Washington, D.C., Aug. 9, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Sandra J. Harris, Associate Regional Director and co-head of enforcement for the Commission’s Pacific Regional Office in Los Angeles, will leave the Commission at the end of September to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Harris has served as head or co-head of the enforcement program in the Pacific Regional Office, which investigates and prosecutes federal securities law violations in nine Western states, since 1994. Harris joined the Commission in 1987 as a staff attorney.
During her tenure at the SEC, Harris directed a number of high profile and significant enforcement actions, including
a series of actions arising out of a massive financial fraud at Gemstar-TV Guide International, including against the company, five of its former officers, and KPMG, as well as one of the first orders under Section 1103 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, resulting in the escrow of $38 million in extraordinary payments that were to be made to the former CEO and CFO;
cases alleging fraudulent round-trip transactions against over a dozen former executives of Homestore Inc.; accounting fraud against the former CEO, CFO, and controller of Gateway Computers; and misleading disclosure against three former top executives of Global Crossing Ltd.;
a number of significant cases involving mutual fund late trading and/or market timing, including actions against the Pimco Equity Funds and their former chairman of the board and a portfolio manager; the J.B. Oxford brokerage firm and its former CEO; and Security Brokerage Inc. and its president and owner, Daniel Calugar, who reaped illegal profits of at least $175 million;
numerous emergency actions to halt fraudulent investment schemes, including schemes targeting the elderly and members of minority communities; and
a series of cases arising out of the Orange County, Calif., bankruptcy, including actions against issuers, underwriters, a financial adviser, and counsel, as well as the issuance of a Section 21(a) report of investigation concerning the conduct of the members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, stated, “During nearly two decades of service to the Commission, Sandy has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to protecting the rights of investors. Sandy is tough, fair and measured. The Division is a better place for Sandy’s having been here, and we wish her the very best in all of her future endeavors.”
Added Randall R. Lee, Director of the Commission’s Pacific Regional Office, “Through her tireless efforts, uncompromising standards of excellence, and steadfast insistence on doing the right thing, Sandy has been a pillar in this office and the Commission. Our enforcement program owes much of its successes to Sandy’s leadership, and she will be sorely missed.”
Harris said, “I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to work with so many exceptionally talented and dedicated colleagues throughout the Commission who perform their work with great skill and integrity. Many of them have been mentors and friends to me, and I will miss them a great deal. In particular, my colleagues in Los Angeles have served as a daily inspiration to me in their commitment to the Commission’s mission of protecting the investing public.”
In 1998, Harris received the SEC’s Irving M. Pollack Award, which is awarded to a Commission staff member who has demonstrated over a period of years such qualities as dedication to public service and the SEC, and fairness and compassion in the performance of her duties and in her relationship with the public and staff.
Harris is a cum laude graduate of the California State University at Northridge. She received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School.