Joon H. Kim’s practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, internal investigations, regulatory enforcement, and crisis management, as well as complex commercial litigation and arbitration.
Joon has enjoyed a distinguished career over two decades at the highest levels of government and in private practice at the firm, personally trying over a dozen federal jury trials and actively participating in dozens more. A recognized leader of the bar, he is regularly called upon to represent companies, boards, and senior executives in their most serious criminal and regulatory investigations, as well as commercial disputes.
From March 2017 to January 2018, he served as the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As the most senior federal law enforcement officer in the district, he oversaw all criminal and civil litigation conducted on behalf the United States and supervised the work of about 220 Assistant U.S. Attorneys handling a wide range of cases, including securities fraud, cybercrime, domestic and foreign corruption, money laundering, tax litigation, terrorism, racketeering, Bank Secrecy Act and sanctions violations, theft of trade secrets, and economic espionage, as well as civil rights, false claims act, civil enforcement, and environmental matters. Before becoming Acting U.S. Attorney, Joon served in various leadership positions in the office, including Deputy U.S. Attorney, Chief of the Criminal Division, and Chief Counsel to the U.S. Attorney.
Joon joined the firm in 1997 as an associate in the litigation group. From 2000 to 2006, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. From 2006 to 2013, he was part of the firm’s enforcement and litigation group, becoming partner in 2009. He has represented major financial institutions, global conglomerates, and senior executives in criminal and regulatory matters, as well as in complex civil litigation and international arbitration. Joon returned to the U.S. Attorney’s office in 2013 as Assistant U.S. Attorney and in 2017 became Acting U.S. Attorney. He rejoined the firm in 2018.
Securities and Other Financial Frauds
Represent Nissan in DOJ and SEC investigations relating to alleged misconduct by its former CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Represent Board of Directors of major financial institution in DOJ and SEC investigation alleging accounting and valuation fraud arising out of whistleblower complaint.
Represent multinational company in DOJ investigation into alleged fraud in connection with advertising practices.
Represent global financial institution in CFTC investigation relating to swap dealer compliance issues.
Represent Board of Directors of a major bank in connection with OCC investigation arising out of allegations of fraud.
Represent CEO of major technology company in DOJ and SEC investigations into alleged securities and other frauds.
Represent founder of major hedge fund in connection with DOJ and SEC investigations into alleged misconduct arising out of Neiman Marcus bankruptcy.
Represent Petrobras in major securities class action litigation in New York federal court.
Represent senior hedge fund executive in insider trading investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice and the SEC.
Represented a major financial institution in global investigations into alleged manipulation of LIBOR and other market rates by the U.S. Department of Justice, the CFTC, SEC, and state attorneys general, as well as criminal, competition, and regulatory authorities around the world.
Represented a consortium of investment banks sued for securities and other fraud in multijurisdictional litigation arising out of the collapse of Adelphia, a major U.S. cable television company.
Represented one of largest Korean conglomerates in securities and antitrust litigation in U.S. federal court arising out of allegations of price fixing.
Oversaw investigation and prosecution of numerous high-profile securities fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, accounting fraud, and other financial offenses, including: precedent-setting insider trading prosecutions arising out of “political intelligence” leaked to hedge funds (U.S. v. David Blaszczak, et al.); the prosecution and trial in multimillion-dollar insider trading scheme involving secret corporate information obtained from the former Chairman of the Board of Dean Foods (U.S. v. William Walters); the prosecution of major accounting firm executives for unlawfully obtaining confidential information from the PCAOB (U.S. v. David Middendorf, et al.); the prosecution of executives involved in an accounting fraud at Valeant (U.S. v. Gary Tanner and Andrew Davenport); and participation in the appellate briefing in the landmark insider trading decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Second Circuit (Salman and Newman decisions).
Foreign and Domestic Corruption
Represent a number of global companies in connection with DOJ and SEC investigations into alleged FCPA violations.
Conducted multiple sensitive corruption and fraud-related investigations on behalf of international corporations.
Assist a number major multi-national conglomerates in creating and maintaining anti-corruption and other compliance systems and providing training and instruction on compliance issues for the companies.
Oversaw investigation and prosecution of several individuals charged with significant FCPA and other corruption offenses, including: an international bribery scheme involving the President of the U.N. General Assembly and a Hong Kong real estate mogul (U.S. v. Ng Lap Seng, et al.); a multimillion-dollar corruption scheme involving senior government officials in Africa and a Chinese energy conglomerate (U.S. v. Patrick Ho and Cheikh Gadio); and fraud and corruption charges against the brother and nephew of the former U.N. Secretary General arising out of a Korean company’s attempt to sell a $1 billion skyscraper in Vietnam (U.S. v. Joo Hyun Bahn, et al.)
Oversaw investigation and prosecution of multiple FCPA-related corporate and individual resolutions, including against multinational telecommunications companies Vimpelcom and Telia, as well as against a senior executive at aircraft manufacturer Embraer (U.S. v. Colin Steven).
Oversaw and participated in several landmark investigations and prosecutions of corruption in New York State government.
Oversaw investigation and prosecution of corruption in U.S. college basketball that resulted in federal criminal charges against multiple coaches, financial advisors, and sports company executives.
Computer and Cyber Crimes, Cryptocurrency, and Financial Technology
Represent major financial institution that was subject of a cyber breach in overseeing internal investigation into the breach, as well as in dealings with regulators.
Oversaw investigations and prosecutions arising out of several of the most significant corporate cyber-intrusions, including: hacks into major international financial institutions’ systems that resulted in the largest-ever theft of financial customer data (U.S. v. Joshua Aaron, et al.); a coordinated distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on 46 global financial institutions and U.S. infrastructure (U.S. v. Ahmad Fathi, et al.); a hacking and extortion scheme involving valuable intellectual property stolen from HBO (U.S. v. Behzad Mesri); and cyber-intrusions into law firms seeking confidential information about potential corporate mergers and acquisitions that was used to engage in insider trading (U.S. v. Iat Hong, et al.).
Oversaw landmark international investigations and prosecutions into cryptocurrency and financial technology, including: the prosecution of the founder of Silk Road, the world’s largest online black market with Bitcoin-based payments (U.S. v. Ross Ulbricht); the investigation and prosecution that such down Liberty Reserve, a multi-billion dollar, international digital currency service; the prosecution of the CEO of BitInstant, a Bitcoin exchange, and Vice Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation (U.S. v. Shrem), as well as multiple investigations into cryptocurrency operations, including the trial and prosecution of those running Coin.mx, an illegal Bitcoin exchange (U.S. v. Gross and Lebedev).
Oversaw outreach to financial and legal professional firms to discuss proper responses to cyber-intrusions and to discuss coordination with law enforcement.
International Sanctions, Bank Secrecy Act, Tax, and Money Laundering
Represented Board of Directors of UniCredit SpA in connection with U.S. sanctions investigation by the DOJ, OFAC, Federal Reserve, New York County District Attorney’s Office and New York State Department of Financial Services
Represent major Asian company in DOJ and OFAC investigation into alleged North Korean sanctions violations.
Represent U.S. bank in connection with DOJ investigation into allegations of BSA and AML violations arising out of dealings cryptocurrency customers.
Represent a number of financial institutions and companies in investigations into sanctions and money laundering violations being conducted by the Department of Justice, the New York County District Attorney’s Office, the Federal Reserve and OFAC.
Conducted internal investigations and reviews for international banks to help respond to and deal with transactions that may violate U.S. sanctions laws.
Oversaw investigation and prosecution of several landmark sanctions, tax and money-laundering cases, including: the prosecution of a Turkish gold trader and bank executive charged with a billion-dollar scheme to violate Iran sanctions (U.S. v. Reza Zarrab, et al.); the corporate resolutions with several international financial institutions for violations of U.S. sanctions, the Bank Secrecy Act, tax violations, and money-laundering laws; and the civil asset forfeiture of a Manhattan skyscraper that was proven at trial to have been owned by a front for the Iranian government (U.S. v. 650 Fifth Ave.).
Civil Enforcement and Qui Tam Litigation
Oversaw significant civil investigations and litigation against public and private institutions for alleged violations of the FIRREA, the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, as well as civil rights and environmental laws, including qui tam actions brought against financial institutions alleged to have engaged in mortgage fraud; actions against pharmaceutical companies alleged to have misused speaker programs and improperly marketed its products; and investigations and actions against New York City agencies alleged to have violated civil rights and environmental laws.
Member, White Collar Crime Committee, New York City Bar Association (2020-2021)
Member, NYSBA Task Force on Hate Crimes and Domestic Terrorism (2020)
Vice Chair, Bharara Task Force on Insider Trading, 2018-2020
Regular speaker and panelist at leading industry conferences on criminal and regulatory matters, including at the annual SIFMA Compliance and Legal Conference, the annual PLI White-Collar Crime Conference, and the Managed Funds Association Legal and Compliance Conference.
Select recent and upcoming events include the following:
PLI’s 18th Annual Directors’ Institute on Corporate Governance, November 18, 2020
SIFMA C&L 2020 Annual Seminar, March 16, 2020
PLI’s 17th Annual Directors’ Institute on Corporate Governance, November 20, 2019
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Convention 2019, November 7, 2019
IBA Annual Conference Seoul 2019, September 23, 2019
PLI’s Internal Investigations 2019, June 6, 2019
SIFMA C&L 2019 Annual Seminar, March 24, 2019
PLI’s 16th Annual Directors’ Institute on Corporate Governance, November 29, 2018
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Convention 2018, November 10, 2018
Cambridge Forum on White Collar Crime and Regulatory Enforcement, November 8, 2018
SIFMA C&L Society New York Regional Seminar, November 5, 2018
ABA’s The New Engine of Growth: Investment and Technology Conference, October 18, 2018
IBA Annual Conference 2018, October 12, 2018
NERA’s Securities and Finance Summer Seminar, July 1-4, 2018
Managed Funds Association’s MFA West 2018, May 5-7, 2018