Stephen J. Crimmins

scrimmins@mmlawus.com
1185 Avenue of the Americas
21st Floor
New York, NY 10036
T: (212) 880-3624
1001 G Street, N.W.
Seventh Floor
Washington, DC 20001
T: (202) 661-7031

Steve Crimmins defends clients in enforcement matters involving the Securities and Exchange Commission and other financial services regulators.  He provides strategic advice and representation before and during investigations.  He advocates for clients in meetings with regulators, white papers and Wells submissions, settlement negotiations and consent decree resolutions.  Where matters must be contested, he fights for clients in litigated administrative proceedings and in federal court litigation, trials and appeals.  He also handles internal investigations, litigates private securities cases and other commercial disputes, and teams with other law firms as securities co-counsel in civil, criminal and administrative cases.

Best Lawyers in America recognized Steve as the “2017 Securities Regulation Lawyer of the Year for New York City,” based on its survey of his New York-based peers, and has for a decade recognized him for both securities litigation and securities regulation.  Chambers USA has repeatedly recognized him for securities regulation-enforcement.  Securities Docket twice gave him its “Enforcement 40” Award, recognizing him as one of “the 40 best and brightest securities enforcement defense attorneys in the industry.”

Steve was Chair of the Federal Bar Association’s Securities Law Section for five years, and has also held leadership positions with the District of Columbia Bar.  He testified twice before the U.S. House of Representatives on SEC issues during the financial crisis, regularly speaks on securities law panels, and is quoted in the national business news media.  He writes on securities topics, including a scholarly article “Insider Trading: Where Is the Line?” in the Columbia Business Law Review that was favorably reviewed by The Economist.  He has lectured multiple times to securities law classes at Columbia and Georgetown.

During eight years as a senior executive of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, Steve led its large Trial Unit in prosecuting hundreds of jury and non-jury securities cases in federal courts and administrative proceedings, while participating actively in SEC investigations and settlement negotiations.  He originally joined the SEC staff as a line trial attorney and continued to litigate and try cases after his promotion to senior Enforcement Division management and the federal Senior Executive Service.  He earned the Commission-wide Productivity Improvement Award for his management skills.  Before the SEC, he practiced with a large New York law firm.

Since returning to private practice over a decade ago, Steve has helped entities and individuals successfully resolve numerous securities matters.  On September 28, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously affirmed and expanded the grounds for his defense trial victory in an SEC in-house administrative proceeding, in which he personally examined or cross-examined 25 fact and expert witnesses, resulting in dismissal of all charges against a large custodial services company.  He is presently active in cryptocurrency and cybersecurity matters, and over the last decade has defended clients in matters involving financial reporting and accounting issues, disclosure issues, insider trading, complex financial products, FCPA issues, market manipulation, and various securities industry-related and other enforcement issues.

Representative Matters

  • As lead trial and appellate counsel, successfully defended the nation’s leading self-directed IRA custodian at a two-week trial before an SEC ALJ resulting in a decision dismissing all charges, Matter of Equity Trust Company, 2016 WL 4035556 (June 27, 2016).  On appellate review, the SEC Commissioners unanimously affirmed Steve’s trial win on expanded grounds, 2017 WL 4335067 (Sept. 28, 2017).

    Currently representing clients in initial coin offering (ICO) and cryptocurrency investigations by SEC Enforcement, and in an SEC investigation of cyber breach at a broker-dealer.

    Currently defending a former senior corporate officer in recently-filed SEC federal court litigation charging revenue recognition violations.  SEC v. Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., 2017 WL 5067468 (D. Md., filed Nov. 3, 2017).

    As lead trial counsel, settled one day before trial without admissions in SEC proceeding relating to investment adviser’s recommendations to public pension plans.  Matter of Gray Financial Group, Inc., 2017 WL 5624487 (Nov. 22, 2017).

    Following an SEC Wells Submission, obtained “closing letter” declining to bring charges against senior executive of financial services firm, which had settled an administrative proceeding relating to mutual fund share class recommendations, Matter of SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., 2017 WL 4064192 (Sept. 14, 2017).

    Represented major liquidity provider in AWC resolution of FINRA matter involving OATS reporting, and MRV resolution relating to Reg SHO issues (Oct. 17, 2017).  Also represented client in cautionary letter resolution of NYSE investigation relating to maintenance of quotations (May 11, 2017).

    Representing over 30 executives and management employees in public company’s internal review of certain accounting issues and in related matters (2016 to date).

    Orally argued and briefed successful motion to dismiss federal and state RICO and common law fraud claims in Florida state court, Goldberg v. Kanegis et al., Case No. 13-22491 (Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, Complex Business Litigation Division) (Nov. 12, 2016).

    Represented managing director of private equity adviser in SEC investigation and in no-admission settlement by the firm and four executives of case alleging omissions relating to conflicts of interest and payments to affiliates, Matter of Fenway Partners, LLC, 2015 WL 6689228 (Nov. 3, 2015).

    As lead appellate counsel, presented oral argument and submitted briefs that persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to reverse summary judgment against investment adviser’s general counsel in the first litigated insider trading case involving fund shares, SEC v. Bauer, 723 F.3d 758 (7th Cir. 2013). On remand to the trial court, obtained summary judgment dismissing the remainder of the case, 2014 WL 4267412 (Aug. 29, 2014).

    Represented executive at a major financial services firm in written and oral submissions that resulted in an SEC “closing letter” terminating investigation as to client without charges in matter involving the structuring and marketing of several collateralized debt obligation transactions, Matter of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., 2013 WL 6503674 (December 12, 2013).

    Achieved successful settlement for outside directors of Morgan Keegan-related funds on the eve of trial in an SEC administrative proceeding involving valuation of debt securities lacking readily available market quotations, Matter of Alderman, 2013 WL 2646182 (June 13, 2013).