The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that David Woodcock, Regional Director of the Fort Worth office and leader of the Enforcement Division’s nationwide Financial Reporting and Audit Task Force, is leaving the SEC later this spring.
As the regional director of the Fort Worth office since 2011, Mr. Woodcock has overseen a staff of attorneys, accountants, examiners, and other professionals responsible for conducting investigations, litigation, and examinations in a region that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas. He helped form and lead the Financial Reporting and Audit Task Force that comprises a group of accountants and attorneys using innovative methods and technology to prevent, detect, and investigate potential fraud in financial statements and other accounting documents. Mr. Woodcock received an Excellence in Leadership Award from the SEC in 2013.
Associate Regional Directors Marshall Gandy, who oversees the office’s examination program and David Peavler, who oversees its enforcement program, will serve as co-acting Regional Directors upon Mr. Woodcock’s departure.
“David has consistently demonstrated exemplary dedication to our mission and great enthusiasm for the work of the Commission,” said Chair Mary Jo White. “We and the investing public have been exceptionally well served by his many contributions to the agency.”
Mr. Woodcock said, “I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to serve at the SEC for nearly four years, and proud of the work we’ve done in the Fort Worth office and on the task force. I will always cherish my time with the outstanding people who have dedicated their lives to protecting investors and strengthening our financial markets.”
During Mr. Woodcock’s tenure, the Fort Worth office has litigated significant enforcement actions including trials that resulted in a jury verdict finding Life Partners, Brian Pardo, and Scott Peden liable for numerous false public filings and a jury verdict finding Charles Kokesh liable for defrauding his firm’s advisory clients and making false public filings. The Fort Worth office helped institute the first enforcement action under a rule that protects the ability of whistleblowers to report potential securities laws violations to the SEC. The office also brought an emergency action against a Dallas-based trader for “front running” his clients’ trades on hundreds of occasions, and filed a number of enforcement actions against individuals accused of affinity frauds targeting religious, military, and ethnic groups. Under Mr. Woodcock’s leadership, the Fort Worth office brought more than a dozen enforcement actions alleging fraud in securities offerings involving purported oil-and-gas ventures.
“David is known for his intelligence, common sense, and dedication to our mission,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “From his leadership of our Fort Worth team and the Financial Reporting and Audit Task Force to his ability to strengthen our relationships with other local regulators, he has left an indelible mark on the Enforcement Division.”
Mr. Woodcock has played a leading role in the National Exam Program, which has been expanding its outreach to investors, senior officials of registered entities, fellow regulators, and industry groups for the purpose of improving compliance, reducing fraud, and informing policy.
“David has done an incredible job leading his team and establishing the SEC’s presence with credibility throughout the region,” said Andrew J. Bowden, Director of the SEC’s National Exam Program. “He is a skilled and patient manager, an outstanding attorney and examiner, and a wonderful colleague.”
Mr. Woodcock earned a certificate in Securities and Financial Regulation from the Georgetown Law Center through a program co-sponsored by the SEC. He was a partner at a national law firm before his arrival at the SEC, and prior to law school he worked as an auditor with two public accounting firms. Mr. Woodcock earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Louisiana State University, and his JD from the University of Texas School of Law.