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Eric Forni

Eric Forni

Partner
About

Eric is an experienced investigator, federal securities laws advisor, civil litigator, and trial attorney who represents clients in connection with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Justice (DOJ); Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) inquires or investigations; internal investigations; and a variety of federal securities laws compliance-related matters, including those related to digital assets, insider trading policies and procedures, broker-dealer AML policies and procedures, auditor independence rules, and the marketing rule applicable to investment advisers.

Before joining DLA Piper, Eric served as a senior trial and enforcement attorney with the SEC for 15 years, where he developed a deep understanding of the SEC and the laws it enforces, as well as knowledge in such areas as digital asset-related securities registration rules and life science company disclosure obligations.

At the SEC, Eric coordinated parallel investigations with such agencies as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and worked on matters with the assistance of FINRA. Additionally, he was a member of the SEC's Market Abuse Unit, focusing on matters related to complex insider trading, broker-dealer and hedge fund conduct and market manipulation.

Eric previously worked as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, where he conducted federal jury trials in cases concerning conspiracy; securities, mail and wire fraud; witness tampering; false statements; and structuring. He also worked on all aspects of criminal prosecutions, including grand jury investigations and plea negotiations.

Eric is a recipient of the Paul R. Carey Award, a national award conferred by the SEC to recognize individuals with exceptional personal commitment and effectiveness, unquestioned integrity, unlimited enthusiasm, and unwavering dedication to the protection of the individual investor.

Bar admissionsMassachusetts

EXPERIENCE

Eric has led or co-led the following significant matters, among others:

  • Helped clients in navigating government (SEC, CFTC, and DOJ) or FINRA investigations
  • Advised on revising, adopting, and/or implementing traditional insider trading policies, digital assets trading policies, and/or AML policies and procedures
  • Advised on compliance with various federal securities laws, including those related to auditor independence rules, the marketing rule, and securities registration provisions in the context of digital assets issuances
  • Conducted internal investigations on behalf of companies involving complex, and highly sensitive, issues
  • Represented the SEC in several federal trials, including a matter in which the former Chief Financial Officer of a life science company was found liable on all claims in a case about materially misleading public statements; an insider trading case, in which the defendant was found liable on all claims; and a matter in which a lawyer was found liable on all claims for engaging in a fraudulent stock sale scheme.
  • Conducted a wide range of investigations on behalf of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, which resulted in enforcement actions concerning offering fraud, accounting fraud, churning, accountant misconduct, market manipulation, unauthorized trading, securities registration violations and the market access rule. 
  • Represented the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts in several federal jury trials on matters concerning securities fraud, among other allegations.
  • Represented the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts in a matter in which five individuals were charged with conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud following an undercover FBI operation.
Education
  • J.D., Northeastern University
  • B.B.A., Accounting, University of Massachusetts

Awards

  • Paul R. Carey Award, SEC

Seminars

Representative Speaker Engagements
  • "Moving on-chain: Unwinding the Complexity of Crypto," AICPA & CIMA Forensic & Valuation Services Conference, 2022
  • "Will the new China-US audit deal resolve a decade-long dispute," Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) webinar, 2022
  • "Resolving Parallel Investigations," Boston Bar Association (BBA) webinar, 2022 
  • "Business Email Compromise Fraud: How it's Changing; Why it's Growing; and What to Tell Your Clients When They Become Victims," BBA White Collar Fraud Conference, 2019 
  • "The Regulators Speak: 2019 Enforcement and Exam Priorities for the SEC and FINRA," BBA CLE, 2019
  • "Parallel Proceedings by the SEC and DOJ: How to Avoid a Collision in Two-Way Traffic," BBA panel, 2015

Prior Experience

Before joining DLA Piper, Eric worked as senior trial counsel at the Security and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement in its Boston Regional Office. He also previously served as a Special Assistant US Attorney in the Securities, Financial and Cyber Fraud Unit at the US Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts.

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