Senators Propose SAFE Funds to Dramatically Increase Enforcement Staffs of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice
By William F. Sullivan, Thomas A. Zaccaro & Morgan J. Miller
New Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro and Attorney General-Nominee Eric Holder may have significantly more resources to advance their pledges of increased enforcement of the federal securities laws. On Thursday, January 22, 2009, Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) announced new bipartisan legislation to combat securities fraud on Wall Street, the Supplemental Anti-Fraud Enforcement (SAFE) Markets Act. Amid the rash of financial fraud cases plaguing the securities markets, their proposal would provide $110 million to hire 500 new FBI Agents, 50 new Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 100 new SEC enforcement officials. This is no doubt welcome news to Chairman Schapiro and Mr. Holder as they commit to reinvigorate their respective enforcement programs.