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Covington’s financial services enforcement and investigations practice is led by nationally-recognized enforcement lawyers and includes three former heads of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. We regularly represent institutions and individuals in the full range of enforcement matters, compliance investigations, and governmental and civil litigation. We litigate and win high-profile cases, including cases against regulators, as well as devise creative strategies to resolve matters before they draw public scrutiny.
We defend financial institutions and holding companies, as well as their officers, directors and employees, in connection with regulatory enforcement actions and cases brought by the federal bank regulators, CFPB, SEC, CFTC, FinCEN, DOJ and state attorneys general. These matters encompass anti-money laundering, consumer protection, fair lending, securities and commodities enforcement, foreign trade controls, and safety and soundness issues such as call report violations, violations of fiduciary duties, consumer compliance issues, internal controls, brokered deposit issues and loan loss reserves. Additionally, we routinely represent clients in responding to proposed civil money penalties, prohibition orders, consent orders and formal agreements as well as informal enforcement actions.
We are deeply experienced in handling criminal and Congressional investigations. We conduct internal investigations and can help clients fashion and implement programs and systems to correct problems and violations. The rigor and integrity of our work is respected within government, and often can help avoid more onerous directives from enforcement officials. We regularly represent major financial services companies and their officers and directors in a wide range of commercial, antitrust, securities, and consumer litigation, class actions, arbitrations and mediations.
Representing Citibank, N.A., and Citigroup in connection with negotiation of OCC and Federal Reserve consent and civil money penalty orders related to Citibank, N.A.’s foreign exchange (FX) trading business.
Representing Credit Suisse AG in connection with Federal Reserve Board investigation and Federal Reserve Board Consent Order to Cease and Desist and Assessment of Civil Money Penalty with respect to allegations that Credit Suisse assisted U.S. taxpayers with opening of foreign accounts to avoid required U.S. tax reporting and related matters—and in connection with implementation of requirements of the Order.
Represent the former GE Capital Retail Bank (now Synchrony Financial) in a CFPB investigation, enforcement action, and consent order related to allegations of deceptive marketing of credit card add-on products and discrimination against Spanish-speaking customers related to certain offers to settle outstanding credit card balances and a Department of Justice enforcement action and consent order regarding the same allegations of discrimination.
Representing Cole Taylor Bank, now part of MB Financial, in Federal Reserve Board (and Illinois banking department) investigation and consent cease and desist/civil money penalty order alleging violations of consumer protection laws with respect to deposit products provided by the bank through a third party that offered financial aid refund disbursement services to higher education students.
Represent Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Financial, Inc. in connection with a Federal Reserve Board investigation, enforcement action involving allegations of customer income alteration and customer steering by Wells Fargo Financial sales personnel in originating nonprime mortgage loans—and with implementation of the resulting consent order.
Representing the former CEO of IndyMac Bancorp in matters arising out of the failure of IndyMac Bank, including knocking out all but one claim in SEC’s once wide-ranging securities enforcement case and settling the last remaining claim, without admitting or denying liability, as a negligence-based claim for $80,000 and a commitment to comply with the securities laws; successfully resolving an FDIC lawsuit; and defending against and/or successfully resolving several securities class action lawsuits, mortgage-backed securities cases, and purported ERISA class action lawsuits.
Representing Plaza Bank in the U.S. Justice Department’s “Operation Choke Point” initiative that focuses on banks doing business with third-party payment processors and pay-day lenders and alleges violations of FIRREA.
Represent Portfolio Recovery Associates, a large debt collection firm, in a CFPB investigation and enforcement action that resulted in the negotiation and implementation of a consent order.
Representing Wachovia Bank, N.A. before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark preemption case, Watters v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., which held that federal preemption barred Michigan State officials’ efforts to regulate a mortgage subsidiary of Wachovia Bank.
Representation of leading industry trade association of online lenders in responding to CFPB small dollar rulemaking.
December 28, 2016, American Banker
Ethan Levisohn is quoted in American Banker regarding the potential restructuring of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President-elect Trump and the new Congress. Ethan comments on the PHH Corp. v. CFPB case, which in October found that the CFPB’s single-director structure is unconstitutional. According to Levisohn, PHH may have clipped the bureau's ...
November 14, 2016, The National Law Journal
Eric Mogilnicki is quoted by The National Law Journal in an article considering the effect of Donald Trump’s presidency on financial regulations. Commenting on the potential impact of Trump on the existence of the CFPB, Mogilnicki says, "The president-elect has experience firing people, and he may seek to fire Director Cordray even if the PHH case is still ...
October 27, 2016, Bank Director
Eric Mogilnicki is quoted in a Bank Director article regarding the significant impact the CFPB has had on the banking industry in its first five years of existence. According to Mogilnicki, the bureau signifies an evolution rather than a revolution in the banking industry's regulatory infrastructure. "Banks have always been concerned about compliance and ...