SEC’s Mary Jo White Wants Companies to ‘Fess Up’
WASHINGTON — The woman who indicted Osama bin Laden wants to strike fear into Wall Street.
Mary Jo White, the former U.S. attorney in Manhattan who wanted to prosecute the terrorist mastermind before the 9/11 attacks, has tried to stiffen the backbone of the Securities and Exchange Commission since taking over as the agency’s chairwoman in April.
The SEC, like other regulators, customarily has allowed its targets to settle civil cases without admitting any wrongdoing.
But under White, the nation’s top stock market cop no longer will always let deep-pocketed investors and firms get away with merely writing a check for government penalties.
So far, White’s SEC has prodded JPMorgan Chase & Co., the nation’s largest bank, to admit it broke securities laws when traders lost more than $6 billion in the “London Whale” fiasco. The admission came with nearly $1 billion in penalties.