L.A. Lawyer Tapped for Trump’s Security & Exchange Commission
Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – 3:23 PM
(CNS) – Los Angeles lawyer Debra Wong Yang, who was U.S. Attorney in Southern California and is close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, was reported Wednesday to be under consideration by President-elect Donald J. Trump to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission, which would make her Wall Street’s top cop.
Trump is considering appointing her chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, an official working with Trump’s transition team told The Wall Street Journal. If he picks her, she would follow in the steps of the current chairman, Mary Jo White, who also served as a federal prosecutor before taking over the SEC.
Yang is a fourth-generation Angelino who grew up in Chinatown and, in 2002, became the first Asian American woman to serve as U.S. attorney. Then- President George W. Bush tapped her for the position of top federal prosecutor in the Central District of California, which includes Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Yang, who had been a state judge in California, served as U.S. attorney until 2007.
Her cases involved bringing criminal charges against Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano and class-action law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, the Los Angeles Times reported. The firm was charged with paying plaintiffs to file securities lawsuits. The case against the firm itself was later dismissed, but several individual partners pleaded guilty to related charges.
Yang also was instrumental in obtaining guilty pleas in the Credit Lyonnais banking scandal and in getting $1.5 billion in criminal settlements from Boeing Co. and Tenet Healthcare Corp, according to The Times.
After leaving the U.S. attorney’s office, Yang joined the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm in Los Angeles, where she handles cases involving white- collar crime, corporate compliance, data privacy and matters involving China, The Times reported.
Like White, Yang is a litigation expert who isn’t steeped in financial policy-making, which is the biggest job of an SEC chairman, according to the Journal.
Yang was recently involved in representing New Jersey Christie against claims that his administration ordered lane closures at the George Washington Bridge to punish a local mayor who didn’t endorse him. At a 2011 conference for a Chinese-American group, Yang called Christie a “dear friend,” the Journal reported. She co-hosted a fundraiser for Christie in Los Angeles in December 2015.