Daniel L. Zelenko is a partner in Crowell & Moring's White Collar and Regulatory Enforcement practice, and is based in the firm's New York office. A former federal prosecutor and enforcement lawyer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dan has been recognized as a leading lawyer in white collar and government investigations practice by Chambers and Partners USA 2012.
Dan represents corporations and executives in criminal and related regulatory and complex civil matters, including grand jury investigations, internal investigations, and parallel proceedings by the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) and state attorneys' general. He has represented clients in connection with matters involving a wide range of business offenses, including criminal antitrust, public corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, as well as securities, bank, tax and accounting fraud matters.
Prior to joining Crowell & Moring in 2008, Dan was as a federal prosecutor with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a senior enforcement attorney with the Division of Enforcement of the SEC. From 2004 to 2008, Dan served as senior counsel and Branch Chief in the SEC's New York Office, where he was lead counsel and supervised attorneys, accountants and investigators on several high profile investigations and enforcement proceedings. Dan has also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia and the Eastern District of New York.
Selected representations include:
- A multinational corporation in connection with a DOJ criminal antitrust grand jury investigation related to the automotive industry;
- A vice-president of a municipal bond investment advisory firm in connection with DOJ and SEC investigations relating to bid-rigging and related offenses in the municipal bond industry;
- A pool of current and former employees of an investment bank in connection with multiple regulatory and related civil matters concerning the sale of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities;
- A registered investment adviser in connection with an SEC examination and an industry-wide SEC investigation related to Collateralized Debt Obligations;
- Several registered broker-dealers in connection with various SEC enforcement investigations related to insider trading and market manipulation;
- A government contractor in connection with a public corruption and FCPA investigation by the DOJ;
- A senior officer of a publicly-traded corporation in a securities fraud investigation by the DOJ and the SEC;
- Several senior executives of a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company in an accounting fraud investigation based on allegations of improper revenue recognition; and
- A registered broker-dealer in connection with multiple SEC and FINRA enforcement inquiries.
Representative cases while at the SEC include:
- the largest ever mutual-to-stock bank conversion scheme involving more than 65 banks and multiple defendants (SEC v. Fingerhut, et. al);
- subprime mortgage portfolio accounting practices at a major financial institution;
- stock option backdating practices at a Fortune 100 company;
- a settled enforcement action involving an investment bank that aided and abetted hedge funds engaged in deceptive mutual fund market timing;
- a scheme involving a registered representative who defrauded a 9/11 widow out of more than $250,000 (SEC v. Dunn);
- abuses of finite reinsurance products by several corporations and their top executives; and,
- an administrative trial that resulted in a lifetime industry bar for a registered representative in connection with a securities offering fraud.
In addition, Dan served as co-lead counsel and Special Assistant United States Attorney in a criminal jury trial involving the manipulation of multiple publicly-traded companies. The trial resulted in a conviction on all counts.
Before joining the SEC in 2004, Dan was a federal prosecutor in the National Criminal Enforcement Section of DOJ's Antitrust Division where he conducted investigations of international corporations and their executives for price fixing, bid rigging, market allocation conspiracies and related federal crimes. He was the lead prosecutor on several grand jury investigations, including the prosecution of an international cartel that provided transportation services to the Department of Defense. While at DOJ, Dan was also appointed Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia where he successfully prosecuted several felony and misdemeanor cases and assisted the terrorism prosecution team after 9/11 in United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui.
Dan has been a panelist and faculty member at bar association and industry conferences; and he has provided training to multiple law enforcement organizations on securities enforcement and white collar crime. He also co-edited a chapter in the ABA Handbook on Antitrust Grand Jury Investigations.
Upon graduation from law school, Dan clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Dan is active in the American Bar Association and has previously served as an officer of the Criminal Justice Section of the Federal Bar Association. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association White Collar Crime Committee. Dan is also a former nationally ranked and collegiate tennis player and was certified as a tennis instructor by the United States Professional Tennis Association.