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Samson A. Enzer

Samson A. Enzer

Counsel

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

Samson “Sam” Enzer is a distinguished former federal prosecutor and an accomplished trial lawyer, investigator, and problem-solver. Sam focuses on representing companies and individuals in high-stakes criminal and regulatory enforcement matters, internal corporate investigations, and civil litigation, often in cases involving the finance and cryptocurrency industries. Sam also regularly advises clients on regulatory compliance and transactional due diligence relating to cryptocurrency. For his achievements in the cryptocurrency space, Sam was named a 2022 Law360 MVP in FinTech and a 2022 National Law Journal Cryptocurrency/Blockchain/FinTech Trailblazer.

Sam has secured successful outcomes for preeminent corporations and individuals in some of their most challenging criminal and civil matters, including in inquiries by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), New York Attorney General (NYAG), and other regulators. During his combined experiences as a federal prosecutor and defense lawyer, 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, blockchain startups, asset managers, banks, and businesspeople looking for guidance on regulatory risks concerning cryptocurrency. Prominent 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 member of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance and is 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.

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) of cryptocurrency tokens, and led the prosecution of McAfee antivirus software founder John D. McAfee on securities fraud, commodities 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 investment banker in a closely watched, difficult retrial.

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 his time at SDNY, Sam worked as a litigation associate at another major 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.

An active member of his community, Sam serves on the lawyers’ advisory council for a non-profit organization offering educational opportunities to underprivileged inner city youth, and provides pro bono legal services to indigent criminal defendants.

Notable Representations

Cryptocurrency Matters

  • Advised two prominent digital asset trading exchanges and trained multiple banks on preventing regulatory enforcement risks from insider trading in cryptocurrency assets or offering certain cryptocurrency products.
  • 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.
  • Representing the co-founder of a major DeFi trading platform in an SEC investigation concerning compliance with securities registration requirements.
  • Representing a blockchain company in an internal regulatory compliance review.
  • 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.

White Collar Criminal and Regulatory Matters

  • 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 relating to AML, BSA and OFAC compliance.*
  • Representing a global financial institution in SEC and FINRA inquiries relating to underwriting of transactions involving special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs).
  • Defending a private equity fund and associated individuals in an SEC enforcement action and a parallel SDNY investigation arising from private placements of $410 million in pre-IPO shares.
  • Defending a former public official in SDNY and SEC investigations concerning allegations of insider trading.
  • Defending an emergency management consultant in an SDNY public corruption probe.
  • Defending a prominent business owner against SDNY money laundering charges.
  • Representing an individual in SPAC-related SDNY and SEC investigations.

Civil Litigation

  • Defending a global bank in a lawsuit in the Commercial Division of the New York County Supreme Court alleging hundreds of millions of dollars in damages based on claimed breaches of a loan portfolio sale agreement.
  • 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 plaintiff’s 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