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Eric Forni

Eric Forni


Eric is an experienced investigator, federal securities laws advisor, civil litigator, and trial attorney who represents clients in inquiries and investigations from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), State AGs or State Securities Divisions, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA); internal investigations; cybersecurity incident responses; and private securities litigation matters. Further, Eric regularly provides SEC-related disclosure or regulatory advice to a range of clients, including:

Public Companies: Eric advises publicly traded companies on, among other things, disclosure decisions, insider trading policies and procedures, disclosure controls and procedures, incident (e.g., cybersecurity) response plans, and external communications policies and procedures.

Brokers: Eric regularly advises clients on, among other things, complying with broker registration requirements, AML reporting obligations, conflicts of interest disclosures, and due diligence obligations when executing the unregistered sale of securities.

Investment Advisers: Eric advises RIAs on, among other things, complying with the marketing rule, insider trading policies and procedures, preparing for and responding to SEC exams, and the access persons rule.

Crypto Assets: Eric is routinely consulted on securities registration issues related to the issuance of crypto assets, particularly given Eric’s work on a variety of crypto assets matters while working for the SEC, including while serving as trial counsel on a significant SEC crypto asset litigation.

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.

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.

He also served as a Special Assistant US Attorney in the Securities, Financial and Cyber Fraud Unit at the United States Attorney's Office 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


  • Navigate government (SEC, CFTC, DOJ, State AGs or State Securities Divisions) or FINRA investigations, including by obtaining declinations from both the DOJ and SEC.
  • Advise on revisions, adoption, and/or implementation of traditional insider trading policies, digital assets trading policies, cybersecurity incident response plans, and/or AML policies and procedures.
  • Advise 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.
  • Conduct internal investigations on behalf of companies involving complex, and highly sensitive, issues.
  • Represent 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.
  • Conduct 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.
  • Represent the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts in several federal jury trials on matters concerning securities fraud, among other allegations.
  • Represent 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.
  • J.D., Northeastern University
  • B.B.A., Accounting, University of Massachusetts


  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Recommended, Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Corporates (2023)
    • Recommended, Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense: Advice to Individuals (2023)
  • Paul R. Carey Award, SEC


Representative Speaker Engagements
  • "How to mitigate CFTC and SEC risks - Blockchain and Digital Assets", DLA Piper webinar, October 23, 2023
  • "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 Securities 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. His extensive insight of the SEC is an instrumental benefit for the firm’s Securities Enforcement and Regulation group.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Member, DLA Piper Securities Enforcement and Regulation Group