M. Kendall Day is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he is co-chair of Gibson Dunn’s Financial Institutions Practice Group, co-leads the firm’s Anti-Money Laundering practice, and is a member of the White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group. Mr. Day is recognized as a leading White Collar attorney in the District of Columbia by Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers. Most recently, Mr. Day was recognized in Best Lawyers 2023 for white-collar criminal defense. His practice focuses on internal investigations, regulatory enforcement defense, white-collar criminal defense, and compliance counseling. He represents financial institutions; fintech, crypto-currency, and multi-national companies; and individuals in connection with criminal, regulatory, and civil enforcement actions involving anti-money laundering (AML)/Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), sanctions, FCPA and other anti-corruption, securities, tax, wire and mail fraud, unlicensed money transmitter, false claims act, and sensitive employee matters. Mr. Day’s practice also includes BSA/AML compliance counseling and due diligence, and the defense of forfeiture matters.
Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Day had a distinguished 15-year career as a white collar prosecutor with the Department of Justice (DOJ), rising to the highest career position in the DOJ’s Criminal Division as an Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG). As a DAAG, Mr. Day had responsibility for approximately 200 prosecutors and other professionals. Mr. Day also previously served as Chief and Principal Deputy Chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section. In these various leadership positions, from 2013 until 2018, Mr. Day supervised investigations and prosecutions of many of the country’s most significant and high-profile cases involving allegations of corporate and financial misconduct. He also exercised nationwide supervisory authority over the DOJ’s money laundering program, particularly any BSA and money-laundering charges, deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements involving financial institutions.
Earlier in his time as a white collar prosecutor, from 2005 until 2013, Mr. Day served as a deputy chief and trial attorney in the Public Integrity Section of the DOJ. During his tenure at the Public Integrity Section, Mr. Day prosecuted and tried some of the Criminal Division’s most challenging cases, including the prosecutions of Jack Abramoff, a Member of Congress and several chiefs of staff, a New York state supreme court judge, and other elected local officials. He started his career in 2003 when he was selected to join the Attorney General’s Honors Program as a prosecutor in the DOJ’s Tax Division. Mr. Day also was stationed overseas as the Justice Department’s Anti-Corruption Resident Legal Advisor in Serbia.
Mr. Day received a number of awards while at the DOJ, including the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the second highest award for employee performance; the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service; and the Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Ensuring the Integrity of Government.
Mr. Day clerked for Chief United States District Court Judge Benson E. Legg of the District of Maryland. He earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he graduated in 2002 after winning first place in the Lile Moot Court Competition and being selected to receive the Margaret G. Hyde Graduation Award. He graduated with honors and highest distinction from the University of Kansas in 1999 with a B.A. in Italian Literature and Humanities.
Mr. Day is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia.
- Defended a publicly traded financial institution in a DOJ AML investigation and achieved a declination of prosecution.
- Secured a no-penalty, Non-Prosecution Agreement for a U.S. health care company in connection with government investigations of wire fraud and securities violations.
- Represented a Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a U.S. publicly traded diagnostic laboratory and obtained a no-penalty Non-Prosecution Agreement in connection with multiple government investigations of alleged health care fraud and False Claims Act violations.
- Represented the Boards of Directors of multiple global financial institutions in connection with government investigations of alleged international money laundering, AML violations, foreign corruption, sanctions violations, and related issues.
- Secured for an Indonesian paper company a Deferred Prosecution Agreement in connection with alleged sanctions and bank fraud allegations.
- Secured for the third largest Israeli bank a Deferred Prosecution Agreement in connection with government investigation of alleged tax evasion.
- Represented the Board of Directors of an international tobacco company in connection with a DOJ and OFAC investigation of alleged sanctions violations.
- Conducted internal investigation and analysis of FCPA allegations for a publicly traded company.
- Represented a global financial institution in connection with government investigations of AML violations and related issues.
- Represented a leading independent company in the specialty ingredients business in connection with a DEA investigation for alleged failures to declare the import and export of certain List 1 controlled chemicals.
- Served as pool counsel representing various employees in an SEC investigation of potential AML violations for a publicly traded financial institution.
- Conducted AML compliance review for a publicly traded financial institution.
- Representation of a leading non-profit organization in connection with an internal review of employee conduct and the organization’s response.
Selected Recent Speaking Engagements*
- American Gaming Association, Annual Anti-Money Laundering Summit, “State of Play: What the Experts are Saying,” April 2022
- American Gaming Association, Annual Anti-Money Laundering Summit, “Decrypting the Role of Digital Currency in Casinos,” October 2021
- American Bar Association, 34th Annual Institute on White Collar Crime, “Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture – Seizing Everything ‘Involved in’ Crimes,” October 2021
- Corporate Crime Reporter, “Interview: On the Ebb and Flow of Corporate Crime Prosecutions,” August 2021
- American Bar Association webcast, “DOJ White Collar Enforcement: What to Expect in 2021 and the Coming Years,” March 2021
- Gibson Dunn webcast, “International Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Enforcement.” December 2020
- Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court, Moderator for Discussion of Honest-Services Fraud, September 2020
- Gibson Dunn webcast, “Bank Secrecy Act / Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Enforcement and Compliance in 2020 and Beyond,” June 2020
- Brunswick webcast, “AML/CFT and Sanctions Compliance in the Age of COVID-19: Current Issues and What Lies Ahead,” May 2020
- American Bankers Association/American Bar Association Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference, “Trending Legal and Regulatory Risks in Financial Crimes,” December 2019
- American Bankers Association/American Bar Association Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference, “The Intersection of Domestic and International PEP Screening and Political Corruption,” December 2019
- American Bankers Association/American Bar Association Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference, “Making Automated Solutions Business as Usual in Your Financial Crimes Compliance Program,” December 2019
- Gibson Dunn webcast, “Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Enforcement and Compliance in 2019 and Beyond,” May 2019
- Federal Bar Association, Current Issues in Government Investigations, “Following the Money Trail: The “Other” Counts in the Indictment,” May 2019
- American Bar Association, 33rd Annual Institute on White Collar Crime, “Money Laundering and AML: Responding to New and Existing Compliance and Enforcement Challenges,” March 2019
- Gibson Dunn webcast, “Challenges in Compliance and Corporate Governance,” January 2019
- Panel Presentation, “FinCEN’s Cyber Crime Advisory: Separating Fact from Fiction,” American Bankers Association/American Bar Association Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference, December 2018
- The State Gaming Coalition webcast, “AML in Action: New Guidance for Gaming Operations,” October 2018
- Panel Presentation, “AML Compliance: Essentials of Anti-Money Laundering,” Global Gaming Expo 2018 Education Program, October 2018
- Panel Presentation, “Supervisory Developments Regarding BSA/AML and OFAC Compliance,” Risk Management and Regulatory Examination/Compliance Seminar, Institute of International Bankers, 2018
- Gibson Dunn webcast, “Developments in Virtual Currency Law and Regulation,” June 2018
- Gibson Dunn webcast, “Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Enforcement and Compliance in 2018 and Beyond,” May 2018
- American Bar Association, 32nd Annual Institute on White Collar Crime, “Global Reach of Money Laundering Enforcement,” March 2018*
- Testimony to Senate Committee on the Judiciary, for a hearing entitled “Beneficial Ownership: Fighting Illicit International Financial Networks Through Transparency,” February 2018*
- Testimony to Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, for a hearing entitled “Combatting Money Laundering and Other Forms of Illicit Finance: Administration Perspectives on Reforming and Strengthening BSA Enforcement,” January 2018*
- Kleptocracy and Money Laundering: A Conversation with Kendall Day, Hudson Institute, July 2017*
- Cambridge Forum on Financial Institutions Enforcement, Interview, May 2017*
- Chicago White Collar Crime and Corporate Governance Conference, Interview, April 2017*
- American Bankers Association/American Bar Association AML Conference, Keynote Address, November 2016*
- Wall Street Journal PRO, “Financial Regulation – Taking Stock, Looking Ahead,” Interview, October 2016*
*Engagements prior to joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.