital, for trading in PIPEs transactions; and
- Other notable cases include the Fast-Trades Internet price manipulation case against law students; the E.ON AG case, the Commission's first action against a foreign issuer for making false statements concerning merger negotiations; and Solucorp, the first Section 10A case.
Mr. Berger received the Commission's Stanley Sporkin Award, which recognizes those who have made "exceptionally tenacious and insightful contributions" to the enforcement of the federal securities laws. He is a graduate of The American University and the Antioch School of Law.
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