Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Schapiro is defended her agency's management practices and investigation into the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme against criticisms from House Oversight Subcommittee members during today’s hearing.
She was questioned about her role in hiring former SEC General Counsel David Becker and allowing him to work on the investigation despite an apparent conflict of interest.
Becker resigned from the SEC last month after a suit filed against him revealed that he and family members had earned some $2 million from investments made by their late mother with Madoff.
In 2009, Becker had discussed potential conflicts of interest with the SEC's Ethics Officer, but was allowed to continue working on the case.
Schapiro was nominated by President Obama in 2009 to restore the SEC following a public furor over Madoff. In 2010, she was criticized for not firing SEC employees caught viewing pornography on commission computers.
The SEC chair was warned in a letter issued by the House Oversight Cmte. Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) to avoid any further potential conflicts of interest as she prepares for today's hearing.
Also testifying is attorney Helen Davis Chaitman, another investor who lost money in the Ponzi scheme. She will discuss her suit against the SEC for negligence and misconduct in the Madoff case.