The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Erin E. Schneider has been named Director of the San Francisco Regional Office.
Ms. Schneider joined the SEC staff in 2005 as a staff attorney in the San Francisco office. She was promoted to Assistant Regional Director of the Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit in 2012 and then to Associate Regional Director of the San Francisco office in 2015. In her new role, Ms. Schneider will lead a staff of more than 125 enforcement attorneys, accountants, investigators, and compliance examiners involved in the investigation and prosecution of enforcement actions and the performance of compliance inspections in the Northern California and Pacific Northwest region. This region covers a unique, multi-faceted and dynamic set of market participants.
During her career with the SEC, Ms. Schneider has investigated or supervised dozens of enforcement matters involving a variety of securities law violations, including cases against:
- Elon Musk, CEO and former Chairman of Silicon Valley-based Tesla Inc., for defrauding investors through a series of false and misleading tweets about a purported potential transaction to take Tesla private, and Tesla for failing to have required disclosure controls and procedures relating to Musk’s tweets
- Theranos Inc., its founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes, and its former President Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani for raising more than $700 million from investors through an allegedly elaborate, years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company’s technology, business, and financial performance
- Washington-based Barrett Business Services Inc. and its former CFO for allegedly manipulating accounting records to hide from investors the fact that certain expenses were increasing relative to revenue
- The former CEO of a Silicon Valley-based fiber optics company for insider trading in his company’s stock by using secret brokerage accounts which generated more $2 million in illicit profits and losses avoided
- Burrill Capital Management and G. Steven Burrill for misappropriating more than $4 million from their San Francisco-based biotech venture capital fund
“I am pleased that Erin has agreed to take on the important role of leading the talented and dedicated group of women and men in our San Francisco Regional Office,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “For nearly 15 years, Erin has worked tirelessly with her colleagues in San Francisco and across the Commission to protect our markets and our Main Street investors. Her skills as a leader and extensive experience, including in issues relevant in the Silicon Valley region, will serve the Commission and investors well.”
“We are looking forward to working with Erin in her new position, and we are confident that under her leadership the San Francisco Regional Office will continue its track record of bringing complex enforcement actions,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
“In more than 14 years at the SEC, Erin has handled a broad range of noteworthy cases,” said Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “She has demonstrated strong leadership, technical expertise, and sound judgment, and we believe she will be an outstanding leader of our San Francisco Regional Office.”
“Through her time at the SEC, Erin has shown her commitment to protecting investors and tackling the difficult and complex issues in the financial markets,” said Pete Driscoll, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. “The examination program will benefit greatly from Erin’s vast legal and accounting expertise and her dynamic and collaborative leadership.”
Ms. Schneider said, “It’s a privilege to have been selected to serve in this new role in San Francisco. Over my career at the SEC, I have been continually impressed by the commitment, integrity, and enthusiasm demonstrated by the San Francisco examination and enforcement staff every day. I look forward to continuing and building upon San Francisco’s strong tradition of proactive and productive efforts to protect investors.”
Prior to joining the SEC staff, Ms. Schneider worked as a litigation associate in the Washington D.C. and San Francisco offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Ms. Schneider earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley in 1995, and her law degree cum laude from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in 2001.
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