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Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Work +1 212 756 2000
Fax +1 212 593 5955
London, New York, Washington DC

Betty Santangelo

Work +1 212.756.2587
Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Work Department

Broker-Dealer Regulatory & Enforcement, Litigation, Bank Regulatory, Financial Institutions, Regulatory & Compliance, Securities & Capital Markets, Securities Enforcement, Securities Litigation, White Collar Defense & Government Investigations


Betty Santangelo focuses her practice on white-collar criminal defense and securities/bank enforcement. As a former Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, she specialized in securities and commodities fraud prosecutions. Her current practice includes representing financial institutions (banks, broker-dealers, mutual funds, FCMs, insurance companies, investment advisers, hedge funds and private equity funds), other corporate entities and individuals in matters brought by the US Attorneys’ offices, by various regulatory agencies, including the SEC, the bank regulatory agencies, the CFTC, FINRA, international regulators (such as the FCA) and state and local prosecutors. Betty also has significant experience conducting internal investigations for these entities. In addition, she has served as an independent consultant in SEC enforcement matters examining both the NYSE and a regional broker-dealer. Prior to joining SRZ, Betty served as First Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Merrill Lynch, where she managed the firm's securities and criminal regulatory investigations group and represented the firm and its employees in enforcement proceedings before federal and state regulatory agencies, and in criminal matters before US Attorneys' offices and state prosecutors, as well as in foreign jurisdictions. She has also served as Division Director of the ABA Litigation Committee and Chair of its Securities Litigation and Broker-Dealer Subcommittees. She has contributed a chapter on “Representation Prior to Indictment” in the book Defending Federal Criminal Cases: Attacking the Government’s Proof (Law Journal Press, 2009, 2018), co-authored the “Civil and Criminal Enforcement” chapter of the Insider Trading Law and Compliance Answer Book (Practising Law Institute, 2011-2018) and contributed two chapters in Broker Dealer Regulation (Practising Law Institute, 2009-2010, 2014-2017). Betty is recognized as a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 USThe Best Lawyers in America, Ethisphere: Attorneys Who Matter, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers, Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business LawWho's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence and New York Super Lawyers. She was also presented with the New York Chapter of the National Organization for Women's annual Women of Power and Influence Award.

Nationally recognized for her expertise in corporate compliance issues, including anti-money laundering, OFAC and FCPA, Betty’s representation of financial institutions in white collar and regulatory matters frequently draws on these areas of expertise, including advising financial institutions on their anti-money laundering/OFAC/FCPA procedures. At Merrill Lynch, she was also responsible for oversight of all Bank Secrecy Act reporting and anti-money laundering activities, and the implementation of Merrill Lynch’s anti-money laundering procedures. Among her many professional activities, she has served as the Securities and Futures Industry’s representative on the Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group of the US Department of the Treasury. Betty also is a founding member of and has served as counsel to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s (SIFMA) Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Committee. She was honored by SIFMA for her extraordinary contributions to the committee and recognized for her dedication to improving industry compliance. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the United States Treasury Department awarded Betty its Director’s Medal for Exceptional Service. The same year, she represented the US securities industry at the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) meeting in Brussels, Belgium. She also represented SIFMA, the Futures Industry Association and the Investment Company Institute at the FATF meeting in Paris. A former adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, where she taught a course on money laundering, Betty is a much sought-after speaker on corporate compliance, anti-money laundering/OFAC/FCPA, white-collar criminal and securities law issues, including at SIFMA, the FIA, ACAMS, the ABA/ABA AML conference and FIBA. From the Emerald Literati Network she received an “outstanding paper” award for an article she wrote on money laundering enforcement actions and a “highly commended” award for an article she wrote on beneficial ownership information and USA PATRIOT Act obligations. She also won a Burton Award, which recognizes exceptional legal writing, for an article she wrote on the FCPA. She is a recipient of the YWCA Woman of Achievement award, as well as other awards.


Member, Board of Directors of National Organization of Italian American Women, 2009–Present (Chair, 2012–14, Chair Elect, 2012, Vice Chair, 2009–11); Member, Editorial Board of Complinet, 2009–Present; Member, Board of Trustees of Federal Bar Council Foundation, 1997–2003, 2005–08, 2012–Present; Member, Fordham Law Alumni Association, Board of Directors, 1997–Present; Member, New York City Bar Association, Federal Courts Committee, 1993–94 ; Division Co-director, ABA Litigation Committee, 1991–92; Chair/Co-chair, ABA Securities Litigation Committee, 1989–91; Chair, Broker/Dealer Sub-Committee of Litigation Committee, 1987–89; Member, ABA White Collar Crime Committee, 1993–Present; Secretary, New York Women’s Bar Association, 1976–77. Professional Activities: Securities Industry and Futures Industry Representative, U.S. Treasury Department Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group, 1995–2008; Member, SIFMA Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Committee, 2014–Present; Counsel, 2000–2014; Member of U.S. Delegation to FATF, October 2002; Chair, Ad Hoc Securities Industry Group on Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering, 1995–2000; U.S. Securities Industry Representative, Financial Action Task Force, 1998.


Fordham University School of Law, J.D.; Trinity College, B.A.; University of Oxford, Honors Program.

United States: Dispute resolution

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Within: Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is particularly noted for its individual representations, although it also handles high-profile criminal and investigatory matters on the corporate side - primarily in the financial services space. The practice is co-led by Barry Bohrer in New York and Adam Hoffinger in Washington DC. Bohrer is currently representing Joseph Percoco, former senior aid and campaign manager to New York governor Andrew Cuomo, in an investigation by the FBI and Manhattan federal prosecutor into improper lobbying and conflicts of interest. Peter White, who divides his time between Washington DC and New York, is representing a former executive of SunTrust Mortgage, indicted for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the Eastern District of Virginia. New York’s Seetha Ramachandran, Betty Santangelo and Gary Stein lead on AML matters.

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United States: Finance

Financial services regulation

Within: Financial services regulation

Spearheaded on the bank regulatory front by Joseph Vitale, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is particularly accomplished at handling regulatory work at the intersection of the funds and banking industries. Noted for his Volcker Rule expertise, Vitale ‘combines an outstanding depth of knowledge with a keen ability to deliver business-ready solutions’, and has provided the regulatory input to private equity sponsor Cerberus on numerous investments it has made into regulated financial institutions, including its recent acquisition of GE Money Bank from General Electric Corp. Vitale also regularly advises international banks on regulatory issues impacting their US activities, as well as on the application of US regulatory law to non-US activities. Julian Rainero has ‘deep expertise at handling detailed trading issues’ and co-heads the firm’s broker-dealer practice alongside Craig Warkol. Donald Mosher is recommended for his payments-related regulatory work, both from a standalone advisory perspective as well as in relation to M&A activity, as demonstrated by his recent advice for Cambridge Mercantile on its $690m acquisition by FleetCor Technologies. Betty Santangelo has a focus on AML-related matters.

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