Veteran white-collar fraud attorney John Moscow, who led the bureau prosecuting international financial crimes during three-plus decades in the Manhattan district attorney’s office under Robert Morgenthau, has moved from Baker & Hostetler to international litigation boutique Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss.
Moscow mentored two of the name partners at the firm during his time as a prosecutor, and he worked with another when prosecuting the massive Bank of Credit and Commerce International fraud case 30 years ago.
Since joining Baker & Hostetler in 2007, he’s been in the news for his work for Cypriot company Prevezon, which employed Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016, reportedly with the intent to provide information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Moscow pointed to his relationships with key figures at Lewis Baach, which has approximately three dozen attorneys at offices in New York, Washington, London and Buenos Aires, as his reason for the move.
“I’m joining a firm where I know the people, where we think much the same, we’re dealing with much the same kinds of problems, and I’m just looking forward to that,” Moscow said. “I think it’s going to be more fun.
“I enjoy things not everyone necessarily enjoys,” he explained. “We we’re talking through a statute and a sanctions order and a fact pattern to see what could and could not be done. If you think of that as fun, as I do, that’s fun.”
When serving as lead prosecutor in the case against BCCI, an international bank that was shuttered in 1991 following reports of massive money laundering, Moscow first met LBKM senior partner Eric Lewis, who represented the liquidators of the bank in long-running civil litigation against its auditors.
“He’s a very serious guy, he’s got a good sense of humor—don’t get me wrong—but a very serious lawyer, and he just does things well,” Moscow said.
Moscow supervised both Adam Kaufmann and Art Middlemiss in the Manhattan DA’s office. When he left for private practice in 2009, Middlemiss took over the international white-collar crimes bureau, and after Middlemiss departed, Kaufman took the helm.
“Robert Morgenthau thought we should not permit our wire transfer facilities to be used by crooks,” Moscow said of the work. “Obviously, we can’t stop it, but we can step in and try.”
The 99-year-old Morgenthau, who has practiced at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz since stepping down as Manhattan district attorney at the end of 2009, also weighed in on Moscow’s move.
“I am proud of all DANY alumni,” he said in a statement. “But John, Adam and Art are special lawyers and dear friends. I am so pleased that they are back together. They have a formidable white collar team at LBKM.”
While in the district attorney’s office, Moscow also served as deputy chief of the investigations unit. He joins Lewis Baach’s New York office, which was founded in 2013 when Kauffman and Middlemiss both came aboard.
In 2017, Lewis Baach added former litigation funding executive Erika Levin as a partner in New York.