Tarek Helou is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he represents companies in internal investigations and defends companies and individuals in significant and multi-jurisdictional government enforcement actions. He also handles crisis management and counsels clients on risk assessments, compliance, and due diligence, with a focus on anti-corruption matters. Tarek, a former supervisor in the U.S. Department of Justice's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Unit, has deep expertise in all aspects of government investigations, having led or supervised more than 100 FCPA investigations focusing on every major industry, including companies in the technology, software, data analytics, medical device, pharmaceutical, mining, oil and gas, and finance sectors. Those investigations have resulted in FCPA, wire fraud, money laundering, and tax charges against publicly traded and privately held companies, board members and executives, and senior foreign government officials.
Tarek is an experienced trial lawyer and investigator who has a deep understanding of how prosecutors think and how the Justice Department approaches criminal cases. His practice is driven by this experience and his insight into what the Justice Department and other U.S. and foreign government agencies expect companies to do when they conduct internal investigations, cooperate with the government, and implement and improve their compliance programs.
Prior to joining the firm, Tarek spent 12 years at the Justice Department. From 2014 to 2019, he was an assistant chief in the FCPA Unit of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section, and he also served as a trial attorney in the FCPA Unit from 2012 to 2014. In these positions, he served as the decision maker for some of the DOJ's largest, most complex international criminal investigations, led and supervised teams of agents and prosecutors in the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney's Offices throughout the country, and coordinated investigations with domestic regulators and foreign criminal and regulatory authorities throughout the world. In addition, Tarek selected and supervised seven independent corporate compliance monitors. He also helped develop the FCPA Pilot Program and the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy. While in the FCPA Unit, Tarek was the lead attorney or supervisor for some of the Justice Department's most significant corporate and individual cases, including corporate resolutions with:
• an oil and gas services company for conduct in South America, West Africa, and the Middle East;
• a telecommunications company for conduct in Eastern Europe;
• one of the largest software and technology companies in the world for conduct in Eastern Europe;
• a major retailer for conduct in Central America, South America, and Asia;
• a medical device manufacturer for conduct in Central America and South America; and
• a defense contractor for conduct in the Middle East.
His cases against individual defendants have included charges against dozens of board members, executives, and foreign government officials for bribes paid in Asia, South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.
Before joining the FCPA Unit, Tarek was an assistant U.S. attorney (AUSA) in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California from 2007 to 2012. As an AUSA, he tried several cases and investigated and prosecuted cases involving drug trafficking, gangs, violent crime, child exploitation, money laundering, and tax fraud and evasion.
Prior to serving as a federal prosecutor, Tarek was an associate in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices of a global law firm from 2001 to 2007, where he represented companies, boards of directors, and executives in internal and government-facing investigations concerning fraud and trade secrets misappropriation and in intellectual property litigation.