The SEC has named John W. Berry as Associate Regional Director for Enforcement in its Los Angeles Regional Office. As Associate Regional Director, Berry will oversee the L.A. office’s enforcement efforts in southern California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii, along with Associate Regional Director Alka Patel. Berry fills the senior position formerly held by C. Dabney O’Riordan, who became Co-Chief of the Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit in June 2016.
Previously, Berry led the Los Angeles office’s nine-attorney litigation program as its regional trial counsel, and was a partner in law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s commercial litigation practice based in New York. As SEC regional trial counsel, Mr. Berry led numerous cases including:
an asset freeze against a husband and wife accused of misusing $18 million raised from EB-5 investors for the purpose of building and operating a new cancer treatment center;
an insider trading case against the chairman and CEO of Santa Ana, Calif.-based STEC Inc. alleging that he participated in a secondary offering of his stock shares while knowing that a major customer’s demand for one of STEC's most profitable products was turning out to be less than expected;
several favorable rulings regarding the applicability of the Second Circuit’s holding in U.S. v. Newman, as well as the scope of SEC receiverships.
Berry will work under Michele Wein Layne, Director of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office. In a statement, Layne praised Berry's "keen intellect, judgment, work ethic, and leadership." Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, added that Berry is "a highly effective leader" who "will be a valued addition to the Enforcement Division’s senior ranks.”