Ex-SEC Lawyer Settles with Agency over Firing

July 1, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has agreed to a $755,000 settlement of a suit filed by a former agency lawyer fired during an insider trading probe at the Pequot Capital Management hedge fund. 

A Reuters news report said the settlement came with Gary Aguirre who was discharged about five years ago after Aguirre alleged SEC officials had interfered in his Pequot investigation.  Reuters said Aguirre had tried unsuccessfully to speak with John Mack who was tapped to head Morgan Stanley and who was a friend of the hedge fund’s founder.  

SEC Spokesman John Nester told Reuters: “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 an interview with Reuters, Aguirre, now living in California, called the payment a fair resolution to cover his attorney fees and expenses. 

Aguirre said he agreed to settle partly because the SEC moved against the defunct fund. Last month Pequot, which abruptly went out of business in 2009, agreed to pay $28 million to settle regulators’ claims that it illegally used inside information to trade Microsoft Corp shares.