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Cryptocurrency & Blockchain

Cahill has thrived for over a century by staying ahead of the curve on the rapidly evolving legal challenges facing clients in the financial services sector. Long recognized for innovation and excellence in guiding traditional financial institutions through some of their most challenging regulatory and enforcement matters, Cahill is now at the forefront of helping a new generation of entrepreneurs in the burgeoning financial technology (FinTech) industry to navigate ever-increasing scrutiny from regulators. The explosive growth of the financial ecosystem involving cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, and distributed ledger technology has been met with a wave of aggressive enforcement activity by government authorities. Cahill’s deep experience in matters involving cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and tradition of creativity and success in defending financial services clients, have allowed us to continue Cahill’s proud legacy of providing unparalleled representation to clients in cryptocurrency matters. 

Leveraging the resources of our preeminent litigation, white-collar defense and corporate practice groups, Cahill’s Cryptocurrency and Blockchain team represents cryptocurrency industry clients in high-stakes enforcement proceedings, and advises traditional financial institutions on regulatory and compliance issues stemming from the increasing adoption of cryptocurrency. Our team includes elite former federal prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) with extensive experience defending and prosecuting cryptocurrency enforcement matters, as well as partners with experience at other U.S. regulatory agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cahill’s team, which has been recognized as among “The Elite” by Chambers and Partners for its work defending traditional financial sector clients in white-collar criminal and regulatory matters, routinely represents financial institutions and individuals in high-stakes investigations and prosecutions by federal and state authorities, including the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), New York Department of Financial Services (NY DFS), and state attorneys general. Cahill also frequently represents global banks and companies in internal investigations.  As one Cahill client told Chambers and Partners about the firm’s enforcement defense practitioners, “It is hard to imagine being able to do my job without these lawyers.”

The Cahill team has extensive experience in cryptocurrency matters. Current and recent representative matters include the following:

  • Cahill recently advised two prominent digital asset trading exchanges and trained multiple banks on preventing regulatory enforcement risks from insider trading in cryptocurrency assets or offering cryptocurrency lending products.
  • Cahill is defending FinTech entrepreneur Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein, who has been accused by DOJ of allegedly conspiring to launder $4.5 billion in stolen Bitcoin in one of the most high-profile cryptocurrency cases in history as featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, Business Insider, Law360 and other news outlets.
  • Cahill is representing the co-founder of a major DeFi trading platform in an SEC investigation concerning allegations that the platform violated Securities Act registration requirements.
  • Cahill successfully represented the former CFO of a cryptocurrency investment fund in avoiding criminal or civil charges in DOJ and SEC investigations.
  • Cahill recently advised a global asset manager and a leading non-profit organization on due diligence pertaining to anti-money laundering (AML), Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions risks relating to certain transactions involving cryptocurrency.

The Cahill team includes former SDNY prosecutor Samson Enzer, who was recently described by The National Law Journal as “one of the leading cryptocurrency enforcement practitioners to come out of government service in recent years,” and by Law360 as the “SDNY Crypto Ace.” During Enzer’s tenure as a federal prosecutor on the SDNY’s prestigious Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, he worked with the SEC and CFTC on groundbreaking enforcement matters involving novel applications of federal securities, commodities, and money laundering laws to cryptocurrency transactions. Enzer’s noteworthy cryptocurrency enforcement matters before joining Cahill included:

  • Leading the multi-year SDNY investigation and prosecution of McAfee antivirus software founder John D. McAfee on commodities fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering charges arising from deceptive cryptocurrency promotions.
  • Spearheading the SDNY investigation and prosecution of the co-founders of a purported cryptocurrency debit card company called Centra Tech, Inc. in the first criminal securities fraud case in SDNY history based on an initial coin offering (ICO) of cryptocurrency tokens. 
  • Handling the blockchain tracing and seizure of $33.4 million in cryptocurrency fraud proceeds and litigation over their forfeiture for remission to fraud victims by DOJ’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS). 

Please find press coverage of our practice and representations below.

Our lawyers are regularly asked to comment on current events in the cryptocurrency space. Please recent highlights below.