New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office is not a one-man show. Assistant Attorney General David Brown, a former Goldman Sachs lawyer, is Spitzer’s best supporting actor. Think Christopher Walken, only bigger, and with a Harvard law degree.

It was Brown last summer who, just a month or two into his new position, told Spitzer that mutual funds might be overcharging by "billions of dollars," CBS Marketwatch reports. That is when it all began.

So while Spitzer has gotten the recognition, and as a result the low early-morning odds as the next governor of New York, Brown has quietly helped pluck mutual fund transgressors out of the industry and into courtrooms and settlement agreements.

By keeping his eye on consumers’ interests, much in the manner Spitzer does, Brown helped spur the probe into the dizzying flurry it has become. He grew up poor, but went on to both undergraduate and law school at Harvard.

Of course, Brown’s initial concerns about fees transformed into concerns about unethical market timing, and later illegal late trading. It was Brown who wrote most of the original Canary Capital complaint, and it was Brown who used his subpoena power to continue the probe.

In the end, Spitzer will probably receive most of the credit for uncovering the mutual fund industry’s problems. But Brown deserves almost as much of that credit.


The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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