Ruti Smithline is co-chair of the firm’s Investigations + White-Collar Criminal Defense group and co-chair of the firm’s Latin America Desk. Her practice focuses on complex litigation, with an emphasis on white-collar criminal defense, SEC enforcement, securities litigation, and corporate internal investigations.
Ms. Smithline is a member of the firm’s FCPA + Anti-Corruption Task Force. She regularly advises clients on cross-border investigations, global compliance programs and anti-corruption due diligence for acquisitions, joint ventures, and private equity transactions. Ms. Smithline has represented individual and corporate defendants in cross-border criminal investigations, SEC enforcement matters, and other regulatory proceedings, including matters related to trade sanctions and anti-money laundering. She has experience conducting corporate internal investigations both domestically and internationally, often advising clients on remedial measures responsive to the issues investigated.
Ms. Smithline was born and raised in Colombia and is fluent in Spanish. She has conducted investigations, seminars and anti-corruption training in Spanish throughout Central and South America.
Ms. Smithline was most recently named to Global Investigations Review's "Women in Investigations" 2018 survey which recognizes the top 100 leading female investigations specialists from around the world. She was also recently selected by LatinVex as one of "Latin America's Top 100 Female Lawyers: FCPA & Fraud" for 2018. She was also previously honored by Ethisphere Institute as one of the 2016 “Attorneys Who Matter” and by Global Investigations Review as one of 40 of the world’s leading investigations lawyers under the age of 40. Additionally, Ms. Smithline was selected to the 2014 and 2015 New York Metro Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers based on peer recognition and professional achievement.
Ms. Smithline received her J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law, where she graduated with honors and as a member of the Order of the Coif. She received her B.A. degree, cum laude, from Cornell University. She is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.
FCPA Representative Matters
Other Representative Matters
Represented a senior executive of a global retailer in connection with an investigation by the DOJ, SEC and other agencies into possible violations of the FCPA in Mexico, Brazil and other countries.
Conducted an internal investigation into potential FCPA violations at a foreign subsidiary of a Fortune 500 multinational corporation. Conducted more than 60 interviews of employees, reviewed business lines and relationships with key customers and distribution channels, and conducted forensic analysis of accounting records and internal controls. Investigation included a review of business units in more than 15 countries to assess FCPA risks.
Represented a U.S.-based multinational Fortune 50 company in an internal investigation of alleged violations of the FCPA and self-dealing in the Asia-Pacific region. Following the conclusion of our investigation and self-reporting, neither the SEC nor the DOJ took any action against our client.
Represented the audit committee of an international supplier of agricultural products in its internal investigation resulting from a whistleblower complaint alleging violations of the FCPA in the Middle East. This matter was one of the first cases to be reported to the SEC under its whistleblower rules enacted in May 2011. After we completed the investigation and reported the result to the SEC, it declined to conduct an investigation of its own and closed the file.
Represented a global investment firm with anti-corruption due diligence of a U.S. target with operations in Japan, China, Thailand and Mexico. Based on the results of the due diligence, we advised the company regarding implementation of a post-acquisition compliance program.
Represented a Fortune 500 company with anti-corruption due diligence in connection with the acquisition of a foreign telecom company with substantial operations in Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Conducting an internal investigation of a large foreign bank regarding potential violations of OFAC sanctions and anti-money laundering practices.
Representing a number of individuals in South America working for U.S. headquartered Bank in investigation by DOJ regarding potential violations of Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering laws.
Represented the Chief Financial Officer of one of the largest national mortgage originators, now bankrupt, in an SEC investigation and related shareholder litigation arising from the credit crisis.
Advised a major U.S. research University in a criminal and civil investigation of alleged false claims relating to federal research grants and contracts.