GIR 100 2021

Diaz Reus & Targ

Diaz Reus & Targ

Professional notice

If there is a major corruption case tied to Latin America, Diaz Reus & Targ is probably helping some of the major players respond to the related government investigations.

The firm

Founded in 1998, Diaz Reus & Targ has grown from a single office in Miami to a global firm with 31 offices on five continents. The firm is known to attract clients from Latin America.

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 has also been representing clients in Russia, China and Latin America who have been targeted by the US government for money laundering, human rights abuses and sanctions violations.

As well as a thriving white-collar defence practice, the firm has strong asset recovery, due diligence and compliance offerings.

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 the firm’s global managing partner and has 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 Marta Colomar Garcia focuses on government and internal investigations related to the FCPA and money laundering. She also handles matters concerning US sanctions.

Washington, DC partner Richard Wiedis spent over a decade as a trial attorney for the Fraud Section, including in the FCPA Unit. Prior to joining the firm, he was an executive vice president for software company MicroStrategy where he oversaw its risk management and compliance teams.

Recent events

Diaz Reus has obtained plenty of work advising those caught up US investigations into corruption at Venezuelan state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

The firm advised Edoardo Orsoni, a former general counsel at PDVSA, who pleaded guilty for his role in a bribery scheme, GIR previously reported. In April 2021, Orsoni was sentenced to three years of probation, avoiding prison time.

Dias Reus also represented Hector Nuñez Troyano, a former PDVSA official who pleaded guilty in US court to participating in a bribery scheme involving Florida-based asphalt company Sargeant Marine, GIR reported in 2020. In 2020, the company settled with the DOJ and agreed to pay $16.6 million to resolve the charges. US prosecutors charged Nuñez, along with several other PDVSA officials, with taking bribes from Sargeant Marine’s executives.

As well as advising individuals in some of the biggest corruption probes on the DOJ’s books, the firm is helping affected Latin American governments and state-run entities recover lost assets.

Diaz Reus was hired by Juan Guaido’s administration to locate and seize assets allegedly stolen from the Venezuelan government, and secure restitution in foreign bribery cases brought against former government officials under the regimes of late President Hugo Chavez and current President Nicholas Maduro.

The firm is also helping Ecuador’s public police pension fund recover money lost as a consequence of a large corruption scheme that is under investigation in both the US and Ecuador.

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. It also has 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 oil company Pemex and PDVSA.

Track record

Over the years, the firm has successfully represented several South American companies in the oil industry. The firm helped a Venezuelan company 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 - most recently in the U.S. criminal prosecutions on campaign finance election and FARA violations in the 1 MDB Malaysia fraud - by securing declinations of criminal prosecutions and successfully resolving those delicate and sensitive investigations on behalf of its US and Latin American based clients.

Website: www.diazreus.com

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