James Valentino is a senior counsel at the SEC’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit in Washington, DC.
Valentino spent much of his career in private practice after receiving his undergraduate and law degrees from Georgetown University, in 1985 and 1992 respectively.
Valentino first worked as a litigator at the now defunct LeBoeuf Lamb Green & Macrae (later Dewey & LeBoeuf), and then at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC, specialising in telecommunications and internet law.
At the Securities and Exchange Commission, Valentino has worked on a variety of securities cases, in addition to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In 2009, Valentino worked alongside former FCPA unit chief Cheryl Scarboro and assistant director Tracy Price on a case against private equity fund Golden State Equity Investors. The SEC accused the fund of selling certain securities without registering the transactions with the agency.
Valentino and Price also investigated Maxwell Technologies, which was accused in 2011 of repeatedly paying bribes to government officials in China to obtain business from several Chinese state-owned entities. Maxwell agreed to pay more than US$6.3 million to settle the SEC's FCPA charges, and US$8 million to resolve related criminal charges with the Justice Department.
Valentino was also part of the team that investigated Satyam Computer Services, which agreed to pay US$10 million in 2011 to settle civil charges that it fraudulently overstated the company’s revenue, income and cash balances by more than US$1 billion over five years. The SEC also issued an administrative order sanctioning five India-based affiliates of PricewaterhouseCoopers for improper professional conduct as independent auditors for Satyam from 2005 to 2009.
Valentino worked on the SEC’s case against construction firm PBSJ International, and its president Walid Hatoum. The SEC settled in 2014 with the company over bribery charges concerning Qatari government contracts. The company entered into a deferred prosecution agreement, agreeing to pay disgorgement and interest of US$3 million and a penalty of US$375,000.
More recently, Valentino was involved in an accounting fraud case against oil services company Weatherford International, which paid a US$140 million civil penalty to resolve charges it inflated earnings by using deceptive income tax accounting. Weatherford had previously settled FCPA charges SEC and DOJ in 2013. The Justice Department settlement at the time also charged the company with sanctions violations.