Carlos F. Ortiz

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Carlos F. Ortiz

Carlos F. Ortiz



Carlos Ortiz  is a seasoned trial lawyer with significant white collar defense and investigations experience based in the firm's New York office. He uses his prominent 15-year background as a federal prosecutor to assist clients with matters relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), high-risk task controversies, off-shore tax issues, anti-money laundering, allegations of fraud against government agencies and financial institutions, and e-commerce, as well as healthcare fraud. Over his career in private practice he has secured the declination of criminal charges for corporate and individual clients including a recent dismissal of a superseding indictment one month before trial. On several occasions he has prevented the referral of charges for the target of criminal tax investigations.

Carlos has extensive experience representing US and foreign-based corporations, as well as individuals in connection with matters before enforcement and regulatory agencies including the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and various state attorneys general. These include negotiating resolutions and implementing remedial measures. 

Utilizing his familiarity with DOJ, Carlos represented a company in an FCPA matter that resulted in the company entering into a non-prosecution agreement and a fine of $2 million.  Due to the company's remedial efforts, DOJ did not require an outside monitor, instead trusting Carlos to continue to work with the company to implement the terms of the agreement.  Working closely with the company's compliance team, Carlos conducted annual reviews of their key stakeholders, agents, and partners, as well as assessed risks that became apparent through ongoing data collection and analysis. He presented annual reports on the company's progress in monitoring and enhancing its compliance policies and procedures to the leadership of DOJ's Fraud Section to efficiently close out the terms of the agreement – and was commended for his team and the company's work.

He also has significant experience assisting companies in efficiently responding to subpoenas, thereby minimizing any disruption to their business operations. Additionally, he has represented accounting firms in grand jury and SEC investigations involving both the preparation of tax returns and their audit practice.

Carlos is recognized in Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in Litigation: White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations Law. "His white-collar defense practice demonstrates strength in a range of criminal tax proceedings and investigations, for which he has developed a leading reputation. He is described as 'the dean of the tax defense practice area - he's the go-to guy.' "

Carlos has a keen understanding of the complexities and nuances involved when corporations and financial institutions need to conduct internal investigations, address issues of corporate governance, or face civil regulatory and criminal exposure. He has conducted numerous domestic and international internal investigations on behalf of companies in the pharmaceutical, financial services, healthcare, aerospace, energy, and telecommunications industries. 

Carlos is known for his ability to lead and coordinate teams in a wide variety of complex matters affecting corporations and financial institutions, including due diligence related to mergers and acquisitions. He was also part of the team that worked with Senator George J. Mitchell in connection with his independent investigation of performance enhancing substance use in Major League Baseball.

While at the US Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, Carlos served as Deputy and Acting Chief of the Criminal Division, where he supervised eight criminal litigation units—government fraud, commercial crime, securities fraud, healthcare fraud, terrorism, violent crimes, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), and money laundering, public protection, and the Organized Crime Strike Force. He also served as the Chief of the Government Fraud Unit, overseeing the work of approximately 80 Assistant US Attorneys.

During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, Carlos tried 21 jury trials in federal court, the majority involving criminal tax offenses. He also served as the international coordinator, where he worked closely with the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs in all matters involving international prosecutions. Carlos was responsible for conceptualizing and leading a global financial investigation resulting in the breakup of a massive international network of internet-based commercial money laundering and child pornography rings. In the course of that investigation, he coordinated the efforts of federal and international law enforcement agencies, banks, and credit card companies. Carlos was honored at the White House by President Bush in May 2005, and received an award from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at a congressional breakfast, for his role in leading this ground-breaking international investigation.

He lectures extensively on topics involving the FCPA, criminal tax issues (including crypto-currency), internal investigations, financial crimes, and trial advocacy in both the United States, Europe and Asia.

Professional experience

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LL.M, Tax, University of Baltimore School of Law
JD, Brooklyn Law School
BA, College of William & Mary

Carlos is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, Eastern District of New York and Southern District of New York. Additionally, he is also admitted to practice in U.S. Tax Court.

  • New Jersey State Bar
  • New York State Bar
  • Represented companies in FCPA matters that resulted in a non-prosecution agreement, no compliance monitor and a substantial reduction in the amount of the fine. The representations included assistance in compliance with the terms of the non-prosecution agreement.
  • Represented several high level executives before DOJ and the SEC in FCPA investigations resulting in the declination of charges against the individuals.
  • Representing a South American sports broadcasting and marketing company in the FIFA investigation.
  • Represented a multinational insurance company in a corruption investigation conducted by both the US Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey and the Attorney General's office resulting in non-prosecution by both offices.
  • Represented a target of a criminal tax grand jury investigation resulting in the declination of charges by the US Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey.
  • Represented a construction developer in an SBA fraud case in the Northern District of Illinois resulting in the US Attorney's Office dismissing the indictment one month before trial.
  • Represented an individual in a government fraud investigation resulting in the dismissal of criminal complaint by the US Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey.
  • Represented a military defense contractor in a federal grand jury investigation resulting in the declination of criminal charges by the US Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey.
  • Served as investigations counsel for an international insurance company with responsibility for conducting internal investigations.
  • Represented a European-based credit card processing company in a gaming/bank fraud grand jury investigation by the Eastern District of NY resulting in no criminal or civil action or fine.
  • Represented a major international pharmaceutical company by conducting internal investigations into allegations of FCPA violations in Asia, South America and Europe. Also conducted proactive FCPA compliance reviews.
  • Designed and implemented comprehensive FCPA compliance programs to prevent and detect potential anti-corruption risks for numerous companies, including developing compliance policies and training programs, and drafting and reviewing contracts with agents, distributors, and other third parties to ensure they include provisions that require adherence to applicable anti-corruption standards and to provide clients with the ability to monitor compliance.
  • Conducted numerous internal investigation on behalf of a major pharmaceutical company including allegations involving the off-label promotion of products.
  • Representing an individual in a US Tax Court trial involving expropriation of assets by the government of Iran.
  • Represented the owner of a South American company in a bank fraud, money laundering and criminal tax investigation in the SDFL resulting in the declination of charges.
  • Represented a national non-profit agency in multiple DOJ and federal agency investigations involving government contracts resulting in no criminal or civil action or fines.
  • Represented a former national sales director of a pharmaceutical company in a kickback and off-label marketing investigation resulting in the declination of charges.
  • Chambers USA, Litigation: White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations Law, Chambers and Partners, 2017 - 2019
  • Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, US taxes: contentious, The Legal 500, 2020
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, White-Collar Crime, Super Lawyers, 2018 - 2019
  • New York Super Lawyers, White-Collar Crime, Super Lawyers, 2007 - 2008; 2010 - 2019
  • Speaker, "Pharmaceutical internal investigations in a post-pandemic world," Norton Rose Fulbright Webinar, June 4, 2020
  • Speaker, "How the US Foreign Corrupts Practices Act (FCPA) works and how to avoid violating it," Forum for the Asociación de Bancos del Peru (ASBANC), Lima, Peru, November 13, 2019
  • Speaker, "Ethical Issues When Advising Cross-Border Clients," ABA Tax Section Meeting, San Francisco, California, October 4, 2019
  • Speaker, "Blurring the Lines: When is tax advice subject to the attorney client privilege?," 11th Annual Tax Controversy Forum, New York University, New York, June 20-21, 2019
  • President of the New Jersey Hispanic Bar Association (2003–2004); Executive Board Member (1994-2004); Member (2003-Present).
  • National Hispanic Bar Association, member of the Compliance and Ethics Section
  • Vice-chair of the International Anti-Corruption Committee of the ABA Section of International Law
  • Former Trustee of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey; member and past president (2004)
  • Co-founder and former vice president (1996) of the National Hispanic Prosecutor's Association
  • Appointed by Governor Jon Corzine to serve as a commissioner on the New Jersey Advisory Committee on Police Standards from 2006 to 2008.
  • American Bar Association
  • Spanish