Cliff Histed focuses on representing companies and individuals operating in highly-regulated industries, particularly in the areas of financial markets, trading, and health care, during both criminal and regulatory proceedings, and in representing clients in litigation and at trial.
Mr. Histed is a former supervisory federal prosecutor and supervisory enforcement lawyer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He has more than 23 years’ experience investigating and prosecuting official misconduct, business frauds, and criminal offenses in regulated industries, including the securities markets, the agricultural and financial futures and derivatives markets, and the healthcare field. He has supervised more than a dozen assistant U.S. attorneys in their investigation and trial of criminal fraud cases, and has tried 27 jury and nonjury cases, both criminal and civil, in federal and state courts. He has briefed eleven matters before the Second and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, and argued eight of those appeals.
Mr. Histed has conducted or supervised hundreds of investigations and prosecutions, including those involving allegations of health care fraud, bribery, trade secret theft, perjury, obstruction of justice, and commodity futures and securities violations such as insider trading, price manipulation in dairy and energy futures markets, wash sales, and abusive forms of high-frequency trading, including the case U.S. v. Michael Coscia, the first case to charge the disruptive trading practice known as “spoofing” as a crime. Many of these investigations involved parallel litigation or enforcement actions brought by federal regulatory agencies, futures exchanges, bankruptcy trustees, or private litigants.
Mr. Histed gained this experience by working as an assistant U.S. attorney for more than eight years, and he served as a deputy chief in both the Securities and Commodities Fraud Section and the Financial Crimes/Special Prosecutions Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Histed also worked as a supervisory enforcement lawyer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as an Illinois Assistant Attorney General, and as a special agent with a federal Inspector General’s Office.
Mr. Histed speaks and writes frequently on the topic of futures and securities trading. Notable publications that have quoted Mr. Histed on the subject of disruptive trading practices and insider trading include Bloomberg News, Chicago Lawyer, Crain’s Chicago Business, Law360, Levick’s Tomorrow blog, and Institutional Investor.
Mr. Histed also has a very active pro bono practice, and has provided legal services to the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission and Clemency Project 2014. He is a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois which provides representation to indigent clients charged with federal criminal offenses.
Mr. Histed’s 25-year career included the following public and private sector organizations: