The government accountability group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has sued the Securities and Exchange Commission over its failure to provide documentation of reforms implemented in the wake of the largest investment fraud in the nation’s history.
CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act request in October asking the SEC for all records related to the "decisive and comprehensive steps" it said it had taken after Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme went undetected for 16 years.
The SEC said these reforms included establishing specialized enforcement divisions, streamlining the management structure of the divisions and attracting new talent.
On Oct. 23, an attorney at the SEC told CREW that it would not be able to complete its request within the standard 20-working-day window and would provide a further response within 30 business days. The same letter also granted CREW’s request to waive the fees associated with the request.
But the records never materialized.
"To date, the SEC has neither produced a single document to CREW nor withheld or otherwise accounted for any responsive documents. Nor has the SEC informed plaintiff of an anticipated date for completing the processing of plaintiffs FOIA request," said the complaint filed by CREW.