Ted Planzos is a Partner who has a long and successful record of defending corporate executives, public and private companies and individuals in criminal, regulatory and congressional investigations and parallel proceedings. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience as a defense lawyer, federal and state prosecutor and senior counsel for the SEC, Mr. Planzos represents clients in matters initiated by U.S. Attorney’s offices, the Department of Justice, the U.S. Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies. He has handled cases raising allegations of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), mail, wire and securities fraud, insider trading, accounting fraud, forfeiture, money laundering, public corruption, extortion, labor law violations and unfair and deceptive business practices. He also has conducted numerous internal investigations for large and small companies and nonprofits on a range of issues, including violations of company policies and procedures, whistleblower claims and violations of criminal and civil regulatory laws.
Mr. Planzos spent nearly a decade with the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section with the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) where he supervised, investigated, and prosecuted cases involving RICO, securities, mail and wire fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, extortion, and labor law violations. His efforts earned him the Assistant Attorney General Award for Special Initiative, the criminal division’s highest award. As a Staff Attorney and Senior Counsel with the Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Enforcement, he investigated cases involving insider trading, market manipulation, and financial fraud. Mr. Planzos also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he was a member of the prosecution team in the Wedtech investigation and public corruption trial of U.S. v. Biaggi, et al. Additionally, Mr. Planzos served as Associate Majority Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives “October Surprise” Task Force which investigated allegations that members of the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign secretly met with Iranian nationals to delay the release of American hostages being held by Iran in 1980. Mr. Planzos began his public service career as an Assistant District Attorney for Bronx County, New York where he conducted numerous bench and jury trials and evidentiary hearings. He also conducted investigations and prosecutions involving fraud, narcotics trafficking and public corruption and was lead prosecutor in an investigation of alleged corruption involving community school board members that resulted in the conviction of board members for fraud, bribery, extortion, and grand larceny.
- Represent a third party payment processor in an FTC investigation concerning allegations unfair and deceptive practices.
- Represent a nonprofit corporation that provides auditing and accreditation to media ratings services in various matters including Congressional and state inquiries relating to rating services and regulatory inquiries and civil litigation.
- Represent a multi-billion dollar financial institution that was victim of fraud in a criminal investigation and trial of that matter.
- Conducted an internal investigation for an international auto parts manufacturer concerning invoicing practices.
- Represented a digital currency issuer and related entities in civil forfeiture proceeding.
- Represented a third party payment processor in a joint DOJ civil and FTC investigation involving allegations of unfair and deceptive practices. Investigation concluded with no action taken against client.
- Represented the high-ranking official of an international union in grand jury investigations concerning alleged union corruption and related criminal statutes.
- Represented a multi-national energy company in a FINRA inquiry and SEC investigation concerning insider trading.
- Represented an independent energy company in an SEC investigation concerning partnerships.
- Served as management counsel of a public Midwestern financial institution in connection with federal grand jury, regulatory (SEC, OTS, OCC, HUD, TARP) and internal investigations concerning allegations of misleading financial statements and related matters.
- Represented a third party processor in grand jury investigation concerning alleged violations of money laundering and money transmitting business statutes.
- Represented a Chinese corporation in a criminal investigation concerning alleged violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and Export Administration Regulations.
- Represented a top claims management services corporation in a federal grand jury public corruption investigation.
- Represented a multi-billion dollar bank with the handling of severe bank regulatory issues, potential criminal investigation and a special committee investigation.
- Represented a regional financial institution, its board of directors and certain officers and employees in a federal grand jury investigation concerning allegations of money laundering and BSA violations and related OTS, FinCEN and FDIC investigations. None of the individuals were criminally charged.
- Represented a top four U.S. insurance company in a federal grand jury public corruption investigation.
- Represented a national corporation in a criminal Export Control Act investigation.
- Represented a Mexican national in an FCPA investigation.
- Represented the former Chairman of the Audit Committee of a Fortune 500 corporation in an SEC option backdating investigation that resulted in no action being taken against the client by the SEC.
- Represented a Canadian accounting firm in an SEC option backdating investigation of a multinational corporation that resulted in the SEC taking no action against the client.
- Served as counsel to the board of directors of a regional financial institution and conducted an investigation concerning mortgage valuations.
- Served as counsel to the Audit Committee of a publicly traded insurance company and conducted several investigations on behalf of the Audit Committee.
- Represented Donald Oehmke in SEC v. Concorde America, et al., (S.D. Fla., Fort Lauderdale), as well as in a parallel grand jury investigation being conducted in the Western District of North Carolina and Southern District of New York. Negotiated civil settlement with the SEC and plea agreement with the Department of Justice.
- Represented the President and officers of an investment company in a grand jury investigation in the Northern District of Ohio and parallel SEC investigation.
- Represented an international corporation in a matter relating to illegal payments to union officials, conducted an internal investigation for the client, and self-reported to the Department of Justice that resulted in no action being taken against the corporation.
- Represented an investment advisor to a $1.3 billion investment fund specializing in Russian investments in a potential civil RICO action against a multinational energy company and several Russian enterprises. The claim was settled prior to the filing of the complaint.
- Represented a former WorldCom director and Chairman of the Compensation Committee throughout investigations by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and internal investigations.
- Represented a large Northwest utility company in multiple FERC investigations concerning allegations of energy price manipulation relating to Enron Corp. in the Western markets and conducted an internal investigation concerning these allegations.
- Represented two partners and their law firm in a federal grand jury investigation concerning alleged Taft-Hartley violations.
- Represented a broker-dealer and its President in an SEC investigation concerning failure to supervise brokers and engaging in manipulative and deceptive practices.
- U.S. v. DeFries, et al., the first successful criminal RICO prosecution of the governing body of a labor organization, which resulted in the conviction of 18 officials of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA), for RICO, RICO conspiracy, embezzlement, extortion and mail fraud.
- U.S. v. Hvide Marine and U.S. v. William Coleman, both were investigations and prosecutions of illegal payments to a union official in violation of the Taft-Hartley Act.
- U.S. v. Teale, et al., a RICO investigation and prosecution of two defendants for operating an international fraudulent network of reinsurance companies and related insurance service companies. Defendants diverted millions in reinsurance premiums through sham contracts concealing the diversion by obtaining falsely inflated securities that were used as collateral for reinsurance contracts.
- United States v. Rennert, et al., investigation of a complex market manipulation scheme between a stock rental firm and numerous off-shore reinsurance companies that had booked manipulated stock on their financial statements resulting in the conviction of seven defendants for conspiracy, securities and wire fraud.
- United States v. Bessant, et al., investigation of four individuals who created the worthless off-shore reinsurance companies used by the defendants in Teale. These individuals received a percentage of the premiums earned by the Teale group knowing that the off-shore reinsurance companies did not have the financial resources to pay any claims.
- United States v. Biaggi, et al., public corruption trial that resulted in the conviction of Congressman Mario Biaggi, Bronx Borough President Stanley Simon, SBA Regional Administrator Peter J. Neglia, National Guard General Bernard Erlich and Richard Biaggi, for RICO, RICO conspiracy, extortion, mail fraud, tax evasion and perjury.
SELECTED PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE
- Squire Patton Boggs, LLP, Partner
- United States Department of Justice, Deputy Chief, Organized Crime and Racketeering Section
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Senior Counsel, Division of Enforcement
- U.S. Attorney Office, Southern District of New York, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney
HONORS AND AWARDS
- “Best Lawyers in America” for Securities Litigation in 2016
- “Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer” for Criminal Defense: White Collar in 2007, 2012- 2016
- Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Award for Special Initiative in 1996
- Meritorious Award for Superior Performance in 1995 and 1999
- Special Achievement Award for Sustained Superior Performance in 1994 and 1998
PRO BONO AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
- Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Washington, DC President, Parish Council
- “’Is Regulation Killing Business’ Discussion of Yates Memorandum and FCPA Pilot Program,” Financial Executives International, Pittsburgh Chapter, June 20, 2016
- “Strategies for In-House Counsel: Responding to and Preparing for Government Investigations,” Clark Hill In-House Counsel Webinar Series, April 6, 2016
- “Responding to and Preparing for Government Investigations,” Clark Hill Webinar Series Presentation, December 17, 2015
- “Politics, Professional Responsibility & Prison, How Lawyers Can Counsel Their Corporate Clients to Influence Government Officials and Participate in the Political Process,” Legal Intelligencer In-House Counsel CLE Presentation, October 22, 2015
- “Best Practices and Representation of Individuals in White Collar Criminal Investigations,” DC Bar Presentation, September 17, 2015
- “When the Government Comes Calling,” Financial Executives International, Pittsburgh Chapter, March 18, 2015
- Presentation: “How U.S. Companies and Health Care Organizations Mitigate Against the Risk of Corruption,” Anti-Corruption and Healthcare Working Group: University of Palermo, September 19, 2014
- “Anti-Money Laundering Provisions of the USA Patriot Act,” Virginia Bankers Association, Richmond, VA, April 2002
- “Use of RICO to Investigate Asian Criminal Enterprises,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, In-Service Training, March 2000
- “Overview of Organized and Transnational Crime Issues in the United States”; “RICO and the Enterprise Theory of Investigating Organized Crime”; and “Tools Used in the Investigation and Prosecution of Organized Crime,” International Law Enforcement Academy, Chiang Rai, Thailand Senior Criminal Justice Executive Program on Legislation and Initiatives to Address Organized and Transnational Crime, June 1999
- “Investigating Labor Racketeering,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, In-Service Training, March 1999
- “All Hands’ Training Topic: Crimes Involving Unions and Benefit Plans,” Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, September 1998