SEC Lawyer's Madoff Connection Probed

Feb 28 2011 | 10:27am ET

A trio of congressman want to know why the Securities and Exchange Commission's top lawyer was allowed to participate in the Bernard Madoff investigation even though his family was an alleged beneficiary of it.

Reps. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) and Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) demanded that SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro provide information about David Becker's role in the probe. Becker and his brothers inherited about $2 million from their mother's investment with Madoff, and he learned earlier this month that he had been sued by court-appointed receiver Irving Picard, who is seeking $1.5 million in bogus profits from Becker and his brothers.

Becker, the SEC's outgoing general counsel, brought the matter up to the SEC ethics office in 2009, the year he rejoined the agency and five years after receiving the inheritance, but was told he didn't need to recuse himself. Becker is said to have never met with Madoff.

The congressmen are skeptical, to say the least, demanding records of "all meetings" by Becker "with the Department of Justice, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, Mr. Irving Picard or any Madoff victims."

Picard filed the lawsuit against David, William and Daniel Becker late last year.

The SEC said Becker's previously-announced departure from the agency had nothing to do with the Madoff case.


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