Steven J. Olson

Partner

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Steve Olson serves as the firmwide Co-Chair of the White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Practice.

As a former federal fraud prosecutor at the US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, Steve regularly represents companies, boards of directors and executives in criminal and civil matters against government enforcement agencies. He also advises companies and independent directors in connection with complex and sensitive internal investigations. Steve has extensive jury trial experience both at the government and in private practice.

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Honors & Awards

  • Named a “Local Litigation Star” for White-Collar Crime by Benchmark Litigation (2020)
  • Recognized by Chambers USA for White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2017-2020)
  • Recognized by the Legal 500 US for White-Collar Criminal Defense (2016-2020)
  • Named “One of the Most Influential People in Los Angeles” by the Los Angeles Business Journal
  • Named a “Super Lawyer” in surveys conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. and published in Los Angeles Magazine

Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California

Education

  • University of Michigan, J.D., 1995: Contributing Editor, Michigan Journal of International Law 
  • Stanford University, B.A., 1990: with honors 

Professional Activities

Clerkships

  • Honorable Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr., US District Court, Central District of California 

Chair

  • World Trade Center Los Angeles

Board Member

  • Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC)
  • Rose Bowl Legacy

Trustee

  • Occidental College

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “The Future of Investigations Part 2: Regulatory Oversight & Enforcement,” FTI Consulting (October 21, 2020)
  • Represented the Audit Committee of Mattel’s Board of Directors in an internal investigation into allegations by an anonymous whistleblower of an accounting error that resulted in a misstatement of the toy maker’s income tax accounting in the last two quarters of 2017. The whistleblower also raised questions about the independence of the company's outside auditor. As part of the investigation, O’Melveny reviewed the company’s accounting and reporting procedures
  • Defending one of the largest global automakers in three-year federal criminal grand jury and NHTSA investigations
  • Represented the Board of CenturyLink in conducting a large-scale internal investigation of consumer sales and billing practices and allegations of sales of unwanted services following whistleblower and regulatory, consumer and shareholder litigation
  • Representing the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern California in multiple high profile investigations and corporate governance issues, including conducting an internal investigation into the conduct of USC gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall, and concerns regarding reporting issues at the University
  • Defending ExxonMobil in federal, state and local agency investigations following an incident concerning its downstream activities in California
  • Represented the Regents of the University of California in an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct in the clinical setting at UCLA. The engagement included reviewing the university's policies and procedures for preventing, identifying, and responding to complaints of sexual harassment or misconduct in its health centers, clinics, and hospitals, which together make up one of the world's largest healthcare systems. Issued a public written report outlining our findings and providing recommendations
  • Defended JPMorgan Chase in unfair competition and Fair Housing Act cases brought by Los Angeles City Attorney
  • Defended Bumble Bee Foods in criminal antitrust investigation and prosecution
  • Defending Wall Street bank in FINRA arbitration
  • Represented independent directors of O’Reilly Autoparts (formerly CSK Auto) during a sensitive internal investigation regarding allegations of widespread accounting fraud. Represented directors in subsequent SEC and DOJ cases
  • Representing BYD Motors, global Chinese electric vehicle and battery company, on a range of regulatory, litigation and business operations matters in US before various local, state and federal government agencies
  • Defended international real estate investment firm in SEC investigation concerning investor disclosures
  • Represented the Audit Committee of a NYSE-listed pharmaceuticals company in an internal investigation regarding revenue recognition issues and the capitalization of certain payments 
  • Defended employees of Wall Street bank in SEC and NY Federal Reserve FCPA investigation of Asia hiring practices

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