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White Collar Crime 2019: Prosecutors and Regulators Speak


Speaker(s): Alexander J. Willscher, Alixandra Smith, Angela T. Burgess, Anjan Sahni, Arlo Devlin-Brown, Charles E. Cain, Damian Williams, Daniel S. Kahn, David Pitluck, Douglas S. Zolkind, Edward B. Diskant, Hon. Cathy Seibel, Hon. Richard J. Sullivan, Isabelle A. Kirshner, Jacquelyn Kasulis, James J. Benjamin, Jr., James M. McDonald, Katherine R. Goldstein, Laura Grossfield Birger, Marc P. Berger, Martine M. Beamon, Michael A. Asaro, Michael Schachter, Rob Zink, Sarah Kathleen Eddy, Sean Hecker, Sheldon L. Pollock
Recorded on: Sep. 25, 2019
PLI Program #: 247792

Alixandra Smith is the Chief of the Business and Securities Fraud Section at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.  She has investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of criminal matters against both individuals and entities, including fraud involving publicly-traded companies, market manipulation, insider trading, healthcare fraud, tax crimes, money laundering, cyber-enabled crime and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).  Alix is also an adjunct professor at New York University Law School.

Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Alix was an associate at two law firms in New York; completed clerkships with the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Honorable Faith S. Hochberg, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey; and served as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School.  She graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Law School.


Arlo Devlin-Brown represents individuals and companies in sensitive government investigations and enforcement actions, with particular expertise in securities fraud, anti-money laundering and corruption matters. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Devlin Brown served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York as one of its leading securities fraud prosecutors and most recently as Chief of its Public Corruption Unit. In his role as Chief, Mr. Devlin-Brown supervised more than 20 prosecutors, criminal investigators and other professionals responsible for investigating and prosecuting a wide range of domestic and foreign corruption offenses and cases involving fraud against the government.

Prior to being promoted to Chief, Mr. Devlin-Brown served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit. He investigated and prosecuted some of the most notable financial services-related cases in recent years—among them were cases involving insider trading, Bank Secrecy Act, anti-money laundering violations, investment adviser fraud, offering fraud, and accounting fraud.

Mr. Devlin-Brown also handled a wide range of other matters during his tenure in the Southern District, including significant cybercrime, money laundering and health care fraud matters. He spearheaded the Department of Justice’s principal enforcement action involving the internet gambling industry. During his tenure in the Southern District, Mr. Devlin-Brown tried twelve cases to verdict and briefed and/or argued fifteen appeals to the Second Circuit.


Damian Williams is the Co-Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.  Prior to assuming that position, Mr. Williams investigated and prosecuted a wide array of significant securities fraud and public corruption offenses and tried over a dozen cases to verdict. 

Mr. Williams holds degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Yale Law School.  He served as a law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens at the United States Supreme Court and Judge Merrick B. Garland at the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.


Douglas S. Zolkind has been an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York since 2014.  He serves in the Public Corruption Unit, where he focuses on investigating and prosecuting cases involving domestic and foreign corruption, money laundering, fraud, and related offenses.  Mr. Zolkind has successfully prosecuted several complex white-collar trials, including United States v. Ng Lap Seng, in which a billionaire Macau-based real estate developer was convicted on FCPA, domestic bribery, and money laundering charges arising from a corruption scheme at the highest levels of the United Nations; United States v. Chi Ping Patrick Ho, in which a former top Hong Kong official was convicted on FCPA and money laundering charges based on a scheme to bribe African officials for oil rights; and United States v. Dean Skelos and Adam Skelos, in which the former Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, and his son, were convicted on bribery and extortion charges.

Mr. Zolkind graduated summa cum laude from Cornell Law School in 2008.  He clerked for Hon. P. Kevin Castel, U.S. District Court S.D.N.Y., from 2008-09; clerked for Hon. Janice Rogers Brown, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, from 2009-10; and worked as a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York from 2010-14, primarily on matters in the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense group.


Isabelle A. Kirshner is one of New York's premier criminal defense attorneys. She has won acquittals for her clients in both state and federal court. She has more than thirty years of experience defending individuals and entities in a wide range of criminal matters including investigations and prosecutions relating to securities fraud, money laundering, bank fraud, tax fraud, as well as distribution of opioids, drug trafficking and violent crimes. She has represented her clients at every stage of criminal proceedings, from the inception of a criminal investigation through indictment and trial. She’s represented a number of high profile individuals, including the former Attorney General of the State of New York.

In 2018, Isabelle was the recipient of Gideon’s Promise Equalizer Award and in 2019, received the NYSACDL’s Thurgood Marshall Practitioner of the Year Award.

Isabelle served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office from 1982 to 1986. She then entered the private sector as a criminal defense attorney, and joined Clayman & Rosenberg, LLP in 2005.

She has lectured on federal and state criminal practice and is also a long time faculty member of the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Isabelle serves on the Peer Review Committee for the Criminal Justice Act and the Criminal Justice Advocacy Board for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and serves on the Central Screening Committee for the 18B Panel for New York County. She served as a member of District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s transition committee.  She is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.


Jacquelyn Kasulis joined the United States Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York in January 2008, and was appointed Acting Chief of the Criminal Division in March 2019, and Chief of the Criminal Division in June 2019.  After holding various supervisory positions, she was appointed Chief of the Business and Securities Fraud Section in April 2017.  She has investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of criminal matters, including market manipulation, fraud involving publicly-traded companies, investment adviser fraud, tax crimes, money laundering and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Bank Secrecy Act.

During her time in the Office, Jacquelyn has worked on significant white collar cases.  For example, Jacquelyn was the lead prosecutor in United States v. Martin Shkreli, in which Martin Shkreli was convicted in August 2017 of multiple counts of securities fraud relating to two separate hedge funds that he managed, and securities fraud conspiracy in relation to his attempt to control the price and trading volume of the shares of a publicly-traded company.  Jacquelyn also led the Office’s investigation and prosecution in United States v. Low Taek Jho, et al. and United States v. Leissner, in which two former bankers and a wealthy Malaysian financier were charged for their participation in a multi-billion dollar money laundering and bribery conspiracy related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s investment development fund.  Jacquelyn also led the investigation and prosecution in United States v. Bandfield, et al., in which nine defendants and six Belize-based corporations, including three brokerage firms, were charged for their involvement in an elaborate offshore securities fraud, money laundering and tax evasion scheme.  As part of that scheme, the defendants laundered approximately $250 million for their corrupt clients, who included more than 100 U.S. citizens and residents.  Additionally, Jacquelyn participated in the investigation and prosecution of nine corrupt brokers and promoters who were involved in a $131 million stock manipulation scheme related to ForceField Energy Inc., a publicly-traded company whose common stock was listed on the NASDAQ. 

Jacquelyn is also currently supervising Eastern District of New York prosecutors in United States v. Odebrecht and United States v. Braskem, collectively one of the largest foreign bribery cases in history, and United States v. Société Générale, an $860 million resolution of bribery and LIBOR manipulation charges. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Jacquelyn was an associate in the Litigation Department of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York.  She graduated with honors from Columbia Law School in 2003.


Judge Cathy Seibel was appointed a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on July 30, 2008.  She sits in the White Plains Courthouse.  She graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1982, and in 1985 graduated cum laude from Fordham Law School, where she was editor-in-chief of the Fordham Law Review.  From 1985 to 1987, she clerked for the Honorable Joseph M. McLaughlin, then a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York.  She then became an Assistant United States Attorney (AAUSA@) in the United States Attorney=s Office (AUSAO@) for the Southern District of New York (ASDNY@).  From 1991 to 1993, she was a Special AUSA in the USAO for the Western District of Washington.  She then rejoined the SDNY USAO, and between 1993 and 2005 served as, among other things, Chief of the General Crimes Unit, AUSA-in-Charge of the White Plains Branch, and Senior Trial Counsel.  From 2005 until her appointment to the bench, she served as Deputy United States Attorney and First Assistant United States Attorney.  She received the Fordham Law Review=s  Leonard L. Manning Achievement Award in 2012; the Fordham Law School Medal of Achievement in 2016; and the SDNY USAO Lumbard Bowl in 2017.  She co-teaches a trial practice course at Columbia Law School.


Katherine Goldstein is a partner in the New York office of Milbank LLP and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Arbitration Group. Katie’s practice, which focuses on representations of individuals and entities facing white-collar, regulatory or internal investigations, builds on her more than a decade of experience as a federal prosecutor, including serving most recently as Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she oversaw some of the most complex and high-profile white collar and securities matters in the country.

Primary Focus & Experience

Ms. Goldstein is the former Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force at the United States Attorney’s Office. She joined the US Attorney’s Office in 2004, where she prosecuted a wide range of securities fraud cases, among others, and was promoted to Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in 2015 after serving as Deputy Chief for one year, and before that Co-Chief of the General Crimes Unit for two years.

During her nearly three years as a chief, Ms. Goldstein supervised a team of approximately 20 senior prosecutors and all aspects of the unit’s work from investigation through prosecution, including a broad array of cases involving accounting and disclosure fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, mismarking of complex products, corporate fraud, and fraudulent investor schemes, among others. Notable prosecutions brought under her leadership include: a professional gambler charged with trading on inside information obtained from a board member of a publicly traded company; insider trading charges against individuals for hacking major New York law firms; corporate executives charged with honest services fraud; a hedge fund portfolio manager charged with trading on government secrets obtained from a political consultant; a hedge fund portfolio manager charged with the mismarking of illiquid fund assets; accounting fraud charges of an executive who manipulated a significant non-GAAP metric; and senior executives charged with a multi-year accounting fraud scheme at a publicly traded digital media company, as well as the market manipulation of the company’s stock. She also supervised the unit’s trials and appeals.

As an Assistant US Attorney, Ms. Goldstein was an accomplished trial lawyer and argued numerous appeals in the Second Circuit. Among the high-profile cases she tried were U.S. v. Mandell, et al. (a $100-million market manipulation and investor fraud, which resulted in a 12-year sentence) and U.S. v. Ebbers (public company accounting fraud by the CEO of WorldCom, which resulted in a 25-year sentence). As Chief of the General Crimes Unit, she supervised the office’s new Assistant US Attorneys, numerous investigations and dozens of trials.

Before becoming a prosecutor, Ms. Goldstein was an associate at a major national law firm.

Recognition & Accomplishments

Ms. Goldstein received her B.A. degree magna cum laude, in political science, from Duke University and her J.D. degree cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where she was Co-Chair of the Harvard Law Review’s Supreme Court Issue. From 2000 to 2001, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Karen Nelson Moore in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Recent Speaking Engagements

  •  Moderator, “Enforcement Priorities,” at the Practising Law Institute’s Enforcement 2018: Perspectives from Government Agencies, New York (May 2018)
  • Panelist, “Securities Litigation: The Investigation: Coordinating Requests from Government,” at the Practising Law Institute’s Securities Litigation 2018: From Investigation to Trial seminar, New York (April 2018)
  • Panelist, “Mitigating Insider Trading Risk: Best Practices for Private Fund Managers Amidst the Rulings in Martoma, Newman and Salman,” The Hedge Fund Law Report, New York (November 2017)
  • Moderator, “Legal and Policy Developments in Enforcement” at the Practicing Law Institute’s Enforcement 2017: Perspectives from Government Agencies, New York (May 2017)
  • Panelist, “Securities Litigation: The Investigation: Coordinating Requests from Government Regulators” at the Practising Law Institute’s Securities Litigation 2017: From Investigation to Trial seminar, New York (April 2017)
  • Panelist, “Securities Enforcement,” American Bar Association’s 31st Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime (March 2017)


Marc P. Berger was named Director of the New York Regional Office in December 2017.  The New York office has responsibility for the largest concentration of SEC-registered financial institutions, including more than 4,000 investment banks, investment advisers, broker-dealers, mutual funds, and hedge funds.

Before serving at the Commission, Mr. Berger was global co-head of Ropes & Gray LLP’s Securities and Futures Enforcement Practice.  His practice focused on white-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, and internal investigations. 

From 2002 to 2014, Mr. Berger served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, including serving as Chief of that office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.  In that role, he supervised the investigation and prosecution of some of the nation’s highest profile financial and investment fraud cases, including the largest crackdown on hedge fund insider trading in U.S. history.  As a prosecutor, Mr. Berger also personally investigated and tried a wide variety of cases involving securities and commodities fraud, as well as other crimes.

Mr. Berger earned his bachelor’s degree with distinction from Cornell University in 1996 and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1999.  Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Richard M. Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.


Michael A. Asaro advises companies and individuals in high-stakes, white collar and regulatory investigations and litigation, including SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigations, corporate internal investigations and complex commercial litigation.  

Mike is a former assistant U.S. attorney from the Eastern District of New York, where he served as deputy chief of the Business and Securities Fraud Section. During his tenure, the office prosecuted numerous complex and high profile securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery and money laundering cases.

Earlier in his career, Mike served as branch chief in the SEC’s New York office, supervising staff attorneys as they worked on regulatory investigations and enforcement actions. While he was at the SEC, he was appointed as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York.

Mike is described by Chambers USA as “just a fighter on behalf of his clients” who is “unrivaled in his ability to advocate and understand issues” with “particular strength in hedge fund-related matters.”  He regularly counsels companies and individuals in matters involving insider trading, market manipulation and disruptive trading, accounting irregularities and public company disclosure issues, investment advisor and broker/dealer regulation, conflicts of interest and breaches of fiduciary duty, anti-bribery and complex commercial litigation.

Representative Work

  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of Audit Committees for two public companies. The matter involved allegations of accounting improprieties in a joint venture.
  • Represented hedge funds and their employees in connection with multiple investigations by the SEC, DOJ and U.S. Congress into issues related to the application of insider trading rules to the political intelligence industry under the STOCK Act.
  • Defended executive of international investment bank who was the target of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts into allegedly fraudulent subprime mortgage securitizations. Convinced the U.S. Attorney’s Office to resolve the matter without any charges against the client.
  • Represented high frequency trading firm in connection with investigations by the DOJ, CFTC, and CME into alleged scheme to manipulate the futures markets through spoofing.
  • Defended a multibillion-dollar hedge fund and its founder in connection with a significant insider dealing investigation by the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) that raised novel issues related to distinctions between U.S. and UK securities laws.
  • Represented investment adviser and its principal in securities class action and multiple shareholder derivative lawsuits alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. Obtained dismissals of all actions, which were upheld on appeal.
  • Defended a hedge fund in defamation lawsuit involving alleged “short and distort” market manipulation scheme. Obtained a dismissal of the case in its entirety on behalf of client on First Amendment grounds.


Richard J. Sullivan was sworn in as a United States Circuit Court Judge for the Second Circuit in October 2018.  Before that, Judge Sullivan served for eleven years as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.  Prior to becoming a judge, he was General Counsel and Managing Director of Marsh Inc., the world's leading risk management and insurance brokerage firm.  From 1994 to 2005, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he was Chief of the International Narcotics Trafficking Unit and Director of the New York/New Jersey Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.  In 2003, he was awarded the Henry L. Stimson Medal from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  In 1998, he was named the Federal Law Enforcement Association=s Prosecutor of the Year.  Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney=s Office, he was a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York and a law clerk to the Honorable David M. Ebel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.  He is a graduate of Yale Law School, the College of William & Mary, and Chaminade High School on Long Island.  From 1986 to 1987, he served as a New York City Urban Fellow under New York City Police Commissioner Benjamin Ward.  Judge Sullivan is on the executive board of the New York American Inn of Court and the Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s University School of Law.  He is an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, where he teaches courses on sentencing and jurisprudence, and he previously served as an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, where he taught courses on white collar crime and trial advocacy and was named Adjunct Professor of the Year. 


Sean Hecker is an experienced trial lawyer whose practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, government and internal investigations, complex civil litigation, and regulatory compliance.

Sean’s practice includes representing employees, officers, directors and corporations across various industries in grand jury and regulatory investigations, including those conducted by the DOJ, SEC, CFTC, FTC, IRS and federal and state banking regulators and state law enforcement agencies.  He represents individuals on matters concerning alleged securities and commodities fraud, corruption (including the FCPA), accounting fraud, money laundering, tax fraud, and antitrust violations.  He has tried numerous cases to juries in federal and state court.  He also regularly advises clients on various legal and compliance issues.

Sean is nationally recognized as a go-to lawyer for corruption and other white-collar criminal defense matters.  The Legal 500 US rated Sean as a leading lawyer in corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense, describing him as “thoughtful, commercial, and very experienced.” Chambers USA recognized him as one of the leading lawyers for FCPA matters and white-collar crime and government investigation matters, describing Sean as a “terrific,” “pragmatic and down-to-earth” lawyer.  Clients note that “Sean is an excellent partner and a pleasure to work with. He is extremely knowledgeable about the law and applies it in a very practical way.”

Sean is a member of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel in the Southern District of New York, where he represents indigent federal criminal defendants.  He serves as Chairman of the Board of the Office of the Appellate Defender and of the Board of the Federal Defenders of New York, Inc., and is the Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Task Force on Mass Incarceration.  He also serves as Treasurer on the board of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers.

Prior to joining Kaplan Hecker & Fink Sean was a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP and a trial lawyer with the Federal Defenders of New York.  As a Federal Defender, Sean defended individuals charged in the Southern District of New York with a wide range of federal offenses and handled numerous trials and hearings.  Sean was a law clerk for the Honorable John M. Walker, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, from 1998 to 1999, and for the Honorable Sidney H. Stein, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York from 1997 to 1998.

Sean received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1997, where he graduated Order of the Coif and was the Senior Note Editor of the Law Review.  He received a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in 1994.  He graduated magna cum laude from Columbia College in 1992.


Sheldon L. Pollock is an Assistant Director for the Division of Enforcement in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office.  Prior to becoming an Assistant Director in 2015, Mr. Pollock was a Senior Counsel in Enforcement’s Market Abuse Unit, during which time he also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.  Before joining the SEC in 2010, he practiced law at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.  Mr. Pollock began his career as a law clerk for the Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia from 2001 to 2003.  Mr. Pollock received his JD from Harvard Law School in 2001, an M.Sc. in International Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics in 1998, and a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Villanova University in 1997.  He also serves as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Seton Hall Law School where he teaches a course on Securities Regulation.


A distinguished former prosecutor with two decades of experience, Alex Willscher has advised the world’s biggest financial institutions in navigating high-stakes regulatory investigations.  He represents companies and individuals under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the U.S. Treasury, the New York State Department of Financial Services, and state, local and non-U.S. prosecutors’ offices.

Mr. Willscher’s versatile work includes a wide range of white-collar and securities matters, including accounting fraud, market manipulation, insider trading, FCPA violations, bank and lending fraud, asset forfeiture, violations of economic sanctions, and international money laundering offenses.  He has extensive experience representing clients in cross-border litigation and enforcement investigations.  Mr. Willscher has tried 10 criminal jury cases in federal court.

Recognized as a leader in the field, Chambers USA describes Mr. Willscher as an advocate who “knows how to be tenacious without being offensive” and with “a ton of experience in the field.”  He is lauded for his “white-collar practice, which includes significant expertise in cross-border matters such as UK proceeding[s].

Mr. Willscher served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 2004 through 2010, working in the office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit and Public Corruption Unit.

He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and for J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.


Anjan Sahni is a highly experienced litigator who has overseen some of the most significant white collar and securities fraud prosecutions in recent years. Mr. Sahni rejoined the firm after more than a decade as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he recently served as Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and Co-Chief of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.

As Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, Mr. Sahni supervised investigations and prosecutions involving insider trading, accounting fraud, corporate fraud, market manipulation, commodities fraud, investment advisory fraud, violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and fraud involving complex financial instruments. In that role, he regularly coordinated criminal investigations with an array of different civil regulators, including the SEC, CFTC, Federal Reserve, FINRA, OCC, FinCEN and NYDFS.

Prior to supervising the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, Mr. Sahni served as the Co-Chief of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. In that role, he oversaw investigations and prosecutions involving domestic and international terrorism, arms trafficking, counterintelligence, piracy, money laundering, violations of export controls and economic sanctions laws, and global narcotics trafficking. He was the co-prosecutor of notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout and oversaw the successful prosecution of would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad.

After receiving his law degree from Yale Law School, Mr. Sahni clerked for the Honorable Pierre N. Leval of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, after which he joined WilmerHale as a litigation associate.

Mr. Sahni has been regularly recognized by the legal community for his corporate investigations, financial services litigation and white-collar criminal defense expertise. For the past three years he’s been named one of the world's leading lawyers for business by Chambers USA in the New York white-collar crime and government investigations litigation category.


As co-chair of Davis Polk’s Global Enforcement and Investigations Group, Angela Burgess’s practice focuses on representing companies as well as individuals in matters involving allegations of violations of anti-bribery laws, insider trading, money laundering, criminal tax fraud, antitrust, fraud and other financial crimes. She also routinely advises boards of directors, audit committees and companies on corporate governance and compliance matters, including designing strategies, policies and procedures to mitigate risk.

Ms. Burgess has built a reputation for representing companies in connection with some of the largest SEC and DOJ FCPA investigations in recent years, including Telia Company AB and Siemens.

Many of Ms. Burgess’s most successful matters have not resulted in public charges, though, and therefore remain confidential.

Ms. Burgess also serves, on a pro bono basis, as Counsel to the NY State Justice Task Force. 

Ms. Burgess received her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Georgetown University.


Daniel S. Kahn is Senior Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section.  In that capacity, Mr. Kahn manages the day-to-day operations of the Fraud Section, and directly oversees all criminal investigations and prosecutions undertaken by the Section.  Prior to becoming Senior Deputy Chief, Mr. Kahn was the Chief of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) Unit of the Fraud Section from March 2016 through July 2019.  Mr. Kahn joined the Fraud Section in 2010 and was an Assistant Chief of the FCPA Unit from 2013 to March 2016.  Mr. Kahn earned the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service for his work on the Alstom case, and the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his part in prosecuting a bribery scheme involving the state-owned and state-controlled telecommunications company in Haiti.  Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Mr. Kahn spent six years at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.  Mr. Kahn was twice selected by the New York Police Department Executive Development Division to present on the prevention of wrongful convictions.  He also assisted the New York Justice Task Force in investigating wrongful convictions.  Mr. Kahn graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University and cum laude from Harvard Law School.


Edward B. Diskant is the Co-Chief of the Public Corruption Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York where he supervises more than twenty attorneys and paralegals who investigate and prosecute a wide range of domestic and foreign corruption cases, including cases involving misconduct by public officials, as well as fraud and corruption involving or targeting public officials and institutions.  In that role, Mr. Diskant has supervised, among other matters, the recent prosecution of attorney Michael D. Cohen, and the ongoing prosecutions of Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, former Federal Savings Bank CEO Stephen M. Calk, and attorney Michael Avenatti.

As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Diskant successfully tried ten cases to verdict, including the recent prosecution of an Adidas-executive and two others for defrauding various NCAA Division I Universities, United States v. Gatto, 17 Cr. 686 (LAK) and the retrial of former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam Skelos, United States v. Skelos, 15 Cr. 317 (KMW).  Mr. Diskant has also briefed or argued more than a dozen appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Prior to joining the Public Corruption Unit, Mr. Diskant was a part of the Office’s Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit, where he led numerous significant investigations and prosecutions of a wide variety of financial crimes, including international money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, and asset forfeiture matters. 

A graduate of the Yale Law School, Mr. Diskant clerked for the Hon. Sidney H. Stein, U.S. District Judge in the Southern District of New York, and the Hon. Debra Ann Livingston, U.S. Circuit Judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


Laura Grossfield Birger is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School.  Following law school, Ms. Birger clerked for the Honorable Norma L. Shapiro in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  After a stint in private practice, Ms. Birger was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she served as Deputy Chief of Appeals and Chief of General Crimes.  Following her time at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. Birger was a partner at Cooley LLP, where she focused on white collar defense and complex civil litigation.  In January 2019, Ms. Birger returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she currently serves as Chief of the Criminal Division.


Ms. Beamon, a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department and a former federal prosecutor, has successfully represented individuals and institutions in their most critical situations.

Her matters have included grand jury, regulatory and independent investigations, representing companies, board of directors and individuals in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct, securities fraud, criminal tax violations, foreign corrupt practices, anti-money laundering and pharmaceutical marketing violations, among other areas. Her complex civil matters have involved allegations under the False Claims Act, consumer protection and whistleblower provisions, and other state and federal statutes.

Ms. Beamon also has participated in a number of confidential internal investigations on behalf of clients and has advised corporations and boards of directors on matters of corporate governance and compliance. In addition, the FBI requested that she train its agents on insider trading.

Ms. Beamon served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York, where she conducted numerous investigations and criminal trials.

Because of the nature of Ms. Beamon's assignments, many of her most successful matters have not resulted in public charges and remain confidential.

Ms. Beamon received her J.D., summa cum laude, from University of Pittsburgh School of Law and her B.A., with honors, from University of Notre Dame.


Rob Zink joined the Fraud Section in 2010. Zink was appointed Acting Principal Deputy Chief in May 2017 and assumed the role of Acting Chief in January 2019 after serving as a supervisor in both the HCF and SFF Units. Since May 2019, Zink has occupied the position of Chief of the Fraud Section.


Sarah Kathleen Eddy is Chief of Appeals for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she has served since November 2009.  Before becoming Chief of Appeals, Sarah was Co-Chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit.  From 2012 to 2016, Sarah served in the SDNY’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Unit and the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit.  Sarah was one of the AUSAs responsible for the criminal resolutions with Toyota Motor Corporation and General Motors Corp., and has tried eleven cases to verdict.

Before joining the SDNY, Sarah worked at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.  She also clerked for the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York; the Honorable John M. Walker, U.S. Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals; and the Honorable John Paul Stevens, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.    


James J. Benjamin Jr., a leader of Akin Gump’s securities enforcement and litigation practice group, represents institutional and individual clients in a wide variety of government and regulatory investigations and litigation. He has served as lead counsel in numerous internal investigations and has conducted numerous jury trials. He has been recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the areas of white-collar crime and government investigations.  Before joining Akin Gump, Mr. Benjamin served for more than five years as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he served as deputy chief appellate attorney and as a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Mr. Benjamin previously served as a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justices Lewis F. Powell Jr. and John Paul Stevens. He received his A.B. magna cum laude in 1987 from Dartmouth College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and he earned his J.D. with honors in 1990 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was the research and projects editor of the Virginia Law Review.


James McDonald joined the CFTC from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.  Earlier in his career, Mr. McDonald served as a law clerk to the Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, and, before that, as a law clerk to the Honorable Jeffrey S. Sutton, Jr., on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  A graduate of Harvard College and University of Virginia School of Law, Mr. McDonald previously served in the Office of White House Counsel under President George W. Bush, and he worked at the law firm of Williams & Connolly LLP.  Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mr. McDonald has also served as a visiting professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law, where he taught Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, Foreign Relations Law, and Supreme Court Decision-making.   


Charles E. Cain is the Chief of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit within the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. He has been in the SEC’s FCPA Unit since its formation in 2010 and with the Division of Enforcement for nineteen years. As the Chief, his roles include oversight of the National FPCA program, coordination with domestic and foreign law enforcement, and supervision of individual investigations. During his tenure with the SEC, he has also been responsible for numerous significant cases in other areas including financial fraud, insider trading, offering fraud, market manipulation, disclosure fraud, and broker dealer practices. Mr. Cain is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School.


Michael Schachter is a partner with Willkie Farr & Gallagher llp and co-chair of its white collar defense group.  He focuses on the representation of public companies, investment advisers, and executives in white collar and securities enforcement matters.  Chambers USA  (2018) ranks Michael among the leading individuals for Government Investigations.  Michael’s high-profile matters include the landmark victory dismissing all charges in the U.S. LIBOR manipulation case U.S. v. Allen, for which he was named a Law360 MVP and American Lawyer Litigator of the Week, the defense of SAC Capital and Steven A. Cohen relating to claims of insider trading, and the defense of Hollinger International’s general counsel in U.S. v. Conrad Black.  Prior to Willkie, Michael served as an AUSA in the Southern District of New York as a member of the Securities Fraud Unit, where he conducted the successful prosecution of Martha Stewart and her broker, Peter Bacanovic.  


David Pitluck is a Deputy Chief of the Business and Securities Fraud Section at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.  David has investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of criminal matters against both individuals and entities, including fraud involving publicly-traded companies, securities fraud, investment adviser fraud insider trading, mortgage fraud, market manipulation, tax crimes, money laundering, cyber-enabled crime and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Prior to his appointment to the Business and Securities Fraud Section, David prosecuted and tried multiple cases involving violent criminal enterprises, resulting in several defendants’ convictions of murder and firearm- and narcotics-related offenses.

Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, David was a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York; served as a Special Assistant District Attorney for the Kings’ County District Attorney’s Office; and worked as an investment banker in New York.  David received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MSc and LLM from the London School of Economics and Political Science.