The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Aaron Lipson, Associate Regional Director for enforcement matters in the Atlanta Regional Office, is leaving the agency this month after 14 years of service.
Mr. Lipson joined the SEC in 2004 as a staff attorney and was promoted to Assistant Regional Director in 2010 before being named Associate Regional Director in 2016. As the Atlanta office’s Associate Regional Director for enforcement matters, Mr. Lipson has supervised a staff of more than 60 attorneys, accountants, and other professionals responsible for investigating potential violations of the federal securities laws by a wide range of market participants. Mr. Lipson received the agency’s Ellen B. Ross Award in recognition of his “exemplary commitment, enthusiasm and performance in working to fulfill the Commission’s responsibilities for the fair and effective enforcement of the federal securities laws,” and the Chairman’s Award for Excellence for his work in protecting the financial interests of senior citizens.
“Aaron is a dedicated public servant whose distinguished record of cases has left an indelible mark on the SEC and its Atlanta office,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Time and time again, he has demonstrated his commitment to protecting investors and the fair and orderly function of our markets.”
“Aaron is incredibly tenacious, intelligent, and skilled at developing cases,” said Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Under Aaron’s stewardship of Atlanta’s enforcement program, the SEC has brought programmatically significant cases that have had an outsized impact on the Atlanta region and throughout the nation.”
Richard Best, Regional Director of the SEC’s Atlanta office, added, “Aaron leaves behind a legacy of accomplishments in Atlanta. He has been a strong mentor who has always been willing to provide counsel to all who seek it. The Atlanta office and the SEC have benefited tremendously from Aaron’s leadership.”
Mr. Lipson said, “It has been a true privilege to spend the past almost 15 years in the service of U.S. investors. The core of my professional career has been spent working with and learning from the exceptionally skilled and dedicated professionals throughout the SEC. I am particularly grateful to my colleagues in Atlanta for their kindness and steadfast commitment to the agency’s mission.”
Under Mr. Lipson’s leadership of the Atlanta office’s enforcement program, the SEC has brought dozens of enforcement matters, including charges against:
- Bank of America and two of its subsidiaries for defrauding investors in an offering of residential mortgage-backed securities by failing to disclose key risks and misrepresenting facts about the underlying mortgages
- Eleven former executives and board members at Superior Bank and its holding company who were allegedly involved in various schemes to conceal the extent of loan losses as the bank was faltering in the wake of the financial crisis
- The former chairman and majority owner of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., which was once the largest non-depository mortgage lender, for orchestrating a $1.5 billion securities fraud scheme and attempting to scam the U.S. Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program
- TBW’s former CEO and former treasurer, and a vice president of Colonial Bank, for their roles in the TBW fraud
- KPMG and an engagement partner for failing to properly audit the financial statements of an oil and gas company, resulting in investors being misinformed about the energy company’s value
- The investment services subsidiary of SunTrust Banks for collecting more than $1.1 million in avoidable fees from clients by improperly recommending more expensive share classes of various mutual funds when cheaper shares of the same funds were available
- Four former Atlanta-area brokers for fraudulently inducing federal employees to roll over holdings from their federal Thrift Savings Plan retirement accounts into higher-fee, variable annuity products
Before joining the SEC, Mr. Lipson worked as a litigation associate at Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Lipson earned his law degree with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2000, and his bachelor’s degree in history with honors from Yale University in 1997.