Still recovering from their failed attempt to stop Bernie Madoff as he pulled off the country’s biggest Ponzi scam, the Securities and Exchange Commission is attempting to regain its reputation. A good move might be to focus on the way the SEC has pursued criminals in the past. In the 1960s, Robert L. Vesco, accused of looting $125 million from offshore mutual funds. Ultimately, the SEC sued Vesco for securities law violations, causing Vesco to flee the country in 1973 ahead of a criminal indictment, never to return. How aggressively the SEC pursued Vesco is vividly displayed in hundreds of pages of Vesco’s sworn testimony to SEC staffers that Forbes pried loose from the SEC under the Freedom of Information Act after a three-year battle.
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