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Uzo Asonye


Uzo Asonye

White Collar Defense & Investigations
Washington DC

A seasoned trial lawyer who previously spent more than a decade investigating and prosecuting complex financial and public corruption cases.

Uzo is a seasoned trial lawyer who, before joining the firm, spent more than a decade prosecuting complex financial crimes and public corruption. He advises companies and individuals in government, grand jury and internal investigations, and represents clients in criminal and civil trials. He has deep experience in matters involving insider trading, market manipulation, money laundering/AML public corruption and financial fraud, as well as significant cross-border work.

Uzo was previously Acting Chief of the Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. In government, he led major fraud and public corruption cases, and tried numerous multi-defendant, complex cases to guilty verdicts before juries. He served in the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller during its investigation into Russian government interference in the 2016 election, where he successfully prosecuted a former U.S. presidential campaign manager.

Experience highlights

  • A global financial institution in an investigation relating to CARES Act loans before DOJ, SBA, CFPB, state AG offices and Congress
  • Secured a non-custodial sentence for Emmanuel Palma, a former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles engineer, who initially faced over 20 years in prison on charges of allegedly conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act 
  • A global financial institution in connection with potential fraud in Ecuador
  • The board of a financial institution in an internal investigation regarding alleged financial manipulation and other misconduct
  • A national consulting company in connection with investigations by the DOJ and IRS into tax matters
  • A global financial institution in an AML/BSA and criminal investigation involving DOJ, SEC and FinCEN
  • A global financial institution in an SEC and FinCEN investigation in connection with its acquisition and integration of an online investment platform
  • An engineer employed by Toyota Industries Corp. in a DOJ investigation relating to emissions standards
  • A self-regulatory organization in an investigation by the House Financial Services Committee involving requests on various topics
  • The board of a national retail chain in DOJ, congressional and civil investigations related to health and safety issues
  • The board of a global transportation company in an investigation regarding alleged manipulation of reporting of financial statements
  • A multinational media company in a whistleblower investigation into alleged potential improper interactions with government officials
  • An investment management company in a FINRA investigation regarding order flow practices
  • A fintech company as a victim in connection with a DOJ investigation and arbitration related to a client fraud scheme
  • A defense industry executive in connection with a confidential ongoing DOJ criminal investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices by defense contractors
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SEC & CFTC Enforcement Update



Chambers USA – White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, Washington DC

Benchmark Litigation – United States and New York, Star

Executive Office for United States Attorneys Director’s Award for Superior Performance as Criminal AUSA, 2016

Recognized by the FBI for outstanding prosecution skills, 2014-2016 and 2020


J.D., Yale Law School
  • Production and Case Notes Editor, Yale Law & Policy Review
B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University
  • with honors
  • Alpern Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Service

Professional history

  • Davis Polk since 2020
  • Financial Crimes and Public Corruption Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, 2010-2020
    • Acting Chief, 2019-2020
    • Deputy Chief, 2018-2019
    • Trial Attorney, Special Counsel’s Office, 2018
    • Assistant U.S. Attorney, 2010-2020
  • Associate, O’Melveny & Myers, 2005-2010

Qualifications and admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. Michigan
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