Allyson Baker is a trial attorney and civil litigator with more than a decade of experience in the federal government and private practice. Ms. Baker focuses on financial services litigation and law enforcement investigations involving consumer finance, financial fraud and complex financial transactions. She represents banks and nonbanks subject to law enforcement actions and investigations, especially those initiated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Ms. Baker represents numerous consumer finance companies in confidential investigations initiated by the CFPB's Office of Enforcement. She also routinely serves as litigation counsel for financial services companies, advises companies on all aspects of consumer financial laws, and provides strategic counsel to companies dealing with the CFPB and other law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
Additionally, Ms. Baker represented Four Oaks Bank & Trust Company and its holding company, Four Oaks Fincorp, Inc. in obtaining the favorable settlement of a suit arising under the Financial Institutions Reform and Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA); this matter was the first public enforcement action in "Operation Choke Point," a DOJ-led law enforcement initiative.
CFPB and DOJ Experience
Ms. Baker was an Enforcement Attorney at the CFPB where she served as lead counsel in In the Matter of Discover Bank, which was one of the first enforcement actions in agency history and resulted in one of the largest agency settlements to date. She was a member of the initial team of attorneys hired to stand up the CFPB's Office of Enforcement. As part of this effort, she helped formulate policies on litigation and investigations. She also led an office working group that created, reviewed and coordinated research projects involving the application and jurisdiction of the Dodd-Frank Act and a group that coordinated the work of the Office of Enforcement and the CFPB's Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity.
While at the Department of Justice Civil Tax Division, Ms. Baker served as lead trial counsel in a number of jury and bench trials involving complex financial transactions, including successfully obtaining two injunctions against promoters of fraudulent tax structures that resulted in an estimated tax harm of at least $500 million. She also received a special commendation from the IRS Chief Counsel and received three Outstanding Attorney Awards.
Ms. Baker began her career as an associate in private practice working on litigation matters involving antitrust, trademark law, the False Claims Act and civil rights law.
- Co-counsel, United States v. Four Oaks Fincorp. Inc., et al., resulted in favorable settlement for bank and holding company in investigation and suit arising under FIRREA; first public action in the Department of Justice's "Operation Choke Point" initiative.
- Lead counsel, In the Matter of Discover Bank, $214 million settlement stemming from joint CFPB-FDIC investigation into the sales and marketing of add-on credit card products; one of the first enforcement actions in CFPB history and one of the largest settlements to date.
- Lead trial counsel, United States v. Stover, successfully obtained an injunction against a promoter of fraudulent tax structures involving retirement plans and pass-through entities, with an estimated tax harm of hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Lead trial counsel, United States v. Davison, successfully obtained an injunction against a promoter of fraudulent tax structures involving retirement plans, pass-through entities and farm-related tax deductions, with an estimated tax harm of hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Lead trial counsel, Community First Credit Union v. United States, defended the government's position in a test case challenging an IRS determination about unrelated business income tax related to the sale of certain financial products.
- Lead trial counsel, Saverin v. United States, obtained a directed verdict, resulting in a multi-million dollar judgment for the government in trust fund recovery penalties and employment taxes.
- Co-trial counsel, Estate of Murphy v. United States, defended the IRS's assessment of estate taxes, which were worth more than $35 million.