CFTC Enforcement Head Named
Posted by Colin Lambert. Last updated: March 6, 2023
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has unveiled its new director of enforcement, the unit of the regulator that heads up prosecutions and sanctions. The CFTC says his arrival supports CFTC chair Rostin Behnam’s focus on “aggressively monitoring and policing commodity markets at a time of heightened stress and volatility, emerging digital threats to financial markets, including cryptocurrency frauds, cyber-enabled financial fraud, and cyberattacks”.
Ian McGinley takes over from acting director Gretchen Lowe, who has been in the seat since April 2022, when she took over from another acting director, Vincent McGonagle. The last “official” director was James McDonald, who left in 2020.
McGinley spent more than a decade as a prosecutor at the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he co-led the complex frauds and cyber crime unit, and also served as a senior member of the Securities and Commodities Task Force, among other positions.
“Ian McGinley is a leader in combatting modern financial fraud,” says Behnam. “His background as a prosecutor with unique experience in commodities, crypto, and cyber-crimes and frauds makes him an ideal person to lead the CFTC’s enforcement team. The financial markets operate primarily through cyberspace, with fewer physical barriers and human interventions than ever before.
“While this era is defined by tremendous opportunities to build efficiencies and expand the scope of derivatives markets, these market transformations also create new opportunities for fraud and manipulation,” he continues. “This is especially relevant with respect to the growing influx of retail participants who are particularly susceptible to scams and frauds. At a time when the CFTC needs to continue being aggressive and nimble in our efforts to prosecute those looking to prey on customers in this environment, Ian is the right choice.”
McGinley adds, “I have worked alongside the talented and dedicated staff of the CFTC enforcement division, and I have always been impressed by their professionalism and commitment to public service and justice. With the growing global importance of the markets the CFTC oversees and the complexity of the threats to the stability of these markets, the CFTC’s enforcement mission is now more important than ever. I am eager to join Gretchen and this highly motivated group.”