Gary Aguirre, who claims he was fired as a lawyer at the SEC in 2005 because he pushed to interview John Mack, now the CEO of Morgan Stanley, as part of an investigation he was running regarding possible insider trading at Pequot Capital, is again claiming that the SEC is retaliating against him. Forbes reports that Aguirre and the SEC were nearing a $2.1 million settlement of Aguirre’s claims, but the SEC rejected the proposal two hours after an article was published in Forbes in which Aguirre criticized the SEC.
The March 15 article at issue was about the SEC Inspector General’s inquiry into possible insider trading by SEC attorneys. In it, Aguirre is quoted as saying that the IG’s report was
“not surprising: It would be the next logical step in the SEC’s mission reversal: from protecting investors to protecting Wall Street. In a culture that tolerated Wall Street’s insider trading and overlooked Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, some staff attorney was bound to ask: Why not me?”
Two hours after the article appeared, Aguirre says, an attorney for the SEC emailed him to state that “After careful consideration, we cannot agree to your proposed terms…. Unfortunately, we are unable to reach a settlement on mutually acceptable terms.”