White Collar Defense & Regulatory Enforcement
Protecting a client from criminal indictment or civil regulatory charges – and mitigating the damage that typically results from such charges – is our goal from the outset of every criminal or regulatory investigation. The lawyers in our White Collar Defense & Regulatory Enforcement Group recognize that decisions made by counsel at the outset of a case can reduce the risk of such charges and damage.
We assess the facts and identify our client’s potential exposure as quickly as possible so we can promptly develop a strategy to best serve our client’s interests and desired outcome. If an indictment or civil charges are unavoidable, then we guide our client to a resolution in the client’s best interest, whether it is defending the case at trial or negotiating as favorable a plea or settlement as possible under the circumstances.
Barack Ferrazzano is recognized for its business acumen, responsiveness and efficiency, and our White Collar Defense & Regulatory Enforcement Group’s reputation for representing clients with knowledge and integrity is well-known among law enforcement and regulators. We represent clients in a variety of industries, but our Firm’s unusual depth and breadth of experience in certain industries makes us uniquely suited to represent clients in those industries when they become involved in criminal or regulatory investigations. Our clients benefit because our White Collar Defense & Regulatory Enforcement attorneys are able to draw on our Firm’s well-recognized knowledge and experience in the banking, real estate, automobile franchising and luxury goods industries. In particular, our Firm’s extraordinary depth of experience representing financial institutions in regulatory and transactional matters makes our attorneys uniquely qualified to represent those clients in enforcement actions and criminal investigations, and to assist them with internal investigations.
Government Investigations & Enforcement Acts
We represent companies and individuals in:
- grand jury investigations;
- criminal prosecutions;
- regulatory investigations conducted by state and federal agencies;
- civil enforcement actions; and
- removal actions.
Barack Ferrazzano represents clients in investigations in a number of areas, including:
We have represented clients in grand jury investigations regarding, among other things, possible fraud by employees who have manipulated the books and records of their employer, trustees who have misstated the assets of trusts, government contractors who have submitted claims for payment based on fraudulent accounting, and auto dealers who have falsely reported inventory.
Because money laundering activities can wreak havoc on the global financial system, financial institutions and other companies must comply with a variety of laws designed to detect and prevent those activities. To ensure compliance with these laws, financial institution directors and officers need the advice of experienced counsel to identify best practices and to develop effective strategies for risk reduction. We offer advice and guidance on compliance with anti-money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act and Office of Foreign Assets Control requirements, and defend institutions regarding actions brought by bank regulators, FinCEN and OFAC.
Our attorneys have represented corporations and individuals in price-fixing and bid-rigging investigations conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ), including major investigations into alleged cartels in the HFCS and citric acid industries. We also have the experience to handle the civil class actions that frequently arise from such investigations.
Financial & Securities Fraud
Our Firm has handled a variety of fraud investigations conducted by the DOJ and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), with unique experience representing financial institutions and their officers and directors in regulatory, securities, and other transactional matters. We deal regularly with the DOJ and the SEC, as well as bank regulators such as the FDIC, the OCC, the Federal Reserve, FINRA and SIGTARP.
Our attorneys have represented businesses and individuals that have been investigated or charged with conspiring with public officials to defraud citizens out of property and honest services. We have experience defending clients against allegations of bribery, extortion, bid rigging, and other varieties of fraud.
Companies concerned about possible internal wrongdoing may reduce exposure to loss, liability or civil and criminal penalties by proactively investigating those circumstances. We frequently advise our clients about whether and how to conduct an internal investigation, and we conduct such investigations for companies when we conclude we have sufficient independence to do so, sometimes acting as special counsel to companies or their boards of directors.
Corporate Compliance Programs
An effective corporate compliance program should reduce the risk of regulatory violations and wrongdoing within a company. If wrongdoing does occur, the existence of such a program is one of the main factors that law enforcement and regulators consider when negotiating a settlement, and that judges consider when sentencing a company. We help our clients prepare and update corporate compliance plans, regularly advise our financial institution clients on applicable compliance issues, and conduct training regarding these issues.