Parsons Behle & Latimer’s Government Enforcement, Securities and White-Collar Defense practice team understands that government investigations can be extremely disruptive. Our team assists clients to conduct sensitive internal investigations and develop front-end compliance programs. Our clients rely on our team’s ability to reduce the enormous pressure often imposed by government regulators. Parsons’ team uniquely offers clients the collaborative benefits of a large group of experienced attorneys and a large law firm with the narrowly-focused efficiencies of a defense-focused boutique firm. Our Government Enforcement, Securities and White-Collar Defense team routinely represents clients in high-stakes, sensitive proceedings in a more cost-efficient manner than other firms.
Parsons’ Government Enforcement, Securities and White-Collar team offers clients extensive substantive experience including securities regulation, healthcare fraud, environmental enforcement and internal investigations, among other areas. We regularly defend clients who are subjects or targets of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Utah Division of Securities, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and numerous other state administrative and state law enforcement agencies. Clients trust Parsons’ team to assist with collateral components of enforcement matters, including responding to whistleblower complaints, False Claims Act litigation, FCPA claims and suspension and debarment proceedings.
Our team also recognizes that every case is different. We typically pursue a range of strategies for clients. In some cases, we educate or negotiate with regulators to achieve favorable outcomes that allow our clients to move on without further scrutiny. In other cases, and if the government is being unreasonable, we are prepared to vigorously defend our clients—including relying on our experienced trial attorneys to defend the case in court or in administrative proceedings. While the approach varies from case to case, our team of enforcement and investigative specialists is uniquely positioned to help clients navigate government scrutiny while mitigating business and reputational risk. Our team includes a former SEC staff member, two former chairs of the Utah Securities Commission and a former Assistant Federal Public Defender.
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U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission v. Stanford Investment Bank (NDTX)
Defended senior investment officer against SEC involving sales of more than $10B in bogus certificates of deposit. My client was the only executive to resolve the case the evening before trial. At trial, the president and CEO lost and ultimately were sentenced to multiple life sentences. Two in-house accountants were also sentenced to 15 years in custody.
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission v. ZAGG (D. UT)
Defended founder and CEO in an SEC investigation, a class action and derivative action senior investment officer against SEC involving alleged disclosure failures and alleged participation in a scheme to defraud. The SEC dropped its case, and we also prevailed in two shareholder suits at the trial court level and at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission v. Creative Planning (D. Colorado)
Defended large investment advisor with more than $250B in AUM for failure to comply with the SEC’s marketing and advertising rules and failure to oversee a single separately managed account. Resolved case on terms favorable to the client.
Investigations & Audits
Parsons Behle & Latimer's Government Enforcement, Securities and White-Collar Defense practice team has decades of experience representing clients in sensitive investigative matters. Our attorneys specialize in conducting investigations on a broad range of issues, including allegations of fraud, securities violations, white collar crimes and whistleblower claims. We regularly conduct internal investigations on behalf of clients facing government scrutiny or internal problems that need a careful independent, privileged assessment. We take pride in working with clients in crisis situations to tailor investigations to meet their needs, whether large or small.
In addition to investigating urgent matters, our team often helps clients conduct privileged audits. We have extensive experience helping clients in heavily-regulated industries conduct confidential evaluations of their operations—and structure those assessments to maximize protections provided by the attorney-client privilege and the attorney work product doctrine. Working in close partnership with clients, our investigation and audit specialists can help clients identify problems without creating a record that could be subject to disclosure to regulators or adverse litigants.
Fraud & Abuse
Parsons Behle & Latimer's Enforcement, Securities and White-Collar Defense practice team specializes in helping clients respond to allegations of fraud and abuse as well as address claims of corruption within our clients’ business operations. Whether claims of fraud and abuse arise from an anonymous whistleblower, an employee or a government regulator, our team is ready at a moment’s notice to respond. We also help clients navigate disclosure obligations and other collateral risks that often arise in cases involving fraud and abuse, including to assist clients to avoid government sanction through self-disclosure and safe harbor programs. In addition to our defense work, we routinely represent clients who are the victims of fraud and abuse. Our team has significant experience referring matters to prosecutors and other authorities when clients discover wrongdoing by third parties that warrants government sanction.