Two Senior SEC Investigators to Leave Agency for Private Firms

Two senior U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators are stepping down this month to join private law firms, leaving vacancies atop two units formed in 2010 in an overhaul of the enforcement division.

Robert Kaplan, co-chief of a 75-person unit that investigates misconduct at hedge funds and private-equity firms, will join Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in Washington as a partner on June 5, the firm said in a statement today. Thomas Sporkin, who heads an SEC group tasked with vetting and handling tips, is moving to BuckleySandler LLP in the coming weeks, according to a statement by that firm.

SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami enlisted Kaplan and Sporkin two years ago as part of an effort to develop specialized expertise and catch frauds earlier. Khuzami hasn’t publicly announced who will fill the vacant posts.

“My sincere thanks go to Rob and Tom for their many years of exemplary service to the SEC and to investors everywhere,” Khuzami said today in an e-mailed statement. “The deep bench of talent at the SEC ensures that our strong and proactive enforcement efforts will continue uninterrupted.”

Kaplan, who holds degrees from New York University and Columbia University, joined the SEC in 1995 as a staff attorney and later became a litigator in the trial unit. At Debevoise, he will advise investment adviser clients on enforcement and compliance matters, the firm said.

“Debevoise is particularly excited to bring our clients Rob’s deep understanding of the securities compliance and enforcement issues facing private-equity and hedge funds, as well as other alternative investment funds,” Michael Blair, the firm’s presiding partner, said in the statement.

Market Intelligence

Sporkin, a 20-year veteran of the SEC’s enforcement division, helped create the Office of Market Intelligence and the Whistleblower Office mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. He will join BuckleySandler June 18, the firm said.

Sporkin “brings significant expertise, particularly with respect to federal civil and criminal enforcement and securities investigations, the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act, Dodd-Frank and other whistleblower” actions, Andrew Sandler, BuckleySandler’s chairman, said in the firm’s statement.

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