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RELEASE: pr6735-13

  • October 1, 2013

    CFTC Announces Departure of Enforcement Director David Meister

    Washington, DC—The Commodity Futures Trading Commission today announced that Division of Enforcement Director David Meister will depart the agency in October. Mr. Meister led the Division in bringing record numbers of enforcement actions covering the full range of the CFTC’s authority, including the first-ever charges under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Mr. Meister, a close counselor to the Chairman on enforcement matters and other significant issues, also led key Dodd-Frank enforcement rulemakings, such as the prohibition against a wide range of manipulative and deceptive conduct, the whistleblower rule, and the Commission’s disruptive practices guidance.

    “David has brought energy, talent and experience to our critical mission to protect the public from fraud and abuse and ensure market integrity,” said CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler. “He is a tough but fair former federal prosecutor who will be missed by all at the CFTC. On a personal note, I will miss the remarkable partnership that he and I have had, but look forward to a lifelong friendship.”

    “Leading the Division of Enforcement as the agency’s jurisdiction has expanded to cover a broader swath of the financial markets has been the experience of a lifetime, an opportunity for which I am deeply grateful to Chairman Gensler, but the time has come for me to return full time to my family in New York,” Mr. Meister said. “It has been an extraordinary honor and privilege to again serve in law enforcement alongside some of the most talented and dedicated professionals I have ever known. I especially would like to thank my colleagues in the Division of Enforcement for their trust, their guidance, their motivation and their friendship.”

    Under Mr. Meister’s leadership, the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement has brought hundreds of charges concerning the commodities, futures, swaps and other derivatives markets against institutions and individuals on Wall Street and around the globe. For example, Mr. Meister led the prosecution of charges against several global financial institutions for the manipulation of LIBOR that resulted in record CFTC penalties of just under $1.3 billion. In addition, under his leadership the Division brought charges of fraud, manipulation in the oil and metals markets, unlawful uses of customer funds, failures of supervision, deficient accounting and auditing, foreign exchange violations, false testimony and many other violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission rules.

    Mr. Meister also streamlined the Division’s investigations and management. He established two squads of enforcement personnel – one focused on manipulation & disruptive trading, and the other on swaps enforcement. He and his staff drew on expertise from across the agency as well as Division forensic economists and investigators to maximize the Division’s ability to handle cases of increasing complexity. He created a senior-level, cross-divisional committee to improve consistency in enforcement decisions. He also enhanced investigative techniques and took other steps to increase the speed and effectiveness of the Division’s investigations.

    Mr. Meister strengthened the Division’s long-held collaborative relationships with the U.S. Justice Department, numerous U.S. Attorneys Offices, the SEC, the FBI, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies, as well as with the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, and agencies in Europe, Asia and Australia. Since 2011, he has served as co-chair of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group of the inter-agency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which President Obama established in 2009.

    Prior to joining the CFTC, Mr. Meister was in private practice in New York, representing institutional and individual clients in white collar and criminal matters involving the financial markets and other industries. He previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, prosecuting a wide variety of criminal cases as a member of that Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Mr. Meister graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 1984, and received a J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law in 1987, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

    Last Updated: October 1, 2013

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