Former SEC official is said to be under scrutiny

New York Times / May 14, 2011

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WASHINGTON — A former Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement official who has been accused of repeatedly blocking efforts to investigate R. Allen Stanford, the Houston financier charged with running an $7 billion Ponzi scheme, is the subject of a federal criminal probe for having done legal work for Stanford after leaving the SEC, government officials said yesterday.

The former official, Spencer C. Barasch, is now a private attorney in Texas.

He has represented clients before the agency, including a defendant charged last month with financial fraud by the SEC in federal court in Dallas.

Those disclosures came yesterday at a congressional hearing into the SEC’s failures to stop the Stanford Ponzi scheme.

Barasch’s law firm said he had not acted unethically or violated any laws.