Skip to Main Content

Regulatory Investigations & Enforcement

When facing high-profile regulatory investigations or enforcement actions that involve capital, commodity, or digital asset markets, it is always best to consult with the experts.

In these types of matters, Brattle work closely with major law firms that assist financial institutions with responses to regulatory inquiries and government agencies conducting investigations and subsequent enforcement actions. Our clients also include in-house counsel in internal investigations of matters involving practices and employee conduct that have regulatory compliance implications.

Brattle draws from its deep roster of consultants and experts to put forth the optimal consulting team and testifier(s) for each case. Our team includes leading industry experts, academics, and consultants with experience in financial industry custom and practice, regulatory and compliance processes, large and complex datasets, and accounting standards and financial reporting. Collectively, we provide valuable insight and critical support in all stages of regulatory investigations and enforcement actions.

Our Focus:

  • Algorithmic trading
  • Anti-money laundering investigations
  • Analysis of corporate disclosures and assessment of materiality
  • Asset tracing
  • Financial reporting and forensic accounting
  • Fraud
  • Internal investigations of financial institutions
  • Market manipulation, including benchmarks and disruptive trading
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Trading, underwriting, and distribution of securities
  • Valuation of illiquid securities, including structured finance, private equity, and asset-backed securities

Engagements
REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

Below is a list of representative engagements for our Regulatory Investigations & Enforcement practice.

Valuation of illiquid securities

Brattle experts consulted to and testified on behalf of the DOJ in the criminal case, US v. Ahuja, et al. In this matter, hedge fund managers were accused of overstating the value of illiquid structured finance securities. We summarized and analyzed contemporaneous data, including data relative to various pricing benchmarks, to establish that the hedge fund managers selectively relied on a subset of available information about the value of the securities in question to over-value them. Brattle testified at trial to present this analysis to the court and the jury. The hedge fund managers were found guilty, and the court cited Brattle’s analysis and testimony as a key component in this determination and sentencing.

Trading of foreign exchange (FX) derivatives

In US v. Bogucki, Brattle was engaged as the expert team on behalf of Barclays FX options trader Robert Bogucki in his criminal defense of charges of wire fraud for allegedly trading against a large FX options order from Hewlett Packard (HP). DOJ prosecutors alleged that Mr. Bogucki, with the benefit of confidential information, lied to HP and engaged in illegal front-running to push down the value of HP’s options. Brattle analyzed the trades at issue, studied communications between traders and HP, reviewed risk and governance practices concerning firm and regulatory expectations, and examined other aspects of the FX market –including trading volumes and the behavior of other market makers. Mr. Bogucki was acquitted by way of a Rule 29 motion after one week of testimony in front of a jury.

Manipulation of internal controls

The SEC retained Brattle in a matter in which the SEC accused a company’s financial executives of manipulating internal controls to allow improper premature revenue recognition. Brattle supported an accounting and internal controls expert who examined the various controls that the defendants claimed to be effective. The expert opined that the company actually had a material weakness in its internal controls that the defendants failed to disclose to the company’s auditors and in its financial statements. The SEC settled this matter with the defendants.

Confidential investigation of alleged manipulation

Brattle provided economic analyses, reports, and live interaction with the FERC’s Office of Enforcement to assist with the defense of a large energy trading company suspected of using physical power trades to game market rules and manipulate the value of related physical and financial derivatives positions. The analyses demonstrated that the trades at issue were executed in pursuit of stand-alone profits (and thus without fraudulent intent), and that the related positions were not aligned to benefit from the behavior. The investigation was dropped by the regulator.

Experts
Principals
Academic Advisor & Other Outside Experts
Torben G. Andersen
Academic Advisor
Northwestern University
View Bio
Michael A. Goldstein
Academic Advisor
Babson College
View Bio
Maureen O'Hara
Outside Expert
Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management
View Bio
Paul Pfleiderer
Outside Expert
Stanford Graduate School of Business
View Bio
Senior Associates
Senior Consultants
Publications
Presentation
Regulation Best Interest Basics
July 2020
Publication
Target Date Funds: Economic, Regulatory And Legal Trends
December 08, 2017
Published in Law360
Report
Target Date Funds: Economic Regulatory, and Legal Trends
September 26, 2017
Published by The Brattle Group, Inc.

In the first of a series of papers examining key economic, regulatory, and legal issues related to target date funds (TDFs), Brattle experts Chris Laursen, Ioannis Gkatzimas, and Branko Jovanovic provide an overview of TDFs, report on significant market trends, and summarize recent related litigation.

Article
D.C. Circuit Clarifies that SEC Need Not Show Market Impact in Manipulation Cases
December 09, 2015
Published in the ABA's Securities Litigation Journal
Article
Coscia Verdict Highlights Different Approaches to High-Frequency Trading
November 12, 2015
Published in Practice Points, a publication of the ABA's Securities Litigation Committee
News & Knowledge
June 05, 2020
Shaun Ledgerwood to Discuss Criminal Charges in Commodities Cases at CBA Webinar

Brattle Principal Shaun Ledgerwood will join a panel during the half-day Chicago Bar Association (CBA) webcast, “Futures & Derivatives Law: What’s New and What’s Next?” which will take place on June 5, 11:00 a.m. (PT)/1:00 p.m. (CT)/2:00 p.m. (ET).

January 31, 2018
Matthew Aharonian to Participate in The Knowledge Group Webinar on Securities Litigation

Brattle Senior Associate Matthew Aharonian will participate in The Knowledge Group’s webinar, “Securities Litigation: Defense Strategies in 2018 and Beyond,” taking place January 31, 2018 from 12:00 – 1:30 pm (EST).

September 26, 2017
Brattle Experts Examine Target Date Funds in New Publication

In the first of a series of papers examining key economic, regulatory, and legal issues related to target date funds (TDFs), Brattle experts Chris Laursen, Ioannis Gkatzimas, and Branko Jovanovic provide an overview of TDFs, report on significant market trends, and summarize recent related litigation.

March 15, 2017
Sujay Dave to Present Elements of Securities Litigations on The Knowledge Group's Webinar

Brattle Senior Associate Sujay Dave will present during The Knowledge Group’s webinar, “The Elements of Securities Litigation: Understanding the Basics,” taking place March 15, 2017 from 12-2 pm EST.

July 07, 2016
Chris Laursen Contributes to Defendants' Win in TMST Mortgage Case

In the recently decided case SEC v. Goldstone et al, Brattle Principal Chris Laursen submitted an expert report and testified in the jury trial held in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.

December 09, 2015
Brattle Economists Author Article on Proof of Intent in the SEC

Brattle principals Shaun Ledgerwood and Paul Hinton recently authored the article “D.C. Circuit Clarifies that SEC Need Not Show Market Impact in Manipulation Cases” for the American Bar Association’s Securities Litigation Committee.

November 12, 2015
Brattle Economists Comment on Coscia Verdict and Different Approaches to Enforcement in High-Frequency Trading Markets

Brattle principals Paul Hinton and Shaun Ledgerwood have contributed to Practice Points, a publication of the ABA’s Securities Litigation Committee, on the topic of the recent Coscia verdict and enforcement trends in high-frequency trading markets.

July 24, 2014
Securities and Commercial Litigation Expert Ioannis Gkatzimas Joins The Brattle Group

Securities and commercial litigation expert Ioannis Gkatzimas has joined the firm’s San Francisco office as a principal. Mr. Gkatzimas has significant experience in a wide range of finance and securities litigation matters.