SEC Chairman Claims about 150 Hedge Fund Investigations

April 27, 2009 ( - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro said regulators have about 150 active hedge fund investigations and more than a dozen current probes involving credit default swaps, according to Reuters.

Schapiro told a conference of business journalists in Denver that the SEC also has about two dozen active municipal securities investigations, possibly involving arbitrage-driven fraud, public corruption and price transparency, the news report said. Schapiro, who has made enforcement one of her top priorities since taking the helm late in January, said the hedge fund investigations include possible Ponzi schemes

Last year, the SEC ordered more than two dozen hedge funds, broker-dealers and big investors to hand over information about their trading in the securities of certain financial institutions such as American International Group and Lehman Brothers. Reuters notes that the SEC also took steps to crack down on market manipulation and rumor mongering and the agency said investors with significant trading activity in financial firms or positions in credit default swaps would be required to disclose those positions to the SEC.

The agency’s enforcement division has been criticized by lawmakers for having missed opportunities to stop Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme.