Nelson Comments on Madoff’s Lasting Impact on SEC, Compliance

15 April 2021 Law360 News

Partner Margaret Nelson was quoted in a Law360 article, “Madoff’s ‘Seismic Shift’ On SEC, Compliance Still Felt Today,” about the long-term consequences of Bernie Madoff’s $65 billion fraud on financial regulatory agencies.

Nelson, then senior counsel for the enforcement division of the SEC’s Chicago office, recalled the elimination of the division’s branch chief level – which was criticized in an inspector general’s report for communication failures – to allow for more front-line attorneys conducting investigations. The enforcement division tapped more former prosecutors for senior positions, she said, and the agency stated publicly that it would refocus its hiring and training to cultivate a staff with more specialized experience in complex markets and cutting-edge financial products.

“Overall, I think Madoff resulted in a seismic shift in enforcement,” she said.