B.S., Old Dominion University; J.D., Brigham Young University
Professor Goldsmith Romero serves as the Presidentially-appointed Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP). She was nominated by President Barack Obama on February 1, 2012, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on March 29, 2012. In that role, she leads a nationwide federal law enforcement agency and watchdog over TARP, a program where the U.S. Government became a shareholder in banks, AIG, General Motors, Chrysler, and other companies, by owning, exchanging, and trading in corporate securities and mortgage-backed securities.
She previously worked Commission on the Executive Staff counsel to SEC Chairmen Mary Schapiro and Christopher Cox. In that role, she counseled the Chairmen, and served as a liaison to SEC commissioners and staff. Professor Goldsmith Romero also served as senior counsel in the SEC’s Enforcement Division, where she investigated securities law violations, including related to financial institution fraud, insider trading, hedge funds, executive compensation, and retail investor fraud. Prior to her service at the SEC, Professor Goldsmith Romero worked at large law firms, including Jenner & Block, Snell & Wilmer, and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. She also served a federal judicial clerkship.
Professor Goldsmith Romero’s leadership has protected securities markets, the banking industry, investors, consumers, and taxpayers. She is a recognized leader in securities regulation, banking regulation, criminal law, evidence, and criminal/civil procedure. She has testified before Congress 12 times, and meets often with Congress on policy issues related to the financial system, the financial crisis, TARP, Wall Street reform, the Dodd-Frank Act, Too Big To Fail, executive compensation, and systemic risk in the financial system. She led SIGTARP’s investigations into bank fraud, securities fraud, violations of bank and securities laws, money laundering, corruption, mortgage fraud, and conspiracy. These investigations resulted in recoveries of more than $10 billion, criminal charges against 428 defendants, and Department of Justice, SEC, and state Attorney General criminal and civil enforcement actions against some of the largest Wall Street financial institutions, large accounting firms, mid-size and smaller financial institutions, corporations, and individuals. These landmark cases have had lasting impact to make the financial industry safer, and more transparent. Under Professor Goldsmith Romero’s leadership, SIGTARP for its unique ability to find fraud in banks and other financial institutions. SIGTARP’s investigations resulted in criminal charges against more than 100 bankers and Wall Street traders, with courts sentencing 74 bankers to prison. These unique results are the product of an innovative investigative process that she created to find fraud proactively by analyzing data about the institution and the industry, and comparing it to red flags that bear the hallmark of fraud and other criminal activity. She shared those red flags with bank examiners to help them spot possible fraud. In 2016 and 2017, she told Congress that her office successfully investigated, and worked with DOJ to prosecute, CEOs and other top bank officers at mid-sized and smaller banks, but had difficulty in proving criminal intent of CEOs and other top bank officers at the larger banks. She explained that these large bank CEOs were purposefully insulated from knowing about fraud in the way their banks operated, and therefore could stay “in the dark,” about major scandals. She suggested that Congress look into this problem, and recommended that for the top six banks that received TARP bailout dollars of at least $10 billion each, Congress consider requiring the CEO and other top officers to conduct due diligence each year to determine whether their business was operating fraudulently, and have to certify to law enforcement to the due of fraud up the chain, providing executives an early chance to stop the fraud before it grew to a level that harmed the institution. If the CEO found fraud, but did not stop it and report it to law enforcement, there would be a new federal law enforcement tool that could lead to prosecutions. Professor Goldsmith Romero’s actions to protect securities markets and investors led her office to uncover fraudulent sales practices by broker dealers in mortgage-backed securities that had never been addressed by any other federal agency. Her office took the lead in investigating these practices, which led to Department of Justice prosecutions and SEC civil enforcement actions. These investigations, along with her requests that broker-dealers self-report these sales practices, triggered widespread changes to sales tactics on Wall Street. Professor Goldsmith Romero has also written on, and investigated, harm to consumers and homeowners. Her office took the in an investigation with the U.S. Attorney for New York that found criminal conduct by General Motors for failing to recall a faulty ignition switch that led to death and injury of drivers and passengers. At the press conference, she announced that the switch could have been fixed for under $1. This case resulted in consumer protection. Subsequently, auto manufacturers more than doubled auto part recalls, and their regulator changed its practices for recalls. The SEC also brought an enforcement action. Additionally, she has published reports on the housing industry, and led her office’s investigations to put more than 100 mortgage fraudsters in prison. Professor Goldsmith Romero also proposed that Congress change our nation’s response to financial institution fraud. She determined that fraud in financial institutions had evolved since the time of the Savings & Loan crisis, but that fraud investigations and prosecutions had not evolved at the same pace. She told Congress that historically there had been only a temporary focused response to financial crises, including her office and another temporary office after the S&L crisis. She proposed that Congress create a permanent federal office solely focused on fraud in financial institutions. This office would have dedicated resources and specific expertise in the operations of financial institutions, and could evolve law enforcement’s response as fraud evolved. Professor Goldsmith Romero has received national recognition for her work. She has written extensively on issues related to the financial system, including on systemic risk, Too Big to Fail, executive compensation, bank capital, bank lending, securities markets, and housing market issues. Her work and publications have received substantial media coverage by ABC, NBC, USA Today, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times, Reuters, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, The Washington Examiner, Politico, CNBC, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, American Banker, NPR, The Guardian, The International Business Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Examiner, The Charlotte Observer, and many other local and trade news outlets.