GERALD RUSSELLO is a member of Sidley’s global Securities Enforcement and Regulatory practice, which received the 2019 Chambers USA Award for “Financial Services Regulation,” and was named the “Law Firm of the Year” for Securities Regulation in 2020 and 2017 by U.S. News – Best Lawyers. He has a broad investigative and securities practice representing individual and institutional clients in a variety of enforcement and regulatory matters, drawing on his government and in-house experience. Gerald regularly advises broker-dealers, hedge funds, private equity funds and accounting firms in matters being investigated by the SEC, FINRA, state securities regulators and the PCAOB. He has defended clients in wide range of subjects, including market manipulation, insider trading, portfolio valuation, excessive or unsuitable trading, churning, accounting fraud, document integrity, auditing standards, supervision and internal controls, regulatory compliance and anti-money laundering (AML). He also regularly advises clients on disclosure or self-reporting obligations in connection with whistleblower allegations.
His representations have included:
- Lead trial lawyer in a successful defense of a clearing firm charged by the FINRA Department of Enforcement with violations of FINRA’s AML rules
- Two hedge fund portfolio managers in an SEC insider trading investigation
- Independent director of a public manufacturing company in a fraud investigation
- Officer and director of a public medical-device company in a manipulation investigation
- Real-estate fund concerning valuation and disclosure issues
- Private-equity complex in an SEC exam concerned with expense allocation and disclosure
- A major accounting firm in separate PCAOB investigations alleging violations of Auditing Standard 3
- Broker-dealer in combined FINRA/CBOE inquiry regarding alleged market manipulation
- A broker-dealer and its president in an SEC investigation over alleged excessive trading
- Several broker-dealers in FINRA investigations regarding Section 5, AML and supervisory issues
Gerald served as attorney and branch chief with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division, where he lead a team of attorneys and other investigators. Public matters with which he was involved include In re CIHC, Inc., et al., In re MBIA, Inc., SEC v. Cobalt Multifamily Investors I, LLC, et al. and Report of Investigation Pursuant to Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Regarding The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc., as Overseen By Its Parent, The National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc.
Gerald also served as a managing director in the legal department of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., where he managed significant litigations and regulatory matters and was a member of the firm’s Suspicious Activity Report Committee.
Gerald speaks and writes regularly on securities enforcement trends, hot topics, and other issues, and has served as an adjunct professor of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, teaching a seminar on securities litigation and enforcement. He is also the co-author of a Nutshell on securities litigation and enforcement.