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Ephraim (Fry) Wernick
Ephraim (Fry) Wernick
Partner — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense
Partner — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense

Ephraim (Fry) Wernick

Ephraim (Fry) Wernick
Washington

2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 500 West
Washington, DC 20037

Ephraim (Fry) Wernick

Fry Wernick is a partner in the Government Investigations and White Collar Practice Group. As a former federal prosecutor and Assistant Chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Fraud Section, Fry has a broad range of white collar enforcement and trial experience. Fry regularly conducts internal investigations and defends companies and individuals against government investigations into a broad range of offenses, including alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-money laundering (AML) statutes, the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the False Claims Act (FCA), sanctions, campaign finance laws, and other fraud and corruption-related offenses. Fry also helps prepare and defend companies and individuals facing inquiries and investigations by Congress. In addition, Fry advises publicly traded and privately held companies on transactional risk, particularly concerning business transactions in emerging markets, and he helps companies develop effective compliance programs. Fry understands all aspects of crisis management, and he draws on his extensive experience to tailor and coordinate sophisticated responses to investigations and inquiries from governmental, legislative and media sources in order to minimize the potential for legal and reputational risk for his clients.

Fry has extensive experience with the FCPA and international corruption matters. At DOJ, Fry led and supervised dozens of the Department’s most high-profile cases, including five of the largest-ever FCPA corporate criminal resolutions and dozens of individual prosecutions. Fry is one of the few former federal prosecutors who has actually prosecuted violations of the FCPA, and he knows how the Department of Justice prioritizes and investigates cases involving alleged violations of the FCPA’s anti-bribery, books-and-records, and internal controls provisions, as well as related fraud, money laundering statutes, and sanctions regulations. Fry also has experience negotiating parent and subsidiary-level plea agreements, DPAs, NPAs and declinations under the recent revisions to the Department’s Corporate Enforcement Policy. In addition, Fry coordinated multiple cross-border criminal investigations, and he developed an advanced understanding of how foreign regulators enforce the U.K. Bribery Act, the French Sapin II, and other anti-bribery laws.

Fry has investigated hundreds of cases as both a criminal prosecutor and defense attorney, and he has substantial trial experience, having been the lead attorney in over 30 criminal trials, 20 appeals and four oral appellate arguments. Fry has been quoted as an authority on FCPA, victims’ rights and criminal law matters by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Law 360, Global Investigations Review, The Anti-Corruption Report, The FCPA Professor, Energy Voice and other publications (2019).

Experience Highlights

  • Supervised a high-profile FCPA and money laundering investigation, including charges against two senior bank executives and an intermediary, for their alleged role executing a multi-billion dollar bribery and embezzlement scheme

  • Supervised the prosecution in U.S. v. Mobile Telesystems PJSC; the coordinated resolution between DOJ and the SEC resulted in a parent-level DPA and subsidiary-level guilty plea, an $850 million criminal fine, and a three-year corporate monitorship for a Russian telecommunications company that paid over $420 million in bribes in Uzbekistan

  • Lead trial attorney in U.S. v. Telia Company AB, et al; the coordinated resolution between DOJ and the SEC, the Netherlands, and Sweden resulted in a parent-level DPA, subsidiary-level guilty plea, and a $965 million criminal fine for a Swedish telecommunications company that paid over $330 million in bribes in Uzbekistan

  • Lead trial attorney in U.S. v. Rolls-Royce plc, et al; the coordinated resolution between DOJ and the U.K. Serious Fraud Office and Brazil Public Prosecutor resulted in a parent-level DPA and $880 million global fine, and seven individuals were also charged in connection with their role in a conspiracy to pay and launder over $80 million in bribes in six different countries

  • Lead trial attorney in U.S. v. VimpelCom, Ltd. et al; the coordinated resolution between DOJ and the SEC and the Netherlands resulted in a parent-level DPA, subsidiary-level guilty plea, a subsidiary guilty plea, a $835 million criminal fine, and a three-year monitorship for a Dutch telecom company that paid over $114 million in bribes in Uzbekistan

  • Lead trial attorney in a national security counter-intelligence and FCPA prosecution of a Russian official, a U.S. company, and U.S. businessmen for conspiring to pay and launder over $2 million in bribes in connection with the transportation of nuclear fuel between the Russian Federation and the United States, yielding three FCPA-related pleas and a corporate NPA

  • Supervised the prosecution in U.S. v. Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Ltd.; the coordinated resolution between DOJ and the SEC resulted in an NPA and $47 million criminal penalty for corrupt hiring practices in Asia

  • Supervised a major oil and gas investigation involving a coordinated prosecution with five foreign jurisdictions into approximately 15 oil and gas companies that used a corrupt intermediary company to bribe foreign officials in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia

  • Supervised a major aerospace investigation involving a coordinated prosecution with multiple jurisdictions into bribery and ITAR Part 130 violations

  • Supervised an investigation into corrupt practices in professional sports, including alleged bribery, visa fraud, sanctions evasion, and extortion by teams operating in Latin America

  • Served as a DOJ subject matter expert, delegate and negotiator on anticorruption, asset recovery, and trade matters at multiple international fora, including the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in Paris; the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the U.N. Convention Against Corruption in Vienna; and was a U.S. negotiator for the anticorruption component of NAFTA 2.0

  • Served a one-year detail to DOJ’s Guantanamo Bay Litigation Team, where he investigated and litigated cases on behalf of the U.S. against prisoners of war and high-value detainees connected to the Taliban, al-Qaida and associated groups, and was the lead trial attorney in Khairulla Khairkhwa v. Obama, which resulted in the continued detention of the highest ranking member of the Taliban in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

  • Served as Counsel on the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), where he was the lead investigative attorney concerning abusive debt practices, ineffective oversight of dual use exports and technologies, and oversight of waste, fraud and abuse at the United Nations Development Programme

Credentials

  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., with honors, 2003
  • Brown University, B.A., 1999
  • Assistant Chief / Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, FCPA Unit, 2014–2019
  • Counsel (DOJ Detailee), U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 2017
  • Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, 2008-2014
  • Trial Attorney (USAO Detailee), U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Programs Branch – Guantanamo Bay Litigation Team, 2010–2011
  • Counsel, U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, 2008
  • Associate, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, 2005–2008
  • Associate and Co-Chair of Pro Bono Committee, Strasburger & Price, LLP, 2003–2005
  • Global Investigations Review Enforcement Agency/Prosecutor of the Year, 2019
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Service Award, 2019
  • Homeland Security Investigations’ Outstanding Investigative Accomplishment Award for Financial Crime, 2017
  • Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, 2016
  • Homeland Security Investigations’ Outstanding Investigative Accomplishment Award for Financial Crime, 2015
  • Multiple DOJ Special Service Awards, 2011-2014
  • Barrister: Edward B. Williams Inn of Court, 2017–Present
  • Member: AUSA Association of Washington, D.C., 2012–Present
  • Member: Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, 2012–Present
  • Board Member: The University of Texas School of Law Alumni Board; Texas Law Alumni Association Executive Committee (2018–2020); Texas Law Washington, D.C. Steering Committee (2014–Present)
  • Board Member and Chairman: St. Mark’s School of Texas Alumni Board, 2018–Present
  • Brown University Alumni Association: Brown Football Association “Mentor,” 2010–Present
  • Triangle Cities Pro Bono Legal Clinic at St. Philip’s School: Founding director and recipient of Dallas Bar Association’s 2004 Pro Bono “Special Services Award,” 2003–2005
  • Washington, D.C. and Texas (inactive)
  • DOJ’s Updated Guidance on Evaluating Corporate Compliance Programs, Houston Compliance Counsel Exchange Webcast (June 26, 2020) (panelist)
  • Lessons from Recent Compliance Failures, Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Risk & Compliance Webinar (June 25, 2020) (panelist)
  • Public Corruption Seminar: FCPA 101, The George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C. (April 2, 2020) (guest lecturer)
  • Refining Corporate Compliance: A Look at Third-Party Risk and Global Sanctions, Dow Jones Breakfast Panel Discussion, Houston, Texas (February 25, 2020) (panelist)
  • ACI’s 14th Annual Forum on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Houston, Texas (January 29-30, 2020) (co-chair and speaker)
  • The FCPA Compliance Report PodcastThe Compliance Evangelist (January 6, 2020) (speaker)
  • “How to Defend Your Program to the Agencies: Practitioners Discuss Their Experiences Amid the Latest DOJ Guidance and Increased Global Enforcement,” 36th International Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, December 4, 2019 (panelist)
  • Recent Trends and Investigations in FCPA Enforcement, Linworld Asia Anti-Corruption Compliance Summit 2019, Singapore (December 2, 2019) (speaker)
  • FCPA Enforcement Trends Impacting the Energy Industry, Vinson & Elkins Energy Series, Houston, Texas (October 17, 2019) (speaker)
  • The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: An Inside Look at Enforcement and Why It Matters to You and Your Clients, Dallas Bar Association CLE Clinic at Belo Mansion, Dallas, Texas (September 20, 2019) (speaker)
  • FCPA Issues and Developments, UT Law CLE’s 6th Annual Government Enforcement Institute, Houston, Texas (September 12, 2019) (panelist)
  • FCPA Flash Podcast, FCPA Professor (June 28, 2019) (speaker)
  • Government Compliance Roundtable: Examining the Convergence of ABAC-International Trade and the Current Priorities and Targets for Enforcement, Cooperation, Coordinated Investigations and Voluntary Disclosure, A.C.E.S. Compliance Summit, Washington, D.C. (April 16, 2019) (panelist)
  • The Future of Corporate Compliance, Dow Jones / Wall Street Journal Breakfast Briefing, New York, New York (March 12, 2019) (keynote interview)
  • Is Mexico Moving Toward a Level Playing Field?  Compliance & Anti-Corruption Framework in Local and Cross-Border Business, United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, New York, New York (February 28, 2019) (panelist)
  • Controlling Third Party Corruption: A Conversation with FCPA Regulators, Aravo Solutions Webinar, Washington, D.C. (February 27, 2019) (panelist)
  • Private Sector and Law Enforcement: Constructive Engagement to Counter Corruption, International Centre for Collective Action – Anti-Corruption Collective Action: Evolution to Revolution, Basel, Switzerland (November 14, 2018) (panelist)
  • Pre-Trial Resolutions on Three Continents: Experiences in Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Netherlands, and the U.S., DOJ/SEC/FBI Foreign Bribery and Corruption Conference, Washington, D.C. (November 7, 2018) (speaker and panelist)
  • Effects of US v. Microsoft and CLOUD Act on FCPA Investigations and Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation International Corruption Unit In-Service Training, Seattle, Washington (August 30, 2018) (speaker)
  • Case Study on Telecommunications Across the CIS: Lessons on Risks with the Selection of Local Partners, ACI’s 9th Global Forum on Anti-Corruption Compliance in High-Risk Markets, Washington, D.C. (July 25, 2018) (speaker and panelist)
  • International Corruption and the FCPA, Defense Criminal Investigative Service – International Fraud Working Group Meeting, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (June 26-28, 2018) (panelist)
  • FCPA Investigations, U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western District of Texas – Training of AUSAs, San Antonio, Texas (June 5, 2018) (speaker)
  • FCPA Investigations, U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern District of Texas – Training of AUSAs, Dallas, Texas (May 16, 2018) (speaker)
  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Working Group on Bribery Plenary Meeting, Paris, France (March 13-16, 2018) (United States delegate)
  • Corporate Compliance and FCPA Enforcement, 2018 Fair Player Club Summit & Pledge Ceremony, Seoul, South Korea (March 7, 2018) (speaker and panelist)
  • Internal Investigation Simulation: Evaluating Corporate Corruption, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. (January 11, 2018) (guest lecturer)
  • Negotiations on Anti-Corruption Provisions of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Multilateral Negotiations with U.S., Mexico and Canada, Washington, D.C. (December 11, 2017) (United States delegate)
  • U.S. FCPA Investigations, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development – Presentation to Uzbek Delegation, Washington, D.C. (December 5, 2017) (speaker and panelist)
  • United Nations Convention Against Corruption, Conference of State Parties, Vienna, Austria (November 6-10, 2017) (United States delegate and negotiator)
  • Developing Evidence: Techniques and Tips to Aggressively and Efficiently Advance an Investigation, Fraud Section All Attorney Training, Washington, D.C. (October 26, 2017) (speaker and panelist)
  • Obtaining Evidence Domestically and Abroad, Fraud Section FCPA Unit Training, Washington, D.C. (September 13, 2017) (speaker and panelist)
  • International Law, Human Rights & Fighting Impunity: Fighting War Crimes & Economic Crimes, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2017) (guest lecturer)
  • Internal Investigation Simulation: Evaluating Corruption in Corporate Transactions, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. (January 12, 2017) (guest lecturer)
  • United Nations General Assembly, Second Committee on Macroeconomic Policy Questions Concerning Promotion of International Cooperation to Curb and Recover Illicit Financial Flows, United Nations, New York, N.Y. (November 16, 2016) (United States negotiator and subject matter expert on Corruption and Asset Forfeiture)
  • VimpelCom Case Study, DOJ/SEC/FBI Foreign Bribery and Corruption Conference, Washington, D.C. (November 2, 2016) (speaker and panelist)
  • Break-Out Session with Foreign Prosecutors on Hypothetical Bribery Case, DOJ/FBI/SEC Foreign Bribery and Corruption Conference, Washington, D.C. (November 1, 2016) (trainer)
  • United Nations Convention Against Corruption, Asset Recovery Working Group, Vienna, Austria (August 25-26, 2016) (United States delegate, panelist, and subject matter expert on Corruption and Asset Forfeiture)
  • International Keynote Q&A: Department of Justice Address, Australian Financial Crime Summit, Sydney, Australia (August 16, 2016) (keynote speaker)
  • Trials and Corporate Resolutions, Fraud Section Training, Washington, D.C. (April 28, 2016) (speaker and panelist)
  • U.S. FCPA Investigations, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development – International Visitors Leadership Program, Washington, D.C. (February 24, 2016) (speaker)
  • Investigative Techniques, Fraud Section Training, Washington, D.C. (January 12, 2016) (speaker)
  • Cross-Examination, Fraud Section Annual Training, Washington, D.C. (October 15, 2015) (speaker and panelist)
  • Investigative Techniques, Fraud Section Annual Training, Washington, D.C. (October 14, 2015) (speaker and panelist)
  • Prosecuting Fraud and Corruption, American University Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C. (November 12, 2014) (guest speaker)
  • Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses, U.S. Attorney’s Office Training, Washington, D.C. (2010) (speaker)
  • Basic Trial Advocacy, U.S. Attorney’s Office Training for New AUSAs, Washington, D.C. (2009) (speaker)
  • Congress’ Power to Investigate and Punish for Contempt: The Congressional Subpoena – Enforceability and Consequences, The 22nd Annual ABA Conference on White Collar Crime, Materials for the Program on Congressional Investigations, Miami, Florida (March 2008) (author, with Michael J. Madigan)
  • Mold: One Year Later; Insurance & Governmental Developments, Defense Research Institute: For the Defense, Dallas, Texas (August 2002) (Contributor, with W. Edward Carlton)