U.S. CFTC Names Former Prosecutor Goelman to Head Enforcement

Jun 11, 2014 12:01 am ET

June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Aitan Goelman, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer, was named director of enforcement at the U.S. regulator in charge of rooting out fraud and manipulation in derivatives markets.

Goelman, a Washington-based partner at Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, will join the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, agency chairman Timothy Massad said yesterday in a statement announcing his first high-profile personnel move since he was sworn in last week.

“It is an honor to be able to play a part in helping the commission fulfill its crucial mission of maintaining the integrity of the futures and swaps markets,” Goelman said in a statement.

The CFTC was granted broad new powers by the 2010 Dodd- Frank Act to oversee much of the $710 trillion global swaps market that was previously largely unregulated. The agency gained expanded authorities to pursue cases of manipulation and disruptive trading, including by automated and high-speed traders.

The agency has reached settlements with UBS AG, Barclays Plc and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, among other firms, for rigging global interest rates. The CFTC is also investigating possible manipulation in the foreign-exchange market.

Goelman has been a litigation partner at Zuckerman Spaeder for 11 years, including recently defending a former analyst at Steven Cohen’s hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors LP in an insider- trading investigation.

Oklahoma City

Previously, Goelman was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and handled fraud investigations at the Justice Department. He was also one of the trial lawyers who prosecuted Timothy McVeigh for the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City.

Beth A. Wilkinson, who delivered the closing arguments in the McVeigh case as a federal prosecutor and is now a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, said in an e-mail that Goelman’s “experience working on a high-profile case early in his career enabled him to obtain the experience and perspective one would want the head of enforcement of the CFTC to have.”