Biography Photo of Jacob S Frenkel

Jacob S. Frenkel

Member and Chair of Government Investigations & Securities Enforcement

Clients hire Jacob because his aggressive, tenacious, creative and proactive strategies often put the other side on its heels, and because he gets successful results in investigations and litigation.  Jacob has secured superior results for his securities enforcement, white-collar criminal defense, FCPA and internal and government investigations clients.  Jacob brings his experience and  outstanding reputation, including for creative strategies and solutions, to the defense of investigations, litigation strategy and governance counseling.  Jacob's clients view him as a trusted advisor who understands the needs of their business.

After 14 years in the public sector as a Senior Counsel in the SEC's Division of Enforcement, US federal criminal prosecutor of corruption, financial crimes and securities laws and Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans, Jacob has practiced in the private sector for 23 years. He has obtained favorable results for individuals, including auditors and attorneys, and for corporations and their officers, directors and other senior officials in federal and state securities, financial crimes, FCPA, export, government contracts, public corruption, and other government investigations, including Inspector General investigations.

Jacob conducts internal investigations for public and non-public companies and represents officers, directors and employees in internal investigations. He successfully defends parties in white collar criminal investigations by federal and state authorities, and investigations by securities regulators, stock exchanges and capital markets self-regulatory organizations.  Jacob practices regularly before all offices of the SEC, the Department of Justice's Fraud Section, United States Attorneys' Offices throughout the country, FINRA, state securities regulators, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).  His clients consistently cite his ability to take challenging facts, advocate effectively and secure very favorable outcomes - cost effectively.

Jacob is retained as an expert witness in high stakes litigation.  He frequently appears in national and local print and broadcast media commenting on white collar, securities and governance issues.  His clients find his media experience of particular value in managing the public policy and public relations aspects of their legal matters.

Jacob is not admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.

Education & Credentials


Tulane University Law School

J.D., 1984

Tulane University College of Arts and Sciences

B.A., Public Policy, 1981

Bar Admission

  • Louisiana
  • Maryland

Prominent Assignments

Securities Enforcement Defense

  • Persuaded the SEC not to bring an enforcement action against the CEO and CFO of a NYSE-listed company with a billion dollar market cap after forensic auditors reported financial fraud;    
  • Persuaded the SEC not to bring an enforcement action, against the CEO of a digital media company in an SEC investigation, beginning at the Wells submission (post-Wells Notice) stage;
  • Persuaded the SEC not to bring an enforcement action against the CEO of a NASDAQ-listed diverse holding company in an SEC investigation of insider trading associated with a PIPE and open-market transactions;          
  • Represented an independent credit ratings agency (NRSRO) and its CEO in a SEC Administrative Proceeding, filed a lawsuit against the SEC in United States District Court to move the case to federal court, and successfully resolved the cases on behalf of the clients.    

White-Collar Criminal Defense

  • Secured no charges for Chairman, CEO and Controller of New York Stock Exchange-listed healthcare industry company in a federal criminal investigation and a parallel SEC investigation;         
  • Successfully negotiated no charges being filed against the CEO of an offshore company in the sale of industry-specific electronic devices governed by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR);    
  • Negotiated favorable resolution in criminal prosecution for conflicts of interest and ethics violations of a prominent US Government scientist;      
  • Negotiated favorable resolution with DOJ Antitrust Division, National Criminal Enforcement Section, in criminal prosecution of two government contractors and their CEO for antitrust, fraud and false statements violations.    

Internal Investigations – Domestic and International

  • Conducted shadow internal investigation for Board of Directors of New York Stock Exchange-listed company in textiles industry and disproved all investigative findings of a Special Committee by finding exculpatory and corroborating evidence that had been ignored by Special Committee's forensic team;        
  • Led internal investigation for Audit Committee of New York Stock Exchange-listed real estate development company and discovered possible corruption of municipal government official;     
  • Conducted internal investigation for Audit Committee of NASDAQ-listed infrastructure company into allegations of embezzlement in overseas operations of and possible corrupt payments in high-risk jurisdictions;         
  • Led internal investigation for high profile not-for-profit organization to address allegations of misuse of corporate assets by senior corporate official.     

International Anti-Corruption and Multi-Lateral Development Bank

  • Argued before World Bank Sanctions Board on behalf of two non-US based international high-tech companies accused of conflict of interest and corruption;          
  • Advised Indonesian Securities Commission (BAPEPAM) on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) compliance and regulations, and delivered comprehensive written analysis and recommendations;      
  • Represented Middle Eastern public figure in a US DOJ investigation of corruption, enabled client to avoid appearing at trial in the Middle East and secured no charges in the US;           
  • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of African Government and refuted damaging report by United Nations Monitoring Group.     

Expert Witness

  • Produced pivotal substantive report in federal civil litigation relating to a restatement of public company financial statements and the conduct of SEC investigations;  
  • Provided critical expert rebuttal testimony for a law firm and counsel in a state civil legal malpractice lawsuit regarding claims of legal malpractice against prominent firm and attorney in a securities investigation;     
  • Produced compelling substantive expert report on applicability of Sarbanes-Oxley Act and FCPA in state civil whistleblower litigation relating to company's conduct in Asia;       
  • Delivered persuasive expert report, prepared cross examination of opposing expert witness and testified as an expert at trial before arbitral tribunal in international arbitration in the hedge fund industry regarding the applicability of SEC pay-to-play regulations.

Professional Involvement

  • Board of Directors, International Association of Independent Corporate Monitors, 2015 – Present

Community Involvement

  • Audit Committee of Board of Directors, Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, 2006 – Present
  • Audit Committee of Board of Directors, United States Youth Soccer Association, 2015 – Present


  • Featured, "Challenging Enforcement Environment for Entrepreneurs and Service Providers," Mission Matters Podcast, February 2024

  • Speaker, “SEC Enforcement in the Microcap Market: Risks and Compliance," The Microcap Conference, January 2024

  • Speaker, "The SEC and the Facebook Papers," The Lawfare Podcast, October 2021 
  • Co-Presenter, “Practical & Ethical Considerations for Social Media Discovery,” Webinar, Driven, April 2020
  • Co-Author, “Marijuana Money Challenges Nevada Casinos’ Anti-Money Laundering Compliance,” Chambers and Partners’ Global Gaming & Licensing Guide, October 2017
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