Yesterday, the SEC named Robert Cohen and Joseph Sansone as the new Co-Chiefs of the Division of Enforcement’s Market Abuse Unit. Cohen and Sansone fill the position that was vacated when Dan Hawke, Chief of the Market Abuse Unit since it was formed in January 2010, departed the agency last month. Cohen and Sansone have served as the unit’s Acting Co-Chiefs since Hawke's departure.


The Market Abuse Unit focuses on complex insider trading rings and other abusive trading schemes and misconduct. The unit currently has more than 60 attorneys and industry specialists across eight offices.


Cohen joined the SEC in 2004. He previously led investigations including the NYSE's alleged improper distribution of market data feeds that resulted in the SEC’s first penalty against a stock exchange, as well as the recent insider trading case in which the defendants famously exchanged information in Grand Central Terminal via post-it notes or napkins that they then "chewed up and sometimes even ate."


Sansone joined the SEC in 2007. He recently worked on the recent hacker/"outsider trading" case in which the SEC charged 34 defendants in a scheme to trade on nonpublic information hacked from newswire services. His work also include "expert networks" cases against corporate insiders and failure-to-supervise charges against SAC Capital’s founder, Steve Cohen.