Boyd M. Johnson III


Co-Chair, Investigations and Criminal Litigation Practice Group


Boyd M. Johnson III is the Co-Chair of WilmerHale’s Investigations and Criminal Litigation Practice Group. He has 20 years of experience as a skilled litigator and trial attorney. Mr. Johnson joined the firm in 2011, following a 13-year career with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he served as the Deputy US Attorney and supervised more than 200 Assistant US Attorneys. In 2013 and 2014, Chambers USA recognized him as a leading attorney in New York in White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations.

Mr. Johnson represents corporations and their executives in criminal and civil investigations, conducted by a variety of government regulators, including the US Department of Justice, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Attorney General’s Office and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. He conducts internal investigations for companies, and advises business organizations on crisis response and media relations. Mr. Johnson's experience includes insider trading and financial fraud investigations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and public corruption probes, antitrust inquiries, anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act issues, False Claims Act and FIRREA actions, and cyber security matters. As Deputy US Attorney for the SDNY, Mr. Johnson managed the largest crackdown on Wall Street insider trading in history; the criminal prosecutions and civil forfeiture proceedings related to the Bernard Madoff fraud; the investigation and prosecution of individuals and entities responsible for structuring and promoting international tax shelters; and numerous FCPA, money laundering and cyber security matters. Mr. Johnson also participated in the creation of the SDNY’s Civil Frauds Unit in March 2010, and oversaw that Unit’s civil fraud actions in the financial services and healthcare sectors.

Before becoming Deputy US Attorney, Mr. Johnson served as Chief of the SDNY’s Public Corruption Unit. In that capacity, he supervised bribery and embezzlement prosecutions of members of the US Congress, New York State legislators and New York City council members, as well as corruption investigations at the United Nations. While at the SDNY, Mr. Johnson also served as the Chief of the International Narcotics Trafficking Unit, focusing on the extradition of drug kingpins and the identification of global money laundering networks. In that role, he worked with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to build prosecutions against the Cali Cartel and the Taliban based in part on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Mr. Johnson was a recipient of the Attorney General’s Award, the US Department of Justice’s highest honor.  Mr. Johnson is frequently invited to speak on issues related to corporate criminal liability, financial fraud and insider trading, the FCPA, money laundering and cyber security.

Honors & Awards

  • Selected as a leading attorney in New York in the White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations category in the 2013 and 2014 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Recommended in the white-collar criminal defense litigation category in the 2013 and 2014 editions of The Legal 500, where he was praised for his ‘excellent strategic advice’ and ‘familiarity with government and internal investigations.’
  • Recipient of US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Administrator’s Award, the DEA's highest honor
  • Recipient of Attorney General’s Award, the US Department of Justice’s highest honor
  • Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award from Federal Drug Agents Foundation for his dedication to supporting federal, state and local law enforcement  

Publications & News


January 29, 2015

False Claims Act: 2014 Year-in-Review

The federal government collected a record-breaking $5.7 billion in False Claims Act (FCA) recoveries in fiscal year (FY) 2014, up from $3.8 billion in FY 2013.

January 5, 2015

FinCEN Assesses $1 Million Civil Penalty Against Former Chief Compliance Officer and Partners with SDNY to Initiate Injunctive Action

Last month, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York combined to take action in United States Department of the Treasury v. Thomas E. Haider against a former Chief Compliance Officer for MoneyGram International Inc. for his alleged failure to implement and maintain a compliance program designed to protect against money laundering and to report suspicious activity.

December 15, 2014

Partner Boyd Johnson Discusses Anti-Insider Trading Tactics

An article by Compliance Intelligence, “CCOs Advised on Anti-Insider Trading Tactics,” published on December 15, 2014, featuring Boyd Johnson.

July 31, 2014

FinCEN Releases Long-Awaited Proposal on Customer Due Diligence (CCD) and Beneficial Ownership

On July 30, the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued proposed regulations that would formalize certain financial institutions’ Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements and expand the degree to which those institutions must look beyond the nominal account holder to identify the natural persons who own or control certain legal entity customers.

May 23, 2014

Chambers USA Ranks Top WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices in 2014 Edition

We are pleased to announce the names of the individuals and practice areas that are ranked in the 2014 edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.

February 7, 2014

Boyd Johnson Talks Insider Trading Trials in Law360 Article

Partner Boyd Johnson discusses insider trading trials in Law360 article, “Martoma Case Shows Insider Trading Defense Far From Easy,” published February 7, 2014. Read the article here.

January 8, 2014

2014 Winter Olympics: Anti-Bribery Considerations

The February 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia will serve as an opportunity for many companies to market their products and develop customer relationships in an informal setting. While the business value of these opportunities is evident, companies must be mindful that the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act, Russian anti-corruption laws, and anti-corruption laws in other countries may impose restrictions on hospitality and other Olympics-related activities.

January 7, 2014

False Claims Act: 2013 Year-in-Review

The False Claims Act (FCA) saw another year of increased activity in 2013, with new qui tam suits hitting an all-time high of 753, a rise of more than 100 over 2012. In fiscal year 2013, the federal government brought in $3.8 billion—the fourth year in a row of more than $3 billion in recoveries. As in the past, the healthcare and pharmaceuticals sector accounted for the biggest share, with $2.6 billion recovered. Procurement saw a jump, more than doubling to $890 million. Financial institutions remained a substantial target, and both the government and private plaintiffs were increasingly bringing claims against recipients of grant and loan funds as well as contractors. Activity at the state level increased as well, with many states expanding the reach of their own false claims statutes, and both state attorneys general and private plaintiffs making aggressive use of new theories of liability.

December 12, 2013

WilmerHale Partner Boyd Johnson Analyzes Ponzi Schemes in Special Report

WilmerHale Partner Boyd M. Johnson III, a member of the firm’s Investigations and Criminal Litigation practice, contributed to a CNBC special investigative report on December 11, 2013, which provided an updated analysis on Ponzi schemes.

May 24, 2013

Chambers USA 2013 Final Results Announced

Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business today announced its final rankings for the 2013 edition, in which 93 WilmerHale lawyers and 44 firm practice areas have been recognized as leading in their field.

Recent Highlights

Financial Fraud and Insider Trading

  • Represented US financial services firm in parallel investigations by the DOJ and the SEC regarding derivatives trading activity
  • Represented Audit and Risk Committee of securities broker dealer in DOJ and SEC investigations concerning offshore trading operations
  • Represented multiple US financial services companies in various DOJ and SEC investigations of alleged insider trading activity
  • Represented international construction management firm in DOJ investigation of historical union billing practices
  • Represented US financial services companies in False Claims Act litigation concerning mortgage backed securities
  • Represented head of global money markets for financial services firm in LIBOR-related investigations by the DOJ, the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission and the UK Financial Conduct Authority
  • Represented senior executives at global financial services firms in DOJ, SEC, and UK FCA investigations of FX trading  

FCPA Matters

  • Represented public company in oil services industry in DOJ and SEC FCPA investigations
  • Represented General Manager of Ukrainian pharmaceutical company in DOJ and SEC FCPA investigations
  • Represented Chief Financial Officer of Argentinian pharmaceutical company in DOJ and SEC FCPA investigations
  • Represented General Manager of Brazilian aeronautical services company in DOJ and SEC FCPA investigations
  • Advised global financial services firm regarding FCPA issues relating to multi-billion dollar loan syndicate restructuring

Money Laundering Matters

  • Advised US financial services company in DOJ and SEC investigations of alleged money laundering by wealth management clients based in Mexico
  • Advised US financial services firm in DOJ investigations relating to alleged OFAC violations
  • Conducted internal investigation for global financial services firm relating to anti-money laundering systems

Other Matters

  • Represented US oil and gas company in state and federal antitrust inquiries
  • Advised multiple US financial services firm in connection with cyber security events
  • Represented collector of player samples for Major League Baseball's drug testing program in connection with Ryan Braun media coverage
  • Provided pro bono representation to indigent criminal defendants in US Courts of Appeal

Professional Activities

Mr. Johnson is an active member of the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the Federal Bar Council. He currently serves on the New York City Bar’s White Collar Crime Committee.


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JD, cum laude, Cornell University Law School, 1992, Editor, Cornell International Law Journal

BA, English and Government, magna cum laude, Hamilton College, 1989

Bar Admissions

New York



The Hon. Laughlin Waters, US District Court for the Central District of California, 1992 - 1993