SEC taps anti-bribery lawyer to head Phila office

The Securities and Exchange Commission has named Sharon B. Binger the new director of its mid-Atlantic regional office, based in Philadelphia. An 8-year SEC enforcement veteran, she has been assistant director for the New York area for the past three years. Her major cases include this $398 million settlement against the France-based Total SA oil company for illegally bribing Iranian oil officials. SEC enforcement boss Andrew J. Ceresney in a statement praised Binger's "careful lawyering, infectious enthusiasm (and) excellent judgment."

Binger is a 1998 graduate of Northwestern University in 1998, a 2001 graduate of Duke Law School, and a former litigation associate at corporate law firm Wilkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York before joining the SEC in 2008.

As the SEC's Philly boss, Binger succeeds Daniel M. Hawke, who gave up the job last year to concentrate on his other SEC post as head of the Market Abuse Unit. Under Hawke, that unit has busted both the New York and Nasdaq stock markets for ripping off clients through outdated trading technology, and prosecuted a series of inside traders who illegally profited from early knowledge of corporate decisions but were caught by SEC computer specialists and linked by investigators to corporate officials or contractors with insider information.