Regulatory and Securities Matters and Litigation

Kaplan Hecker & Fink lawyers have represented some of the country’s leading financial institutions and commercial businesses in regulatory proceedings, including securities enforcement proceedings and anti-money laundering investigations. We have represented clients before the Department of Justice, the Securities & Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, FINRA, state Attorneys General, and numerous other government agencies. As a result of this experience, Kaplan Hecker lawyers have developed expertise in navigating the interplay between investigations and the onslaught of shareholder, investor, and counter-party lawsuits that often follow even favorable public resolutions. In addition, Kaplan Hecker advises companies in connection with regulatory developments and government relations issues, including with respect to potential challenges to rulemaking and enforcement proceedings.

Kaplan Hecker lawyers also have deep experience representing financial institutions in complex securities litigation matters. We were on the front lines of the RMBS and CDO litigation of the past decade, in both regulatory investigations and a variety of civil lawsuits. We also have taken leading roles in matters concerning municipal bond transactions, research reports, market timing, bid rigging and brokerage practices, accounting and reinsurance transactions, and myriad other issues. Our litigation team also includes former federal prosecutors with substantial experience overseeing the prosecution of securities fraud cases. That includes Jenna Dabbs, who was a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York.

Other representative regulatory and securities matters include:

  • Representing a large government contractor in a False Claims Act case, where we were able to persuade the Government to decline to intervene. In April 2020, a federal court also dismissed the whistleblower lawsuit in question, finding that the conduct in question was "not material and therefore not actionable under the False Claims Act." 
  • Reaching a favorable settlement on behalf of a hedge fund client with the New York Department of Financial Services and the New York Attorney General in connection with the firm’s investment in a business accused of running a predatory lending scheme.  The favorable settlement required no admission of wrongdoing. 
  • Fending off an investigation of potential insider trading and violation of SEC rules related to trading in non-firm trading accounts by our client. Both the DOJ and the SEC declined to bring any charges.
  • Representing individuals involved in DOJ and SEC investigations of alleged accounting improprieties.
  • Representing one of the key individuals involved in a CFTC and SDNY investigation of a major foreign financial services organization in connection with certain bond issuances and related swaps trading.
  • Representing the former CFO of an institution under investigation by the SEC in relation to earnings reporting.
  • Representing individuals involved in SDNY and SEC investigations of alleged accounting improprieties.
  • Representing Fitch Ratings in a complaint regarding fraudulent and negligent practices in connection with the rating of certain CDOs.
  • Representing multiple individuals in connection with an SEC investigation of a cryptocurrency business. 
  • Representing multiple individuals in connection with a CFTC investigation of an off-shore cryptocurrency trading exchange.
  • Representing multiple individuals and an entity in connection with various federal and state criminal investigations relating to cryptocurrency businesses and ICO issuances.

Prior to joining Kaplan Hecker, some of our lawyers’ representative regulatory and securities matters included:

  • Representing a ratings agency in dozens of civil litigations in both state and federal court relating to credit ratings of RMBS, CDO, and municipal bond transactions from 2007 through the most recent financial crisis.
  • Representing large financial institutions in numerous civil litigations relating to the underwriting and issuance of RMBS and CDO certificates.
  • Representing the former global head of structured-products ABS collateralized debt obligations at a major investment bank in an SEC inquiry into the offering of notes in a synthetic CDO.
  • Securing a declination from FINRA in connection with a multi-year, anti-money laundering (AML) investigation of a leading global financial institution.
  • Securing a declination from the SEC in connection with a whistleblower investigation of accounting misconduct at a Fortune 200 company.  
  • Representing several individuals in the SEC’s investigation of sales of CDOs backed by subprime mortgages.
  • Representing several individuals in stock options back-dating investigations conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the SEC, and the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
  • Representing multiple individuals at various financial institutions in DOJ and CFTC investigations relating to foreign exchange trading practices.
  • Representing a hedge fund founder in DOJ and SEC investigations of potential insider trading.
  • Representing a major investment bank in federal and state regulatory investigations relating to mortgage origination, underwriting, and securitization practices.
  • Representing Fitch Ratings in regulatory investigations relating to RMBS, CDO, and municipal bond transactions from 2007 through the most recent financial crisis.
  • Representing major Fortune 500 insurance company in investigations in more than 40 states, as well as accounting/reinsurance investigations by the DOJ, SEC, IRS and nine state regulators—in addition to related derivative and securities lawsuits.
  • Representing and advising a startup company on a variety of regulatory matters.
  • Representing large startup company in a proceeding against the New York Attorney General, in which a subpoena seeking vast amounts of company’s user data was quashed, as well as in two purported class actions pending in the Southern District of New York.
  • Representing a startup taxi e-hail application in opposing a stay of implementation of new rules promulgated by New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission before the New York Appellate Division, First Department.

Lawyers who specialize in this Practice Area

Roberta A. Kaplan
Roberta A. Kaplan, Partner
Sean Hecker, Kaplan Hecker & Fink
Sean Hecker, Partner
Marshall L. Miller, Partner
Jenna Dabbs
Jenna M. Dabbs, Partner
John C. Quinn, Partner
Michael Ferrara, Counsel