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Martin S. Bell
 

Martin S. Bell

Partner
 
425 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017 
 
Email:
Fax: +1-212-455-2502

Martin S. Bell, former Assistant U.S. Attorney at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, represents companies, boards and executives in government and internal investigations and high-profile disputes. Martin served as a senior member of the Securities and Commodities Task Force and the Public Corruption Unit in the SDNY, and previously served as a member of the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit.

As a federal prosecutor, Martin served as lead counsel on behalf of the United States in fourteen jury trials and argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on nine occasions. While at the SDNY, Martin investigated and prosecuted a variety of financial and corruption-related crimes, including securities, accounting, and other financial fraud, bribery, obstruction of justice, money laundering, sanctions violations, and various offenses giving rise to civil and criminal asset forfeiture. In addition, he worked on cases involving criminal civil rights violations. Martin was honored with several awards for his service, including the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Prosecutor of the Year Award in 2018 and the Assistant Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award in 2016. Martin was also recently named a “Rising Star” by the New York Law Journal and profiled among Crain’s New York Business’ “Notable Black Leaders.”

Prior to joining the SDNY, Martin practiced at another international law firm and was a law clerk to the Hon. Eric N. Vitaliano of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

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Work Highlights
  • Major financial institution in criminal investigation involving possible PPP loan fraud by bank employees
  • The Board of Directors of PG&E Corporation in securities and derivative litigation arising out of wildfires in Northern California
  • Global financial institution in a multi-regulator investigation related to the potential offering of unregistered securities
  • President and CEO of publicly traded company in internal investigation concerning an outside vendor contract
  • President of institute of higher learning in internal investigation concerning alleged administrative misconduct
  • Global financial institution in response to client complaints concerning an asset management program
  • Response to investigative demands from NY Attorney General’s Office regarding price gouging, including litigation of a subpoena
  • Campaign Finance Chair for a candidate for statewide office in SDNY investigation involving alleged campaign finance misconduct
  • Global financial institution in arbitration concerning a contractual dispute involving the solar energy industry
Accolades
  • New York Law Journal, 2021 “Rising Star”
  • Crain’s New York Business, 2022 “Notable Black Leader”
Education
  • Harvard Law School, 2006 J.D.
  • Harvard University, 2003 B.A.
    cum laude
Associations
  • Office of the Appellate Defender, Board of Directors
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Board of Trustees
  • Harvard Law School Association of New York City, Board of Directors
  • Regis High School Board of Trustees, REACH Program Committee Member
Clerkships
  • Hon. Eric N. Vitaliano, United States District Court, Eastern District of New York
Admissions
  • New York 
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York 
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York  
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit 

Martin S. Bell, a former federal prosecutor and accomplished trial lawyer, represents companies, boards and executives in government and internal investigations and high-profile disputes. Prior to joining the Firm, Martin served for over ten years in the Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. There, he was a senior member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and Public Corruption Unit, and also served as a member of the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture Unit. As a federal prosecutor, Martin investigated and prosecuted some of the Southern District’s most significant and high-profile cases across an array of subject matters, including securities, accounting, and other financial fraud, bribery, obstruction of justice, money laundering, sanctions violations, criminal civil rights violations, and various offenses giving rise to civil and criminal asset forfeiture. 

Martin’s representative experience while at Simpson Thacher includes:

Companies:

  • Major financial institution in criminal investigation involving possible PPP loan fraud by bank employees
  • The Board of Directors of PG&E Corporation in securities and derivative litigation arising out of wildfires in Northern California
  • Global financial institution in a multi-regulator investigation related to the potential offering of unregistered securities
  • Global financial institution in arbitration concerning a contractual dispute involving the solar energy industry
  • Global financial institution in response to client complaints concerning an asset management program
  • Response to investigative demands from NY Attorney General’s Office regarding price gouging, including litigation of a subpoena

Individuals:

  • President and CEO of publicly traded company in internal investigation concerning an outside vendor contract
  • President of institute of higher learning in internal investigation concerning alleged administrative misconduct
  • Campaign Finance Chair for a candidate for statewide office in SDNY investigation involving alleged campaign finance misconduct

Martin previously served as lead counsel on behalf of the United States in fourteen jury trials as an AUSA, and argued before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on nine occasions. His select trial experience prior to joining Simpson Thacher includes:

  • United States v. Norman Seabrook and Murray Huberfeld: Honest services fraud trial involving a union executive and a hedge fund founder
  • United States v. 650 Fifth Avenue and Related Properties: Civil asset forfeiture trial that was the largest in the history of the Department of Justice, and a critical part of the decade-long litigation of the forfeiture of a skyscraper owned by Iranian government fronts in violation of U.S. sanctions
  • United States v. Jeremy Reichberg: Bribery trial of a community leader who orchestrated a years-long police bribery conspiracy involving executive-level NYPD officials
  • United States v. James Moore: Fraud trial of a participant in a $40 million investment scheme involving misrepresentations to investors in a workspace-share company
  • United States v. Albert Baldeo: Trial of elected Queens political party official who obstructed the FBI’s investigation into his campaign finance practices
  • United States v. Brian Coll: Trial of a corrections officer convicted of causing the wrongful death of an inmate

In addition to his experience at trial, Martin was a member of the team that secured the multibillion-dollar resolution of a sanctions case against the world’s sixth-largest bank in U.S. v. BNP Paribas, S.A., and led criminal and civil proceedings against a smuggler of Mongolian dinosaur fossils. He was honored with several awards for his service, including the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Prosecutor of the Year Award in 2018 and the Assistant Attorney General’s Exceptional Service Award in 2016. Martin was also recently named a “Rising Star” by the New York Law Journal and profiled among Crain’s New York Business’ “Notable Black Leaders.”

Martin frequently speaks on subjects relating to white collar crime and served for several years as an Adjunct Professor at New York Law School, where he taught a lecture course on organized and white collar crime. He also serves on the White Collar Editorial Advisory Board for Law360.

Prior to joining the Southern District, Martin practiced at another international law firm and was a law clerk to the Hon. Eric N. Vitaliano of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He delivered the Graduate Oration at Harvard University’s 355th Commencement Exercises upon his graduation from Harvard Law School and received his B.A., cum laude, from Harvard University. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Martin currently serves on the Board of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden as well as the boards of the Office of the Appellate Defender, the Harvard Law School Association of New York City and Regis High School’s REACH Program.

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