Washington, D.C., May 15, 2007 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Wire – Randall R. Lee, the SEC’s Regional Director in Los Angeles, announced today that he will leave the Commission at the end of June. Mr. Lee, 45, has not yet accepted another position and said he plans to explore opportunities in the private sector. He was appointed as Regional Director of the Commission’s Pacific Regional Office (now known as the Los Angeles Regional Office) in December 2001.
As Regional Director, Mr. Lee was responsible for the Commission’s enforcement and examination programs in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska during an extraordinarily active time in the SEC’s history. He was the first Asian American to head an SEC regional office.
“Under Randall’s leadership, the L.A. office has halted massive ongoing frauds, exposed corrupt industry practices, held CEOs accountable for their misconduct, and tried some of the Commission’s most significant cases,” said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. “Randall demonstrated energetic and creative leadership of one of our largest offices and contributed substantially to improving the working environment at the SEC.”
SEC Director of Enforcement Linda Chatman Thomsen stated, “Randall Lee is an extraordinarily dedicated public servant and has made significant contributions to the work of the Commission during his tenure. He has brought intelligence, energy and committed leadership to the work of protecting American investors and our securities markets. Randall has been a tireless advocate for diversity within the Enforcement Division and has made outstanding outreach efforts to ensure that all investors, including racial, ethnic and religious communities, are protected from securities fraud.”
Lori Richards, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, added, “Randall has served the Commission with distinction, and has ensured robust examination oversight of regulated securities firms in the Los Angeles region for the benefit of investors. In particular, his work on the Commission’s ‘Seniors Initiative’ to protect and inform senior investors has been exemplary.”
Mr. Lee said, “It has been a singular privilege to have served America’s investors and to have worked with an exceptional group of colleagues in Los Angeles and throughout the Commission during an historic time. I am immensely proud of everything the men and women of the Los Angeles office have accomplished over the past five years. Day in and day out, they dedicate themselves to protecting investors and maintaining fair and efficient markets, and I want to thank them for their extraordinary commitment to the important work of this office and the SEC.”
Under Mr. Lee’s leadership, the Los Angeles office brought numerous high profile and significant enforcement actions, including:
Cases alleging financial reporting and accounting misconduct by Tenet Healthcare and four former senior executives; Gemstar-TV Guide International and its former CEO, president, CFO, and general counsel; 14 former executives of Homestore Inc., including its CEO; Gateway Computers and its former CEO, CFO, and controller; Endocare and its former CEO and CFO; and three top executives of Global Crossing;
Cases involving mutual fund market timing and/or late trading, including actions against the former chairman and a portfolio manager of the PIMCO equity funds, and four former officers of J.B. Oxford & Co., including its general counsel;
An action against the City of San Diego for failing to disclose information about its pension and retiree health care obligations in the sale of municipal bonds – the Commission’s first case against a municipality involving pension fund issues;
The SEC’s first case to highlight the role of mutual fund administrators in facilitating the use of mutual fund assets by investment advisers to pay marketing expenses, in which BISYS Fund Services paid $21 million for aiding and abetting over two dozen mutual fund advisers in defrauding fund investors;
Actions against KPMG for its audit of Gemstar-TV Guide, and against three former KPMG auditors for altering audit working papers in connection with the Tenet Healthcare audit; and
Numerous emergency actions to shut down fraudulent investment schemes, many of which targeted seniors and/or members of racial, ethnic, and religious groups.
Under Mr. Lee’s leadership, the Los Angeles staff achieved a number of significant victories at trial, including a jury verdict against the former chairman of the board of trustees of the PIMCO equity funds in the first SEC market-timing case to go to trial; jury verdicts against the former CFO and controller of Gateway Computers for accounting and disclosure fraud; and a verdict against the former CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide, resulting in a judgment against him of more than $22 million.
Also during Mr. Lee’s tenure, examiners based in Los Angeles inspected hundreds of the nation’s registered entities, including broker-dealers, investment advisers, mutual funds, and transfer agents; initiated one of the Commission’s inaugural monitoring teams for certain large investment advisers; and led significant risk-targeted examinations to assess potential industry trends and problems. Mr. Lee also dramatically increased the Los Angeles office’s investor education and outreach efforts, with a particular emphasis on educating seniors and various minority communities.
Mr. Lee devoted significant efforts to enhancing the Commission’s commitment to diversity. He founded and served as chair of the Enforcement Division’s diversity committee and received the SEC’s Equal Employment Opportunity Award in 2004.
Before joining the SEC, Mr. Lee was an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles from 1994 to 2001, where he served as a Deputy Chief in the Major Frauds Section of the Criminal Division. Before that, Mr. Lee practiced corporate and securities law at the firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles. He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable James L. Buckley on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Before attending law school, he was a corporate finance associate at Bankers Trust Company for three years.
Mr. Lee received his B.A. from Yale University in 1983 and his J.D. from the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, in 1989, where he graduated Order of the Coif and was an Articles Editor on the California Law Review.