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(June 14, 2000) – As the SEC, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the unsealing of indictments and the filing of criminal complaints naming more than 100 defendants in securities fraud schemes, Bradley W. Skolnik, Indiana’s securities commissioner and president of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) issued the following statement:

Skolnik applauded the actions taken today saying, “These actions are a major strike in the war against white collar securities fraud.” In January, Skolnik said in a speech at the NASAA Enforcement Conference, “Prosecutors, juries and the media understand street crime like theft and murder. Somehow securities fraud seems sanitized, bloodless, technical.” The announcement today shows that “white collar crimes aren’t victimless crimes. Just like street crime, securities fraud ruins lives, destroys families, steals hopes and kills dreams of Main Street investors.”

“Regulators can’t let their guard down. We all need to make the extra effort to bring more criminal cases—to right wrongs and ensure justice is done.” Too many crooks think they can get away with securities fraud. The actions announced today send an important message that law enforcement officials and regulators are out there actively pursuing white-collar criminals.

He said securities regulators are fighting a “bull market in fraud”—from microcap stock fraud, to promissory notes and Internet scams. “White-collar criminals are cold, calculating and vicious. Many are serial violators, career criminals.”

State securities regulators, Skolnik noted, obtain an average of nearly 300 criminal convictions a year, according to a recent NASAA survey. “But we need to bring more (criminal cases), many more,” Skolnik said.