He will be based in the firm’s Roseland office and its New York City location, counselling national financial firms, coin-based exchanges, and emerging fintech companies for compliance with federal and state securities laws. Additionally, he’ll defend regulatory examinations and enforcement actions by securities agencies across the country.
Gerold became a national leader in securities regulation and crypto-related enforcement matters as chief of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, a position he held from 2017 to 2021. According to the firm, during his tenue he filed some of the earliest crypto-enforcement actions, including the March 2018 action against the Steven Seagal promoted initial coin offering of Bitcoin.
Since then, the BOS has filed 23 crypto- and decentralized finance-related enforcement actions, including cases against Blockfi and Celsius in 2021.
Gerold led the North American Securities Administrators Association’s “Operation Cryptosweep” as the chair of NASAA’s Enforcement Committee in 2018. The initiative resulted in more than 330 inquiries and investigations and at least 85 enforcement actions related to ICOs or cryptocurrency investment products.
As NASAA president, Gerold engaged with SEC Commissioners and FINRA leadership on various rulemaking and policies, including the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest. Over the course of the pandemic, he led the organization’s COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force, which initiated more than 250 investigations and enforcement actions against fraudulent investment offerings seeking to profit from the pandemic.
“Chris brings perspective and experience that is unrivaled nationally in the crypto and DeFi enforcement space,” said Christopher Porrino, the firm’s litigation chair and former Attorney General of New Jersey. “That experience, combined with his relationships with both state and federal securities regulators, will greatly benefit our broker-dealer, investment management, and startup clients, whether they are involved with traditional securities and investment products, or emerging digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies or NFTs.”
“As regulatory agencies increase their scrutiny of digital assets in 2022, Chris’ deep knowledge in this area will prove highly valuable to our many clients that are operating or seeking to operate in this space, and help us better advise them in navigating this evolving landscape,” said Ethan Silver, partner in Lowenstein Blockchain Technology & Digital Assets and Investment Management group.
Prior his time with the BOS, Gerold worked in private practice as counsel in the financial services regulatory and litigation group at Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC. While there, he conducted internal investigations on sales practices, misappropriation, unapproved sales literature, unapproved third-party research, unsuitable trading, and insider trading, among other issues; and he also represented broker-dealers and investment advisers in regulatory enforcement actions.
Gerold began his legal career in New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General in the securities fraud prosecution section, where he was lead trial attorney in securities fraud enforcement actions in state and administrative courts.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]