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SEC official to leave agency for Prudential

Bruce Karpati speaks on at the Reuters Private Equity and Hedge Funds Summit in New York, March 2, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Bruce Karpati speaks on at the Reuters Private Equity and Hedge Funds Summit in New York, March 2, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A top official at the Securities and Exchange Commission is leaving the agency to become chief compliance officer of Prudential Financial Inc's mutual fund arm, the SEC and Prudential announced on Thursday.

Bruce Karpati, who has led the asset management unit within the SEC's enforcement division, will lead compliance for Prudential's registered investment advisory company and serve as chief compliance officer for its mutual funds, the company said.

The asset management unit is one of the SEC's specialized enforcement units, and focuses on investment advisors and private funds.

As head of the unit, Karpati has led the SEC's efforts to examine hedge fund performance data to uncover investment fraud.

"Bruce has been a pioneer in the use of complex data analysis to detect securities fraud," George Canellos, who co-heads the SEC's enforcement division said in a statement.

Cases the SEC has brought during Karpati's tenure include charging hedge fund star Philip Falcone with market manipulation and charging a former $1 billion hedge fund advisory firm and two executives with scheming to overvalue assets under management.

Earlier on Thursday Falcone's Harbinger Group Inc disclosed Falcone and his hedge fund, Harbinger Capital Partners, have reached a preliminary agreement to pay $18 million to settle the SEC's charges.

(Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha; Editing by Carol Bishopric)

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