Stephen Hauss is a partner in Quinn Emanuel’s Washington D.C. office and previously worked in the London and Los Angeles offices.
Mr. Hauss’s current practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, government enforcement matters, internal investigations, and complex commercial litigation. He has extensive experience representing U.S. and multinational clients in criminal and regulatory investigations relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), the U.K. Bribery Act, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) sanctions, financial fraud, public corruption, insider trading, money laundering, and the False Claims Act. Mr. Hauss also represents clients in civil litigation involving RICO, anti-trust claims, the False Claims Act, fraud, and defamation. He regularly represents clients in cross-border investigations and litigation in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
Mr. Hauss has been repeatedly recognized for his white collar criminal defense and investigations work. He was selected for inclusion as a “Future Leader” in Who’s Who Legal in both 2018 and 2019 and was named to Global Investigations Review’s “40 Under 40 2017”, a list of “40 accomplished young investigations lawyers who will help shape the future of this fast-evolving area of law.” In 2016, Mr. Hauss was named a Law360 Rising Star, which recognizes attorneys under 40 who have demonstrated outstanding career accomplishments. He was one of just four attorneys in the nation who were named a 2016 Rising Star in white collar defense. Additionally, The American Lawyer named Mr. Hauss a 2016 Transatlantic Rising Star.
Prior to joining the firm in 2007, Mr. Hauss clerked for the Honorable F. Dennis Saylor IV of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. From 2009 to 2011, he was a prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. As a deputy district attorney, he handled thousands of misdemeanor and felony cases, tried numerous jury trials to verdict, and conducted more than one hundred preliminary hearings.
Selected Public Matters
- State of Florida v. Robert K. Kraft – Defending Robert Kraft, the owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots, in connection with criminal charges brought against him by the State of Florida. Successfully obtained an order of suppression, throwing out unconstitutionally obtained video evidence.
- FIFA Investigation – Representing Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), international soccer’s governing body, in connection with investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland into allegations of bribery and corruption by former high level soccer officials. The New York Times has described the matter as “one of the most complicated international white collar cases in recent memory.”
- United States v. McDonnell – Defended Maureen McDonnell, former First Lady of Virginia, in a federal criminal case charging Mrs. McDonnell and her husband, former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell, with public corruption, extortion, obstruction of justice, and bank fraud. Post trial and on appeal, the First Lady’s conviction for obstruction was dismissed with prejudice by the trial judge and her other convictions, along with the former Governor’s, were thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Department of Justice subsequently dismissed with prejudice all charges against the Governor and Mrs. McDonnell.
- IPIC and Aabar v. Goldman Sachs – Representing two Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds, the International Petroleum Investment Company (“IPIC”) and Aabar Investments, in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against Goldman Sachs. The lawsuit alleges that Goldman Sachs conspired with others to bribe IPIC’s and Aabar’s former executives as part of a conspiracy to steal billions of dollars from Malaysia’s 1MDB fund.
- 1MDB Civil Forfeiture Actions – Representing Mubadala Development Company, one of the United Arab Emirate’s largest sovereign wealth funds, in connection with civil forfeiture actions filed by DOJ against a Malaysian businessman named Jho Low, with whom Mubadala has various joint ventures, relating to charges that Jho Low assisted various high-level Malaysian government officials to illegally divert several billions of dollars from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB for their personal use. According to DOJ, this case is the largest action ever brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
- ENRC Investigation – Represented Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), ENRC, a global mining conglomerate, in connection with a UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into alleged bribery involving the company’s Kazakh and African operations. ENRC was listed on the London Stock Exchange, but de-listed in part as a result of the SFO’s investigation. Also represented two former executives at the heart of the investigation. This investigation is classified as one of the SFO’s “blockbuster” cases for which HM Treasury granted additional funding.
- Lava Jato (“Operation Wash”) Investigation – Representing Trafigura, the world’s third largest commodity trading company, in connection with allegations that a member of its management board was involved in bribery and money laundering at Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras). The executive was arrested after a former Petrobras executive told investigators that he paid more than $800,000 in bribes. These allegations are related to the Lava Jato scandal in Brazil.
- PDVSA US Litigation Trust v. Lukoil Pan Americas, LLC, et al. – Obtained dismissal of an antitrust action against our client, Trafigura, by a trust purporting to represent the interests of Venezuelan government entities including the state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PDVSA”).
- United States v. Megaupload & Kim Dotcom – Represented Megaupload Limited and Kim Dotcom in the largest prosecution of alleged criminal copyright infringement ever brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. DOJ has accused Megaupload, Dotcom, and others of running an international organized criminal enterprise allegedly responsible for massive worldwide online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works, purportedly generating more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and causing more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners.
- AIG False Claims Act Lawsuit – Obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of American International Group (AIG), one of the world’s largest insurance companies, in a federal False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that AIG made false statements regarding its former subsidiaries, the American Life Insurance Company and American International Assurance Limited. Also represented AIG in a federal lawsuit against the New York State Department of Financial Services and its Superintendent alleging that the Department’s interpretation of the New York Insurance Law was unconstitutional under the Due Process and Commerce Clauses, as well as the First Amendment.
- Congressional Investigation of Former Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller – Represented Steven Miller, former Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, in connection with investigations by the House Oversight Committee, Senate Finance Committee, Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and DOJ of alleged targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.
- Sheikh et al. v. Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Sudan et al. – Obtained a published decision from a unanimous panel of the D.C. Circuit, reversing a district court that had refused, on statute-of-limitations grounds, to enter a default judgment against Iran for its role in sponsoring Al Qaeda’s attack that killed the family member of our clients – alongside scores of others – working at the U.S. Embassy in Kenya in 1998.
- PJSC Commercial Bank PrivatBank v. Igor Valeryevich Kolomoisky, et al. – Representing PrivatBank,, the largest commercial bank in Ukraine, in a civil litigation in Delaware Chancery Court against the bank’s former owners.
- In re: North Sea Brent Crude Oil Futures Litigation – Obtained a dismissal on behalf of Trafigura, the world’s third largest commodity trading company, in a multi-district class action lawsuit alleging manipulation of the benchmark price for Dated Brent Crude Oil drawn out of the North Sea.
- Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Class Action – Defending Trafigura in a RICO class action lawsuit in Puerto Rico, alleging an extensive fuel oil fraud scheme. According to the lawsuit, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) colluded with some of the world’s largest fuel suppliers and took kickbacks, in exchange for accepting millions of barrels of fuel oil that did not meet contract requirements or federal environmental standards. The plaintiffs are seeking damages in excess of $1 billion.
- Dubai Ports World Arbitration – Obtained a settlement for Dubai Ports World in in a dispute involving an investment treaty arbitration and two contract arbitrations with the Republic of Yemen and the state-owned Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation.
- Investigation of Net 1 – Represented Brian Mosehla, a member of the board of directors of Net 1 UEPS Technologies, Inc., in parallel FCPA investigations by DOJ and the SEC. The investigations focused on whether Net 1 violated the FCPA by engaging in a scheme to make corrupt payments to South African officials in connection with securing a contract with the South African Social Security Agency to provide social welfare and benefits payments. DOJ and the SEC formally dropped their investigations, bringing no charges against Mr. Mosehla or Net 1.
Selected Bribery/Corruption Matters
- Representing an international maritime company in a U.S. investigation and prosecution alleging corruption in connection with major transactions in East Africa.
- Conducted an internal investigation in Russia of alleged FCPA violations and accounting fraud.
- Represented a foreign housing corporation in connection with investigations into allegations that international banks bribed the corporation’s former treasurer in order to secure interest rate swaps that resulted in hundreds of millions in losses for the housing corporation while earning millions in fees for the banks.
- Represented multinational company in relation to investigation by Maltese authorities into allegations of bribe payments to executives of state-owned utility company.
- Conducted an internal investigation in Thailand of alleged FCPA violations.
- Conducted an internal investigation in the Middle East of alleged FCPA violations, money laundering, trade sanctions, and fraud.
- Defense of a former senior campaign official in an investigation of alleged political corruption in New York City by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
- Representation of global manufacturing and distribution company in internal investigation of alleged FCPA violations in China.
- Representation of global manufacturing and distribution company in internal investigation in Mexico.
- Investigated allegations of bribery and fraud in connection with client’s operations in India.
- Advised global construction company on issues related to the FCPA.
Selected OFAC Sanctions Matters
- Defending a multinational commodities trading company in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office of alleged violations of U.S. trade sanctions on doing business in Iran, Sudan and Cuba.
- Provided Iran sanctions compliance advice to one of the largest bulk material supply companies in the Middle East.
- Advised an international trading company on various compliance issues related to transactions involving Russian counterparties.
- Advised a global shipbuilding company on compliance issues related to their business with sanctioned countries, including Cuba and Sudan.
- Assisted a Swiss chemical company in applying to OFAC for the release of funds that had been blocked pursuant to the Russian sanctions regime.
- Advised sovereign wealth fund on issues related to U.S. trade sanctions.
- Provided sanctions advise to a Russian client in connection with a long running dispute against an oligarch named to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals List.
- Advised a global logistics company based in the Middle East regarding the application of Global Magnitsky Sanctions.
- Advised an online services provider in connection with potential violations of U.S. sanctions related to the Crimea region.
- Advised an international food company regarding the application of U.S. sanctions against Cuba.
Other Selected Matters
- Obtained an order granting Section 1782 discovery on behalf of a multinational company for use in a foreign proceeding.
- Obtained dismissal of state regulatory investigation on behalf of pharmaceutical company.
- Represented a Swiss bank in an investigation and prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for alleged conspiracy to facilitate tax evasion by U.S. taxpayers.
- Defense of one of the world’s largest insurance companies in a criminal investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for allegedly making false submissions to regulators.
- Represents an executive of a leading health care company in a False Claims Act investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and related civil litigation.
- Defense of a large insurance company in an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office regarding an alleged failure to pay state taxes.
- Represented an individual in a voluntary disclosure to the IRS in connection with undisclosed income deposited into a Swiss bank account.
- Defended a financial advisor in a prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice for various conspiracies involving tax evasion, wire fraud, and other financial frauds.
- Representation of an executive of a venture capital firm in an extortion investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice against a third party.
- Defended a multinational commodities trading company in CFTC and FSA investigations of alleged market manipulation in the energy market.
- Advised a sovereign wealth fund in connection with acquisition of company subject to Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) review process.
- Advised sovereign wealth fund in connection with litigation risks associated with investment in technology company.
- Represented supplier to U.S. military in Freedom of Information Act dispute.
- Represented a national trade association in connection with claims for defamation, tortious interference, and unfair competition against a competitor.
- Represented a stockholder of a telecommunications company in connection with a lawsuit to prevent acquisition of the company below fair market value.
- Represented a biotechnology company in the appeal of a district court’s denial of an anti-suit injunction.
- Represented a multinational telecommunications company in the appeal of a district court’s issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
- Advised a global investment company on possible claims for defects in properties owned by a joint venture in which the company was a participant.
- Advised group of multinational companies in connection with U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division’s business review letter process.
- Brazil Practice
- Crisis Law & Strategy Group
- False Claims Act
- Government & Regulatory Litigation
- Investigations, Government Enforcement & White Collar Criminal Defense Practice
- Middle East & North Africa Practice
- Russia Disputes Practice
- Securities Litigation
- Sovereign Wealth Fund Litigation
- Sports Litigation
- Transnational Litigation
- Harvard Law School
(J.D., cum laude, 2006)
- University of California, Los Angeles
(B.A., Political Science, summa cum laude, 2003)
- The District of Columbia Bar
- The State Bar of California
- United States Court of Appeals:
- Fourth Circuit
- District of Columbia Circuit
- United States District Courts:
- District of Columbia
- Central District of California
- Law Clerk to the Hon. F. Dennis Saylor IV:
- United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 2006-2007
- United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 2006-2007
- Deputy District Attorney:
- Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, 2009-2011
- Who’s Who Legal, Investigations – Future Leaders, 2019
- Who’s Who Legal, Investigations – Future Leaders, 2018
- Global Investigations Review, 40 Under 40: The World’s Leading Young Investigations Specialists, 2017
- Law360, Rising Star: White Collar, 2016
- The American Lawyer, Transatlantic Rising Star, 2016
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Member, American Bar Association
Criminal Justice Section
- Member, International Bar Association
- Volunteer, Clemency Project 2014