In today’s heightened enforcement climate, proceedings can change from regulatory/administrative to criminal in the blink of an eye. Increasingly, prosecutors seek to indict corporate entities and target high-level officers and directors for prosecution and jail. Our substantial experience has earned us the confidence of top executives and officials in numerous high-profile investigations: Enron, Halliburton, the UN Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme, America Online, Banca Privada de Andorra, FIFA, and others.
In this environment, our clients rely on us because we provide sophisticated counsel and keen strategic planning. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys leave no stone unturned in exploring every potential legal and strategic defense. A vigorous defense should begin before charges are filed and should seek to forestall charges through investigation, negotiation, and legal advocacy. Sometimes, a thorough internal investigation can lead to a defense that will convince the government not to proffer charges. When charges cannot be avoided, our lawyers can rely on decades of courtroom experience to force the government to prove its case.
Our criminal defense attorneys include former state and federal prosecutors and include the former chief of the Manhattan District Attorney’s White Collar Division, a former federal prosecutor who handled complex cybercrime matters and was the lead prosecutor for the successful prosecution of a sitting Congressman, and the former Chief of the Manhattan D.A.’s International Financial Crimes Bureau. They have handled countless high-profile matters including public corruption, money laundering, fraud, cybercrime, terror finance, and virtually every type of white collar crime. Our attorneys also include longtime defense practitioners who made their careers by going toe-to-toe against the government. The combination of prosecutorial perspective and defense experience gives us an edge in building successful defenses. Many of our matters are international in scope, and involve navigating regulatory and criminal investigations in multiple jurisdictions.
On the investigative side, we have conducted internal investigations at financial institutions and corporations both within the United States and abroad. In one matter, we were retained just as federal prosecutors were preparing to serve the U.S. correspondent of a foreign bank with an asset freeze order. We conducted an internal investigation, recognized the problems within the bank, and negotiated with federal prosecutors to prevent them from serving the freeze order – which almost certainly would have meant the end of the client’s privileges in the United States and, in turn, its ability to function as an international bank.
Finally, we have often used our knowledge of what makes a good case to refer matters to law enforcement. Whistleblowers and victims of massive frauds have retained us to investigate allegations of crime, procure evidence, and bring matters to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Some of the areas where we have successfully defended the rights and interests of our clients—both individuals and organizations—include:
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act/ International Bribery Investigations
- Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud
- Money Laundering
- Political Corruption/Honest Services Fraud
- Securities Fraud
- Tax Fraud
- Cybercrime and Identity Theft
- Sanctions and Export Control Violations
- Customs Fraud
- Whistleblower Actions
- Asset Forfeiture
- Congressional Investigations and Testimony
- Response to Grand Jury Subpoenas and Target Letters
- Criminal Trials and Appeals
- Representing Corporations or Employees of Targeted Corporations
In the News
Cristián Francos been recognized as a Global Leader in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2021. Who’s Who Legal is one of the world’s leading directories of legal practitioners.January 2021
Partner Cristián Francos was highlighted by Global Investigations Review as a lawyer of note and a member of Argentina's investigations bar.August 23, 2019
John Moscow spoke to Law360 regarding the investigation of Tyco International by the Manhattan district attorney's office under Robert Morgenthau.July 24, 2019
Mr. Francos was quoted in the article saying, “If someone received a bribe, then someone had to have paid the bribe,” he said. “Companies should be well prepared [to be investigated].” He continued to say, many Argentinian companies that are contracted by the state do not have established policies in terms of compliance and integrity, and will likely rush to put together new compliance programmes. Francos said “this shock could be good” to improve standards quickly. “This [scenario] creates a problem for companies, but also an opportunity that will bring change to Argentina’s business culture,” he said.Global Investigations Review, November 13, 2017
- Law360, October 1, 2015
- A former Siemens executive became the first person to plead guilty to U.S. criminal charges of helping run a bribery campaign that moved tens of millions of dollars to Argentine officials in connection with a $1 billion national ID card project.
Mr. Francos is mentioned in the article.Law360, September 30, 2015
- Law360, August 11, 2015
- Juristas norteamericanos y chilenos analizaron avances en materia de regulación del lavado de dineroMarch 25, 2013
- Iranian's check raises 70 million questionsThe arrest of an Iranian official in Germany provided indications that Venezuelan banks may be helping Iran evade economic sanctions.El Nuevo Herald, 2013
- The Deal Pipeline, February 22, 2012
- Saudi Arabia’s most high profile legal battle indicates just how dangerous the world’s capital markets remain a decade after Sept. 11, 2001.Trends Magazine, September 11, 2011
Publications, Presentations & Events
The U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia recently denied a petition to recognize and enforce an international arbitration award against a government-owned airline on jurisdictional grounds. The decision in UAB Skyroad Leasing Inc. v. OJSC Tajik Air, 20-cv-0763 (D.D.C. Jan. 26, 2021) illustrates the hurdles to enforcing an arbitral award against a foreign state-owned enterprise, even when that enterprise is engaged in pure commercial activities and controlled by the state.January 29, 2021
Cristián Francos served as Organising Committee Head for the 22nd Transnational Crime Conference in Buenos Aires.Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 15-17, 2019
The increasing global focus on corruption has led to stronger international cooperation and coordination among regulators, resulting in landmark enforcement actions in new jurisdictions. [...] This panel offered private and public sector prespectives on the latest enforcement trends, the key elements of the new anti-corruption laws, and what all this means for businesses and individuals involved in transnational corruption cases.Krakow, Poland, May 16, 2018
- Cambió el escenario. Llegó el momento. Implementar un programa de integridad anticorrupción sólido no implica reinventar la pólvoraNovember 2017
- May 16, 2013
- Briefing: Ralph Lauren Corruption Enforcement Action Allegedly Involving Inappropriate Payments to Argentine Customs Officials Demonstrates the Benefits of Effective ControlsApril 24, 2013
- April 9, 2013
- Annual Review - Financier WorldwideApril 2012
- June 13, 2009
- Panelist and Presenter, "A Searching Inquiry into Failures of Corporate Ethics: WorldCom, Tyco, and HealthSouth"Medtronic Business and Law RoundtableMinneapolis, MN, November 2006