UPDATE: Helou left the Justice Department on 16 July 2019 to join Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
Tarek J Helou joined the fraud section in the criminal division in March 2012 as a trial attorney.
By January 2015, he had been promoted to assistant chief overseeing the section's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit.
Helou worked on an FCPA case involving allegations of a corrupt mining deal struck in Guinea in 2008 by Beny Steinmetz Group Resources. His work on the case took him to Switzerland, where Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz owns a home and where Swiss authorities are also investigating. Helou prosecuted an associate of Beny Steinmetz, Frederic Cillins, who pleaded guilty in 2014 to obstructing the DOJ's investigation. Neither BSGR nor Beny Steinmetz have been charged by the DOJ.
With now-FCPA unit chief Dan Kahn, Helou also prosecuted former PetroTiger CEO Joseph Sigelman. In hard-fought pre-trial briefings, Helou and Kahn tackled an array of defence arguments, from an attack on the government's honest services charges against Sigelman to a challenge to the government's definition of "instrumentality" and "foreign official" under the FCPA. Helou appeared at trial in New Jersey in 2015 alongside prosecutor Patrick Stokes, who took over from Kahn in the courtroom. After a tumultuous trial, Sigelman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA related to an alleged bribe paid in Colombia to secure an oil services contract.
Helou was also one of the prosecutors on the case against former IAP Worldwide Services vice president James Rama, who pleaded guilty in June 2015 to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.
Helou also helped prosecute ex-Siemens Argentina CFO Andrés Truppel, who pleaded guilty to foreign bribery conspiracy and wire fraud charges in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in September 2015.
Helou was included in one of the first declination letters sent by the DOJ citing the FCPA pilot programme. In June, the DOJ told Nortek, a building products manufacturer, that it would not be prosecuted following an FCPA investigation.
Helou had previously been an assistant US attorney in San Francisco since 2007. In 2011, Helou helped win a conviction at trial of a member of the Central Divis Playas gang who got into a shootout in 2010 in San Francisco during rush hour. Gregory Walker Jr was convicted of being a felon in possession of ammunition. He is listed in Pacer as the attorney of record on 60 cases, mostly criminal. From 2001 to 2007 he was an attorney at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and also served as a management consultant between college and law school.
Helou graduated from New York University School of Law in 2001. He received an undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1996 and served as an intern for then-Republican Tom Davis.
He is the son of the late Raja Alexander Helou, a Palestinian refugee who taught urban studies at the University of the District of Columbia and worked as a radio news editor at ABC News in Washington, DC.