George Canellos

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George Canellos
George Canellos.jpg
Occupation Co-director, Enforcement
Employer U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Location New York

George Canellos is the co-director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement. On January 3, 2014, he announced he would be departing from the commission later that month.[1]


Canellos joined the commission as director of the New York regional office in July 2009.[2] He moved to the enforcement division in 2012 as deputy director, then as acting director and eventually as co-director alongside Andrew J. Ceresney.[3]

He joined the SEC from the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where he was a partner in the litigation group of the firm's New York office since 2003. From 1994 through 2002, Canellos was a criminal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. He served as chief of the major crimes unit where he supervised teams of prosecutors responsible for investigating and prosecuting large-scale financial crimes such as bank, insurance and tax fraud, foreign corrupt practices, money laundering, and many other forms of investment fraud.

While working in the U.S. Attorney's Office, Canellos also served as senior trial counsel of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, and was responsible for the prosecution of many individuals and corporations for accounting fraud, investment advisory fraud, insider trading and other violations of the federal securities laws.

Canellos also served as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney, one of five supervisors in charge of overseeing the briefing and argument of all criminal appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Canellos began his legal career in 1989 as a litigation associate at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, a New York law firm specializing in securities regulation and corporate control controversies.


Canellos earned his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 1986 and his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1989.


In 1999, Canellos was named Prosecutor of the Year by the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation, for overall distinction as a federal prosecutor. In the same year, Canellos received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys for distinction in the investigation and prosecution of a series of insider trading cases. In private practice, Canellos was recognized in Chambers USA's listing of America's Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America, and in International Who's Who Legal's listing of top business crime lawyers.[4]


  1. U.S. SEC's co-enforcement chief Canellos to depart agency. Reuters.
  2. Press Release. SEC.
  3. George Canellos and Andrew Ceresney Named Co-Directors of Enforcement. SEC.
  4. George S. Canellos. PLI.
Last modified on 9 September 2014, at 13:44