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Sharon Cohen Levin is a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s litigation group and a member of its criminal defence and investigations group. She is a leading expert in anti-money laundering (AML), the Bank Secrecy Act, economic sanctions and asset forfeiture matters. She represents a diverse group of clients, including financial institutions, multinational companies, cryptocurrency companies, and individuals in criminal, regulatory and civil enforcement actions. Her practice focuses on white-collar and regulatory enforcement defence, internal investigations and compliance counselling.
Sharon also represents collectors, dealers, non-profit organisations, universities, financial institutions, galleries and auction houses on a variety of matters related to the art market, including issues of ownership, theft, fraud, authenticity and breach of contract, as well as in criminal investigations and asset forfeiture proceedings. She has represented individuals, families and governments with respect to the recovery of stolen art and cultural property, and has represented collectors in responding to claims by cultural ministries and foreign governments.
Ms Levin is a former federal prosecutor and led the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit in the US Attorney’s Office, SDNY for two decades. Under her leadership, SDNY was responsible for nearly 60% of all forfeitures in the US. Her track record of success inspired Forbes to call her “The Babe Ruth of Forfeiture”.
She led multiple significant prosecutions under the AML, economic sanctions and asset forfeiture laws, working hand in
hand with federal and state banking regulators, the Office of Foreign Asset Control, and other investigative and regulatory authorities. Sharon was the lead prosecutor responsible for securing a settlement in the watershed “Portrait of Wally” forfeiture case, which centred on an oil painting stolen by Nazis from a Jewish woman in 1938 – a story that was later made into a documentary. As an internationally renowned leader in her field, Sharon has provided training to US and foreign governments and served on numerous occasions as a keynote speaker, panellist or lecturer at events related to money laundering, asset forfeiture, AML compliance, terrorist financing and other related topics.
Chambers USA notes that clients describe Ms Levin as “an extraordinary lawyer and brilliant strategist, always knows what to say and can get anyone on side”. In particular, noting that she “certainly knows asset forfeiture and AML” and “has her pulse on the industry and is always looking forward at emerging risks”.
125 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004-2498
Tel: +1 212 558 400
Tel: +1 212 558 400
Fax: +1 212 291 3588
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