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Samson A. Enzer

Samson A. Enzer

Partner

212.701.3125
senzer@cahill.com
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Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
32 Old Slip
New York, NY 10005

Practices

Education

  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 2007, cum laude; University of Pennsylvania Law Review (Senior Editor)
  • Wake Forest University, B.A., 2004, cum laude

Clerkships/Government Service

  • U.S. District Judge Louis L. Stanton of the Southern District of New York
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York

Admission

  • New York

A distinguished former federal prosecutor, Samson “Sam” Enzer is a founding member of Cahill’s nationally recognized Cryptocurrency and Blockchain group, and a member of the firm’s renowned White Collar, Government Investigations, and Litigation practices.  Since launching Cahill’s Cryptocurrency team, Sam has been named a national Law360 MVP in FinTech and a National Law Journal Trailblazer in Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, and FinTech based on the team’s accomplishments in these fields.

Sam’s practice has three core components.  First, Sam represents prominent companies and individuals in high-stakes criminal and regulatory enforcement matters, internal corporate investigations, and civil litigation, often in cases involving the financial services, digital assets, and gaming sectors.  Second, Sam regularly advises institutional clients on structuring business lines, financial products, and transactions to comply with U.S. securities, commodities, anti-money laundering, sanctions, and money transmitter laws.  Third, Sam also frequently provides due diligence and disclosure guidance to corporate clients in connection with mergers, acquisitions, leveraged financings, securities offerings, and other complex transactions.

Sam has secured successful outcomes for leading corporations, officers, directors, entrepreneurs, and public officials in some of their most challenging criminal and civil matters, including in connection with inquiries by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), New York Attorney General (NYAG), and other regulators.  During the course of his government and private practice roles, Sam has also won numerous jury and bench trials, appeals, and hearings.

Described as “one of the leading cryptocurrency enforcement practitioners to come out of government service in recent years” by The National Law Journal and as the “SDNY Crypto Ace” by Law360, Sam has been sought out by digital asset trading exchanges, market makers, broker-dealers, FinTech payment platforms, digital wallet-services providers, DeFi protocols, blockchain startups, asset managers, banks, and businesspeople looking for regulatory advice concerning digital assets.  Prominent institutions and entrepreneurs have entrusted their gravest cryptocurrency enforcement challenges to Sam, including a FinTech startup founder accused by DOJ of laundering $4.5 billion in stolen Bitcoin.  Sam is also a frequent speaker, news commentator, and author on cutting-edge issues concerning the regulation of cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), stablecoins, and other digital assets.  For example, Sam has appeared on televised CNBC and CBS programs and been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Business, Bloomberg News, and other major news outlets on various cryptocurrency-related topics.

Sam also has significant experience handling gaming-related matters.  For example, Sam recently provided due diligence and disclosure advice to the financing sources of 888 Holdings’ $2.35 billion acquisition of William Hill’s foreign businesses, including guidance relating to the U.K. Gambling Commission’s publicly reported license review of William Hill.  In addition, as a federal prosecutor, Sam led numerous investigations and prosecutions involving illegal sports betting, online gambling, underground casinos and poker rooms, and related violations of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

Before joining Cahill, Sam served for eight years in DOJ as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), where he rose to become a senior member of the SDNY Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.  As a federal prosecutor at SDNY, Sam led numerous high-profile investigations and prosecutions of a broad range of white collar crimes, including multiple groundbreaking cryptocurrency enforcement matters.  For example, Sam spearheaded the first securities fraud prosecution in SDNY history arising from an initial coin offering (ICO), and led the prosecution of McAfee antivirus software founder John D. McAfee on securities fraud, commodities fraud, touting fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering charges arising from deceptive cryptocurrency promotions.  Sam also won a hard-fought guilty verdict on all insider trading charges against a former managing director at a major investment bank.

During his tenure at SDNY, Sam was nominated for the United States Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018 and received the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation’s Prosecutor of the Year Award in 2014.   

Before SDNY, Sam worked as a litigation associate at another international law firm and clerked for United States District Judge Louis L. Stanton.  Sam graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was a senior editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Sam serves on the lawyers’ advisory council for a non-profit organization offering educational opportunities to underprivileged inner city youth, and provides pro bono representation to indigent criminal defendants. 

Notable Representations

White Collar and Regulatory Enforcement

  • Representing Coinbase as amicus curiae in the SEC’s widely watched cryptocurrency enforcement action against Ripple Labs.
  • 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 JournalThe New York TimesNew York MagazineThe Washington PostBusiness InsiderLaw360 and other news outlets.
  • Defending a former senior official of a now-bankrupt cryptocurrency lending platform in SDNY, SEC and CFTC enforcement probes.
  • Representing the co-founder of a leading DeFi protocol in an SEC investigation concerning compliance with securities registration requirements.
  • Representing a global financial institution in SEC and FINRA inquiries relating to underwriting of transactions involving special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs).
  • Successfully represented the former COO of a global energy company in avoiding criminal or civil charges in DOJ and SEC investigations arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.*
  • Successfully represented the former CEO of a foreign bank in avoiding criminal or civil charges in investigations by DOJ, OFAC, and banking regulators concerning anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance.*
  • Represented a pre-IPO fund in resolving an emergency SEC enforcement application seeking a receivership, personal asset freeze and other extraordinary relief arising from alleged violations of securities and broker-dealer registration requirements in connection with private placements of $410 million in pre-IPO shares. After expedited briefing and depositions, the SEC agreed to lift the personal asset freeze.
  • Defending a former public official in SDNY and SEC investigations concerning insider trading allegations.
  • Defending a disaster management consultant in an SDNY public corruption probe.

Regulatory and Compliance Advice

  • Advising one of the world’s largest digital asset trading platforms concerning compliance with U.S. laws, including the Bank Secrecy Act, OFAC sanctions, Securities Act, Securities Exchange Act, Commodity Exchange Act, and state money transmitter laws.
  • Advised a leading cryptocurrency liquidity provider on compliance with U.S. securities laws relating to secondary market making in Ethereum staking and DeFi lending protocol tokens.
  • Advised a leading U.S. digital asset trading exchange and trained multiple banks on preventing regulatory enforcement risks from insider trading in cryptocurrency assets.
  • Advised an SEC-registered broker-dealer on structuring a Regulation A offering of tokenized assets to comply with the Investment Company Act and Investment Advisers Act.
  • Advised a foreign FinTech payments platform on structuring U.S. cryptocurrency-to-fiat exchanges to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, OFAC sanctions, and state money transmitter laws.
  • Advised a digital asset wallet-services provider on U.S. regulatory compliance.
  • Advised a global mining pool on compliance with New York BitLicense regulations.
  • Advised a cryptocurrency market data aggregator on compliance with SEC and CFTC regulations, including those concerning broker-dealers, futures commission merchants, and introducing brokers.
  • Advised a prominent U.S. digital asset trading platform on Securities Act compliance concerning cryptocurrency lending and interest-yielding products.

Transactional Due Diligence and Disclosure Advice

  • Provided due diligence and disclosure advice to the financing sources of 888 Holdings’ $2.35 billion acquisition of William Hill’s foreign businesses.
  • Provided disclosure advice to the financing sources of a multi-billion dollar notes offering concerning a non-public SEC Wells notice received by the Fortune 500 company that issued the notes.
  • Advised a global asset manager and a leading non-profit organization on due diligence pertaining to anti-money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, and OFAC sanctions risks relating to certain transactions involving cryptocurrency.
  • Advised a foreign digital asset exchange on due diligence associated with a minority investment in a U.S. prime broker.

Civil Litigation

  • Defending a global investment bank in an alleged breach-of-contract lawsuit in New York Supreme Court’s Commercial Division claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in damages based on the cancelation of a $650 million loan portfolio sale.
  • Advised a corporate victim of a market manipulation scheme on loss recovery options through civil litigation, asset forfeiture, restitution, disgorgement, and fair funds in the wake of parallel criminal and regulatory enforcement proceedings.
  • Defended Bank of America in a multi-billion dollar securities fraud class action, SEC and NYAG enforcement actions, and shareholder derivative lawsuits arising from the bank’s $50 billion merger with Merrill Lynch.*
  • Successfully represented a foreign crude oil producer in winning a complete victory at a London arbitration hearing on its $35 million insurance claim for property damage to an offshore oil platform.*
  • Successfully represented a prominent plaintiffs’ law firm in winning dismissal for lack of jurisdiction of an alleged legal malpractice lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.*

*Matters handled prior to joining Cahill.