SEC Raps Ex-Agency Lawyer Over Stanford Work

May 25 2012 | 3:18am ET

The Securities and Exchange Commission has disciplined a former official for his work for convicted fraudster R. Allen Stanford.

Spencer Barasch worked on matters related to Stanford during his nearly seven years in the SEC's enforcement office in Fort Worth, Texas. After leaving the regulator in 2005, he sought permission to do legal work for Stanford, who would not be arrested for another four years.

But the SEC denied his request, telling Barasch that he was "permanently barred" from representing Stanford or any of his many companies. But according to the SEC, the following year he did 12 hours of "legal work related to Stanford matters Barasch had participated in while at the Commission."

Barasch did not admit or deny that he "personally and substantially" worked for Stanford. But he did accept a one-year ban from representing clients before the SEC and will pay a $50,000 fine.

"This action shows that the Commission takes seriously ethical lapses by attorneys who appear and practice before it, and that such violations will result in serious disciplinary action," Richard Humes, associate general counsel at the SEC, said.

Barasch's lawyer issued his own statement defending his client, who is now head of securities enforcement at Dallas law firm Andrews Kurth. "For over 17 years, Spencer Barasch served the SEC and his country with integrity and distinction, and has carried the same high standards of ethics and achievement into private practice."

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