SEC Bars Former Honcho for a Year

     WASHINGTON (CN) – In fallout from the Allen Stanford Ponzi case, the SEC barred a former assistant district director of enforcement in its Fort Worth office from practicing before it for 1 year, the agency said Thursday.
     Spencer Barasch consented to the administrative proceeding without admitting anything, the SEC said in a statement. The SEC said the deal “resolves allegations involving Barasch’s representation of Stanford Group Company after Barasch went into private practice.”
     Barasch agreed earlier this year to pay a $50,000 civil fine to the Justice Department for the same conduct, the SEC said.
     “Barasch, a Dallas resident, was the associate district director for the Division of Enforcement in the Commission’s Fort Worth office from June 1998 to April 2005,” the SEC said in its statement. “According to the Commission’s order, while at the Commission, Barasch took part ‘personally and substantially’ in decisions involving allegations of securities law violations by entities associated with Robert Allen Stanford, including Stanford Group Company.”
     The SEC statement continues: “According to the Commission’s order, when Barasch joined a private law firm in 2005, he contacted the Commission’s Ethics Office about whether he could represent Stanford Group Company before the Commission and was told that he was permanently barred from doing so with respect to any matters on which he had participated while at the Commission. The order finds that Barasch declined to represent Stanford Group Company then, but that in the fall of 2006, he accepted an engagement from the Stanford entity and billed it for 12 hours of legal work related to Stanford matters Barasch had participated in while at the Commission.
     “During this representation, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1), Barasch tried to obtain information about the Commission’s Stanford investigation from Commission staff in Fort Worth, but a staff attorney questioned whether Barasch could represent the firm. The staff attorney declined to have any substantive discussions with Barasch and suggested that Barasch contact the Commission’s Ethics Office on the matter. The order finds that Barasch did so and was again told that he was permanently barred from representing Stanford Group Company in the matter, prompting him to end his representation.”

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