Overview

Barbara A. Martinez is a litigation attorney in Holland & Knight's Miami office and a member of the firm's Global Compliance and Investigations Team, Asset Recovery Team, and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Team. After a distinguished career handling an array of complex litigation matters as a federal prosecutor, Ms. Martinez focuses her practice on white collar defense, internal corporate investigations, asset recovery, receiverships, ESG, risk management and corporate compliance.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Martinez served more than 22 years at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), both at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida and at the Criminal Fraud Section in Washington, D.C. She has prosecuted cases involving economic crimes, money laundering, human trafficking, cybercrimes, crimes against children and other transnational crimes. Ms. Martinez tried numerous complex federal jury trials as lead counsel in the Southern District of Florida and many bench trials in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. She also served as chief of the Special Prosecutions Section and in various other leadership roles at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami. She regularly led multidisciplinary teams handling complex investigations in the U.S. and overseas.

White Collar Defense and Investigations

Ms. Martinez now represents individuals and companies targeted for criminal prosecution and enforcement actions by federal, state and local governmental entities. Drawing on her experience in leading investigations as a former federal prosecutor, Ms. Martinez represents corporations and individuals in internal investigations as well as in compliance and due diligence matters involving fraud, money laundering and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). She develops policies, compliance programs and corporate due diligence protocols related to these subject areas.

Asset Recovery/Receiverships

Ms. Martinez also represents victims of fraud schemes who are seeking to recover their losses by identifying, locating, seizing and liquidating assets, as well as pursuing potential litigation claims. A federal court appointed Ms. Martinez to serve as a receiver tasked with recovering assets and analyzing any potential claims on behalf of the receivership for the benefit of those defrauded. She is a member of the National Association of Federal Equity Receivers and serves on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

ESG, Anti-Trafficking, Risk Management and Compliance/Training

Ms. Martinez has years of experience in identifying, investigating, and prosecuting labor and sex trafficking cases. She led a team of prosecutors and investigators in handling human trafficking matters for more than a decade. She also led a transnational investigation teams and tried complex international human trafficking cases. Currently, she focuses on ESG corporate compliance and best practices. She advises clients on matters relating to ESG, including transparency in supply chains, supply chain controls, reporting human trafficking, extraterritorial provisions of U.S. federal anti-trafficking laws and federal contract employee risk management under FAR anti-trafficking provisions. She also advises on civil anti-trafficking litigation risks.

She is also highly knowledgeable on victim rights laws and certain cybercrimes, including child pornography, cyberstalking, cyber trafficking, online threats and sextortion. In addition to serving as the human trafficking coordinator and the project safe childhood coordinator for the Southern District of Florida for more than a decade, Ms. Martinez also served as a member of DOJ's Child Exploitation Nationwide Investigation Advisory Committee for about six years until she joined Holland & Knight. She now advises companies, educational institutions and organizations about risk management relating to safety and threat management policies, online electronic data collection and storage, privacy and victim issues related to business practices, including reporting child pornography and other crimes.

Ms. Martinez has extensive experience teaching and conducting training courses. She routinely conducts anti-trafficking and anti-money laundering training for companies, educators, financial institutions and medical professionals in the U.S. and abroad. Most recently, in November 2021, she taught judges from India about human trafficking issues at the Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI) Institute in Prague as part of a program sponsored in partnership by the Federal Judicial Center for United States federal courts, the National Judicial Academy of India, and CEELI. Ms. Martinez is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law where she teaches a human trafficking seminar.

Representative Experience

  • Tried more than 20 federal jury trials and 30 bench trials in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, including the following federal trials:
    • six-week international sex trafficking case involving the victimization of minors in Honduras
    • month-long sex trafficking case involving 50 adult victims from across the U.S.
    • two-week, multimillion-dollar healthcare fraud case against the owner of a medical clinic
    • three-week, multimillion-dollar healthcare fraud case against two physicians
    • week-long international sex tourism case involving the sexual exploitation of more than 100 minors in Cuba and Ecuador for the production, importation and sale of child pornography
    • nine-day, multimillion-dollar U.S. Department of Education fraud case against the owners of a vocational school
  • Supervised and led federal assistant U.S. attorneys in the Special Prosecutions Section handling cases involving international and domestic human trafficking, money laundering, child exploitation, cybercrimes, including internet crimes against children, sextortion, extortion and cyberstalking, violent crimes involving death or serious bodily injury, international kidnappings and other transnational crimes
  • Supervised and trained assistant U.S. attorneys in the Majors Crimes Section handling identity theft, fraud, violent crime, alien smuggling and immigration cases
  • Led and coordinated efforts to combat human trafficking and child exploitation as the human trafficking coordinator and the project childhood coordinator for the Southern District of Florida for more than a decade, spearheaded coordination efforts among law enforcement, prosecutors, foreign governments, regulatory entities, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, and community members nationally and globally to combat human trafficking and child exploitation
  • Served as a member of the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Child Exploitation Nationwide Investigation Advisory Committee from July 2014 to February 2020
  • Served a two-year term as a member of the DOJ's Capital Review Committee from April 2012 to April 2014
  • Prosecuted cases involving healthcare fraud, mail and wire fraud, computer intrusion, identity theft and credit card fraud as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Economic Crimes Section in Miami
  • Served as a DOJ trial attorney for the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division in Washington, D.C., through the Attorney General's Honors Program, prosecuting complex white collar cases involving bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, government program fraud, telemarketing fraud, false statements and obstruction of justice
  • Created and conducted anti-trafficking and anti-money laundering training sessions for law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates and members of the financial industry throughout the U.S. and in foreign countries, including Mexico, The Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Barbados, Portugal, Latvia, Poland, Bulgaria and Iceland; taught trial advocacy sessions to law enforcement and prosecutors in Chile and computer crimes session to representatives of financial institutions in Peru

  • Represented an executive officer in an internal investigation stemming from a False Claims Act (FCA) investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Provided consultation and advice to a global outsourcing service company that was a victim of a cyber-phishing scam and fraudulent scheme
  • Appointed as a receiver by a federal court to identify, locate, liquidate and receive assets for victims of a multimillion-dollar fraud and to assess potential claims on behalf of the receivership
  • Represented an individual client in a criminal investigation by the DOJ for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • Provided consultation and advice to a financial institution regarding a pending DOJ civil investigation
  • Represented an executive officer in a state criminal investigation and obtained a favorable outcome

Credentials

Education
  • The University of Texas School of Law, J.D.
  • The University of Texas at San Antonio, B.A., Criminal Justice
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Arizona
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
Memberships
  • National Association of Federal Equity Receivers (NAFER), Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
  • KidSafe Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Women's White Collar Defense Association (WWCDA)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, South Florida Chapter
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
  • DOJ, Child Exploitation Nationwide Investigation Advisory Committee, 2014–January 2020
Honors & Awards
  • Leadership and Advocacy Resilience Award, Ark of Freedom Alliance, 2020
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020
  • Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), 2018
  • Women of Distinction Award, Dade County Bar Association Government Committee, 2018
  • Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow, Harvard Law School, 2016-2017
  • Director's Award for Superior Performance, DOJ, 2005 and 2015
  • Top Prosecutor Award, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, 2013
  • Prosecutor Hero Award, Shared Hope International, 2013
  • Outstanding Partnership Coalition Group Award, DOJ, 2011
  • 40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 2011
  • Director's Honor Award, U.S. Secret Service, 2010
  • Meritorious Public Service Award, U.S. Coast Guard, 2007
  • Group Achievement Award, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, 2004
Spoken Languages
  • English
  • Spanish

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News