SEC to pay $755,000 damages to ex-lawyer

2 July 2010

A former lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who claimed he was unjustly fired after trying to investigate an insider trading ring is to receive $755,000 in damages.

Gary Aguirre, who was fired by the SEC in September 2005, alleged that he was let go by the organisation after attempting to probe trades made by hedge fund Pequot Capital Management.

The ex-lawyer claimed that senior officials at the regulator prevented him from interviewing John Mack, an executive who at the time was a candidate for the role of chief executive officer at Morgan Stanley.

It was alleged by the legal expert that his determination to pursue the investigation led to his eventual dismissal by the SEC.

The SEC’s pay out will include the cost of his legal fees and salary equivalent to that of four years and ten months.

John Nester, SEC spokesman, said: “The settlement resolves all outstanding litigation between the parties and reflects the agency’s determination to focus on its core mission of protecting investors.”

In May Pequot Capital and Arthur Samberg, the hedge fund’s founder and chairman, agreed to pay $28 million in fines to the SEC to settle charges of insider trading in relation to shares in Microsoft Corp.

By Jim Ottewill

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