The Association of U S West Retirees



Regional director leaving SEC post
Randall Fons will stay in Denver, going into private practice with a law firm based in San Francisco.
By Greg Griffin, Staff Writer
Denver Post
Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Randall Fons, Denver's top federal securities regulator during a period of unprecedented corporate scandal and government enforcement, said Tuesday he will depart the Securities and Exchange Commission for private practice.

The SEC's regional director in Denver will become a partner in the Denver office of the San Francisco law firm Morrison & Foerster later this month.

Fons, 43, will specialize in securities litigation, enforcement and white-collar defense, a burgeoning area of law that is luring many government attorneys into private practice.

"Whether it comes from regulation like Sarbanes-Oxley or the natural consequences of the post-Enron world ... there's much more of a demand for those sorts of services," he said.

Fons' successor has not been named by SEC Chairman Christopher Cox.

Head of the Denver office since 2000, Fons oversaw the SEC's investigations into accounting fraud at Qwest and market timing at Janus and Invesco.  Those probes, some of which also involved other agencies, resulted in settlements totaling more than $900 million.

The Qwest case continues.  Several ex-officers, including former chief executive Joe Nacchio, are battling the SEC's claims that they illegally boosted revenues by $3 billion from 1999 to 2002.  The case has been delayed by the Justice Department's criminal case against Nacchio and could extend well into 2007.

"That's an unfinished book, but I think the charges they brought were good charges," said former SEC chief accountant Lynn Turner, who is now with Broomfield investor adviser Glass, Lewis & Co.

Turner gave Fons high marks for his work as SEC regional director in Miami, where he oversaw investigations into W.R. Grace and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Fons joined the SEC in 1988 as a staff attorney in the commission's Chicago office, where he later became senior associate regional director.  He headed the Miami office from 1997 until he came to Denver.

One of five SEC regional offices, the Denver operation oversees SEC activity in 11 states:  Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Nebraska.  It has roughly 240 employees at district offices in Denver, Fort Worth and Salt Lake City.

"Having spent as much time here as I have at the commission, it's time for me to make a change," Fons said.

Fons said he was interested in a new challenge but wanted to stay in Denver.

Staff writer Greg Griffin can be reached at 303-820-1241 or