Hon. Aharon Barak, Supreme Court of Israel


Yale Law School, J.D., 1993

  • Senior Editor, Yale Law Journal
  • John Currier Gallagher Prize for Excellence in Trial Advocacy
  • Moot Court finalist

Michigan State University, B.A., summa cum laude, 1990 

  • Phi Beta Kappa


  • Hebrew
Photo of Aitan D. Goelman

Aitan D. Goelman


Aitan D. Goelman is a trial lawyer who focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense, securities and commodities litigation, and complex commercial litigation.

Aitan has tried more than 50 cases to verdict and, until February 2017, served as Director in the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Earlier in his career he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York.

At the CFTC, Aitan was responsible for enforcing the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and oversaw all investigations and litigation conducted by the enforcement division regarding violations of the Act. He also advised the Commission, other CFTC divisions, members of Congress and congressional staff about enforcement-related topics in legislation, rulemakings, interpretation and guidance. In his role, Aitan worked closely with the Department of Justice, SEC, FBI, and FERC and with federal banking regulators, as well as foreign and state regulators and prosecutors on cooperative enforcement matters.

Aitan also spent nine years as a federal prosecutor with the DOJ, including several years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He prosecuted dozens of complex criminal cases, including RICO, murder, robbery, conspiracy, fraud, and other federal crimes.

In 1995, Aitan was selected by former Attorney General Janet Reno as the youngest member of the team prosecuting Oklahoma City bombing suspects Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Aitan played a key role in the federal trials of McVeigh and Nichols, for which he was awarded the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award. He also served with the DOJ’s Terrorism and Violent Crime Section in Washington, DC.

Aitan is a member of the Advisory Board for the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement at NYU Law School. He has also served as an adjunct professor of law at The George Washington University Law School, and he is regularly sought out by major national media outlets, including MSNBC, CNN, CNN International, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He has written for publications such as Politico, National Law Journal, Huffington Post, and The Weekly Standard.

  • Represented a former vice president for Clark Material Handling Corporation who had been convicted of violating the federal export control laws by shipping forklift parts to Iran through an intermediary in Dubai. Persuaded the court to grant a motion for a new trial, after which the government agreed to a non-jail disposition.
  • Represented a former employee at one of the country’s largest hedge funds in an investigation of insider trading conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the SEC. Although the Southern District of New York charged and prosecuted a number of individuals in this and related insider trading cases , our client was not charged criminally and ultimately disposed of the matter by agreeing to a settlement with the SEC, without admitting or denying wrongdoing.
  • Represented a Swiss banker charged with conspiring to help Americans hide assets from the IRS.
  • Represented one of the world’s largest generic drug manufacturers in a successful effort to obtain access to samples of brand-name drugs needed to obtain FDA approval to bring generic competitors to market.
  • Advised a New York-based media company on the Office of Foreign Asset’s Control (OFAC) export control laws relevant to the company’s distribution of media content in Iran.
  • Represented the former CEO of a technology company who was the focus of a Wall Street Journal article that launched the scandal into backdating of stock options at U.S. companies. After investigations by the DOJ and the SEC, our client was notified by SEC staff that it intended to recommend charges against him. Submitted a Wells notice arguing that our client should face no charges, an argument the SEC accepted, overruling the recommendation of its staff.
  • Represented the CFO of a European telecommunications company in connection with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and SEC investigations. The client faced inquiries from law enforcement authorities in multiple countries, which required the firm to apply its experience in representing clients subject to cross-border investigations.
  • Conducted FCPA compliance training for portfolio companies of a large holding company.
  • Represented an equity fund that focuses its business on investment opportunities in Israel and related markets. The company became involved in an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office into “pay-to-play” activity by its former managing partner involving the investments by state pension funds. Negotiated a favorable settlement between the company and the attorney general, and we continue to defend the company in related civil litigation.
  • Counseled a European country regarding the return of artwork loaned to a U.S. museum.
  • Represented a European media company in an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) investigation related to media-related business transactions involving Cuba. The investigation was terminated without any enforcement action being brought against our client.
  • Served as counsel for an executive of a Japanese auto parts company in a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust investigation. Our client was ultimately not charged.
  • Represented an executive of a mortgage company charged with securities fraud making false statements in connection with the creation and sale of mortgage-backed securities.
  • Represented executives and other employees of an airline refurbishment company in an FCPA investigation by the DOJ. The executives were alleged to have made facilitation payments to Mexican officials in an effort to secure a contract for work on the airplane used by the president of Mexico. The company ultimately pleaded guilty, but none of the individuals represented by the firm were charged.
  • Represented a generic drug manufacturer in a suit alleging unfair trade practices and FDA violations. The lawsuit was dismissed.
  • Represented a businessman in a prosecution alleging that he provided consulting services to the government of Sudan in violation of United States’ sanctions regulations. The case, which was the first criminal prosecution under the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, alleged violations of International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and raised a host of unique questions of law involving classified information and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
  • Represented an international company in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry Standards (BIS) into aircraft leased to a Sudanese company.
  • Represented a former executive of a pharmaceutical manufacturer in civil litigation and in a criminal investigation into alleged off-label promotion.

Mentioned & Quoted



Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Academic Appointments

  • Senior Fellow, Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement, NYU Law School, 2017
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, “Role of the Federal Prosecutor,” George Washington Law School, 2003-2015

Professional Affiliations

  • Former co-chair, ABA White Collar Crime Committee, Subcommittee on Public Integrity

Community Involvement

  • Team Captain, National MS Walk