Photograph of Daniel L. Zelenko

Daniel L. Zelenko

Partner


Daniel L. Zelenko is a partner in the New York office of Crowell & Moring and serves as co-chair of the firm’s nationally recognized White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group. Dan is a former federal prosecutor and senior enforcement lawyer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). He has been recognized as a leader in the white collar and regulatory enforcement bar and the antitrust bar by Chambers USA since 2016 and is held in high regard for his U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and SEC experience and his antitrust and securities enforcement experience. Chambers USA described Dan as a "tremendous talent" who "tries cases really impressively before the government," noting that he "is a very effective advocate who sees the whole picture," is "thoroughly knowledgeable about the legal and regulatory landscape," and that "he knows his way around the street, and knows how to work with people in difficult situations." Dan has been quoted as a leading authority on white collar defense and government investigations in numerous media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg and Reuters and has appeared on CNN. 

Dan has successfully defended clients in a wide variety of high-profile and sensitive internal and government investigations. Of particular note, Dan is routinely called upon by leading Wall Street investment banks, broker-dealers, and hedge funds and their senior investment professionals in the crosshairs of internal, regulatory, and criminal investigations. These matters often require a deep understanding of securities, derivative products and other complex financial instruments.

In addition, Dan is one of the leading lawyers in the country focusing on the defense of corporations and executives targeted in bid-rigging, labor practices and no-poach, procurement fraud, and price-fixing investigations by the DOJ Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Dan has achieved excellent results for his clients in virtually every major bid-rigging and price-fixing investigation over the past fifteen years. He has convinced the DOJ to decline prosecution of his clients in more than thirty-five separate criminal antitrust grand jury investigations.

Dan represents corporations, special committees, and executives in criminal and related regulatory and complex civil matters, including grand jury investigations, internal investigations, and parallel proceedings by the Department of Justice, SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), FTC, and state attorneys' general among other domestic and international regulators. His practice also includes regular counseling of public and private companies and their Boards of Directors and senior management on all areas of criminal and regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings. He has represented clients in connection with matters involving a wide range of business offenses, including criminal antitrust, procurement fraud, 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 a federal prosecutor with the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice 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 (SAUSA) in the Eastern District of Virginia and the Eastern District of New York where he tried multiple cases to verdict.

Selected representations include:

  • Counsel for the Special Litigation Committee of a global Fortune 100 technology company in connection with securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty allegations.
  • Counsel for an emerging technology company in connection with DOJ and SEC investigations into alleged securities fraud.
  • Counsel for a leading licensed international money transmitter in connection with an investigation and litigation by the SEC Division of Enforcement.  
  • Counsel for a global publicly-traded technology company in connection with an investigation by the SEC Division of Enforcement related to a cyber intrusion.
  • Successfully defended a leading healthcare company in connection with a DOJ Antitrust investigation involving allegations of an illegal no-poach agreement.
  • Counsel for a publicly traded healthcare company in connection with a labor practices investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Counsel for a leading government contractor in connection with a DOJ antitrust grand jury investigation involving alleged procurement fraud and bid-rigging in connection with Department of Defense contracts. 
  • Pool counsel for a leading international investment bank in connection with a high-profile internal investigation and related inquires by numerous international financial regulators related to trading by a hedge fund client. 
  • Counsel for a trader at a leading investment bank in connection with a DOJ and CFTC investigation into alleged manipulative trading around bond issuances. 
  • Counsel for a leading Korean oil company in connection with a DOJ procurement fraud and bid-rigging investigation of DOD fuel services contracts at U.S. military bases in South Korea.
  • Counsel for a leading national construction company in connection with state and federal allegations of procurement fraud and bid-rigging in connection with a large municipal construction contract.
  • Counsel for a leading aerospace defense contractor in connection with an internal investigation and review regarding its bidding practices on its most significant government procurements.
  • Representing the regional head of Asia-Pacific for a leading global investment bank in connection with a DOJ and SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation related to the alleged bribery of Chinese government officials in the high-profile “Sons and Daughters” Investigation. Our client was not charged in the investigation. 
  • Counsel for a leading generics pharmaceutical manufacturer in connection with DOJ and State Attorney’s General investigations of price-fixing and bid-rigging of generic pharmaceutical products.
  • Counsel to a global containerized shipping company in connection with a DOJ Antitrust grand jury investigation alleging bid-rigging and price-fixing in the container ship market. The DOJ closed the grand jury investigation without bringing charges against any companies or individuals.
  • Counsel for a prominent broker-dealer as lead counsel in FINRA enforcement investigation regarding allegations of trading unregistered securities without appropriate money-laundering detection capabilities in place. Negotiated a favorable settlement with FINRA.
  • Counsel to a registered investment adviser in connection with an SEC examination and an industry-wide SEC investigation related to Collateralized Debt Obligations.
  • Representing a leading publicly traded international retailer in connection with a high-profile DOJ and SEC investigation related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Representing multiple senior-level traders and executives at financial institutions in connection with global investigations of LIBOR, Foreign Exchange, and ISDAFix as well as other products.
  • Representing 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.
  • Pool counsel to 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.
  • Represented a leading Japanese electronics manufacturer in connection with a DOJ grand jury investigation and related class-action lawsuits alleging cartel activity. The DOJ Antitrust Division closed the investigation without charging any companies or individuals in the industry.
  • Representing several registered broker-dealers in connection with various SEC enforcement investigations related to insider trading and market manipulation.
  • Counsel to a prominent DOD government contractor in connection with a public corruption and FCPA investigation by the DOJ.
  • Counsel to a senior officer of a publicly-traded corporation in a securities fraud investigation by the DOJ and the SEC.
  • Counsel to several senior executives of a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company in an accounting fraud investigation based on allegations of improper revenue recognition.
  • Counsel to a registered broker-dealer in connection with multiple SEC and FINRA enforcement inquiries.

Representative cases while at the SEC include:

  • Enforcement action in the largest ever mutual-to-stock bank conversion scheme involving more than 65 banks and multiple defendants (SEC v. Fingerhut, et. al).
  • Investigated subprime mortgage portfolio accounting practices at a major financial institution.
  • Investigated stock option backdating practices at a Fortune 100 company.
  • Enforcement action involving an investment bank that aided and abetted hedge funds engaged in deceptive mutual fund market timing.
  • High-profile enforcement action involving a registered representative who defrauded a 9/11 widow out of more than $250,000 (SEC v. Dunn).
  • Investigation of alleged accounting fraud involving finite reinsurance products by several corporations and their top executives.
  • Lead trial lawyer in enforcement action resulting in a lifetime industry bar for a registered representative in connection with a securities offering fraud.

In addition, Dan served as co-lead trail counsel and Special Assistant U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Professional Tennis Association.

Education

  • Emory University, B.A. (1993)
  • American University Washington College of Law, J.D. (1997) summa cum laude, editor of the American University Law Review

Affiliations

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association (former officer of the Criminal Justice Section)
  • New York State Bar Association (White Collar Crime Committee)

View More

"Good Actors Win with the DOJ’s New Policies on Corporate Crime," White Collar Alert (September 21, 2022). Contacts: Thomas A. Hanusik, Daniel L. Zelenko, Rebecca Lennon Baskin
Client Alert / Newsletter
‘US Democracy Will Not Survive For Long’: How January 6 Hearings Plot A Roadmap To Autocracy The Guardian (July 24, 2022)
Press Coverage
Kan Trump gestraft worden voor Capitoolbestorming? 'Als je het nu niet doet, wanneer zou je dan wél een oud-president vervolgen?' 1V/Een Vandaag (subscription required) (July 22, 2022)
Press Coverage
Cassidy Hutchinson Testimony Prompts Reassessment Of Trump Legal Culpability The Hill (July 4, 2022)
Press Coverage
Despite Growing Evidence, A Prosecution Of Trump Would Face Challenges The New York Times (June 18, 2022)
Press Coverage
How I Made Practice Group Co-Chair: 'I Am Good At Building Relationships With Colleagues In Various Offices,' Says Daniel L. Zelenko Of Crowell & Moring Law.com (June 13, 2022)
Press Coverage
Chambers USA 2022 Ranks 70 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 37 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S. (June 1, 2022)
Firm News / Announcement
"The SEC’s Administrative Proceedings May Soon Disappear," White Collar Alert (May 25, 2022). Contacts: Rebecca Lennon Baskin, Michael D. Mann, Daniel L. Zelenko
Client Alert / Newsletter
"More Boxes to Check for Leniency Applicants," Antitrust Law Alert (April 7, 2022). Contacts: Daniel L. Zelenko, Megan L. Wolf, Rebecca Monck Ricigliano, Kate M. Watkins, Jessica Franzetti
Client Alert / Newsletter
"SEC Proposes New Cybersecurity Risk and Incident Disclosure Obligations," Privacy Law Alert (March 15, 2022). Contacts: Evan D. Wolff, Matthew B. Welling, Daniel L. Zelenko, Garylene (Gage) Javier, CIPP/US
Client Alert / Newsletter

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with offices in the United States, Europe, MENA, and Asia that represents clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory and policy, and transactional and corporate matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation and government-facing matters, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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