Benjamin Naftalis is the Global Vice Chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice and a partner in the Litigation & Trial Department.
A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Naftalis represents companies, boards, and executives in government and internal investigations, regulatory enforcement matters, high-profile disputes, and other sensitive situations throughout the US and internationally.
Mr. Naftalis is consistently recognized by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US in the area of white collar defense and investigations. In 2016, he was named a Law360 white collar Rising Star and a Rising Star by the New York Law Journal. In 2012, he received the US Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service – DOJ’s second highest award.
Mr. Naftalis has broad experience before a wide range of US regulators, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). He advises clients navigate allegations of securities and corporate fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, sanctions, money laundering, accounting and healthcare fraud, and international bribery and corruption.
Mr. Naftalis maintains an extensive civil litigation practice, including business disputes in federal and state courts and securities litigation.
Mr. Naftalis also regularly counsels private equity firms and hedge funds in deal-related diligence, trading, litigation, and regulatory compliance.
From 2006 to 2014, Mr. Naftalis served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. As a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, he investigated and prosecuted a wide range of federal securities and commodities fraud offenses. As a member of the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit, he led many of the government’s highest-profile extraterritorial matters involving terrorism and national security, and international money-laundering and narcotics trafficking.
Mr. Naftalis has tried eight federal jury trials and briefed and argued over ten appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Prior to joining the US Attorney’s Office, Mr. Naftalis clerked for Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Dennis Jacobs of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He began his career as a corporate development analyst at DoubleClick, later acquired by Google. He continues to counsel leading and emerging technology companies.
Mr. Naftalis is a member of the New York City Bar’s White Collar Committee, a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of Latham’s global steering committee of its Women Enriching Business (WEB) initiative.
Mr. Naftalis has represented clients in a range of matters, including:
- A global financial institution in a multi-jurisdictional sanctions and money laundering investigation
- A global financial institution in a European Commission cartel investigation related to foreign exchange (FX) trading (no action pursued)
- A global financial institution in a regulatory investigation related to equity research (resulting in a full declination)
- A defense supply contractor in a DOJ investigation (resulting in a full declination)
- A broker-dealer in a regulatory inquiry of options trading
- A global accounting firm in an SEC investigation related to a public company audit
- An international insurance broker in foreign bribery investigations by DOJ and UK Serious Fraud Office
- Nissan in DOJ and SEC investigations relating to alleged misconduct by its former CEO Carlos Ghosn
- The Special Committee of a NASDAQ-listed company in fraud investigations related to a de-SPAC
- Funko, Inc. in dismissals of federal and state securities class actions related to its IPO and derivative actions
- A SaaS company in an SEC investigation and federal securities class action related to non-GAAP accounting metrics
- A private equity firm in a securities class action and related regulatory inquiry
- Pacira in criminal and civil DOJ investigations of off-label marketing and anti-kickback allegations
- A leading pharmaceutical distributor in criminal and civil controlled substances investigations by DOJ
- An automotive engineer in successfully resolving a DOJ investigation related to the “Dieselgate” scandal (no action pursued)
- The founder of a leading cryptocurrency firm before the DOJ, CFTC, and other regulators
- A public company general counsel in an accounting fraud prosecution brought by the US Attorney’s Office for Southern District of New York and SEC (no action pursued)
- A former board chair in an insider trading prosecution brought by the US Attorney’s Office for Southern District of New York and SEC
- Employees of a global financial institution related to FX trading
Complex Civil Litigation
- A pharmaceutical company in a post-acquisition civil dispute
- The principal investors in a fantasy sports company in successfully resolving multiple investigations and related litigation
- A movie production company in civil and regulatory matters
- A leading petrochemical company in a contractual dispute related to an infrastructure project
- An international intergovernmental organization in various arbitration matters