Carlos F. Ortiz is a seasoned trial lawyer with significant white collar defense and investigations experience. He uses his prominent fifteen-year background as a federal prosecutor to assist clients with matters relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), allegations of fraud against government agencies and financial institutions, securities and healthcare fraud, as well as high-risk tax controversies.
Mr. Ortiz has a keen understanding of the complexities and nuances involved when corporations and financial institutions need to conduct internal investigations, address issues of corporate governance, or face civil regulatory and criminal exposure. His practice includes advising corporations and their boards of directors and committees in connection with corporate governance and compliance matters.
He has conducted numerous domestic and international internal investigations on behalf of companies in the financial services, pharmaceutical, healthcare, aerospace, energy, and telecommunications industries. He has extensive experience representing corporations and individuals in connection with matters before enforcement and regulatory agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC, and various State Attorney General's Offices. He also has significant experience assisting companies in efficiently responding to subpoenas, thereby minimizing any disruption to their business operations. Additionally, he has represented several accounting firms in grand jury and SEC investigations involving both the preparation of tax returns and their audit practice.
Mr. Ortiz is known for his ability to lead and coordinate teams in a wide variety of complex matters affecting corporations and financial institutions, including due diligence related to mergers and acquisitions. He was also part of the team working with Senator George J. Mitchell in connection with his independent investigation of performance enhancing substance use in Major League Baseball.
While at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, he served as Deputy and Acting Chief of the Criminal Division, where he supervised eight criminal litigation units-government fraud, commercial crime, securities and healthcare fraud, terrorism, violent crimes, OCDETF and money laundering, public protection, and the Organized Crime Strike Force. He also served as the Chief of the Government Fraud Unit, overseeing the work of approximately 80 Assistant U.S. Attorneys.
During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Ortiz tried approximately 20 jury trials in federal court, the majority involving criminal tax offenses. He also served as the international coordinator where he worked closely with the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs in all matters involving international prosecutions. Mr. Ortiz was also responsible for conceptualizing and leading a global financial investigation resulting in the breakup of a massive international network of Internet-based commercial money laundering and child pornography rings. In the course of that investigation, he coordinated the efforts of federal and international law enforcement agencies, banks, and credit card companies. Mr. Ortiz was honored at the White House by President Bush in May 2005, and received an award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at a congressional breakfast, for his role in leading this groundbreaking international investigation.
He lectures extensively on topics involving financial crimes and trial advocacy in both the United States and Europe, and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in the Super Lawyers listing from 2007-2008 and each year since 2010.
• Represented companies before the U.S. Department of Justice and SEC and State Attorneys General's Offices. Representation included conducting internal investigations, implementing remedial measures, and negotiating resolutions.
• Representing a company in the aerospace industry in an FCPA matter that resulted in a non-prosecution agreement, no compliance monitor and a substantial reduction in the amount of the potential fine. The representation includes ongoing assistance in compliance with the terms of the non-prosecution agreement.
• Represented a national nonprofit agency in a breach of contract suit pending in federal court. Obtained summary judgment for the client resulting in the dismissal of all counts in the amended complaint.
• Represented several national accounting firms in grand jury investigations involving both the preparation of tax returns and their audit practice.
• Represented a biochemical company in an FCPA matter that resulted in a non-prosecution agreement, combined fine and disgorgement payment less than the amount the company had reserved, and no compliance monitor.
• Represented a company executive under criminal investigation by both the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and the Attorney General's office resulting in non-prosecution by both offices.
• Represented an international shipping company in an environmental crimes investigation.
• Represented several Fortune 100 companies in responding to federal and state grand jury subpoenas.
• Represented a corporate officer in a multi-country FCPA investigation resulting in no charges being brought against the officer.
• Represented a European trading company in an FCPA investigation resulting in no charges being brought against the company.
• Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a major pharmaceutical company into allegations involving the off-label promotion of products.
• Defended two major hospitals in federal qui tam suits.
• Represented a major international pharmaceutical company by providing FCPA advice and conducting internal investigations into allegations of FCPA violations in Asia, South America, and Europe.
• Designed and implemented comprehensive FCPA compliance programs to prevent and detect potential anti-corruption risks for numerous companies, including (1) developing compliance policies and training programs, and (2) drafting and reviewing contracts with agents, distributors, and other third parties to ensure they include provisions that require adherence to applicable anti-corruption standards and provide clients with the ability to monitor compliance.
• Conducted a proactive compliance review for a major pharmaceutical company to determine FCPA risks.
• Represented a global insurance company in an investigation conducted by the Office of Foreign Asset Control involving potential violations relating to alleged trade with a sanctioned country.
• Represented a 501(c)(3) foundation in a matter involving embezzlement by former country director.
Community Service & Affiliations
Mr. Ortiz is the vice-chair of the International Anti-Corruption Committee of the ABA Section of International Law; trustee of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey; member and past president (2004) and executive board member (1994-2004) of the New Jersey Hispanic Bar Association; and co-founder and former vice president (1996) of the National Hispanic Prosecutor's Association. He was appointed by Governor Jon Corzine to serve as a commissioner on the New Jersey Advisory Committee on Police Standards from 2006-2008.
As a result of his efforts with the Department of Justice, he currently serves as pro bono counsel to the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography, which is managed by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Former Federal Prosecutor and Veteran Litigator, Carlos Ortiz, Joins Blank Rome as Partner [Press Release]
May 8, 2014
Carlos F. Ortiz
American Bar Association