Mr. Evangelista draws upon his extensive experience to skillfully handle all types of government enforcement and white collar crime matters on behalf of clients. His leadership roles at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Treasury allow him to draw upon expansive regulatory knowledge to effectively counsel clients on a range of financial services enforcement matters. Mr. Evangelista also has a strong understanding of the new technologies impacting the financial services markets, including blockchain-based digital assets, decentralized finance and Web3.
Prior to joining Skadden, Mr. Evangelista most recently served as head of the Enforcement and Compliance Division at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In this role, he was the senior executive in charge of the Office of Enforcement, Office of Compliance and Office of the Whistleblower. Accordingly, he oversaw the enforcement of AML laws and regulations as applied to traditional financial institutions and emerging fintech companies. He also supervised and approved all civil enforcement actions, including a $100 million civil penalty against one of the oldest and largest convertible virtual currency derivatives exchanges in the world for failing to implement and maintain effective and reasonably designed AML and customer identification programs, in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. He also supervised and approved a $390 million civil penalty against one of the nation’s largest banks for failing to implement and maintain an effective and reasonably designed AML program and other violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. During his time at FinCEN, Mr. Evangelista led the implementation of several new regulatory and enforcement authorities granted to the agency through the passage of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, including the creation of a new Office of the Whistleblower and a new enforcement section focused on cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.
Prior to joining FinCEN, Mr. Evangelista was the second-ranking official at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the largest U.S. Attorney’s Office in the country, where he also served as an assistant U.S. attorney for 12 years. In that role, he created a new Threat Finance Unit and supervised significant AML and sanctions evasion investigations and prosecutions against global financial institutions and their employees, and several groundbreaking cases involving cryptocurrency-related crime. In 2016-17, Mr. Evangelista served as deputy chief of the DOJ’s Bank Integrity Unit, where he supervised sanctions and money laundering investigations, including of two large international banks, each of which was resolved with agreements requiring the banks to pay and forfeit more than $1 billion. While at the DOJ, he frequently worked with senior regulators and enforcement officials throughout the federal government, including the departments of State, Commerce and the Treasury, and with the intelligence community. Additionally, Mr. Evangelista has significant trial experience, having tried more than 50 cases to verdict — including 19 jury trials — and argued numerous appeals.
Mr. Evangelista is a frequent speaker on AML and financial crimes enforcement and regulatory developments. He has participated as a keynote speaker or panelist at conferences such as the ABA/ABA Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference and the ACAMS Annual AML & Anti-Financial Crime Conference, as well as events hosted by Chainalysis, the Institute of International Bankers, the Federal Bar Association of New York and the Practising Law Institute, among others. Before joining the DOJ in 2004, Mr. Evangelista advised and represented companies and individuals in complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal matters at two law firms in Washington, D.C.
In 2022, he was named to Lawdragon’s inaugural list of the 500 Leading Litigators in America.