SEC Selects Kristina Littman as New Cyber Unit Chief

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has appointed Kristina Littman as Chief of the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit, a specialized unit that focuses on protecting investors and markets from cyber-related misconduct. Littman succeeds Robert Cohen, who left the Commission in August 2019.  Cohen was with the SEC for 15 years and became the first head of the Cyber Unit which launched in 2017.

Since August 2017, Littman has served as Senior Advisor to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.  In her role as Senior Advisor, she has been the lead advisor to the Chairman on matters involving the Division of Enforcement and Commission adjudications.  The SEC adds that she has also advised on regulatory and policy matters relating to cryptocurrencies and digital assets, international affairs, trading and markets, and investment management.

Littman joined the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in 2010 as a staff attorney in the Philadelphia office.  According to the SEC, Littman has held senior attorney positions in the Market Abuse Unit and the Trial Unit and has conducted and significant enforcement investigations and litigations, including:

  • Insider trading charges against a political intelligence consultant, a government employee, and two hedge fund analysts in a scheme to trade on nonpublic information concerning government plans to cut Medicare reimbursement rates.
  • Charges against an investment adviser and its two principals for defrauding family and friends invested in a private equity fund they managed.
  • Insider trading charges against five registered representatives, charged with trading in advance of IBM Corp.’s acquisition of SPSS Inc.
  • Fraud charges against Linkbrokers Derivatives LLC, and five registered representatives in an $18 million undisclosed markup scheme.

“Kristy’s innovative thinking and extensive experience within the Commission have made her an invaluable advisor and, most importantly, a tireless defender of America’s investors,” said Chairman Clayton. “She will be an excellent leader for the Cyber Unit as it continues its work in this critical and continually evolving area.”

Stephanie Avakian, co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, welcomed Littman back to the Enforcement Division:

“Kristy’s experience will be invaluable in furthering the Cyber Unit’s broad mandate of protecting investors from cyber-related threats,” said Avakian.

Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said Littman was well prepared to lead the Cyber Unit.

Prior to joining the SEC, Littman practiced law at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, specializing in white-collar and securities litigation. Littman earned her J.D. and M.B.A. from Rutgers University School of Law – Camden and an undergraduate degree from Florida State University.

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