US SEC: No investigations hurt by destroyed records

Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:01pm EDT

WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) -A past practice of destroying certain pre-investigative materials has not harmed any current or future investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. agency's enforcement chief said on Wednesday.

The comments from SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami, which were made in a letter to Senator Charles Grassley, mark the strongest defense by the SEC yet after an internal whistleblower accused the agency of wrongfully destroying important investigative files, including so-called "matters under inquiry," or MUIs.

"We do not believe that current or future investigations have been harmed by the division's old MUI retention policy," said Khuzami, adding that data the agency did save electronically still lets the SEC "connect the dots" between current and closed matters. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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