David L. Axelrod
David L. Axelroth

David L. Axelrod

Partner

axelrodd@ballardspahr.com
Tel 215.864.8639
Fax 215.864.8999
Philadelphia

David L. Axelrod is a former Supervisory Trial Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Philadelphia Regional Office and a former federal prosecutor. At the SEC, he directed all aspects of litigation—leading complex, multi-agency investigations into a range of alleged securities law violations and serving as lead trial counsel in high-profile federal cases. He also led nationwide insider trading training for SEC enforcement staff.

Mr. Axelrod's practice focuses on representing companies and individuals under investigation by government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, concerning alleged violations of state and federal law, including securities laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), as well as antitrust matters. Mr. Axelrod is also an accomplished litigator and trial lawyer and represents clients in all phases of complex civil litigation.

Representative Matters

  • Representation of an investment bank in SEC insider trading investigation.
  • Representation of investment adviser in SEC "wrap fee" investigation.
  • Representation of broker-dealer in FINRA market manipulation investigation.
  • Representation of special litigation committee of board of Fortune 100 Company in internal investigation.
  • Representation of financial services company in business dispute over ownership of financial products.
  • Representation of bank in putative securities class action.

Representative Experience at the SEC

Mr. Axelrod has directed strategy in cases involving investment fraud, accounting fraud, FCPA violations, and market manipulation, and has tried to verdict cases involving insider trading. The following examples are representative of his experience at the SEC:

  • Lead trial counsel in SEC v. Daryl M. Payton, a jury trial in which two brokers were found liable for insider trading in advance of IBM’s acquisition of a data analytics company. It was the first insider trading case tried after the Second Circuit's Newman decision heightening the "personal benefit" requirement.
  • Lead trial counsel in SEC v. Bonan Huang, et al., where the SEC charged two Capital One employees with stealing credit card data for hundreds of publicly traded companies, which they used to make profitable trades. Successfully tried to a jury in a week-long trial in January 2016, resulting in a more than $12 million judgment.
  • Supervised a team of trial lawyers in SEC v. Dubovoy, et al., where the SEC charged more than 30 defendants in the United States and Europe with using stolen press releases to make more than $100 million trading U.S. securities.
  • Supervised a team of trial lawyers in SEC v. PTG Capital Partners, et al., where the SEC charged multiple defendants in Bulgaria with engaging in a scheme to manipulate stock through false filings on SEC's EDGAR filing system.
  • Supervised a team of trial lawyers in SEC v. Aly, where the SEC charged a Pakistani defendant with stock manipulation.
  • Supervised a team of trial lawyers in SEC v. Cooperman, where the SEC charged a billionaire hedge fund manager with insider trading.

Representative Experience at the U.S. Attorney's Office

Prior to joining the SEC, Mr. Axelrod was an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he focused on investigating and prosecuting economic crimes, including securities fraud, public corruption, and tax evasion. He tried more than a dozen cases to verdict and argued multiple times before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The following examples are representative of his experience as a federal prosecutor:

  • In United States v. Robert Stinson, investigated and prosecuted a $17 million Ponzi scheme.
  • In United States v. Steven Pitchersky, investigated and prosecuted a California mortgage lender who stole millions of dollars from a national warehouse lender.
  • In United States v, Kelly Defeo, investigated and convicted at trial a real estate developer that created fake tax returns and defrauded his lenders and investors.
  • In United States v. Barry Bekkedam, et al., investigated and prosecuted a bank president and the bank’s former chairmen who attempted to defraud the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
  • In United States v. Andrew Bogdanoff, et al., investigated and convicted at trial the owner of a loan broker who defrauded thousands of business owners located in more than 15 countries out of approximately $26 million.
  • In United States v. Keith Gidelson, et al., investigated and convicted at trial a Philadelphia Police Detective operating an international steroid ring.
  • In United States v. Patrick Shelow, investigated and convicted at trial a purported international business developer who defrauded a Pennsylvania investor out of millions of dollars.

Judicial Clerkship

Hon. R. Barclay Surrick, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 2003-2004

Recognition & Accomplishments

Securities and Exchange Commission’s Arthur F. Mathews Award, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission’s Analytical Methods Award, 2016

Director's Special Recognition Award, Federal Bureau of Investigation, February 2014, June 2012

Certificate of Meritorious Achievement, HIDTA, 2013

Speaking Engagements

“Insider Trading: A Simple Concept in Theory,” Ballard Spahr CLE, Philadelphia, June 7, 2017

Panelist, Expectations for a New Securities Regime, Ballard Spahr Webinar, April 25, 2017

Panelist, Recent SEC Developments and Parallel SEC & DOJ Investigations, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, April 21, 2017

Panelist, Navigating Parallel SEC and DOJ Investigations, November 11, 2016

Panelist, Litigating Insider Trading Cases: Lessons Learned from Recent Trials, June 29, 2016

Panelist, SEC Philadelphia Regional Office 2015 Mid-Atlantic Securities Conference

Presenter, FBI Philadelphia Field Office 2014 White Collar Crime Conference

Publications

Co-author, "The SEC's New Enforcement Tool?" Law360, July 12, 2017

Co-author, "SEC Embraces its New Enforcement Weapon: Anti-Money Laundering and Reporting Requirements Under the Bank Secrecy Act," Ballard Spahr article, June 20, 2017


Harvard Law School (J.D. 2003)

Haverford College (B.A. 1999, high honors in Economics, Political Science)
Phi Beta Kappa


District of Columbia

New York

Pennsylvania