Latham team recognized for securing dismissal with prejudice for a16z in significant DeFi crypto case.
Benjamin Naftalis is New York Deputy Office Managing Partner and previously served as Global Co-Chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice.
Mr. Naftalis, a former federal prosecutor, represents companies, boards, executives, and cryptocurrency market participants in government and internal investigations, regulatory enforcement matters, high-profile disputes, and other sensitive situations throughout the US and internationally. He also counsels private fund managers and clients on compliance, trading, and deal-related diligence.
Mr. Naftalis draws on his experience before a range of US regulators, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), related to allegations of securities and commodities fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, accounting and healthcare fraud, bribery and corruption, sanctions, and money laundering.
He also regularly represents clients in high-stakes business disputes and securities litigation.
Leading publications, including Chambers and The Legal 500 US, consistently recognize Mr. Naftalis for his skill in white collar defense and investigations. Since bringing the first of its kind securities fraud prosecution related to a cryptocurrency in 2014, he has been a recognized leader in the digital asset space — where he is ranked Band 1 by Chambers FinTech.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Naftalis served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. As a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, he prosecuted financial and investment fraud matters, including corporate and securities fraud, insider trading, and market manipulation. His DOJ and SEC matters involved extensive coordination of cross-border and multi-agency investigations.
In 2012, he received the US Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service — the DOJ’s second-highest award. During his tenure at the DOJ, he tried eight federal jury trials and briefed and argued more than 10 appeals before the Second Circuit.
Mr. Naftalis clerked for Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Dennis Jacobs of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He began his career as a corporate development analyst at DoubleClick, later acquired by Google.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission.