Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is calling for an investigation into allegations of illegal and widespread file-shredding at a federal agency that’s supposed to protect the nation’s investors from fraud. Grassley says he was contacted directly by a whistleblower and given a series of documents to back up the accusations.
“An enforcement lawyer at the agency alleges that the Securities and Exchange Commission destroyed at least 9,000 files between the years of 1993 through 2010,” Grassley says. “These files pertain to initial inquiries into possible wrongdoing on Wall Street.” Grassley says the informant was told the files were being shredded as part of routine internal policy, but claims that’s not the case.
“He says the destruction was illegal, in violation of the laws that federal agencies must keep federal records,” Grassley says. “He also says the document shredding might have compromised enforcement cases against some of the biggest names in investing, including Bernie Madoff and a lot of big banks.”
Madoff, a former stock broker, is serving a 150-year sentence for what’s described as the largest-ever Ponzi scheme which bilked investors of perhaps 65-Billion dollars. Grassley, a Republican, says anyone with a retirement account or a home mortgage likely has ties to Wall Street and should be concerned about these new allegations involving the SEC. He says the case is “troubling.”
“It doesn’t make sense that an agency responsible for investigation would want to get rid of potential evidence,” Grassley says. “If these charges by the whistleblower are true, the agency needs to explain why it destroyed the documents, how many documents it destroyed over what time frame, and to what extent its actions were consistent with the law.”
Grassley’s calling on the chairman of the SEC to provide a full accounting of the agency’s actions.