Overview

Scott F. Mascianica is an experienced investigative and litigation attorney and a member of Holland & Knight's White Collar Defense and Investigations Team and the Securities Enforcement Defense Team. With more than 15 years of experience in the government and private sectors, Mr. Mascianica focuses his national practice on conducting internal investigations for public company issuers and other financial institutions, representing individuals and entities in investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), as well as advising issuers, financial services firms and regulated entities on regulatory and compliance matters. Mr. Mascianica also serves as editor of the Holland & Knight SECond Opinion's Blog.

Mr. Mascianica has extensive experience in matters facing public company issuers, auditors and regulated entities and is highly experienced at identifying potential misconduct in connection with special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC), digital assets and cryptocurrencies, and cybersecurity. He most recently served as an Assistant Regional Director in the SEC's Division of Enforcement, where he supervised a team of experienced enforcement attorneys and accountants on more than 150 confidential investigations and inquiries. While at the SEC, Mr. Mascianica and his team filed more than 30 SEC enforcement actions against entities and individuals that resulted in judgments totaling more than a quarter-billion dollars. As a result, he received several awards from the SEC's Division of Enforcement for his outstanding contributions to the enforcement of federal securities laws.

Mr. Mascianica also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado, where he prosecuted crimes involving securities-related misconduct. As a result of his broad knowledge and experience, Mr. Mascianica is a sought-after speaker on various government enforcement-related topics, including cybersecurity, public company issuer and registrant misconduct, and SEC enforcement trends.

Prior to his time at the SEC, Mr. Mascianica worked for two AmLaw 100 firms, where his practice focused on internal investigations, white collar defense and high-stakes commercial litigation. In private practice, he gained extensive experience in investigating and identifying possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), representing trustees and receivers, and defending entities and individuals in connection with SEC and DOJ investigations. Before practicing as an attorney, Mr. Mascianica worked as a financial forensic consultant at a Big Four accounting firm.

Representative Experience

  • Supervised the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) three largest actions to date involving misconduct in connection with special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) transactions, obtaining judgments totaling more than $160 million
  • Supervised more than a dozen confidential investigations into public company issuers, executives and their auditors, several of which resulted in SEC enforcement actions for violations of antifraud, internal accounting controls, disclosure controls and procedures (DCP), and internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) provisions of federal securities laws
  • Supervised a first-of-its-kind enforcement action for the agency involving fraudulent misconduct on the dark web
  • Supervised several confidential investigations into registered investment and municipal advisers, including the SEC's enforcement action against an investment adviser and advisory representative involved in a scheme to bribe several NCAA coaches and student-athletes
  • Supervised several confidential investigations concerning misconduct involving the sale of digital assets, including one of the SEC's only actions in the space against an entity for operating an unregistered securities exchange
  • Supervised multiple SEC enforcement actions against international securities dealers for illegally offering and selling securities-based swaps and their failures to properly register as dealers, with parallel actions by the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • Supervised, investigated and litigated several matters that resulted in the SEC obtaining emergency relief, such as temporary restraining orders, asset freezes and appointments of receivers
  • Served as primary investigative attorney, then litigator on an $80 million fraud perpetrated by a publicly traded energy company and its management
  • Investigated and later supervised several SEC enforcement actions involving insider trading by corporate insiders
  • Prosecuted two individuals for their roles in a scheme to defraud investors of a publicly traded company, with the individuals sentenced to multiyear prison terms

  • Conducted multiple investigations for public companies concerning possible Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, including representation of a Fortune 10 company in connection with parallel U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations into possible FCPA violations
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a Texas healthcare company concerning possible violations of the False Claims Act and various Texas state healthcare regulations
  • Represented the CEO of a Dallas-based oil and gas company in an investigation by the SEC and DOJ into possible mail, wire and securities fraud violations in connection with the sale of limited partnership interests to investors
  • Represented a Dallas-based private equity adviser in investigations by the SEC, New York Attorney General and various U.S. Attorney offices in connection with alleged pay-to-play practices to obtain business from public pension funds
  • Represented an executive of an international investment bank in connection with New York Attorney General's auction rate securities fraud investigation
  • Represented a Chicago-based hedge fund in connection with the SEC's investigation of a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme
  • Represented the founder of a bank in a $100 million action by the IRS based on foreign currency swap transactions

  • Represented a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) receiver in connection with his administration of a Texas-based Foreign Exchange company
  • Represented a trustee in a bankruptcy matter focused on identifying sham transactions executed by board members of a Texas-based entity

  • Represented an international investment bank in litigation related to its duties as a hedge fund administrator
  • Represented an investment bank in various multimillion-dollar litigation matters related to a golf resort foreclosure
  • Represented a hedge fund in litigation related to a joint venture investment with a major motion picture company for the production of dozens of major films
  • Represented a gold bullion distributor in litigation concerning interpretation of contract terms, obtaining summary judgment as plaintiff

Credentials

Education
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Michigan, B.B.A., Finance and Accounting, with distinction
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Colorado
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News