Justice Dept. Won’t Probe Ex-SEC Official Becker, Lawyer Says

Federal prosecutors have told former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission General Counsel David Becker that they won’t open an investigation into whether he violated ethics laws, his attorney said.

The SEC’s inspector general, H. David Kotz, in September called for the Justice Department to review whether Becker should be criminally charged for having a financial interest in a policy he worked on relating to the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Becker inherited profits from the fraud through an account held by his late mother.

“We are gratified at the decision, and it’s consistent with our view that Mr. Becker did exactly what he was supposed to do under the circumstances,” Becker’s attorney, William Baker III, said in an interview today.

Becker, who left the agency in February to return to private legal practice, has said he had no financial interest in the SEC’s Madoff policy. He had received clearance from the SEC’s ethics counsel to work on the matter in 2009. He had also informed SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro about the matter.

A Justice Department spokeswoman and Kotz didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Schmidt in Washington at rschmidt5@bloomberg.net; Joshua Gallu in Washington at jgallu@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lawrence Roberts at lroberts13@bloomberg.net

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