Valerie Haggans, a counsel in Goodwin’s Securities Litigation & White Collar Defense group, specializes in white collar criminal defense, government civil and regulatory actions, internal investigations and securities litigation. Her recent cases have involved allegations of securities fraud, tax fraud, market manipulation and other anti-competitive practices, and violations of the Investment Company Act of 1940.
Ms. Haggans has represented corporate entities and individuals in government investigations, prosecutions, enforcement actions, and litigations. She recently completed a three-week criminal tax fraud trial after which the judge praised “defense counsel’s excellent representation of the defendant throughout the case,” noting that “[i]t’s plain that defense counsel did an extraordinary job, including making a successful motion to suppress, getting the count that the defendant had pleaded guilty to dismissed, and getting additional counts dismissed, either because the government couldn’t pursue them or the jury did not find them to be proven.”
Other representative cases include:
Criminal and Regulatory Matters
- Representing the former CEO of a major U.S. bank in connection with investigations by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and other federal and state regulatory bodies, as well as in connection with securities, shareholder derivative, and other civil lawsuits in state and federal courts, including two federal civil RICO lawsuits that were dismissed with prejudice at the pleading stage.
- Representing Grand Atlas Property Management, formerly known as Morgan Management, in connection with a high-profile fraud investigation involving upstate New York billionaire and property mogul, Robert Morgan, by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York and the SEC.
- Representing a New York City tax preparer in defending against criminal tax fraud, identity theft, and related charges brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, culminating in a three-week jury trial.
- Representing Wegelin & Co., the world’s oldest private Swiss bank, in defending against criminal tax challenges from the DOJ, IRS and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York that the bank assisted U.S. clients in evading their tax obligations.
- Representing an institutional investment manager and adviser focused on real estate in a non-public SEC enforcement inquiry into potentially anti-competitive practices in connection with property auctions, resulting in a formal termination letter from the SEC, recommending no enforcement action.
- Representing an institutional client in connection with an SEC investigation arising out of a whistleblower letter, also resulting in a formal termination letter from the SEC.
- Representing traders at several international financial institutions in connection with global investigations into the LIBOR and foreign exchange market manipulation scandals.
- Representing a former officer of Standard & Poor’s in connection with DOJ and SEC investigations into the rating agency’s conduct.
- Representing multiple institutional clients in connection with the public pension fund pay-to-play investigations conducted by the SEC, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico, the New York Attorney General’s Office, and various other state regulators.
- Representing a top-10 asset manager by assets under management (AUM), successfully obtaining summary judgement in consolidated actions brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 alleging that it charged mutual funds excessive investment advisory and administration fees, premised on the allegation that it provided substantially similar services for a lower fee as a subadviser to other mutual funds.
- Representing a top-10 asset manager by AUM, successfully obtaining dismissal on the pleadings, and successfully defending that dismissal on appeal, of a complaint brought under Section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 alleging that it charged a mutual fund excessive investment advisory fees, premised on the allegation that it charged an allegedly similar mutual fund lower fees and that other allegedly peer funds paid lower fees.
- Representing the syndicate of four investment banks that underwrote the $53.5 million initial public offering of common stock of Osmotica Pharmaceuticals plc, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of specialty products that target markets with underserved patient populations, in consolidated putative securities class actions in state court in New Jersey.
- Representing a public company in a securities class action alleging misleading statements during earnings calls, mischaracterization of revenue, and overbilling of customers.
Pro Bono Matters
In addition to her other client work, Ms. Haggans has been actively involved in a variety of pro bono representations while at the firm, including representing an indigent criminal defendant in appeal of his death sentence in Alabama state court and in federal habeas proceedings since 2008.
- J.D., New York University School of Law, 2008
- B.A., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005
Ms. Haggans is admitted to practice in New York and Massachusetts, and is admitted to appear before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the District of Massachusetts, as well as the Courts of Appeals for the Second and Sixth Circuits.