Washington D.C., Feb. 28, 2020 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Antonia Chion, an Associate Director of the Division of Enforcement in the Home Office, is retiring after 32 years at the agency.
During her three-decade tenure, Ms. Chion has overseen hundreds of enforcement investigations and actions arising from all aspects of the SEC’s regulatory and enforcement programs, including numerous matters of first impression.
“Toni’s expertise, experience and commitment to her colleagues and our mission is a model for staff across the Commission,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “Equally important to her leadership, Toni has been a teacher and mentor to many at the Commission. Her unwavering commitment to the SEC and to getting to the right result for investors will leave an enduring legacy.”
“Toni is a dedicated public servant who has led a wide array of complex and high-impact actions that have returned money to investors and preserved market integrity,” said Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Over her years of faithful service, she has tackled ground-breaking enforcement actions, spearheaded significant initiatives and left a lasting mark on the Commission.”
“For 32 years, Toni has worked tirelessly as an effective leader, serving the Commission and the investing public well,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “She has supervised and mentored countless attorneys in the Enforcement Division, often empowering them to become leaders themselves. Her leadership and commitment to the SEC’s mission will be missed.”
Ms. Chion commented, “I will always cherish my time at the SEC, where I worked with the best public servants dedicated to protecting investors and our markets. My colleagues and the agency have my deep admiration and affection.”
Investigations Ms. Chion supervised addressed a wide range of misconduct, advanced the SEC’s enforcement program, and resulted in some of the SEC’s most significant cases, including cases involving:
- Regulated Entities and Individuals: the historic $1.4 billion Global Research Analyst Settlement concerning conflicts of interest between equity research and investment banking divisions, broker-dealer IPO allocation abuses, misuse of Nasdaq’s Small Order Execution System by a broker-dealer and individuals controlling the firm, actions against Charles Schwab Investment Management and others for issues arising from the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008, the Commission’s first enforcement actions against nationally recognized statistical rating organizations (NRSROs), and an action against Moody’s Investors Service Inc. for internal controls failures involving models used in rating U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities.
- Insider Trading: actions involving industry professionals, hacked information stolen from law firms, the “golden goose” insider trading ring, and a corporate attorney responsible for insider trading compliance.
- Market Manipulation: violations concerning a broker-dealer facilitating layering and manipulative trading schemes, a $34 million manipulation scheme involving sophisticated trading techniques and a wide-ranging promotional campaign.
- Accounting Fraud and Issuer Disclosure: a technology company’s $622 million overstatement of revenue through channel stuffing and earnings manipulation, a pharmaceutical company’s failure to disclose and account for a government investigation prior to a $465 million settlement, and a leading auto manufacturer’s misstatements to investors about product sales and growth and use of a “cookie jar” to meet sales targets.
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: multiple government contractors for conducting a bribery scheme to obtain contracts worth over $6 billion and a multinational technology company engaged in accounting fraud and a bribery scheme involving a state-owned airline.
In addition, Ms. Chion was a founder of the Enforcement Division’s Cross-Border Working Group, which has investigated and brought landmark actions against numerous China-based issuers and their outside auditors. Ms. Chion also served as the co-head of the Enforcement Division’s Broker-Dealer Task Force, which resulted in numerous actions targeting broker-dealer misconduct including excessive trading and anti-money laundering compliance.
In 2000, she received the Stanley Sporkin Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the SEC’s enforcement program. In 2016, Ms. Chion received the Distinguished Service Award, the SEC’s highest honorary award presented to long-time SEC employees who have made major contributions to the work of the SEC. In 2019, Ms. Chion received the Scott W. Friestad Award for demonstrating a commitment to public service and mentoring, outstanding leadership, and exceptional judgment in conducting investigations.
Ms. Chion joined the SEC in 1988 as a staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement. Ms. Chion started supervising investigations in 1990 and was named to her current role of associate director in 2002. Before coming to the SEC, Ms. Chion was a deputy bureau chief and supervisor in the Narcotics Bureau of the Office of the Kings County District Attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y. She received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University and her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.