March 27, 2015

Michael Bresnick, former Senior DOJ attorney and Executive Director of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, Joins Venable

5 min

Served as top advisor to U.S. Attorney General and led largest interagency coalition to combat financial fraud; Mr. Bresnick served as assistant chief in Fraud Section of DOJ's Criminal Division

Washington, DC - March 27, 2015 – Adding a major talent to its financial enforcement and regulatory bench, Venable LLP announced that Michael J. Bresnick, former Executive Director of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, who also served as Assistant Chief in the Fraud Section of U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division, has joined as a partner in the firm's Washington office. Mr. Bresnick will serve as Chair of the Financial Services Investigations and Enforcement Practice.

Mr. Bresnick arrives from a nationally-recognized Washington, D.C., law firm, where he chaired the Financial Institutions Practice Group, advising clients on a wide range of financial services, government enforcement actions, consumer protection, BSA/AML, securities matters, and congressional investigations.

As Executive Director of President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force from 2011-13, Mr. Bresnick served as a top advisor to the U.S. Attorney General and led the largest interagency coalition ever assembled to combat financial fraud. The Task Force was charged with establishing guidance on what kinds of behavior to target, driving enforcement initiatives and setting priorities for fraud prosecutors and regulatory agencies.

Mr. Bresnick worked with leaders across multiple agencies to rein in financial industry misconduct. He regularly advised senior staff at the Justice Department, Treasury Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Reserve Board, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, FinCEN, and Housing and Urban Development. That put him in direct regular contact with a large cast of federal inspectors general, state attorneys general, state banking commissioners, U.S. Attorneys, and international financial regulators.

Among highlights of his tenure, Mr. Bresnick launched the Task Force's Consumer Protection Working Group to combat consumer fraud on the federal, state and local levels through prosecution and education. He also launched the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, as instructed by the President in his 2011 State of the Union Address, and initiated innovative strategies to investigate fraud in the RMBS market through the use of FIRREA, working directly with the U.S. Attorney General and other senior DOJ leaders.

In a statement when Mr. Bresnick stepped down from the Task Force in 2013, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said: "Mike Bresnick has played an indispensable role in leading interagency efforts to ensure stability and fairness in our financial and housing markets – while holding accountable those who take advantage of their fellow citizens. Under Mike's leadership, the Department's approach in identifying – and combating – financial fraud has never been smarter, more systematic, or more effective. I am grateful for his tireless work, his dedication to public service, and his commitment to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. I am certain that the Department, and the American people, will continue to benefit from Mike's efforts for years to come."

Including his time as leader of the Task Force, Mr. Bresnick served for a decade in the Justice Department, including serving as assistant chief in the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division and overseeing a team of attorneys prosecuting financial crimes. He was also an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia, prosecuting criminal matters, trying 16 cases, and representing the government in appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

"As the leader of the government's key administrative hub in rooting out financial fraud, Michael played a critical role in restoring credibility to the global financial system," said Jeffrey Knowles, Chair of Venable's Government Division. "Michael brings incomparable experience handling criminal and civil investigations. He boasts a very rare collection of skills and a stellar record that will enhance our firm's ability to handle the most important financial investigations and enforcement matters."

Venable's litigation and investigations group includes a number of former federal prosecutors and regulatory enforcement lawyers. The group was named the 2013 "Law Firm of the Year" in Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Litigation by Best Law Firms, a joint publication of U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in America.

Venable's financial regulatory group includes former senior government counsel and officials, among them: Ronald R. Glancz, a former Assistant General Counsel and Acting Deputy General Counsel of the FDIC and former director of the litigation division of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; D.E. Wilson, Jr., former Deputy and Acting General Counsel at the Treasury Department; Ralph E. Sharpe, a Director of Enforcement and Compliance at the OCC; John B. Beaty, former Assistant General Counsel at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and head of the Resolution Trust Corporation's Professional Liability Section; William J. Donovan, former General Counsel of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions; John E. Bowman, former Acting Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision; and Allyson B. Baker, who helped form the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Office of Enforcement.

"Venable's financial services group is simply one of the country’s best units, attracting top attorneys from Capitol Hill, the DOJ, Treasury Department and other regulatory agencies," Mr. Bresnick said. "The firm represents a highly diverse, international client base on financial matters, combining top-flight regulatory counsel with equally strong litigation and white collar defense work. I expect to feel totally at home here and am looking forward to taking my place as part of the team advising on financial enforcement and regulatory matters."

Mr. Bresnick received his J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law and his B.A. from Bowdoin College.


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