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Top white-collar crime prosecutor to lead SEC

11:24 PM, Jan. 24, 2013  |  Comments
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President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney who built a reputation prosecuting white-collar criminals, terrorists and mobsters, to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. The agency has a lead role in implementing changes on Wall Street.

White spent nearly a decade as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, handling an array of white-collar crimes and complex securities and financial fraud cases. She brought down mobster John Gotti and won convictions in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

Obama said that experience makes White well-suited to implement legislation he championed to change the behavior on Wall Street.

"I'd say that's a pretty good run. You don't want to mess with Mary Jo," Obama said at the White House. "As one former SEC chairman said, Mary Jo does not intimidate easily, and that's important because she has a big job ahead of her."

If confirmed by the Senate, White would take over the SEC from Elisse Walter, who is serving out the rest of former SEC chairwoman Mary Schapiro's term. Schapiro resigned in December.

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