FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Charles F. Connolly

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Washington, DC, USA


Charles F. Connolly is an experienced trial attorney and investigator, whose practice focuses on representing companies and individuals in government and corporate investigations and related criminal and regulatory matters.

 Mr. Connolly represents clients in wide variety of matters relating to federal and state criminal and regulatory enforcement, including federal and state securities laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML), , federal procurement, public corruption and U.S. sanctions regimes. He has significant experience investigating and trying complex financial fraud cases and leading internal investigations.

 Prior to joining the firm, he served in the leadership offices of the Department of Justice as the acting deputy chief of staff and counselor to the Attorney General of the United States. In that position, Mr. Connolly advised the Attorney General on legal and policy issues involving criminal law enforcement, corporate fraud, public corruption, death penalty cases, and congressional oversight matters.

 Immediately prior to joining the firm, Mr. Connolly served as chief of the Financial Crimes & Public Corruption Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he prosecuted and investigated complex financial crimes, including corporate and securities fraud, TARP fraud, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, FCPA, mortgage fraud, tax fraud, health care fraud, public corruption and other complex financial frauds. From 2002-2009, Mr. Connolly was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. He served as a lead prosecutor on one of the largest criminal cases arising out of the financial crises; the successful jury trial and conviction of the former Chairman and owner of what was once the largest private mortgage origination company in the country, in a $3 billion bank and securities fraud case. He also served as the lead prosecutor in a sixteen-week, four-defendant jury trial involving charges of accounting fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud and obstruction of justice.

 Mr. Connolly has briefed and argued appeals in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and has won appellate arguments involving corporate attorney-client privilege and securities fraud venue issues (In re Grand Jury Subpoena: Under Seal, 415 F.3d 333 (4th Cir. 2005); U.S. v. Johnson, 510 F.3d 521 (4th Cir. 2007)).

 Before joining the government, Mr. Connolly spent seven years in private practice in the Washington, D.C. office of another international law firm as a white-collar criminal defense and securities enforcement attorney. Mr. Connolly served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business Law at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. He was also a member of the national moot court team.

 Representative Matters

 serving as a lead prosecutor on $3 billion, bank and securities fraud jury trial, resulting in conviction of the owner and chairman of one of the largest mortgage origination companies in the country

  • serving as lead prosecutor on sixteen-week, four-defendant jury trial involving charges of accounting fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud and obstruction of justice
  • working with the Criminal Division on two of the ten largest FCPA Deferred Prosecution Agreement settlements
  • leading negotiations of $210 million deferred prosecution agreement with a Fortune 50 company
  • leading a 10-day internal investigation into potential money laundering and CTR violations at an offshore casino
  • representing a senior vice president of a major energy company in an investigation by U.S. Attorney’s office into potential fraud in contracting with Department of Defense.
  • representing an international company in a World Bank corruption investigation resulting in the investigation being closed without any actions against the company or any of its employees.
  • representing a casino in a FinCEN BSA/AML enforcement action.
  • leading an internal investigation for an international consulting firm intoallegations of potential kickbacks involving one of its employees.
  • representing a former employee of a major financial institution in a DOJ criminalinvestigation related to the origination and sale of mortgage-backed securities.
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