Photo of Vesna K. Harasic-Yaksic

Education

J.D., cum laude, American University Washington College of Law

B.A., Cornell University

Law Journals

Editor-in-Chief, American University Business Law Review

Bar and Court Admissions

District of Columbia Bar

Maryland Bar

Certifications

Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS)

Languages

Spanish

Vesna represents corporate clients and their executives in government and internal investigations, civil enforcement matters and criminal investigations alleging false claims, financial institution fraud, securities fraud, health care fraud, money laundering, and public corruption. In addition, as a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist, Vesna defends clients in money laundering investigations and asset forfeiture proceedings, and advises them on corporate compliance matters including implementing effective anti-money laundering compliance programs and controls. She previously served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in both the District of Columbia and the Eastern District of Virginia. 

Representative Experience

  • Representing an IT contractor in parallel criminal and civil investigations regarding kickback allegations.
  • Representing a medical device manufacturer in a complex investigation concerning allegations of off-label promotion.
  • Representing an individual in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia relating to alleged union embezzlement.
  • Representing an individual in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia involving allegations of public corruption and procurement fraud.
  • Representing an insurance company in an FCA investigation involving alleged false certifications of eligibility for government contracts.    
  • Represented entity in Special Counsel investigation.
  • Represented a military contractor and its executives against allegations of fraud, misappropriation, and business torts.
  • Counseled a scientific research organization regarding its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing compliance obligations in relation to a government subcontract.
  • Advised multiple clients on compliance issues related to law enforcement data requests, including subpoenas, 2703(d) orders, and search warrants.
  • Advised a telecommunications company on potential Hobbs Act violations related to a “pay to play” transaction.

Trial Attorney, Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, U.S. Department of Justice (2015-2017):

  • Represented the United States in complex money laundering prosecutions and grand jury investigations including the investigation of a large-scale money laundering organization operating a black-market peso exchange. Those investigations involved grand jury subpoenas, search and seizure warrants, wiretaps, surveillance, and other law enforcement tools.
  • Represented the United States in civil forfeiture matters including the successful forfeiture of nearly $1 million dollars in insurance fraud proceeds.
  • Assisted in the investigation of financial institutions for Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) violations and failures to implement effective anti-money laundering compliance programs and controls.

Special Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia (2016-2017):

  • Provided forfeiture assistance to AUSAs in more than 30 federal criminal cases to include fraud, bank robbery, narcotics trafficking, and sex offenses.
  • Represented the United States in the prosecution of an individual for fraud involving U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) foreign assistance funds.
  • Represented the United States in a civil forfeiture proceeding against an aircraft engine intended for illegal re-export to Iran in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and other U.S. sanctions violations.
  • Participated in a grand jury investigation of a foreign company involved in money laundering and IEEPA violations.

Special Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (2016):

  • Lead counsel for the prosecution of an individual charged with bulk cash smuggling and false statements.
  • Represented the United States in the prosecution of a large-scale visa fraud scheme.
  • Represented the United States in the prosecution of various misdemeanors on federal land.
  • Represented the United States in supervised release and probation violation hearings.

Professional Experience

  • Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (2015-2017)
  • Special Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia (2016-2017)
  • Special Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (2016)
  • Summer Honors Law Intern, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (2013)
  • Criminal Law Intern Investigator, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (2012)

Affiliations

  • Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS)
  • Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA-DC)
  • Maryland Bar Association
  • Cornell Club of Washington