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SEC watching porn instead of financial industry

Wonder why they missed the financial crisis? Or Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme? A government report obtained by ABC News reveals that SEC employees were focused on something else: porn.

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Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) headquarters in Washington is shown in this file photo. Senior staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission spent hours surfing pornographic websites on government-issued computers while they were being paid to police the financial system, an agency watchdog said, Thursday, April 22, 2010.

AP/File

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Just when it was beginning to repair its reputation with its high-profile case against Goldman Sachs, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suffers another major blow: Senior staffers there were surfing Internet pornography – as much as eight hours per day, in one case – when they were supposed to be policing the financial industry.

Perhaps this helps explain why the SEC didn't see the financial collapse coming. Or did nothing to stop Lehman Bros.questionable accounting tactics. Or Bernie Madoff’s dubious “investing” strategy."

They were busy with other things.

The information comes by way of a disturbing SEC memo to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), who requested that the agency’s internal watchdog conduct an investigation. ABC News broke the story on its Thursday evening newscast.

The investigation found 31 serious offenders over the past two-and-a-half years, 17 of whom were senior SEC officers with salaries ranging from $100,000 to $222,000 per year.

The AP reports these highlights

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