Chief Litigation Counsel Luis R. Mejia Leaving SEC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., Nov. 9, 2009 — The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Luis R. Mejia, Chief Litigation Counsel of the Division of Enforcement, will leave the Commission. He will join the law firm of DLA Piper as a partner in the firm's Washington, D.C., office in December.
As Chief Litigation Counsel since 2005, Mr. Mejia led the Commission's nationwide litigation program. Under Mr. Mejia's leadership, the Commission successfully litigated a number of important cases in all Commission program areas, including financial fraud, insider trading, hedge funds, and market manipulation.
"Lou has been a superb advocate who utilized his superior courtroom skills to stand up for investors and bring wrongdoers to justice," said SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro. "The SEC appreciates the leadership Lou has provided for our litigation team and the key role he has played in enforcing the nation's securities laws."
Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said, "Litigation success requires having not just the facts on your side, but also a command of the securities laws, mastery of the legal process and passion for the work. Lou combined all those traits and more. He has served the agency and the investing public well, and we wish him every success."
Mr. Mejia said, "It has been an honor to work with the dedicated professionals of the Commission who work tirelessly to protect investors. I am especially proud of our trial attorneys and litigation staff across the country. Their performance during a challenging period for the Commission has been extraordinary. I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of the Commission's substantial enforcement efforts."
During Mr. Mejia's tenure, the SEC trial unit won 80 percent of the Commission's trials in federal district courts nationwide. These cases include:
2009 jury verdict in the SEC's favor against Steven E. Nothern, a former manager of mutual funds. Nothern was found liable for insider trading of U.S. Treasury 30 year bonds.
2009 jury verdict in the SEC's favor on all charges against Charles C. Conaway, the former CEO of Kmart Corporation. Conaway was charged with misleading investors about Kmart's financial condition in the months preceding the company's bankruptcy.
2008 jury verdict in the SEC's favor against Jamie L. Solow, a former registered representative. The jury found that Solow violated the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. The SEC's complaint charged that Solow engaged in a fraudulent trading scheme involving inverse floating rate collateralized mortgage obligations.
2006 jury verdict against James E. Koenig, the former CFO of Waste Management, Inc. The jury found Koenig liable for securities fraud, falsifying company books and records, lying to auditors, and aiding and abetting the company's violations.
2005 jury verdict in the SEC's favor against Paul Johnson, a former securities analyst. The jury found Johnson liable for issuing false and misleading research reports about three companies that he covered.
Prior to his appointment as the SEC's Chief Litigation Counsel, Mr. Mejia was an Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel and prosecuted a number of significant enforcement cases. In 2002, Mr. Mejia was the lead trial counsel in the Commission's successful jury trial against Scott K. Ginsburg, the former chairman and CEO of Evergreen Media Corporation. The jury found Ginsburg liable for insider trading and he was ordered to pay a $1 million civil penalty. Mr. Mejia was also the lead litigation counsel for the Commission in all Enron matters and helped recover more than $400 million for aggrieved investors.
Prior to joining the Commission in 1999, Mr. Mejia was a partner at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C. Mr. Mejia received his undergraduate degree from San Diego State University and his law degree from George Washington University.
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