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Ken Yeadon is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and SEC Enforcement Attorney. He uses his background to defend individuals and companies in investigations and indictments and lawsuits by the Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Attorney’s Offices, State Attorney Generals, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), FINRA, and other government agencies and self-regulatory organizations.

Ken has advised clients on a wide range of cases, including accounting and financial fraud, insider trading, cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings, money laundering, health care fraud, and tax fraud, and civil matters like the False Claims Act (FCA) and asset seizures and forfeitures.

Ken’s background with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and SEC helps him to develop strategies for clients to navigate all aspects of federal criminal or regulatory investigations and prosecutions, including voluntary requests, subpoenas, civil investigative demands, proffers, grand jury appearances, testimonies, the SEC’s Wells process, sentencings, and appeals.

Ken is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer. He has successfully tried multiple jury and bench trials in federal district court and in SEC Administrative Proceedings, and argued numerous appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Ken is a skilled and experienced investigator. He has been called on to lead internal investigations for private companies and public agencies including whistleblower allegations, conflicts of interest, and employee theft.

Professional Background

Ken was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for nearly ten years, and specialized in complex fraud cases in the Securities and Commodities Fraud Section. Ken tried multiple criminal cases as the first chair trial attorney. He led a number of significant investigations and prosecutions involving the federal securities and commodities laws, insider trading, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), bribery, forfeiture, money laundering, obstruction of justice, perjury, trade secret theft, and bank, financial, health care, tax, and wire fraud. Ken oversaw the U.S. Attorney Office’s bankruptcy fraud program. He argued numerous appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Ken was an SEC Enforcement Attorney for seven years. He was the lead attorney on a number of high-profile SEC investigations and prosecutions involving revenue recognition, financial statement and disclosure fraud, insider trading, investment advisory fraud, prime bank and Ponzi schemes, market manipulation, failure to supervise, broker-dealer misconduct, and record-keeping, reporting and registration violations. Ken has extensive experience litigating in the SEC’s administrative hearing process. Ken worked closely with U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, State Attorney General’s Offices, and FINRA on parallel investigation while with the SEC.

Ken is a frequent commentator in the press on the government’s criminal and civil fraud enforcement efforts and the SEC, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and other media. He writes regularly on these same topics and is often invited to speak.

During law school Ken served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Wayne R. Anderson, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

Before his legal career, Ken was a CPA. He passed the Uniform CPA Examination in 1992.

Honors & Awards

  • Division of Enforcement Director's Award, SEC Division of Enforcement
  • Special Acts Award, SEC Division of Enforcement

Representative Matters

  • Represented executives in federal criminal and SEC investigations involving allegations of accounting fraud, misuse of investor funds, and obstruction of justice.
  • Represented individuals served with subpoenas to testify before the SEC, regulatory agencies, federal grand juries, and at trial.
  • Represented individuals and companies served with subpoenas to produce documents to the SEC, regulatory agencies, federal grand juries, and at trial.
  • Represented executives and compliance employees of a financial services firm in a FINRA investigation involving allegations of failure to supervise.
  • Represented individuals in an SEC investigation involving initial coin offerings and securities filings.
  • Represented an audit firm partner subpoenaed to testify at a federal criminal trial.
  • Represented a certified public accountant (CPA) in an investigation by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).
  • Represented attorney barred by the SEC applying for reinstatement to appear and practice before the SEC under Rule 102(e).
  • Advised private company that was a victim of cyber-intrusions and email compromise fraud.
  • Represented a medical devices manufacturer in a federal grand jury investigation involving allegations of kickbacks.
  • Drafted anti-corruption policies for an international equipment manufacturer.
  • Advised international professional services company regarding compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
  • Represented a bank in response to a seizure warrant for client account funds from U.S. Attorney’s Office.
  • Represented company and its employees in an investigation by the City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (Chicago OIG).
  • Internal investigation for a state agency into allegations of undisclosed conflicts of interest in billion dollar procurement contract.
  • Internal investigation for a transportation company into whistleblower allegations involving conflicts of interest.
  • Internal investigation for a technology company into allegations of accounting fraud and employee theft.

Ken has successfully tried multiple cases in federal district court and in SEC Administrative Proceedings, and argued numerous cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, including:

  • Investment adviser for high net worth individuals was convicted of bank fraud in a two week trial in United States v. Robert Lunn.
  • Commodities trader was convicted of theft of trade secrets in United States v. David Newman.
  • Aircraft leasing company and its CEO were convicted of investor fraud, bribery, and obstruction of justice in a seven week trial in United States v. Brian Hollnagel and BCI Aircraft Leasing, Inc., et al.
  • Aircraft leasing company executive was convicted of tax fraud in a one week trial in United States v. Christopher Keller.
  • Concrete company owner was convicted of bankruptcy fraud in a one week trial in United States v. Ronald Laverdure.
  • Pharmacy owner was convicted of healthcare fraud in a two week trial in United States v. Katrin Saroukhanian.
  • Travel company owner was convicted of fraud in a two week trial in United States v. Rashid Minhas. Defendant was later convicted of selling fraudulent Hajj travel packages.
  • Real estate investor was convicted of bank fraud, mortgage fraud, and obstruction of justice in a two week trial in United States v. Keith Austin.
  • Investment adviser was barred from the industry for fraud in an SEC Administrative Proceeding in SEC v. Christopher A. Lowry.

Presentations

  • "Internal Investigations for Illinois Municipalities," 2018 Illinois Municipal League Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, September 20, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, "Cybersecurity in the Workplace: How to Strengthen and Protect Your Business in an Era of Easy Computer System Access," Webinar, August 16, 2018

  • "Health Care Fraud and the 60 Day Over Payment Rule," Hinshaw University, Chicago, Illinois, June 21, 2018
  • Panelist, "General Counsel's Office: Legal Oversight of Business Operations," NAIC Midwest Zone Conference, Chicago, Illinois, June 13, 2018
  • Moderator, "Global Risk Management and Compliance Strategies," 18th Annual SuperConference, Chicago, Illinois, May 23, 2018
  • "How Home and Community Based Programs are Becoming the New Legal Target: Hot Spots for Fraud and the 60 Day Over Payment Rule," 2018 LeadingAge Illinois Annual Meeting and Expo, Schaumburg, Illinois, April 17, 2018

  • "A Practical Guide for Health Insurers in Defending False Claim Act Cases after Escobar," DRI's Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Seminar, Boston, Massachusetts, April 12, 2018
  • "Recent Events in Insider Trading," Hinshaw University, Chicago, Illinois, March 14, 2018
  • "SEC Enforcement in Municipal Public Finance," 2017 Illinois Municipal League Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, September 22, 2017
  • "Ethics in Negotiating and Documenting Private Transactions," Practicing Law Institute's Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company 2017 Conference, New York, New York, June 23, 2017

  • "Latest SEC Enforcement and Regulatory Issues," Hinshaw University, Chicago, Illinois, May 24, 2017
  • "FCPA and Anti-Corruption Due Diligence for Joint Ventures and Mergers and Acquisitions in Latin America," Trade Restrictions and Anti-Corruption Laws: The Realities of Doing Business in Latin America, Miami, Florida, May 9, 2017

  • Instructor, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training Programs, Bangladesh Police Staff College Financial Crimes Training Program, Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 2016

Publications

J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 2000

  • Journal of Health Care Law, Member

B.A., Accounting, Western Washington University, 1991