GIR 100 2020

Diaz Reus & Targ

Professional notice

Diaz Reus & Targ has established itself as a go-to firm for US anti-corruption and sanctions cases tied to Latin America, and especially Venezuela.

The firm

Founded in 1998, Diaz Reus & Targ has grown from a single office in Miami to a global firm with 30 offices on five continents. The firm is known to attract clients from Latin America.

Most recently, the firm has been working with clients in Russia, Latin America and Iran who have been targeted by the Trump administration for money laundering and sanctions violations. Some of the work includes defending a Russian oligarch against US sanctions, and advising banks, individuals, multinational corporations and foreign governments on possible violations of US State Department and presidential executive orders.

Diaz Reus & Targ has worked on some high-profile money laundering and public corruption cases in Latin America including the representation of a bank in an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration operation. The firm also represented Sony Ericsson in Latin America in an embezzlement investigation of top executives that led to the closing of the Miami office.

The firm's white-collar investigations practice specialises in anti-money laundering and fraud investigations, sanctions cases, and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claims. The firm has thriving asset recovery, due diligence and compliance practices.

The investigations practice is predominantly housed in the firm's Miami office, and is led by founding partners Michael Diaz and Robert Targ.

Diaz is an investigator and litigator with over 30 years of experience advising clients on compliance, fraud, money laundering and asset recovery matters. Prior to becoming a prominent private practice lawyer, Diaz worked as an assistant state attorney in Miami-Dade County between 1986 and 1990, serving under Janet Reno, who later became the first female US attorney general.

Like Diaz, Targ is a skilled hand at advising clients on anti-money laundering, fraud and white-collar matters, and also has prior government experience to boot. He is a former assistant US attorney in the Southern District of Florida, where he was in charge of handling civil fraud and civil forfeiture cases.

In Miami, partner Colomar-Garcia specialises in acting for individuals and multinationals in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and RICO matters, as well as enforcement actions by the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

In Washington, DC, the firm has partner Richard Wiedis, a former senior litigator for the Criminal Division's fraud section at the US Department of Justice (DOJ), where he worked for 15 years. He specialises in white-collar criminal defence, FCPA matters, civil forfeiture cases and compliance.

The firm promoted Marcela Blanco, head of the Bogota office, to partner in September 2019.

Recent events

The firm is representing the Central Bank of Venezuela on US sanctions compliance in commercial and banking transactions. Diaz Reus has brought on four of its partners and two associates to handle the case, which is being investigated by OFAC, the FBI and the DEA.

Diaz Reus is also representing an individual who is under investigation for illegal gold smuggling and money laundering by the Department of Homeland Security Investigation and the US attorney's office in Miami.

The firm is currently advising Turks and Caicos Islands and Peter Karam, a Canadian lawyer, in an investigation regarding his role in an alleged $30 million money laundering scheme involving the widow of the private secretary for Argentina's former President Nestor Kirchner.

The firm is also representing Edoardo Orsoni, a former general counsel at Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), who pleaded guilty to for his role in a bribery scheme.

Network

The firm has offices across the US and abroad with a particular concentration in Latin America, including Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City, Panama, Santiago, Santo Domingo and São Paulo. In Asia, Diaz Reus has set up shop in Dubai and Shanghai, while in Europe it has offices in Frankfurt and Madrid.

In the past few years, the firm's lawyers have covered Latin America carrying out investigations in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

The firm has recently expanded to its fifth continent by opening an office in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Clients

Diaz Reus' clients come in all manner of shapes and sizes, ranging from state entities, such as the Central Bank of Venezuela, to businessmen and major banks. The firm has advised Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex and Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA.

Track record

Over the years, the firm has successfully represented several South American companies in the oil industry. The firm represented a Venezuelan company where it had to persuade a US bank that the company did not violate OFAC's Venezuela-related sanctions.

The firm also successfully represented the owner of a Colombia-based gold company over money laundering charges that were tied to alleged drug trafficking and terrorist financing violations. The firm conducted an internal investigation that was turned over to US and Latin American authorities. The authorities declined to prosecute the company and its owner.

Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance is a Miami-based full-service international law firm and alliance with board-certified lawyers in international litigation and arbitration, international law, and immigration and nationality law as well as certified anti-money laundering specialists. It boasts a diverse and wide range of experience in the legal, regulatory, policy, enforcement and commercial landscapes.

The firm’s clientele includes multinational corporations, government entities, heads of state, political parties, public officials, financial institutions, family offices, high net worth individuals, and athletes and entertainers.

Diaz Reus International Law Firm & Alliance is the founder of DRT International Law Firm & Alliance, a global network of law offices that provide legal services throughout 31 offices in the U.S.A. (Miami, Washington DC, Los Angeles, New York City and Houston), Canada, Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Panama and Venezuela), Europe (Germany, Czech Republic, Russia and Spain), Asia (China), the Middle East (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon) and Africa (South Africa and Nigeria).

The firm has successfully continued building its niche in handling the most sensitive and delicate cases and investigations in Latin America – Venezuela, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, El Salvador – with alleged ties to Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, Russia, China and other relationships currently considered national security risks to the US. The US will continue to roll out legislation such as the Magnitsky Act, Presidential Executive Orders, OFAC and FINCEN sanctions to stem the flow of these national security risks. “ Our firm continues to demonstrate its expertise in these areas by securing declinations of criminal prosecutions and successfully resolving those delicate and sensitive investigations on behalf of its US and Latin American based clients.

 

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