Williams & Connolly has vast experience defending public companies, audit firms, financial institutions, senior executives, officers and directors, lawyers and various other entities and individuals in investigations and trials involving a wide range of securities, bank, financial, and accounting fraud matters. These matters have included investigations, enforcement matters, and prosecutions initiated by the Department of Justice ("DOJ"), the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, state attorneys general, and various self-regulatory authorities, among others – both as standalone matters and as part of larger representations involving private civil litigation and other overlapping congressional and regulatory investigations.
Firm lawyers have tried numerous cases in this area to verdict, and have represented clients on appeal. Cases handled by the firm have included allegations or charges of insider trading, securities fraud, stock option backdating, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, and books and records violations, among others. Many of the firm’s greatest successes in this area have come when charges were never brought, involving investigations that have never become public and cannot be identified.
Representative Experience: Corporate Clients
- Representation of Wilmington Trust Corporation against a federal indictment alleging that the bank had engaged in fraudulent loan reporting practices. The government dismissed the criminal indictment on the first day of trial.
- Representation of a venture capital company in a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and a parallel SEC investigation involving allegations of fraudulent representations to investors.
- Representation of a global medical device company in DOJ and SEC investigations of insider trading relating to a major merger transaction.
- Representation of a global bank in connection with a DOJ investigation and litigation under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act.
- Representation of a Fortune 150 public transportation company in a criminal investigation of its shipping and billing practices.
- Representation of a Wall Street investment bank in an SEC investigation concerning the issuance of collateralized debt obligations backed by residential mortgage securities.
- Representation of an industrial conglomerate in an SEC investigation of insider trading relating to acquisition of public company.
Representative Experience: Individual Clients
- Representation of former Bear Stearns hedge fund manager Ralph Cioffi in what the New York Times called “an early test of the government’s ability to win convictions tied to the subprime mortgage-related investments that banks sold during the housing boom.” The acquittal on all counts was described by the Times as “a major setback for the Justice Department.”
- Representation of former Jefferies & Co. bond trader Jesse Litvak on appeal and during retrial of the first criminal case brought against an individual in connection with TARP, securing acquittal or dismissal of all charges.
- Representation of Broadcom co-founder and former CEO and Chairman Henry Nicholas in defense of criminal securities fraud charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the civil charges brought by the SEC. Both cases were dismissed before trial after government misconduct was brought to light.
- Representation of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and former CEO of Theranos, against a wire fraud indictment brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.
- Representation of a former senior bank executive of one of the largest U.S. banks in parallel investigations by a U.S. Attorney’s Office and the SEC concerning allegations of securities fraud.
- Representation of a former CEO and Chairman of a major, publically traded, regional bank in DOJ and SEC investigations of the bank’s lending practices and securities disclosures.
- Representation of a former board member of a public company in the transportation industry in DOJ and SEC investigations relating to alleged securities and accounting fraud.
- Representation of a CEO of Fortune 10 company in parallel investigations by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the SEC concerning allegations of securities and accounting fraud.