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Maria Lapetina is an advisor to multinational companies, boards of directors, audit committees, special committees, financial services firms, international development banks, and individuals. She regularly helps clients solve complex problems in multi-jurisdictional investigations, enforcement actions, and compliance and transactional issues throughout the world, particularly in Latin America. 

Maria's practice focuses on advising clients on issues regarding fraud, foreign bribery, money laundering, workplace misconduct, potential accounting and disclosure irregularities, and instances of potential insider trading. She has represented clients before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and numerous other domestic and foreign regulatory agencies. 

Maria has been recognized as a top 100 female lawyer by Latinvex for four consecutive years for her expertise in both the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) & Fraud and Arbitration & Litigation categories. 

Prior to joining the firm, Maria was counsel for an Am Law 200 firm where she regularly represented multinational companies, financial institutions, international development banks, and their officers and directors in connection with investigations before the SEC, DOJ, FINRA, and other domestic and foreign regulatory and government bodies. Previously, she was a litigation associate at a leading white-collar boutique and at an Am Law 100 firm.

Maria is fluent in Spanish and regularly conducts legal matters in both English and Spanish.

Representative Engagements


  • Represented one of Latin America's largest industrial conglomerates in connection with internal and government investigations relating to the cuadernos scandal in Argentina.
  • Represented Latin American sports marketing and production company in connection with DOJ and other investigations pertaining to allegations of bribery, fraud, and money laundering arising out of the Fédération internationale de football association (FIFA) scandal and related civil actions.
  • Conducted cross-border investigation into major Latin American concessionaire regarding allegations of improper payments.
  • Conducted cross-border investigation into alleged improper payments to government officials on behalf of a major technology company.
  • Conducted cross-border investigation into alleged improper payments to government officials on behalf of a medical device company.
  • Conducted independent, cross-border investigation on behalf of a global medical device company based on whistleblower reports and allegations of corruption in local government tenders and potential misconduct by third parties. 

Securities Enforcement

  • Represented five current and former executives of a diagnostics company, including the CEO and former CFO, in connection with an SEC investigation into the company's COVID-19 related disclosures.
  • Served as lead counsel to the independent compliance consultant of a global financial institution in connection with an SEC settlement regarding the collection and retention of employee electronic communications, including off-channel communications. 
  • Represented head equities trader of a multinational investment bank in connection with investigation by foreign regulator that the bank's trading had violated local securities laws as well as follow-on U.S. investigations by FINRA and the SEC.
  • Represented several employees of a major accounting firm in connection with allegations of cheating on certification exams. 
  • Represented trader in SEC investigation of alleged false statements in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) trading. 
  • Advised senior officer in connection with allegations of cross and principal trading issues.

Individual Representations 

  • Represent senior executive of a publicly listed company in parallel investigations by SEC and DOJ into allegations of insider trading.
  • Represented employees of a global telecommunications company in connection with parallel FCPA investigations by SEC and DOJ.
  • Represented senior executives in connection with the DOJ's widespread investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption involving the Venezuelan state-owned oil and gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).
  • Represented CEO of a U.S. broker-dealer indicted on 15 counts in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) for FCPA violations arising from bond trading for a Venezuelan bank.

Workplace Conduct and Misuse of Confidential Information

  • Conducted workplace misconduct investigation into allegations of harassment and bullying by members of senior leadership of a medical device company.
  • Conducted workplace misconduct investigation into allegations of gender discrimination and harassment arising from operations of a global extractives company's operations in Chile.
  • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of consumer healthcare company into allegations of misuse of confidential information in Mexico. 

Compliance Counseling

  • Regularly advise major multi-national companies in Latin America on development and enhancement of corporate compliance programs.
  • Represented global technology company in the design and implementation of its anti-corruption compliance program for its U.S. operations and Chinese joint venture (JV) in anticipation of an initial public offering (IPO).
  • Advised independent examiner for Raiffeisen, Switzerland's third-largest bank, in the DOJ's Swiss bank voluntary disclosure program.

Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs)

  • Represented Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to enforce loan guarantees extended by Argentine affiliates of a Brazilian-based borrower. Obtained a favorable outcome on summary judgment for more than US$168 million.
  • Represented Ecuadorian company in sanctions proceeding initiated by the IDB.
Rankings and Recognition
  • Latinvex Latin America's Top 100 Female Lawyers: FCPA & Fraud, 2021 - 2023; Arbitration & Litigation, 2020 - 2023
State Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • New York (inactive)
  • North Carolina
Court Admissions
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
News and Events