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Practice Overview
Practices

White Collar Defense & Investigations

Overview

Our Litigation Group has significant experience in the areas of white-collar criminal defense and internal investigations, representing corporations as well as individuals in some of their most sensitive, complex and high-stakes matters. Our lead partners include former state and federal prosecutors who have advocated for clients in dozens of trials.  As a result, we have a substantial record of guiding our clients through the myriad legal, business, disclosure and other issues that emerge in such cases. 

Our Approach to White-Collar Criminal Defense

Our approach is proactive, efficient and tailored to the specific needs of each client. We seek to be practical. However, we have and will deploy the full depth of firm resources as needed to ensure the most successful outcome possible for our clients.

We have represented our clients in connection with investigations, regulatory enforcement actions, and prosecutions brought by a wide variety of federal and state authorities, including the U.S. Department of Justice, various U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the New York State Attorney General, various state prosecutors and district attorneys’ offices and in numerous high profile multi-agency cross-border cases, and in related parallel civil and administrative actions. We have special expertise in navigating cases for foreign clients that are facing investigations and prosecutions in their own countries and also in the United States, through the DOJ.   

With our vast experience in criminal defense, securities enforcement and advertising enforcement as well as cross-border issues, we understand how the government builds cases. This experience is critical in responding to investigations, negotiating agreements, and minimizing liability. Often, we have been instrumental in resolving such matters prior to any public action on the part of the regulatory authority or by entering into acceptable agreements that avoid or reduce liability.  Our criminal defense attorneys have designed sophisticated and tailored compliance programs for international and multi-national companies to address their most significant and actual risks; and successfully mitigated regulatory punishments through our advocacy.

However, in the event of a formal prosecution or enforcement action, we advocate tirelessly for our clients, leveraging our substantial experience at the investigation, trial and appellate level.

Internal Investigations

When our corporate clients suspect internal wrongdoing, we are frequently called upon to conduct internal investigations to determine the scope of the problem, work toward resolving it and guide our clients through the process of regulatory scrutiny.  When handled successfully, the results of internal investigations can help deter or blunt regulatory intervention and exposure to civil litigation. Our internal investigations have covered a wide range of issues, including alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), insider trading and other federal securities laws, anti-trust law, data privacy, whistleblower claims and sexual harassment and misconduct.  Our cross border experience is significant, and we have routinely managed cross-border and investigations in our client’s operations in foreign countries, including Turkey, throughout Europe, India, Latin America, and Asia/China.

A Broad Client Base

Our corporate clients come from a wide variety of industries, including securities, banking and capital markets (especially broker-dealers, hedge funds, investment banks, and foreign and U.S. commercial banks), accounting, high tech, construction, and real estate.  We also represent the directors, officers, and employees of such companies.

Internal Investigations

  • Conducted an 18-month, complex internal investigation of a prominent international organizations concerning allegations of corruption and fraud in their cross border effort to aid the Syrian refugees, for violations of fraud, theft and the FCPA. Robert Appleton led the representation.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a major European bank related to claims that the institution accepted tainted funds from certain Russian oligarchs in violation of the anti-money laundering laws in several countries. Robert Appleton led the representation
  • Conducted internal investigation for a trans-national shipping company of possible violations of the False Claims Act, FCPA and Espionage Act. John Moon led the representation.
  • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of a financial institution related to the $1 billion collapse of Platinum Partners, as alleged in United States v. Nordlicht et al.,  E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-CR-640 (DLI). John Moon led the representation.

White Collar Criminal and Regulatory Matters

  • Litigation partner Robert Appleton is representing several defendants in the Brazil/United States combined prosecutions of several Brazilian nationals in the Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash) cases in the Eastern District of New York. Operation Car Wash was reportedly the largest corruption investigation in Brazilian history.
  • Successfully represented witnesses in connection with the $2.9 billion Malaysia 1MDB settlement, as alleged in United States v. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., S.D.N.Y  Docket No. 20-437 (MKB).  John Moon led the representation.
  • Litigation partner Robert Appleton led the effort that achieved a complete dismissal of all charges lodged against Canadian national Mauricio Siciliano, who was arrested on an international flight to the US from Euorpe and charged with money laundering, frand and corruption in United States v. Mauricio Siciliano, 102 F. Supp. 1124 (N.D. CA 2015). The court ruled that the indictment failed to state an offense because (1) the wire fraud and bribery charges did not apply extraterritorially; (2) that the charges violate due process because there is an insufficient domestic nexus to prosecute Mr. Siciliano in the U.S. Mr. Appleton also successfully represented Mr. Siciliano with his administrative charges by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a division of the United Nations.
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