By Vicki Needham - 11/01/11 06:30 PM EDT
The Federal Records Act requires agencies to preserve all records that document how the agency performs its mission. Regulations allow for the use of private email only if a system is in place to capture and preserve those emails.
"Such a system does not seem to be in place at the SEC," CREW said.
In September, CREW filed a suit against the SEC and Chairman Mary Schapiro, charging that the agency has repeatedly violated the Federal Records Act by routinely destroying documents during preliminary investigations.
Some of those investigations involved the biggest names on Wall Street, as well as notorious figures like Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff. Multiple accusations of insider trading, as well as some of the biggest events of the financial crisis, were examined preliminarily.
“The public deserves to know all the messy details about how these investigations were conducted, and why they were closed at such an early stage without taking any action against the Bernie Madoffs of the world,” Weismann said after filing the suit in September. “This may be only the tip of the iceberg. Until there is a full and complete investigation to discover just how deep this scandal goes, we cannot know if criminal charges also are warranted.”