UPDATE 2-U.S. derivatives regulator names ex-prosecutor as enforcement head

Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:00pm EDT
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(Adds background on current CFTC cases)

WASHINGTON, June 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. derivatives regulator on Tuesday named a former federal prosecutor and experienced trial lawyer as its new enforcement head, a rapid hire only days after the agency's new chairman started his job.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it had appointed Aitan Goelman, a litigation partner at law firm Zuckerman Spaeder, as the regulator's new director of the Division of Enforcement.

Goelman rose to some fame as one of the trial lawyers that won conviction of Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols for a 1995 truck bomb attack on the federal government that killed 168 people.

"He will be a tough, aggressive and fair leader at a critical time in the commission's history," CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad said in a statement.

Massad, a former senior Treasury official, was himself sworn in as the new head of the derivatives regulator on Thursday, two days after the Senate gave him the green light.

Goelman previously was a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and a special attorney to the U.S. Attorney General, the CFTC said.

The CFTC has sued a number of high-profile defendants in the past few years - most notably Jon Corzine, the former head of collapsed futures brokerage MF Global - and will either have to litigate those cases or settle them.

It was put in charge of the U.S. part of the $710 trillion swaps market in 2010, giving it a far bigger remit than before the 2008 financial crisis when it only oversaw agricultural and other futures markets.   Continued...