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Citibank’s Benjamin D. Velella Joins ZEK

May 1st, 2017 – After more than 30 years as an in-house attorney with Citibank, N.A., Benjamin D. Velella of Oceanside, Long Island, has joined the New York-based law firm of Zeichner, Ellman & Krause, LLP as Of Counsel, effective May 1st, 2017.

As a Director and Associate General Counsel with Citibank’s U.S. Consumer Bank, Mr. Velella provided legal support to the bank’s retail operations and businesses across the United States, creating, implementing and managing Citi’s first subpoena and other legal service compliance operations.

With expertise in electronic banking, fraud deterrence, litigation and major claims management, elder financial abuse concerns, subpoena, restraining orders, levys and attachments compliance, and UCC articles 3 and 4 – with emphasis on check collection issues, including mobile and remote check deposits, Mr. Velella will provide specialist support in ZEK’s Banking and Financial Services group.

Mr. Velella was instrumental in the development of Citi’s anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance programs, and was the legal point of contact for retail bank complaint and inquiries presented by federal regulators, successfully managing dozens of significant major litigation matters in which the institution was a defendant.

“In recent years, we have witnessed a dramatic rise in large scale cyber fraud security breaches and the wholesale compromise of consumer credit card and consumer accounts by criminals,” said ZEK’s Managing Partner, David Chenkin.

In this environment, Ben’s extensive involvement with these issues at Citibank will prove quite valuable to our clients,” added Mr Chenkin.

Mr. Chenkin emphasized that in an era where the regulatory oversight of banks by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), OCC and various state agencies has had a significant impact on the daily operation of these institutions, having an attorney with Ben’s expertise in overseeing a bank’s regulatory complaint, inquiry and examination response efforts will be of great value to current and prospective clients.  “At the same time, Ben’s long in house experience, understanding and balancing legal and business needs of institutional clients, should also be valued by those clients,” Chenkin added.