Bingham

Bingham

Michael N. Levy

Partner

Michael Levy is co-chair of the firm’s White Collar Investigations and Enforcement Group. His practice focuses on white collar defense, investigations, and representation of corporations and individuals in connection with government enforcement initiatives. He has conducted internal investigations for Fortune 100 and other companies as well as their audit committees, and has represented numerous Fortune 500 companies, high-ranking public officials, civic leaders and prominent corporate executives throughout the United States in major criminal cases and congressional, SEC and other governmental investigations involving alleged violations of fraud, securities, tax, antitrust, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), environmental, obstruction of justice, bribery, wiretapping and other criminal statutes.

Michael has represented corporate and individual clients in many of the most prominent white collar matters of the past decade, including representation of central players in the complex and overlapping investigations of Enron Corp., the financial and accounting scandals of Fannie Mae, the downfall of MF Global, alleged tax abuses on Wall Street, the NFL’s “Spygate” scandal, and the unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles. He excels at high-profile, complex investigations being conducted simultaneously by multiple federal and state prosecutors, regulatory enforcement agencies, and congressional committees.

Chambers USA notes that Michael offers “great judgment” and is a “smart, client-focused and energetic individual” who is “incredibly responsive,” “a master at representing individuals and groups in complex white-collar cases,” and “an insightful attorney who inspires clients’ confidence.” The New York Times has profiled Michael’s diverse career and work in connection with the “Spygate” investigations by the National Football League and Sen. Arlen Specter (“A Legal Journey From Enron to the N.F.L.”). He has been quoted as an authority on white collar defense and government investigations in numerous U.S. newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters, and has appeared on “ABC World News,” CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg Television, “Good Morning America,” National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” and Court TV.

Experience

  • Representing Thomas Lund, the former Executive Vice President and head of Fannie Mae’s Single Family business, against securities fraud charges filed by the SEC in the Southern District of New York.
  • Representing the former CFO of MF Global, Inc., in ongoing investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of Illinois, SEC, CFTC, and multiple congressional committees involving the alleged misuse of approximately $1.6 billion in customer segregated funds.
  • Representing the financial arm of a Fortune 10 company, one of the industry’s largest institutional asset management companies, and current and former executives from a major Wall Street investment bank and another of the country’s largest financial institutions in investigations by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) to determine “the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.”
  • Representing Lehman Brothers in a year-long investigation, culminating in a public hearing and detailed report, by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs into allegedly abusive equity derivative and stock lending transactions with offshore counterparties designed to avoid U.S. dividend withholding taxes. Lehman’s role in the development, marketing and execution of these transactions was the focus of several front-page articles in the Wall Street Journal.
  • Representing the senior executive in charge of government affairs for Toyota North America in ongoing criminal and civil investigations by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Los Angeles Regional Office of the SEC, the Inspector General of the United States Department of Transportation, and the United States Congress into statements made to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and investors relating to unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.
  • Representing former executives of a large Swiss financial institution in a criminal investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the IRS into alleged tax evasion through the use of offshore accounts by U.S. taxpayers.
  • Representing a Norwegian corporation in connection with allegations of corrupt payments abroad.
  • Representing a former executive of a large government contractor responding to perjury allegations by a federal judge in the Southern District of New York.
  • Representing a former congressman in a two-year grand jury investigation conducted by the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice. No charges were brought.
  • Representing Matt Walsh, the former videographer for an AFC East football team, who found himself in the spotlight in connection with the “Spygate” investigations by the National Football League and Sen. Arlen Specter. The firm negotiated an unprecedented indemnification agreement with the NFL that provided legal and financial protection for Walsh prior to his disclosure of evidence to the NFL commissioner and his meeting with Sen. Specter regarding his former team’s alleged violations of NFL rules. The firm’s careful counsel and crisis management skills helped Walsh successfully navigate intense public pressure from the NFL, Sen. Specter and the national media.
  • Representing numerous high-ranking Enron executives in connection with the multiple prosecutions and investigations related to that company. Our work included representing clients in investigations conducted by the DOJ’s Enron Task Force, SEC, New York County District Attorney, CFTC, FERC, IRS, Department of Labor, Enron Bankruptcy Examiner and the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Enron Corp., involving issues ranging from broad allegations of accounting fraud and insider trading to technical allegations relating to commodities trading and ERISA.
  • Representing a major international financial services company in a federal grand jury investigation in the Eastern District of New York relating to mortgage fraud allegations.
  • Representing a U.S. subsidiary of a major international investment bank in a federal grand jury investigation of alleged corruption in the stock lending industry.
  • Representing many current and former Fannie Mae executives in connection with investigations of Fannie Mae’s accounting conducted by the DOJ, SEC, OFHEO and the Special Review Committee of Fannie Mae’s Board of Directors.
  • Representing an international arms dealer in a DOJ criminal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation alleging bribery of government officials in Saudi Arabia. The investigation began with an unannounced execution of a search warrant at the client’s offices, but as a result of the group’s efforts and key strategic judgments, the government was persuaded, following a two-year-long investigation, to decline to pursue any civil or criminal charges.
  • Representing executives, many of them non-U.S. residents, of three different public companies being investigated by the DOJ and SEC for alleged improper payments made to foreign officials in Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Events

  • Faculty, Winter Term Trial Advocacy Workshop, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass. (2011–present)
  • Panelist, The Financial Crisis: Intersection of Mortgage and Securities Fraud, ABA’s Seventh Annual National Institute on Securities Fraud, New Orleans, La. (November 2012)
  • Speaker, The British Are Coming, The British Are Coming: U.K. Bribery Act and Its Effect on U.S. Companies, ABA’s Sixth Annual National Institute on Securities Fraud, New Orleans, La. (November 2011)
  • Panelist, Demystifying International Anti-Bribery Compliance and Enforcement, Association of Corporate Counsel New England Chapter/Bingham Webinar (September 2011)
  • Speaker, The U.K. Bribery Act — Implications for Cross-Border Business, Bingham Client Webinar (April 2011)
  • Interviewee, “Bingham’s Michael Levy on the Rise of Prosecutorial Common Law,” Corporate Crime Reporter (February 2011)
  • Speaker, FCPA: Stings, Bling and Other Far-Flung Things, ABA’s Fifth Annual National Institute on Securities Fraud, New Orleans, La. (October 2010)
  • Speaker, Representation Strategies for Individuals and Corporations, ABA’s Third Annual National Institute on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Washington, D.C. (October 2010)
  • Interviewee, “White Collar Lawyer Guides Clients Through High-Stakes Matters,” Bingham.com (August 2010)
  • Speaker, The Government’s “New” Policies on Privilege: Plus Ça Change, Plus C’est la Même Chose, ABA’s Fourth Annual National Institute on Securities Fraud, Washington, D.C. (October 2009)
  • Speaker, Remediation, Special Monitors and Settling With the Government, ABA’s National Institute on Internal Corporate Investigations and In-House Counsel, Washington, D.C. (May 2009)
  • Panelist, Litigation Update — Regulatory and Criminal, SIFMA Compliance & Legal Division’s Annual Seminar, Phoenix, Ariz. (March 2009)
  • Speaker, From Enron to the NFL, High-Profile Legal Scandals: Legal and Media Strategies That Work, Corporate Board Member Webinar (March 2009)
  • Speaker, Workshop: Oversight of Internal Investigations and Role of Audit Committee in Enterprise Risk Management, Corporate Board Member Conference, Audit Committee Forum for Mid-Cap Companies, Chicago, Ill. (December 2008)
  • Speaker, Corporate Governance in the 21st Century: Avoiding Risks and Controlling Risks, Institutional Investor’s Board Member/CFO Symposium, Washington, D.C. (September 2008)

Publications

Awards & Honors

  • Chambers USA, White Collar crime and Government Investigations (District of Columbia) (2008–present)
  • Legal 500, Financial Services Litigation (2012)
  • Best Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2014)
  • Benchmark Litigation, Future Star, Washington, D.C. (2011–present)
  • Super Lawyers, Washington, D.C. (2004–present)
  • Euromoney’s Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers (2012–present)
  • Washingtonian Magazine, “Top Lawyer” (2007–present)

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