Criminal and civil enforcement attorney, Thomas Sporkin att name

Thomas A. Sporkin


  • p. 202.349.8009
  • f. 202.349.8080


Former SEC attorney Tom Sporkin brings unique experience and insights to the individuals and businesses he represents. Before joining BuckleySandler, he spent twenty years with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division, most recently as Chief of the Office of Market Intelligence. Mr. Sporkin has broad knowledge of all SEC areas and priorities and continues to monitor key developments at the SEC as well as the various bank regulators and other financial focused regulatory agencies including FINRA, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and FinCEN.

While at the SEC, he first served as an investigative attorney and later as a supervisory attorney, co-managing a staff of 20 enforcement lawyers, overseeing investigations into the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), financial fraud, insider trading, and market manipulation.  In 2010 and 2011, Mr. Sporkin was selected to lead two cutting edge initiatives at the SEC:

  • In January 2010, he was selected to design, build, and manage the Office of Market Intelligence, a new office established in the aftermath of the Madoff fraud to detect ongoing unlawful conduct spanning all SEC program areas. He led the SEC’s efforts to embed FBI agents within the Division of Enforcement to better facilitate the sharing of intelligence and to enhance the working relationship between the two agencies.
  • In 2010 and 2011, he was one of the leaders of the effort to launch the SEC’s Whistleblower Office and write the Whistleblower rules called for by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Mr. Sporkin brings this deep experience and insight to BuckleySandler where he represents and counsels individuals and corporations in:

  • Matters before the SEC and self-regulatory organizations
  • Matters before the various bank regulators and the CFPB
  • Internal investigations into activity that may implicate the various regulatory and legal regimes overseen by the financial regulators
  • Establishing and reviewing Whistleblower and Anti-Money Laundering programs
  • Compliance counseling
  • Private litigation

Some of Mr. Sporkin’s SEC investigations resulted in the SEC charging:

  • An international businessman for perpetrating an $11 million stock fraud on Bank Leu of Switzerland and Lehman Brother’s London office – Mr. Sporkin successfully tried this matter in federal district obtaining an unprecedented $26 million judgment
  • An oil and gas company for FCPA violations involving improper payments to foreign officials for the purpose of expediting the payment of monthly crude oil invoices
  • An energy and exploration company for FCPA violations involving improper payments to foreign customs officials to expedite the international transport of oil drilling equipment
  • Four investment advisors for improperly covering short positions with stock obtained in secondary offerings
  • An electronic exchange for failing to file adequate trade execution reports
  • An auto finance company for failing to disclose risks of corporate debt investments
  • An online brokerage firm for deficient Anti-Money Laundering/Bank Secrecy Act practices
  • The manager of a private hedge fund for operating a Ponzi scheme
  • The co-chairman of a Chinese online media company and the CEO of an antivirus and internet content security software company for insider trading

Other notable activities and accomplishments:

  • Served as member of a multi-divisional task force charged with developing the SEC’s Consolidated Audit Trail initiative
  • Served as member of the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower rule writing team
  • Served as member of the executive steering committee charged with developing the SEC’s Tips, Complaints, and Referrals system
  • Served on the Division of Enforcement’s hiring committee
  • Participated in the SEC working group assigned the task of analyzing and reporting on the May 6th 2010 “Flash Crash”
  • Led the SEC’s efforts to enhance provisions of electronic privacy laws to permit civil agencies to obtain subscriber identifying information from internet service providers


  • Adjunct law professor at Catholic University, where he teaches a course on securities enforcement
  • Adjunct law professor at the George Mason University School of Law, where he teaches a course on Advanced Securities Regulation
  • Former Co-Chair, Intelligence Subcommittee of DOJ Securities & Commodities Fraud Working Group
  • Advisory Council, University of Albany’s Institute for Financial Market Regulation

Significant Representations

In The News

Speaking Engagements & Events

Awards & Recognition

  • Super Lawyers 2014: Criminal Defense (White Collar)
  • Recognition in Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 2014 Legal Who's Who, nominated by legal and business communities
  • June 2012 - SEC Irving M. Pollack Award for service in the public interest; dedication; fairness and compassion; and professional expertise and integrity
  • July 2011 - SEC's Law & Policy Award for serving on the Dodd-Frank Implementation Team
  • July 2011 - SEC Chairman's Award for Excellence for serving on the Flash Crash Team
  • June 2002 - SEC Chairman's Award for Excellence for Real Time Enforcement
  • June 2001 - SEC Division Director Award for obtaining $26 million judgement in SEC v. Ferracone