Sergio E. Acosta is Co-Chair of Akerman’s White Collar Crime and Government Investigations Practice. A former federal prosecutor and Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers with over 70 jury trials to his credit, he has extensive experience defending companies and individuals in criminal and regulatory proceedings, conducting internal investigations, and counseling clients on compliance programs and related issues.
Sergio represents companies and individuals in regulatory, civil, and criminal proceedings initiated by government agencies for alleged wrongdoing, and proactively counsels clients on enforcement and other litigation matters, including allegations of bribery, alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Anti-Kickback Statute; financial and regulatory fraud; violations of export / import laws and regulations; and violations of internal corporate policy.
He has conducted numerous internal investigations for various state and local governmental entities. A fluent Spanish speaker, Sergio has served as lead counsel in corporate internal investigations and represented individual corporate executives in Latin America. He also counsels and represents companies involved in the gaming industry in Illinois and elsewhere.
Sergio served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for approximately eighteen years, including seven years as Chief of the General Crimes Section for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
During his tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Sergio supervised and handled hundreds of investigations and prosecutions of complex federal criminal cases involving bank fraud, health care fraud, tax fraud, racketeering, violent crime, embezzlement, weapons violations, political corruption, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and terrorism.
He also served as the Office’s Criminal Civil Rights Coordinator, leading the team of prosecutors and FBI agents that indicted notorious former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.
From 1999-2001, Sergio served as Administrator of the Illinois Gaming Board, the agency responsible for regulating all aspects of the Illinois casino gambling industry. Sergio started his career as an Assistant State Attorney in Miami – Dade County, Florida, where he held several supervisory positions under then-State’s Attorney Janet Reno.
- J.D., George Washington University Law School, 1985
- B.A., DePaul University, French, 1982
Bar Admissions : District of Columbia; Florida; Illinois
Court Admissions :
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- Elmhurst College, Member of Board of Trustees, 2015-Present
- Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, Board Member, 2010-2013; 2014-2016
- Leading Lawyers Network, Member
- Leadership Greater Chicago, Fellow, 1999-Present; Member of the Board of Directors, 2002-2011
- Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) DuPage, Inc., Volunteer, 1998-Present
- National Hispanic Prosecutors Association, Founding Member, 1997; Past President, 2001
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