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Gurbir S. Grewal, Attorney General of New Jersey, has been named Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
Gurbir S. Grewal, Attorney General of New Jersey, has been named Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.
The senior prosecutor’s appointment will take effect on July 26, with the SEC adding the veteran prosecutor to its ranks to play a crucial role in regulating financial markets in the United States.
“He has the ideal combination of experience, values, and leadership ability to helm the Enforcement Division at this critical time. I look forward to working closely with him to protect investors and root out wrongdoing in our markets,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler.
Grewal is a replacement for Alex Oh, who was appointed by Gensler, but was forced to step down in April after only a few days on the job.
Oh’s appointment sparked backlash over the history of her work defending corporations as a lawyer, in particular her representation of ExxonMobil, a case in which the defendants were accused of human rights abuses in indonesia.
Grewal is an Indian-American who grew up in New Jersey. The 48-year-old has served at state and federal levels, including the Economic Crimes Unit in which he led the prosecution of co-conspirators behind a $300 million global hacking and data breach scheme.
Grewal formerly worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he was assigned to the Business and Securities Fraud Unit.
He does not appear to have prosecuted any high-profile cryptocurrency cases, although he does have expertise pursuing Ponzi schemes and financial fraud.
Grewal handled a major case while in New Jersey, that of Eliyahu Weinstein, who pled guilty to conducting a real estate Ponzi scheme that cheated investors out of $200 million.
Weinstein was sentenced to 22 years in prison and later admitted to another fraudulent scheme surrounding the Facebook initial public offering (IPO) back in 2012.
In recent months, the SEC has increased prosecutions of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) that it deems securities. On June 25, Cointelegraph reported on the ongoing SEC-Ripple Labs litigation, revealing that the regulatory agency recently alleged that XRP token holders are using social media to “disseminate negative and false statements about members of SEC leadership.”
The SEC first filed the case in December, alleging that the company participated in unregistered securities offers. Throughout 2021, the two sides have been embroiled in a heated fight.