The Securities and Exchange Commission has appointed William Webster, a former judge who has served as director of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, to oversee a new panel that will audit the financial statements of public companies.

As chairman of the Public Company Accounting and Oversight Board, Webster will oversee the board’s efforts to stem corporate fraud. The new panel was mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, an anti-corporate fraud bill that was signed last summer by President Bush in response to a slew of scandals involving the likes of Enron and WorldCom.

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