Laurel Loomis Rimon is a former federal prosecutor and recognized financial regulatory and enforcement expert. An unrelenting and pragmatic problem solver, clients look to Laurel for practical advice when facing compliance or enforcement challenges involving anti-money laundering, consumer protection, federal or state oversight, Fintech, and payments. Laurel is also a leading practitioner and thought leader in the emerging blockchain ecosystem. Recognized as a 2022 Chambers ranked Leading Individual, clients say Laurel’s "communication style is very direct and she is an excellent writer." And, "[i]n addition to her deep substantive knowledge, she is able to draw on her extensive government experience to provide nuanced risk assessments and, when necessary, to be a highly credible and effective advocate for us with regulators at both the leadership and staff levels."
A veteran investigator and trial attorney, Laurel brings an efficiency in gathering facts and delivering strong responses to government enforcement agencies, correcting the record where necessary and obtaining favorable resolutions. Through years of front-line experience, she is uniquely positioned to provide clients with a realistic and common-sense approach to regulatory risks, and to help them design compliance plans aimed at avoiding and reducing the risk of an enforcement action. Laurel is highly effective at navigating difficult conversations with the government, witnesses, and client teams when necessary.
As a partner in the Investigations & White Collar Defense and Fintech & Payments practices at Paul Hastings, Laurel is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Prior to private practice, she served for more than 15 years as an Assistant United States Attorney and DOJ Trial Attorney, including as head of Litigation for DOJ’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, supervising and litigating cases involving criminal and civil money laundering and other financial crimes, domestically and internationally. Laurel also served as an Assistant Deputy Enforcement Director for the Office of Enforcement at the CFPB, leading complex and sensitive investigations and litigation involving bank and non-bank subjects. She held a Senior Executive Service appointment as General Counsel to the Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security, where she oversaw sensitive program and misconduct investigations and Department-wide whistleblower retaliation investigations.
Laurel leverages this deep regulatory and enforcement experience to represent clients in responding to DOJ, FinCEN, OFAC, OIG, NY DFS, CFPB, and State AG inquiries and enforcement actions and related compliance matters. Many of Laurel’s clients are forward leaning Fintech companies in the payment and cryptocurrency spaces, as she has been on the cutting edge of financial technology enforcement since leading DOJ’s first digital assets litigation more than 15 years ago.
- Chambers USA, FinTech Legal - Leading Individual (2022)
- The Legal 500, Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense (2021)
- National Law Journal, "DC Trailblazer" (2020)
- Assistant Attorney General’s Award, Safeguarding and Maintenance of Confidence in the American Marketplace
- Assistant Attorney General’s Award, Outstanding Advocacy in Protecting Citizens from Online Crime
- Southwestern Law School, J.D.
- University of California at Berkeley, B.A.
- Represented a multinational bank in connection with an investigation by the CFPB regarding allegations of violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act related to the auto pay functionality for bank-issued credit cards.
- Represented a federal educational loan servicing company in connection with an investigation by the CFPB into potential violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act related to its debt collection practices.
- Conducted an investigation for a global emerging technology company into inquiries from the Department of Justice related to allegedly fraudulent marketing practices.
- Conducted an investigation of alleged ethical violations by D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, the Ward 2 representative and the District’s longest-serving lawmaker.
- Represented one of the largest digital currency exchanges in enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network alleging that the exchange’s anti-money laundering compliance program was insufficient.
- Advised a major financial institution’s cryptocurrency subsidiary on financial regulatory matters, including advising on travel rule compliance and developing an AML and OFAC compliance program.
- Advised several payments startups on financial regulatory matters, including determining which of their operations may be subject to federal and state financial regulations and developing early stage AML compliance programs customized to their needs.
- Advised a global e-commerce company in the development of a new anti-money laundering compliance program in connection with its shift to handling its own payments operations.
Other Select Experience
- Served as counsel to a government entity in defending against claims of retaliation filed by alleged whistleblowers and subsequent enforcement actions brought by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Engagement & Publications
- "BitMEX Indictment Warns of New Department of Justice Approach on AML Program Failures," The Recorder (November 2020)
- "Pandemic predators – Covid-19 fraud schemes," Fraud Intelligence (July 2020)
- Expert Contributor, "Understanding Digital Tokens: Guidelines for Anti-Money Laundering Compliance and Combatting the Financing of Terrorism," Chamber of Digital Commerce (September 2019)
- "Legalized sports gambling: Anti-money laundering compliance," Westlaw Journal Bank & Lender Liability (October 2018)
- "Why cryptocurrency businesses need to heed FinCEN’s onboarding regs," PaymentsSource (May 2018)
- "Op Ed: A Quick-Start Token Sale Compliance Guide: What You Need to Know," Bitcoin Magazine (March 2018)
- "The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin Billionaire Arthur Hayes," Vanity Fair (April 2021)
- "Fintech Regulations in the Crosshairs: Looming Requirements and How to Prepare for the Knowns, and Unknowns, of Compliance," ACI 6th Annual Legal, Regulatory, and Compliance Forum on Fintech & Emerging Payments (May 18, 2022)
- "Lessons Learned from Recent FinTech Enforcement Actions," ACAMS 3rd Annual AFC FinTech & Crypto Regulatory Summit (May 3, 2022)
- "Coin Bitten? Consumer Protection and Crypto," ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting (April 6, 2022)
- "Cryptocurrency: Valuation Issues and Market Volatility," American Bankruptcy Institute Webinar (September 2021)
- "Evaluating Your Risk Exposure for Digital Currencies and FinTechs," ABA Financial Crimes Conference (December 8-10, 2020)
- "Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Forum on FinTech & Emerging Payment Systems," American Conference Institute (July 29, 2020)
- "Legal Perspectives on Fintech, BSA/AML," International Bankers Association of California’s Special Update on Regulatory Hot Topics, FinTech Solutions and OFAC Compliance (December 11, 2019)
- "Women Lawyers in Blockchain," Celo (September 19, 2019)
- "Staying compliant in this complex and changing regulatory environment," ACI’s Women Leaders in Financial Law and Compliance Conference (September 18, 2019)
- "Fintech: Friend or foe? Collaboration and Regulation in Emerging Tech," at the FIBA AML Compliance Conference in Miami (March 13, 2019)