Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The…

Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today the appointment of Michele Wein Layne as an Associate Regional Director for Enforcement in the Commission’s Pacific Regional Office, located in Los Angeles.

In her new position, Layne will serve as co-head, with Briane Nelson Mitchell, of the Los Angeles office’s enforcement program, which consists of a large staff of attorneys and accountants who investigate and prosecute federal securities law violations in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. She replaces Sandra J. Harris, who left the Commission in September to return to the private sector.

Layne, 46, has more than 10 years of experience in the Commission’s enforcement program investigating and litigating a variety of high-profile investigations. She has been an Assistant Regional Director for enforcement in Los Angeles since 2003. Before that, Layne served as a Deputy Assistant Regional Director, Branch Chief, and staff attorney in the Commission’s Los Angeles office. Layne joined the Commission in 1995 after approximately eleven years in private practice, where she concentrated on complex business litigation.

During her tenure at the SEC, Layne has played a key role in directing a number of significant and high profile enforcement actions, including

cases against over a dozen former executives of Homestore, Inc., including the former CEO and chairman of the board, for fraudulent round-trip transactions to inflate the company’s on-line advertising revenues;

actions against the Pimco Equity Funds’ advisers, distributor, CEO and chairman of the board of trustees, and a portfolio manager for defrauding PIMCO mutual fund investors through an undisclosed market timing arrangement;

an action against Security Brokerage, Inc. and its president and owner, Daniel Calugar, for their participation in a scheme to defraud mutual fund shareholders through improper late trading and market timing from which Calugar reaped illegal profits of at least $175 million; and

an action against Fidelity Brokerage Services for violating record-keeping requirements and failing to reasonably supervise its employees after employees in at least 21 of its 88 branch offices altered or destroyed the firm’s books and records in preparation for annual internal inspections.

Randall R. Lee, Regional Director of the SEC’s Pacific Regional Office, said, “Michele is an outstanding lawyer and manager who has proven herself time and time again through some of our most significant and sensitive investigations. I am delighted that she will be bringing her considerable skills and experience to the overall management of our office’s enforcement program.”

Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, added, “I know Michele to be a vigorous advocate for investors and an extraordinarily fair and thoughtful prosecutor. It gives me enormous confidence to know that she will be helping to lead our Los Angeles office’s enforcement program.”

Layne received her law degree from the University of Southern California in 1984. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1981.

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