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National Archives Criticizes SEC Over Doc Disposals

Photo: Lena Grönwall

The Securities and Exchange Commission is coming under fire on the heels of a whistleblower claiming the agency destroyed records of preliminary investigations once they are shut.

The National Archives released a statement Thursday criticizing the SEC, citing an agreement to stop the illegal destruction of preliminary investigation files, or Matters Under Inquiry files.

The SEC does not have the authority to destroy the records, per the Federal Records Act.

“NARA remains concerned that the SEC has been slow in creating records schedules for review and approval by the Archivist of the United States that will ultimately determine how long these MUI records need to be retained,” the agency said in a statement.

Rolling Stone reported Wednesday an employee at the SEC claimed the agency destroyed records of preliminary investigations once they were closed.

The magazine reported the destroyed MUI files included those involving convicted Ponzi schemester Bernie Madoff, a 2002 inquiry into the now-defunct Lehman Brothers, and a 2005 case of insider trading at Lehman Brothers.

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