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Kristina Littman to lead SEC’s cyber unit to clamp down on crypto and cyber-related trading violations

Image: Scott S/Flickr

Tue, 03 Dec 2019, 11:12 am UTC

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced Kristina Littman as the new head of its cyber unit.

Littman takes over the helm from Robert A. Cohen, who was the cyber division’s first chief since its inception in 2017 and served as Co-Chief of the Market Abuse Unit. Cohen left the SEC in August this year and joined Davis Polk as a partner in the Litigation Department.

The cyber unit focuses on violations involving digital assets and cryptocurrency, cyber-related trading violations such as hacking to obtain material nonpublic information, and cybersecurity disclosures and procedures at public companies and financial institutions.

Littman joined the SEC as a staff attorney back in 2010 and has led a number of significant enforcement investigations and litigations. Most recently, she served as Senior Advisor to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and has advised on regulatory and policy matters relating to cryptocurrencies and digital assets, international affairs, trading and markets, and investment management.

“Kristy’s innovative thinking and extensive experience within the Commission have made her an invaluable advisor and, most importantly, a tireless defender of America’s investors,” said Chairman Clayton. “She will be an excellent leader for the Cyber Unit as it continues its work in this critical and continually evolving area.”

CoinDesk reported that as a successor to Cohen, Littman will take over the agency’s ongoing crypto lawsuits. This includes the one against Kik Interactive for carrying out an alleged unregistered $100 million securities offering. The SEC is also fighting a similar lawsuit against Telegram over its gram token.

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