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* SEC's Riewe, Sprung to be seconds in command of unit
* Changes come after SEC's Rob Kaplan departed for law firm
* Karpati still remains head of asset management group
* Unit works on investigations into mutual funds, hedge funds
By Sarah N. Lynch
June 5 (Reuters) - Two enforcement attorneys at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have been promoted to serve as the new deputy chiefs of the agency's specialized asset management unit.
The appointment of pair, Julie Riewe and Marshall Sprung, reflects a change in leadership structure following the departure last week of Robert Kaplan, who served as the co-chief of the unit with Bruce Karpati. Kaplan went to work for the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
Karpati, who announced the appointments, will oversee the whole u nit, which investigates cases against mutual funds and private funds.
The asset management unit is one of five specialized groups created in 2010 as part of a major structural makeover of the SEC's enforcement division following the SEC's failure to detect Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.
It has been developing initiatives that are used to help get out ahead of high-risk areas for hedge funds, private equity funds and mutual funds.
Among the focal areas for the unit have been aberrational performance of hedge funds, the valuation of illiquid portfolios, false performance claims and preferential redemptions.
Sprung has worked in Los Angeles for the SEC since 2003, while Riewe has been with the agency since 2005, working in Washington.
Prior to working at the SEC, Sprung was a litigation associate in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Los Angeles office. Among the cases he has worked on at the SEC include AXA Rosenberg, the SEC's first case against a quantitative investment manager for allegedly concealing a major computer glitch that cost investors millions of dollars.
Riewe previously worked as a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.
Recently, she helped work on a case against an investment adviser who allegedly used LinkedIn and other social media networking websites to lure investors by offering to sell more than $500 billion in fake securities.
She also has significant experience on insider-trading probes, and w orked o n the SEC's case against Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
"Julie and Marshall have been with the unit since day one and have been a key part of its success," said Karpati.