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Friday, March 4, 2011

Questions raised over SEC counsel's Madoff links

'Becker's participation suggests multiple conflicts of interest'

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is stepping up pressure on the Securities and Exchange Commission to explain apparent conflicts of interest presented by General Counsel David Becker's involvement in the Bernie Madoff investment scam.

In a letter co-authored yesterday with Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Issa demanded to know why SEC chief Mary Schapiro allowed Becker to be involved in the Madoff case when Becker's family appears to have benefited from investments made with Madoff.

"Becker's participation in any aspect of the commission's involvement with the aftermath of Madoff's fraud suggests multiple conflicts of interest," wrote Issa and Grassley in their letter to Schapiro. "It has also subjected the commission to further questions about its management and independence."

John Nester, the director of the SEC's office of public affairs, declined to comment on the Issa-Grassley letter.

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