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 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. 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. Mr. Zeldin is also a member of the International Association of Independent Corporate Monitors.
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.
9th Annual European AML Conference: Virtual Currencies - Their Advantage, ML/TF Risks, & Future Outlook
Michael Zeldin spoke at the AMLP Forum's 9th Annual European Financial Crimes Conference on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 in London, UK. His panel was titled, "Virtual Currencies - Their Advantages, ML/TF Risks, & Future Opportunities." Click here to learn more about this event.Speaking Engagement
Buckley Sandler Webcast: AML Update - Recent Enforcement Activity Impacting Regional and Super-Regional Banks
U.S. regional and super-regional banks are under intensified scrutiny for Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance shortcomings from law enforcement agencies as well as federal and state prudential regulators. Recent enforcement orders from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency,...Webcast
Michael Zeldin participated in the Consumers' Research Bretton Woods Conference July 12-15, 2015. The goal of the workshop was to produce a white paper that addresses the challenges and opportunities of blockchain technology - as well as how it is defined, how it is regulated, and how it may shape...Speaking Engagement
Anti-Corruption & Export Controls Summit: Business Talk: High Speed, High Impact - Capitalizing on a Strong Audit, Legal & Compliance Officer Relationship
Michael Zeldin spoke at the Anti-Corruption & Export Controls Summit, held April 21-22, 2015 in McLean, VA. His panel was titled, “Business Talk: High Speed, High Impact – Capitalizing on a Strong Audit, Legal & Compliance Officer Relationship.” Click here to learn more about this event .Speaking Engagement
ACI's 9th National Forum on Emerging Payment Systems: Developing, Implementing, and Maintaining AML and Fraud Deterrence Programs That Will Pass Muster in a Hostile Enforcement Environment
Michael Zeldin will speak at ACI’s 9th National Forum on Emerging Payment Systems on Friday, March 27 , 2015 in Chicago, IL. His panel is titled, “Developing, Implementing, and Maintaining AML and Fraud Deterrence Programs That Will Pass Muster in a Hostile Enforcement Environment,...Speaking Engagement
Buckley Sandler hosted a webcast, Individual Liability: Financial Crimes Professionals in the Spotlight, on January 22, 2015 as part of its ongoing FinCrimes Webcast Series. Panelists included Polly Greenberg, Chief, Major Economic Crimes Bureau at the New York County District Attorney’s Office,...Webcast
On August 6, Buckley Sandler hosted a webcast, Top 10 Things You Need to Know about the New York BitLicense Proposed Rule . Michael Zeldin , Special Counsel at Buckley Sandler, moderated the panel, which featured a presentation by Partner Margo H. K. Tank of Buckley Sandler’s Digital Commerce and...Webcast
The financial services industry stands at the center of the most complex and rapidly evolving regulatory environment ever experienced. At the same time, new technologies and the evolution of criminal activity bring multiple threats that must be managed coherently. The ways that organizations...Webcast
Michael Zeldin presented, "The Payments Industry: Investment Considerations, Business Strategy, and Compliance Requirements," for Wells Fargo on July 24, 2012.Speaking Engagement
Douglas Gansler and Michael Zeldin quoted in the Law360 article, "Banks Must Choose Whether Daily Fantasy Is Worth The Risk"
Douglas Gansler and Michael Zeldin were quoted in Evan Weinberger's Law360 article, "Banks Must Choose Whether Daily Fantasy Is Worth The Risk," on November 13, 2015 . With regulators taking a hard look at banks’ compliance with anti-money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act and other compliance issues,...In The News
Douglas Gansler and Michael Zeldin quoted in the MarketWatch article, "Big Banks Weigh Halt to Taking Fantasy Cash from FanDuel, DraftKings"
Douglas Gansler and Michael Zeldin were quoted in Francine McKenna's MarketWatch article, "Big Banks Weigh Halt to Taking Fantasy Cash from FanDuel, DraftKings," on November 12, 2015. Daily fantasy sports wagering sites DraftKings and FanDuel are saying they’re going to fight the order from New...In The News
Michael Zeldin Quoted in PaymentsCompliance Article, "Modern Money Laundering and Compliance Culture"
Michael Zeldin was quoted in Mark Taylor's PaymentsCompliance article, "Modern Money Laundering and Compliance Culture," on July 9, 2015. Michael Zeldin, a former Department of Justice director of the money laundering office and now special counsel for Buckley Sandler’s Washington, D.C...In The News
Michael Zeldin Quoted in Reuters Article, "Insight: FIFA Scandal Shows Breaking Up Deposits is Red Flag for Authorities"
Michael Zeldin was quoted in Brett Wolf's Reuters article, " Insight: FIFA Scandal Shows Breaking Up Deposits is Red Flag for Authorities ," on June 4, 2015. Banks rely both on tellers and automated systems adept at detecting structured transactions, scanning activity across branches on different...In The News
Michael Zeldin Quoted in PaymentsCompliance Article, "'Chilling, Paralyzing': Individual Liability Unnerves Compliance World"
Michael Zeldin was quoted in Mark Taylor's PaymentsCompliance article, "'Chilling, Unnerving': Individual Liability Unnerves Compliance World," on April 23, 2015. Michael Zeldin, special counsel in Buckley Sandler’s Washington, D.C. office and a principal in the firm’s financial crimes practice,...In The News
Michael Zeldin Quoted in PaymentsCompliance Article, "U.S. Experts Predict 'Culture of Compliance' Clampdown
Michael Zeldin was quoted in Mark Taylor's PaymentsCompliance article, "U.S. Experts Predict 'Culture of Compliance' Clampdown," on April 8, 2015. Transaction monitoring and data sharing procedures will lead scrutiny agendas for regulators, legal experts claim, and companies must be primed to...In The News
Recent activity involving state and federal bank regulators reflects an upswing in enforcement actions against regional and super-regional banks for Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering compliance failures. Bank of Mingo, Bank of the Orient, First Community Bank of Lexington and Alma Bank, to...Articles
On September 22, following a two-month trial, a federal jury in the Eastern District of New York ruled in favor of a group of 297 individual plaintiffs in a civil suit accusing Arab Bank PLC, headquartered in Amman, Jordan, of supporting terrorism. Summary of the Legal Action In summary, the...Articles
On August 4, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would amend the existing Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations intended to clarify and strengthen customer due diligence (CDD) obligations for banks,...Articles
On September 22, 2014, following a two-month trial, a federal jury in the Eastern District of New York ruled in favor of a group of 297 individual plaintiffs in a civil suit accusing Arab Bank PLC, headquartered in Amman, Jordan, of supporting terrorism. Linde vs. Arab Bank PLC , No. 1:04-CV-2799 (...Articles
On August 4, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking ("NPRM") that would amend existing Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) regulations intended to clarify and strengthen customer due diligence (“CDD”) obligations...Articles
New York Virtual Currency Proposal Could Capture Certain Bank Products | CFPB Issues Consumer Advisory | CFPB Announces Acceptance of Consumer Complaints New York Virtual Currency Proposal Could Capture Bank Products, Card Rewards Programs On July 17, the New York Department of Financial Services (...Articles
Originally published here by KYC360 . Reposted with permission. The EB-5 visa, created by Section 203(b)(5) of the United State's (U.S.) Immigration Act of 1990 , was established to attract foreign capital and create U.S. jobs by providing a method of obtaining a Green Card for foreign nationals...Articles
Look Before You Invest: Bitcoins, Virtual Currencies, Emerging Payment Products, and Regulatory Compliance
Emerging payment products, such as Bitcoin, present tantalizing investment opportunities. The claim that these products are “unregulatable,” or “free of the power of the state” increases the temptation to participate, because if true, regulatory uncertainty associated with traditional financial...Articles
- 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
- District of Columbia
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
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- 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