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Enforcement 2020: Perspectives from Government Agencies

Speaker(s): A. Kristina Littman, Adam B. Schwartz, Amelia Medina, Anne M. Termine, Brian C. Rabbitt, Brian Kidd, Cathlin Tully, Clark Russell, Danae Serrano, Daniel Michael, Dixie L. Johnson, James M. McDonald, John O. Enright, Justin Herring, K. Brent Tomer, Manal Sultan, Mark W. Rasmussen, Richard T. Jacobs, Robert A. Cohen, Stephanie Avakian, Timothy T. Howard
Recorded on: May. 29, 2020
PLI Program #: 300129

Adam B. Schwartz is a litigation partner in the Washington, DC office of Shearman & Sterling.  His practice focuses on the representation of multinational corporations, global financial institutions, and individuals in criminal and civil regulatory matters, internal investigations, and in litigation in state and federal courts.  Adam has represented companies and individuals in investigations led by the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the SEC, the CFTC, FINRA, state regulators, and Congress, and involving potential violations of the securities and antitrust laws, the FCPA, and the False Claims Act.

Prior to entering private practice, Adam served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where he tried more than 40 cases to verdict and argued numerous evidentiary motions and appeals.  While with the Department of Justice, he was awarded the Director’s Award and three special achievement awards.  Adam previously was a law clerk to the Honorable Henry E. Hudson, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Adam graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University and the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was an editor of the Virginia Law Review.  Prior to law school, from 2000 to 2004, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.

Amelia Medina is a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, where she prosecutes fraud, public corruption, and a variety of other federal crimes.  From July 2018 to January 2020, Amelia served at the Federal Bureau of Investigation as Deputy Chief of Staff & Senior Advisor to FBI Director Chris Wray. 

Prior to joining the FBI, Amelia worked in the Justice Department as Senior Counsel to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, where she was responsible for coordinating Department-wide enforcement and policy efforts to combat corporate fraud and white collar crime.  She was appointed by DAG Rosenstein to serve as the Department’s first Chair of the Working Group on Corporate Enforcement and Accountability, where she led the initiative to review the individual accountability policy.  From 2012-2017, Amelia practiced law at King & Spalding LLP as a member of the Special Matters & Government Investigations group.      

Amelia obtained her law degree from Yale Law School, where she was an Articles Editor for The Yale Law Journal. After graduation she served as a law clerk to the Hon. José A. Cabranes of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and to the Hon. Michael M. Baylson of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Amelia earned her bachelor’s degree with honors from Princeton University.

Amelia has served as a board director of multiple nonprofit organizations, including most recently the Latin American Association and the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyer’s Foundation. 

Anne Termine is a partner in Bracewell’s Government Enforcement & Investigations Group. Drawing on nearly 20 years of CFTC experience, Anne Termine represents stakeholders in the commodities, derivatives and cryptocurrency markets in connection with internal investigations, regulatory enforcement and litigation matters. She also helps clients with regulatory advocacy before various agencies and in developing practical compliance and other policies and procedures tailored to their individual business needs. Among her clients are multinational swap dealers, end-users in the energy and agricultural markets, and cryptocurrency exchanges and investment firms.

Ms. Termine is a former Chief Trial Attorney in the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) Division of Enforcement, where she was responsible for investigating and prosecuting alleged violations of federal laws dealing with commodities, futures, options, swaps, and other derivatives. While in this role, Ms. Termine designed and led the CFTC’s landmark enforcement program involving the manipulation and false reporting of LIBOR, Euribor and TIBOR - critical, international benchmark interest rates. She spearheaded negotiations that resulted in settlements with nine international financial institutions, imposing CFTC penalties totaling over $2.8 billion. In managing this massive, global investigation, Ms. Termine was instrumental in developing relationships and coordinating with diverse foreign regulatory and law enforcement agencies throughout Europe and Asia, as well as with divisions of the United States Department of Justice and a coalition of over 40 State Attorneys General. In recognition of her leadership handling the LIBOR investigations, she received the Chairman’s Award for Excellence, the CFTC’s highest award.

Before joining the CFTC, Ms. Termine was a Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office where she tried more than 140 jury and non-jury trials, including several first and second degree murder cases.

Ms. Termine graduate magna cum laude and received the Order of the Coif from the Tulane University Law School. She is a frequent speaker and publisher of articles on the compliance and enforcement issues surrounding derivatives, in particular swaps and swap dealers, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.

Brent is currently a Chief Trial Attorney with the Division of Enforcement at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the New York office. Brent supervises a team of trial attorneys and investigators and represents the Division in enforcement actions that are filed in the United States District Court. He has successfully prosecuted and negotiated settlements relating to a wide variety of actions, including matters sounding in manipulation, fraud, and trade practices. Brent regularly represents the Commission in actions and investigations related to digital assets and is the advisor of the Division of Enforcement’s Digital Assets Task Force. Brent is a graduate of Washington & Lee University School of Law.

Brian Kidd is the Chief of the Market Integrity & Major Frauds Unit, in the Fraud Section of DOJ’s Criminal Division. In this position, Brian supervises roughly 40 attorneys in investigating and prosecuting securities, commodities, government procurement, financial institution, and consumer and regulatory fraud cases.

Brian has twice received the Assistant Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award. Brian received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and his J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, magna cum laude. After working in private practice, Brian clerked for the Hon. Aida M. Delgado-Colon, United States District Court Judge for the District of Puerto Rico and, in 2009, became a criminal Assistant United States Attorney in the same district. As an AUSA in Puerto Rico, Brian primarily prosecuted violent crimes, international drug trafficking crimes, and organized crime and RICO offenses. Brian joined the Criminal Division in 2012, serving for three years as a Trial Attorney in the Public Integrity Section in Washington, D.C., where he successfully prosecuted numerous government officials, including sixteen police officers for various crimes, including RICO, robbery, and extortion. In 2015, Brian joined the Fraud Section as a member of the Market Integrity and Major Frauds Unit, then known as the Securities and Financial Fraud Unit.

Clark Russell is the Deputy Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Internet and Technology at the New York State Attorney General’s Office. The Bureau is committed to protecting consumers and families from new and developing online threats. As a pioneer in this field, the office has brought cutting edge cases and entered important settlements related to a wide range of online issues, including child safety, privacy, deceptive or illegal trade practices, consumer fraud, spyware, spam, discrimination, and free speech. Clark’s investigations included Secure Our Smartphones, where the office convinced smartphone manufacturers to install a “kill switch” in their smartphones; Operation Clean Turf, the largest investigation into companies flooding the Internet with fake positive reviews; and Operation Child Tracker, the largest state AG investigation of violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) by major child brand websites, and a well-known ad network. Clark oversees the office’s data breach notification program and secured numerous record-setting settlements in data breach cases. He is also the principal draftsperson of the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act, the office’s overhaul of New York State’s data security law to require new and unprecedented safeguards of personal data.

Danae Serrano was named the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Ethics Counsel in March 2019. She previously served as Acting Ethics Counsel since December 2018.

Ms. Serrano joined the SEC in 2010 as an Assistant Ethics Counsel, and has served as the Deputy Ethics Counsel and Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official since 2013. Ms. Serrano also served as the Agency’s Acting Chief Compliance Officer until August 2018.

Before joining the SEC, Ms. Serrano served as an attorney in the General Counsel’s Office of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), where she advised on government ethics and administrative law matters. Prior to PBGC, Ms. Serrano served as an attorney and ethics official in the United States Air Force, Office of the General Counsel.

Ms. Serrano received her law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was an Executive Editor of the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal. She received her B.A. in History from Yale University.

Dixie L. Johnson is a partner at King & Spalding LLP in Washington, DC. She represents businesses and individuals in securities enforcement investigations and conducts internal investigations for corporate board committees and companies. A partner on the Securities Enforcement and Regulation team and the Special Matters and Investigations team, Dixie also serves as Deputy Practice Group Leader for Government Matters, a collection of ten government-facing practices within the firm. She appears regularly before the SEC, DOJ, FINRA, PCAOB and other federal and state authorities. Since she joined King & Spalding in early 2014, the government has closed almost forty investigations without charging Dixie's clients.

Dixie brings to her clients solid judgment and strategic insight from over 30 years of experience in representing public companies, financial institutions, investment managers, broker-dealers, public accounting firms, boards of directors and boards of trustees, law firms, corporate officers and others. She is widely recognized as a legal industry leader in securities enforcement, regulatory compliance, corporate governance and crisis management.

Board committees call on Dixie to investigate accounting and disclosure-related whistle-blower allegations and look to her for guidance in times of crisis. She regularly interacts with lead directors, presiding directors, and non-executive board chairs from many of the largest companies in the world. She is a Fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel and, for five years, was a member of the Lead Director Network.

Public companies and regulated entities seek Dixie's representation in complex securities-related government investigations. C-Suite officers and other professionals look to Dixie for representation in internal and SEC or other investigations when their careers are on the line. She is a lawyer's lawyer, representing law firms and lawyers under scrutiny. Her bench is deep and highly skilled. She analyzes lessons learned and especially enjoys counseling clients on how to avoid problems in the future.

Chambers USA, Legal 500, Benchmark, Who’s Who, Best Lawyers and others all consistently rank Dixie as a leading lawyer, and Chambers included our practice on the 2017 short list of firms for Securities and Financial Services Regulation. Chambers has noted that she is "a very strong and thoughtful lawyer with an encyclopedic knowledge of securities laws," (2019), she “wins praise across the board for her ‘terrific relationship with the SEC.’” (2018) and she leads an “expert, broad-based enforcement practice.” (2017) Dixie has served in multiple leadership roles within the American Bar Association, including as Business Law Section Chair, Chair of the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee, and co-Chair of the Fellows Committee. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Legal Aid Society of Washington, D.C. and of the Board of Advisors for the SEC Historical Society. Before becoming a lawyer, Dixie served for six years as a public school teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

John O. Enright is an Assistant Director for the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office. 

Prior to becoming an Assistant Director in 2018, Mr. Enright was a Senior Counsel in the Enforcement Division, during which time he also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.  Before joining the SEC in 2013, he practiced law at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP.  

Mr. Enright began his career as a law clerk for the Honorable Peter K. Leisure on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York from 2005 to 2006 and for the Honorable Maryanne Trump Barry on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 2007 to 2008.  

Mr. Enright received his JD from Fordham Law School in 2005, where he was the Managing Editor of the Fordham Law Review, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Columbia University in 1997. 

Justin Shibayama Herring is an Executive Deputy Superintendent at the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS), where he leads the newly created Cybersecurity Division.  The Cybersecurity Division focuses on protecting consumers and industry from cyber threats, and is the first of its kind to be established at a banking or insurance regulator.  The Division oversees all aspects of DFS’s cybersecurity regulation, including enforcement, examinations, and guidance. 

Prior to joining DFS in 2019, Mr. Herring served for nine years as Assistant United States Attorney in the Districts of New Jersey and Maryland.  Most recently, he served as the Chief of the New Jersey office’s first Cybercrime Unit.  He led the prosecution of sophisticated cybercrimes targeting corporations, financial institutions, accounting firms and government agencies.  He also prosecuted and supervised white-collar cases involving investment fraud, stock manipulation, money laundering, insider trading, and corporate embezzlement.

Mr. Herring graduated from the University of Chicago Law School with Honors and received a B.A. from Swarthmore College.  After law school, he clerked for Chief Judge Danny J. Boggs on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Mark Rasmussen is a seasoned litigator and investigator with experience representing clients in complex commercial litigation, securities litigation, regulatory and internal investigations, and bankruptcy litigation.  He also advises clients on regulatory compliance related to cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and blockchain technology and was recently appointed by Chief Judge Barbara Lynn, of the Northern District of Texas, to be the first ever receiver in an SEC enforcement action involving an ICO promoter.  In addition, Mark is co-editor of the book Blockchain for Business Lawyers and is a frequent speaker on legal issues related to blockchain technology.

Assistant Special Agent in-Charge (ASAC) Richard T. Jacobs leads the Cyber Branch in the FBI’s New York office.  The branch investigates national security and criminal cyber matters and responds to cyber incidents in the New York metropolitan area.  In 2014, Mr. Jacobs helped establish the Financial Cyber Crimes Task Force, a multiagency initiative targeting cyber crime and technology-based fraud schemes.

Following graduation from the FBI Academy in 1999, Mr. Jacobs was assigned to New York where he investigated a variety of securities fraud matters.  From 2002 to 2005 he played the role of a corrupt stock broker in a market manipulation undercover operation which resulted in the convictions of 49 individuals.  In June 2010, he was selected to lead a Manhattan-based securities fraud unit which handled the Bernard L. Madoff and the Galleon Group insider trading investigations.  He was named Assistant Special Agent in-Charge in October 2014. 

Prior to joining the FBI, Mr. Jacobs was a risk manager on Wall Street.  He holds a Master’s Degree in information technology from Carnegie Mellon University, where he graduated with highest distinction, and an MBA with a concentration in finance. He is also a Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

Brian C. Rabbitt serves as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. In that capacity, Mr. Rabbitt supervises the Criminal Division’s more than 600 federal prosecutors who conduct investigations and prosecutions involving organized and transnational crime, gang violence, securities fraud, health care fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, public corruption, cybercrime, intellectual property theft, money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act violations, child exploitation, international narcotics trafficking, human rights violations, and other crimes, as well as matters involving international affairs and sensitive law enforcement techniques.

Brian previously served as Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor to Attorney General William P. Barr.  Before joining the Department of Justice, Brian served in a senior role in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and as a senior advisor to Chairman Jay Clayton.  Brian previously was an attorney at Williams & Connolly, where his practice focused primarily on government investigations, enforcement matters, and complex civil litigation.  Brian began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Henry Hudson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and, later, to Judge Thomas Hardiman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Brian earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Kristina Littman is the Chief of the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit, a national, specialized unit that focuses on protecting investors and markets from cyber-related misconduct. Ms. Littman joined the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in 2010 in the Philadelphia office.  She has held senior attorney positions in SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s office, the Trial Unit, and the Market Abuse Unit. Prior to joining the SEC, Ms. Littman practiced law at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, specializing in white collar and securities litigation. Ms. Littman earned her J.D. and M.B.A. from Rutgers University School of Law – Camden and an undergraduate degree from Florida State University.

Manal Sultan is currently the Deputy Director for the Division of Enforcement and is in charge of the Division’s New York office. Ms. Sultan represented the Division in many enforcement actions, including virtual currency matters, which are filed in the United States District Court and focus on allegations of manipulation, fraud, and trade practice misconduct. She has also successfully negotiated and settled many actions including benchmark cases and spoofing cases. Prior to being appointed Deputy Director, she has served as a chief trial attorney with the Division of Enforcement at the CFTC in New York. She also served as the Squad Leader of the Manipulation and Disruptive Trading squad of the Division. Ms. Sultan is a graduate of Fordham Law School. In addition, she holds an MBA in finance and information technology.

Ms. Avakian leads the firm’s Securities and Financial Services Department in counseling and defending public companies, investment banks, asset management firms, accounting firms, boards of directors and individual executives through the challenges of government investigations.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Avakian served as Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, where she oversaw the Division’s approximately 1,400 professionals and staff. During her four years leading the Division, the SEC brought more than 3,000 enforcement actions, obtained judgments and orders for more than $17 billion in penalties and disgorgement, and returned approximately $3.6 billion to harmed investors. Matters under Ms. Avakian’s direction concerned a wide range of issues including insider trading, financial fraud and disclosure violations, auditor and accounting issues, market structure, asset management, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. She also led the Enforcement Division in confronting novel issues at the forefront of the markets today, such as initial coin offerings, digital assets, and cybersecurity. Throughout her tenure, Ms. Avakian took steps to increase the Division’s efficiency by implementing strategies to decrease the length of investigations, streamline the process for returning money to harmed investors, and expedite the review of whistleblower claims.  Ms. Avakian also worked closely with other leaders at numerous federal, foreign and state agencies including the Department of Justice, CFTC, FINRA, CFPB, UK Financial Conduct Authority, and Office of the New York Attorney General.     

Ms. Avakian’s experience addressing issues faced by financial services institutions and public companies date back to her previous 14-year tenure at WilmerHale. Before leaving the firm for the SEC in 2014, she served as vice chair of WilmerHale’s Securities Department. Throughout her time in various leadership roles, Ms. Avakian has emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion. Most recently, during her tenure at the SEC, the Enforcement Division increased the number of women and minorities in senior officer positions.

Ms. Avakian began her legal career working in various capacities at the SEC, including as counsel to former Commissioner Paul R. Carey and as a branch chief and staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement. Her experience and understanding of the government’s priorities and processes position her well to guide clients successfully through government investigations.


Robert Cohen is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Davis Polk & Wardwell. He is a member of the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations Group.

Mr. Cohen held senior positions in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission during a 15-year tenure.  He served as the first Chief of the SEC’s Cyber Unit, and previously was Co-Chief of the Market Abuse Unit.  Mr. Cohen supervised a wide variety of high-profile cases, including investigations of complex insider trading; market structure violations by broker-dealers, trading platforms, and national securities exchanges; financial fraud and disclosure violations by public companies; investment adviser compliance and trading violations; cybersecurity controls; and cryptocurrency, initial coin offerings, and other digital assets.

Mr. Cohen is admitted to practice in New York, Maryland, and Washington DC.

James M. McDonald is a litigation partner and a member of the Firm’s Securities & Commodities Investigations and Enforcement Practice and its Commodities, Futures and Derivatives group. His practice focuses on advising clients on regulatory enforcement matters, white-collar criminal matters, and internal investigations, as well as on corporate governance and compliance related to commodities and derivatives laws.  
From 2017 to 2020, Mr. McDonald served as Director of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Enforcement, where he had overall responsibility for all aspects of the CFTC’s enforcement program, including its investigations and litigations, market surveillance activity, and whistleblower office. During his time at the CFTC, Mr. McDonald was responsible for creating the first task forces within the Division of Enforcement focused on manipulation and spoofing; insider trading; foreign corruption; anti-money laundering and the Bank Secrecy Act; and digital assets. He also coordinated the CFTC’s enforcement activities with the Department of Justice, the SEC, and numerous international regulators.
Prior to joining the CFTC in 2017, Mr. McDonald served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he investigated and prosecuted white-collar criminal offenses, as well as cases involving international narcotics trafficking and violent crime, and tried numerous jury cases. 
Mr. McDonald currently serves as an Adviser to the American Law Institute’s Principles of Compliance, Risk Management, and Enforcement. Mr. McDonald previously served as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School, where he co-taught a course on the intersection of business, regulation, and enforcement, and as a Senior Fellow at NYU Law’s Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement. Originally from Oklahoma, Mr. McDonald previously taught Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, Foreign Relations Law, and Supreme Court Decision-making as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law.
Mr. McDonald is a frequent featured speaker at bar association and professional organization conferences on issues relating to white-collar enforcement and internal investigations, including the American Bar Association, SIFMA, the Futures Industry Association, the New York City Bar, and PLI. Mr. McDonald’s comments have been reported by numerous major news publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, and Bloomberg.
Mr. McDonald served as a law clerk to John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States, and Jeffrey S. Sutton, Jr., Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and as a Deputy Associate Counsel, in the Office of the White House Counsel, under President George W. Bush.

Cathlin Tully is an attorney in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection in the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, DC.  Ms. Tully investigates and prosecutes violations of U.S. federal laws governing the privacy and security of consumer information.  She recently litigated the FTC enforcement action against D-Link Systems, Inc., and was involved in the FTC’s settlement with Equifax, Inc.

Tim Howard is the Co-Chief of the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he oversees 19 federal prosecutors conducting white collar fraud and cybercrime investigations. 

Tim graduated magna cum lauder from Georgetown University in 2000 with a BS in Computer Science, and cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2004.  Tim served as a law clerk for the Honorable Joseph F. Bianco, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, and the Honorable Jerry E. Smith, United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Tim’s notable prosecutions include Ross Ulbricht for his operation of the Silk Road website, ITSEC Team and Mersad for conducting Iran-sponsored cyber attacks against the Financial Sector, the Mabna Institute for conducting Iran-sponsored cyber hacking campaigns against universities around the world, and Behzad Mesri, for hacking into HBO’s computer networks. 

Daniel Michael is the Chief of the Complex Financial Instruments Unit of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. At the SEC, Dan supervises Unit members nationwide who investigate violations involving complex financial products, including matters relating to their structuring, sale, trading, and valuation. Dan, who is based in the New York Regional Office, joined the SEC in 2010 and was a staff attorney from 2010 to 2014 and an assistant director from 2014 to 2017.

Prior to joining the SEC, Dan was a law clerk to the Honorable Richard M. Berman in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and before that an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. He is a graduate of New York University and Harvard Law School.