Charles Connolly, who led the prosecution office's public corruption and financial crimes unit, will be based in Washington and focus on corporate investigations and white collar defense work. Connolly oversaw about a dozen assistant U.S. attorneys.
At the U.S. Attorney's Office, Connolly was on the team that prosecuted Paul Allen, former chief executive of the mortgage-lending firm Taylor, Bean & Whitaker. He also oversaw the prosecution of executives at Colonial Bank. Prosecutors revealed years of fraud in an investigation that snared several executives from both companies. Taylor Bean executives sold hundreds of millions of dollars in fake mortgages to Colonial with the help of the bank's executives.
Connolly first joined the financial crimes and public corruption unit as an assistant U.S. attorney in 2002. He took over the leadership of the group in 2010. From 2007 to 2009, Connolly served as a counselor to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and acting deputy chief of staff to Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
In deciding to join Akin, Connolly said in an interview with Legal Times that the strength of the firm's white collar practice, coupled with recent arrivals of DOJ officials with similar backgrounds, made the firm attractive. Connolly said he expects prosecutors to continue strong enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and continue to investigate and pursue public corruption and money-laundering cases.
"My sense is there is going to be more cases focused on corporations and entities that have their hands and fingers in the financial markets," Connolly said. "Given the sequestration and the budget issues, there is going to be more focus on government contractors and procurement fraud."
Connolly also said he expects to see an increasing trend toward greater coordination among federal agencies. "You're going to see a lot more cross coordination between the Department of Justice and regulatory agencies," Connolly said, noting the government's investigation of alleged manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate as one example. "The LIBOR case is one worked on by DOJ and the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission]. I think we'll see more and more of those types of cases."