Robert "Bob" Appleton represents domestic and international corporate clients of all sizes, corporate officers and individuals in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), economic and financial sanctions, and compliance matters. As a former US federal prosecutor and former high ranking United Nations official, Bob brings deep real world experience and significant contacts to assist clients in enforcement matters and national and international investigations. In his practice, Bob handles all forms of white collar issues from compliance initiatives and investigations to defense of cases in U.S. courts, international arbitration and administrative tribunals, U.N. disciplinary courts and Connecticut state courts. Bob provides advice and guidance to domestic, as well as international companies and individual clients abroad, on economic and financial sanctions risks that accompany economic activity and international trade, including guidance on the FCPA, International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR) for military items and special technology, and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for dual use/commercial items. He also provides advice and guidance to corporations, global insurers and reinsurers, and financial institutions on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and avoiding and addressing embargo and sanctions issues under the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulatory framework.
For corporate clients seeking to or already engaged in commerce abroad, Bob regularly advises and assesses FCPA and economic and financial sanctions compliance risks of the target acquisitions in foreign locations, trains corporate officers and employees in the application of the FCPA and export statutes and regulations, and undertakes compliance assessments of companies engaged in international trade and commerce, including those companies contemplating foreign asset purchases or mergers and acquisitions. He routinely trains employees of U.S., as well as international companies, on the requirements of the FCPA, export regulations, and money laundering and banking statutes.
Bob also represents clients in federal securities matters, including broker-dealers, and provides advice and guidance on insider trading and 10b5 issues, government investigations and all types of white collar matters. He conducts internal investigations for clients, big and small, facing DOJ, SEC or state law enforcement investigations or prosecutions. He also handles sensitive internal examinations for corporate clients and Boards of Directors who are facing allegations of internal misconduct or whistleblower complaints.
Bob has deep, real world experience in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, having conducted FCPA and financial economic sanctions reviews, compliance assessments and representation of clients in foreign locations for many years in senior roles in the US Department of Justice, the United Nations, and the Geneva, Switzerland based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In this regard, he has spent a number of years abroad in high level positions with these international, public and private organizations, and has gained a wealth of contacts with foreign regulators, business leaders, government officials and senior officers in international organizations.
Bob has also gained extensive high-level national and international experience in the areas of white collar litigation, forensic examinations, compliance reviews and assessments, internal investigations, and broker-dealer securities matters in the areas of Anti-Money Laundering (AML), anti-Fraud, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), FCPA, anti-corruption, economic sanctions and international trade, and export and embargo issues, as well as complex white collar fraud and corruption cases.
Between 2005 and 2014, Bob traveled extensively throughout the world in his senior legal, compliance, and investigative roles, living in Europe and residing for significant lengths of time in Asia and Africa. He has firsthand real world experience in these locations and knowledge of the particular risks in each of these continents, including familiarity with the laws, regulations and business climates.
Bob has appeared in multiple national and international jurisdictions, with trial experience in international arbitration and dispute tribunals and in U.S. courts. He has tried more than 30 cases to a jury in federal courts in the U.S. as lead or sole counsel and has briefed and argued more than 20 appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Many of these matters have been large complex matters, spanning multiple national and international jurisdictions.
In 2005, Bob served as former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker's Special Counsel in the Independent Iraqi Oil for Food investigation, conducting compliance and financial assessments in Switzerland, France, Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Afghanistan, and advising the three Commissioners and the foreign governments on the viability of restitution and forfeiture proceedings, and the best methods to secure recovery of diverted proceeds. As Mr. Volcker's Special Counsel and then Chief Investigative Counsel, Bob helped regain more than $50 million for the Iraqi people, funds that were diverted by the Saddam Hussein regime. In 2008, Bob was selected by the U.N. Secretary General to serve as Chairman of the United Nations Procurement Task Force, a first of its kind internal anti-corruption unit designed to address corruption issues within the U.N. and the U.N. agencies throughout the world, including commercial entities that engage in more than $6 billion in annual commercial activity with the U.N. In this position, Bob identified more than $600 million in misspent funds and recovered more than $25 million for the U.N.
Bob also served between 2010 and 2014 as Director of Investigations in the Geneva-based Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the world's largest health financier. In this role, Bob led large multi-disciplinary teams in forensic investigations, compliance assessments, and financial reviews in dozens of countries, including throughout Africa, Cambodia, Singapore, Russia, Georgia, Japan and China. He has also served as a supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney, in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, for more than 13 years. He focused on international trade prosecutions, terrorism matters, international money laundering and complex fraud cases. Between 1996 and 2005, he served as the Export Crimes Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney's Office, leading the most significant international prosecutions and providing advice and guidance to DOJ attorneys undertaking export and international trade prosecutions under the ITAR, EAR and Arms Export Control Act.
In 2015, Mr. Appleton along with co-counsel in California, successfully defended a Canadian national in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, where the government charged the client, a U.N. official, with mail and wire fraud claiming that he accepted bribes from officers of a Ukrainian passport company. As a result of a motion to dismiss drafted by Mr. Appleton and co-counsel, the Court dismissed the indictment agreeing with Mr. Appleton and holding that the government could not prosecute foreign individuals engaged in purely foreign conduct under U.S. law.
In spring of 2014, Mr. Appleton provided legal advice and FCPA and economic sanctions advice to a company in the United Kingdom conducting compliance assessments of target companies the UK entity sought to purchase in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In this case, Mr. Appleton brought to bear his real world experience in the region and was able to identify previously unforeseen risks, which allowed the company to avoid likely FCPA liability and economic and financial sanctions issues, and make prudent business decisions and asset purchases.
In the winter of 2014, Mr. Appleton successfully defended a UK and a Dubai, UAE company in a matter before the Vendor Review Committee of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where the company had been temporarily debarred from UN business, and who was then reinstated on the UN's eligible vendor roster and, as a result of the defense of the case, regained its ability to receive valuable UN contracts.
Between 2009 and 2014, Mr. Appleton traveled extensively throughout Africa, China and other parts of Asia, conducting compliance assessments and financial reviews, helping to recover more than $50 million in grant proceeds that had been provided to governments and other private corporate recipients in China, Nigeria, Angola, all of Western Africa, Cambodia, and which had been diverted from the intended purposes. As a result of Mr. Appleton and his teams' efforts, more than $50 million of these funds was able to be recovered and returned to the grant programs for its originally intended uses, namely to support public health programs in these countries.
In 2006, as Special Counsel to Mr. Volcker on the Independent Inquiry Committee investigation into the Iraqi Oil for Food Scandal, Mr. Appleton saved the Iraqi citizens more than $15 million dollars diverted by Saddam Hussein and his regime, and helped effectuate restitution awards for the Iraqi fund, Iraqi citizens and several other victims of the regime, including individuals and corporations throughout the world.
As an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Appleton gained significant experience with arms and trade diversions to embargoed and restricted countries, leading many of the Justice Department's most significant export prosecutions between 1996 and 2005, with special emphasis on China and the Middle East, as well as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
In 2011, Mr. Appleton led the investigation of a senior UN official who steered more than $100 million in UN contracts to two Indian companies in exchange for title to two high end New York co-operative apartments, cash and other benefits. After trial, the UN official was sentenced to eight years in prison.
In 2013, Mr. Appleton spent several months in Cambodia, Singapore and Japan, identifying one of the largest foreign bribery and corruption schemes to effect international aid organizations, and several additional months in Western Africa, identifying large diversions of grant funds through similar patterns of fraud and theft that emerged throughout the region during this time. Countless additional amounts of proceeds were saved from further diversion schemes, as international organizations ceased funneling funds earmarked for grant programs through the corrupt entities identified by Mr. Appleton and his team.
magna cum laude1989