Regulatory Enforcement and Litigation
Kaplan Hecker & Fink lawyers have represented some of the country’s leading financial institutions and commercial businesses in regulatory proceedings and related litigation, with particular expertise in securities enforcement proceedings and litigation, anti-money laundering investigations, and consumer financial services litigation and enforcement. We have represented clients before the Department of Justice, the Securities & Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, FINRA, state Attorneys General, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and numerous other government agencies. We guide a wide range of institutions through regulatory examinations focused on consumer lending and financial institution practices, complex civil litigation, and investigations and enforcement actions brought by federal and state regulators.
As a result of this broad-based experience, Kaplan Hecker lawyers have developed expertise in navigating the interplay between investigations and the onslaught of shareholder, investor, and counter-party lawsuits that often follow favorable public negotiated resolutions. In addition, Kaplan Hecker advises companies in connection with regulatory developments and government relations issues, including with respect to potential challenges to rulemaking and enforcement proceedings. Lastly, our team includes four former federal prosecutors who leverage their substantial experience prosecuting these issues to help our clients navigate any enforcement actions or government investigations that arise.
Other representative regulatory enforcement and litigation matters include:
- Representing AECOM, a large government contractor, in a False Claims Act case, where we were able to persuade the Government to decline to intervene. In April 2020, a federal court also dismissed the whistleblower lawsuit in question, finding that the conduct in question was "not material and therefore not actionable under the False Claims Act."
- Reaching a favorable settlement on behalf of a hedge fund client with the New York Department of Financial Services and the New York Attorney General in connection with the firm’s investment in a business accused of running a predatory lending scheme. The favorable settlement required no admission of wrongdoing.
- Representing one of the key individuals involved in a CFTC and SDNY investigation of a major foreign financial services organization in connection with certain bond issuances and related swaps trading.
- Representing Sterling Jewelers Inc. in class action litigation that followed the issuance of a consent order in a CFPB and New York Attorney General investigation alleging TILA and UDAAP violations relating to the offering of in-store credit card accounts.
- Representing multiple financial industry participants in an investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services relating to advertising on social media.
- Representing a bank in a lawsuit relating to agent fees for loans issued by the Small Business Administration under the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Representing multiple financial industry participants in preparing for, completing, and responding to findings resulting from supervisory examinations in order to prevent them from becoming enforcement issues.
- Representing Guaranteed Rate, Inc. in litigation concerning relator’s fees, following the settlement of an investigation by the DOJ and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York into alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
Prior to joining Kaplan Hecker, some of our lawyers’ representative regulatory enforcement and litigation matters included:
- Representing several individuals in stock options back-dating investigations conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the SEC, and the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
- Representing multiple individuals at various financial institutions in DOJ and CFTC investigations relating to foreign exchange trading practices.
- Representing a major investment bank in federal and state regulatory investigations relating to mortgage origination, underwriting, and securitization practices.
- Representing a major Fortune 500 insurance company in investigations in more than 40 states, as well as accounting/reinsurance investigations by the DOJ, SEC, IRS and nine state regulators—in addition to related derivative and securities lawsuits.
- Representing and advising a startup company on a variety of regulatory matters.
- Representing large startup company in a proceeding against the New York Attorney General, in which a subpoena seeking vast amounts of company’s user data was quashed, as well as in two purported class actions pending in the Southern District of New York.
- Representing a startup taxi e-hail application in opposing a stay of implementation of new rules promulgated by New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission before the New York Appellate Division, First Department.
- Representing HSBC North American Holdings, Inc. businesses in lawsuits filed in the Northern District of Georgia and the Northern District of Illinois by municipalities alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) arising out of the foreclosure crisis.
- Representing Avant in a lawsuit filed by the Administrator of the Colorado Uniform Consumer Credit Code challenging federal preemption under Section 27 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and the valid-when-made rule, which resulted in a landmark settlement establishing a safe harbor for the fintech-bank partnership model.
- Representing Sterling Jewelers Inc. in a CFPB and New York Attorney General investigation alleging Truth in Lending Act and Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices violations relating to the offering of in-store credit card accounts and in a class action litigation following the issuance of the consent order that has since been settled.
- Representing Guaranteed Rate, Inc. in an investigation and settlement with the DOJ and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York relating to alleged violations of the False Claims Act and Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act in connection with the origination of mortgages insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Representing a non-bank mortgage servicer in multiple class actions relating to post-default inspection fees, resulting in dismissal.
- Representing General Information Services in a CFPB enforcement action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
- Representing a national bank in a settlement with the DOJ over alleged violations of the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act relating to automobile repossessions.
- Representing an industrial bank in connection with a fair lending referral to the DOJ, which was sent back to the FDIC.
- Representing multiple non-bank mortgage lenders in CFPB investigations resulting in closing notices.
- Representing a national bank in a HUD investigation of alleged violations of the FHA in connection with underwriting practices resulting in a closure letter
- Representing a non-bank mortgage lender in a contractual dispute relating to the purchase of mortgage loans pursuant to the terms of a monitorship.
- Representing multiple financial industry participants in an investigation by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions relating to licensable activity.