Acting SEC Chair Allison Herren Lee said Tuesday that senior officers in the agency’s Enforcement Division can now issue subpoenas, which can help speed investigations — a move former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt said is likely prompted by the Reddit GameStop squeeze.
In consultation with Melissa Hodgman, acting director of the Enforcement Division, Lee stated that she “restored a vital tool to our enforcement program to better protect investors by authorizing senior officers in the division to approve the issuance of a Formal Order of Investigation.”
The move, Lee said, “will empower senior officers to exercise the delegated authority of the Commission to authorize staff to subpoena documents and take sworn testimony. This delegation of authority will enable investigative staff to act more swiftly to detect and stop ongoing frauds, preserve assets, and protect vulnerable investors.”
Added Lee: “Returning this authority to the division’s experienced senior officers, who have a proven track record of executing it prudently, helps to ensure that investigative staff can work effectively to protect investors in an era when the pace of fraud – like the pace of markets themselves – is ever more rapid.”