Tom Bednar’s practice focuses on securities enforcement and litigation, white-collar criminal defense, and litigation.

With over a decade of government experience, Tom is a veteran litigator with an extensive history of leading enforcement litigation for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. From 2014 through 2021, Tom served as Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel and Supervisory Trial Counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Trial Unit, where he provided principal strategy on litigation risk, settlement, and charging decisions. He supervised securities enforcement litigation in federal court and administrative actions, particularly in connection with accounting and issuer disclosure fraud, crypto and cyber cases, cases involving structured products and other complex financial products and trading strategies, and cases involving regulated entities such as broker-dealers, investment advisers, and credit rating agencies. Tom regularly partnered on investigations and litigation with specialist investigative units, including the Complex Financial Instruments Unit, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit, and the Cyber Unit.

Prior to joining the SEC, Tom was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C. During his five-year tenure as Assistant U.S. Attorney, he tried over 40 cases to verdict and investigated numerous offenses, including complex white collar and national security cases. 

Before his time in government, Tom worked as a litigation associate at another prominent firm in Washington, D.C.

Tom joined the firm as counsel in 2022.

Notable Experiences

Prior to joining Cleary, Tom’s notable experience included:

  • Led litigation of complex accounting fraud case with extensive foreign discovery and expert evidence; obtained a rare interlocutory Second Circuit appeal.

  • Supervised enforcement litigation alleging fraudulent, unregistered offering of digital asset securities in the Eastern District of New York.

  • Supervised litigation team in long-running investigation of cyber-criminals who created “spoof” websites of major financial institutions to sell fake high-yield CDs.

  • Litigation in a case of scheme to misrepresent brokerage costs; negotiated a favorable settlement.

  • Litigated FCPA case, taking testimony and gathering evidence in multiple foreign countries; engaged in extensive, novel motions practice and argument; and obtained an eve-of-trial settlement.

  • Supervised litigation of SEC’s first enforcement action involving a Special Purpose Acquisition Company transaction.

  • Trained Enforcement staff in multiple topics, including conducting parallel civil-criminal investigations; gathering overseas evidence; working with expert witnesses; and considerations in the use of whistleblowers and cooperating witnesses.

  • Successful subpoena enforcement action against rapper Jay-Z.

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