Leader of WorldCom investigation to leave SEC

William Baker - one of the leading enforcement investigators at the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) – is to leave the US agency’s enforcement division.

Baker is leaving the agency to return to the private sector, according to the SEC. An associate director in the enforcement division since 1997, Baker was instrumental in a number of high profile actions, the SEC said.

Most recently, he spearheaded the SEC’s investigation into accounting irregularities at Mississippi-based telecommunications company WorldCom.

During his 15-year career with the SEC, Baker worked on key enforcement initiatives to counter a variety of illegal activities; these include fraud, insider trading, securities firms’ systematic marking up of government securities and clearing violations.

In 1999 and 2000, Baker was also involved in the investigation of the Manhattan Investment Fund, managed by Michael Berger. The fund, which specialised in short-selling US equities, lost $400 million of investors’ capital in what is believed to be the largest hedge fund fraud to date.

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