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Michael F. Zeldin

Michael F. Zeldin

Special Counsel

Biography

Michael Zeldin is Special Counsel in Buckley Sandler’s Washington, DC office where he is a member of the firm’s Anti-Money Laundering/Bank Secrecy Act & Sanctions practice. Prior to joining Buckley Sandler, Mr. Zeldin was the global leader of the Anti-money Laundering/Economic and Trade Sanctions practice at a Big Four accounting firm.

Mr. Zeldin counsels financial institutions and non-financial companies as well as individual board members and senior executives with respect to their responsibilities under anti-money laundering (AML) and sanctions laws, with a particular focus on the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), Title 18 criminal money laundering laws, and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). He has served as the Independent Consultant appointed by federal and state banking regulators on numerous occasions for a wide array of domestic and global financial institutions. This work also has, in particular occasions, involved federal and state law enforcement agencies including the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) as well as the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Zeldin is experienced in conducting corporate internal investigations, Know Your Customer (KYC) forensic reviews, evaluating, designing and testing compliance programs and policies relating to the BSA and OFAC, board and compliance staff training, as well as due diligence/enhanced due diligence in relation to mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, agency relationships, and key person hires. Mr. Zeldin is called upon as an expert witness on behalf of private litigants in AML and related matters. In 1997, he testified before the United States House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime on the topic of international money laundering. Earlier in his career, Mr. Zeldin served in various leadership positions in the Criminal Division of the DOJ, including Director of the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Offices; Special Counsel to the Criminal Division for money laundering matters. As Special Counsel, he advised the Assistant Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General on the drafting of money laundering and asset forfeiture legislation as well as the implementation of federal money laundering policy. Mr. Zeldin served as Deputy Majority Counsel for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, October Surprise Task Force in 1992 where he investigated the events surrounding the holding and eventual release of the American hostages in Iran. He has served as the Independent Consultant appointed by federal and state banking regulators on numerous occasions to monitor compliance to the terms of cease and desist orders as well as memoranda of understanding for a wide array of domestic and global financial institutions.

Mr. Zeldin has a broad range of international experience having served as the DOJ delegate to the following international conventions:

  • G-7 Financial Action Task Force, Paris, France
     
  • Council of Europe, Select Committee of Experts Regarding Search, Seizure and Confiscation of Crime Proceeds, Strasbourg, France
     
  • UN Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, Vienna, Austria
     
  • Organization of American States, Legislative Drafting Committee, Washington, DC Caribbean Action Task Force, Oranjestad, Aruba

Mr. Zeldin is a board member of the Association of Certified Financial Crimes Specialists, as well as a member of the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association. 

Mr. Zeldin has lectured throughout the U.S. and internationally on financial crime topics. He is an often quoted subject matter expert and appears frequently as a commentator on network news, cable television, and radio. He has testified in federal courts and before the United States House of Representatives.

Webcasts & Speaking Engagements

In The News

Articles & Special Alerts

Education

  • J.D., George Washington University, 1976
  • LL.M., Georgetown University, 1982
  • E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow, Georgetown University
  • B.A., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1973

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Government Service

  • Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, including Director of the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Offices; Special Counsel to the Criminal Division for Money Laundering Matters

    Deputy Majority Counsel for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, October Surprise Task Force 

    Independent Counsel ― investigated allegations of impropriety by the administration of President George H.W. Bush

    United States Department of Justice Delegate to the following International Conventions:

    • G-7 Financial Action Task Force
    • Council of Europe, Select Committee of Experts Regarding Search, Seizure and Confiscation of Crime Proceeds
    • UN convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
    • Organization of American States, Legislative Drafting Committee
    • Caribbean Action Task Force

Media Appearances

    • NBC-TV, Nightly News, local news programming
    • CBS-TV, Evening News, local news programming
    • ABC-TV, Nightline
    • CNN, Money Line, Late Edition, Crossfire, Burden of Proof, Inside Politics, Nightly News, Headline News, CNN International News, Morning News, Talk Back Live, Larry King Live
    • FOX-TV, local morning news programming
    • MSNBC-TV, News with Brian Williams, The Charles Grodin Show, Equal Time, Big Show with Keith Olberman, Rivera Live, Hardball with Chris Matthews, news programming
    • FOX Cable, Hannity and Colmes, O’Reilly Factor, The Crier Report, The Edge with Paula Zahn, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, news programming
    • BBC, various news programs
    • Court TV, various programs

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