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March 11, 2013

Corralling Mobsters, if Not Many Big Banks

EVERYONE knows about the mobsters and terrorists that Mary Jo White successfully put behind bars during her nine years as United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. Less well-known is Ms. White’s record bringing cases against large financial institutions during her stint as the top criminal prosecutor in New York.

Ms. White, who has been nominated to become the chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, ran the Justice Department’s unit in the Southern District, which includes Manhattan, from 1993 until January 2002. She is expected to appear at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

Ms. White’s recent work as a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, where she represented JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and other companies, has come under scrutiny. Her record as a federal prosecutor of financial crime has received less attention.

Given that regulating financial firms will become her purview if she heads the S.E.C., assessing her pursuit of financial fraud as a prosecutor may provide clues to how she would run the agency.”

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Read full New York Times article here

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