Stephen practices in the Wilmington office of Cranfill Sumner, where he handles a broad array of civil and criminal litigation and investigatory matters.

Stephen has a wide-ranging practice focused on representing parties in complex commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts and before administrative bodies.

Government Investigations, Representation of Qui Tam Relators and Whistleblowers

As a member of the firm’s White Collar, Government Investigations & Special Matters Practice Group, Stephen represents qui tam relators and individuals in government whistleblower actions. He has represented some of the most notable and high-profile whistleblowers in recent times under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower, False Claims Act, Anti-Money Laundering Act, and other federal programs. Recent representations include whistleblower Will Wilkerson in parallel investigations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning Trump Media & Technology Group, former President Donald J. Trump’s social media company that owns and operates Truth Social.  See Washington Post coverage here and Miami Herald coverage here. Stephen is also involved in a high-profile anti-money laundering case involving billions of dollars of illicit funds channeled through numerous countries to the United States.

In addition, Stephen defends individuals and entities subject to government investigations or prosecutions, or accused of white collar criminal offenses. His work includes significant cross-border investigations and matters of significant national importance before numerous federal government agencies.

Complex Commercial Litigation

Stephen’s civil work frequently includes complex commercial litigation where hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.  He has significant experience with class actions and multi-district litigation, securities litigation and arbitration, subrogation litigation, real property disputes, high-net-worth estate litigation, premises and product liability litigation, and professional liability litigation.

Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, and FinTech

Stephen represents and advises litigants, stakeholders, and whistleblowers in the emerging blockchain and cryptocurrency industries.

Transactional and Regulatory Work

Stephen acts as outside counsel to a number of businesses in the Carolinas, guiding his clients through regulatory issues, risk-mitigation endeavors, and transactional matters.

Honors and Awards

Stephen has a Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating and is both a North Carolina and South Carolina Super Lawyers’ Rising Star, a distinction reserved for 2.5% of attorneys in each state.

Stephen is admitted to the state and federal bars of North Carolina and South Carolina as well as the U.S. District Court and Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Stephen attended the Wake Forest University School of Law, where he served as Articles Editor of the Journal of Law & Policy, a research assistant, and an extern for a North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge. Stephen received his undergraduate degree from Clemson University.


Most Recent Posts

  News

New York Times Features Attorneys Patrick Mincey’s & Stephen Bell’s Representation of Trump Media Whistleblower

The New York Times discussed the whistleblower who exposed alleged securities violations involving Trump Media & Technology Group Corporation (“Trump Media”).  The publication discusses the whistleblower claim in the Oct. 25 article, “SPAC Tied to Trump Media Says Early Talks Were not ‘Substantive.’” Patrick Mincey, Stephen Bell, and Phil Brewster are the attorneys representing the whistleblower.… Read More

  News

White Collar Attorneys Patrick Mincey & Stephen Bell Invited to Join Prestigious International Legal Organization

Attorneys Patrick Mincey and Stephen Bell have accepted an invitation to join IR Global, a leading international organization ranked as a “Band-1” global legal network by Chambers and Partners.  Mincey chairs the White Collar, Government Investigations & Special Matters Group at Cranfill Sumner LLP, where Bell is also a partner.  The two now serve as IR Global’s exclusive U.S. advisors for White Collar Crime for North Carolina. … Read More

  News

Attorneys Patrick Mincey & Zac Bolitho Secure Return of More Than $3 Million for Client Following Seizure in Western District of Pennsylvania

Attorneys Patrick Mincey and Zac Bolitho secured the return of more than $3,000,000 that had been seized from a client during an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Mincey and Bolitho represented a business owner who was prosecuted on federal fraud charges for claims he made about the nutritional supplements that his business sold. In addition to obtaining the return of $3,000,000, Mincey and Bolitho successfully argued for a probation-only sentence—a rare occurrence in federal cases. … Read More

  News

Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Volunteer for Legal Aid Eviction Project

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In May 2020, Legal Aid of North Carolina launched an effort to help North Carolinians who were struggling to pay rent and were facing eviction. Legal Aid paired available emergency financial support with a search for volunteer attorneys from across the state who could help negotiate past and future payments with landlords.… Read More

  News

Stephen Bell Receives Pro Bono Award

Stephen Bell, an attorney at Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner), was recently recognized by the New Hanover County Bar Association and the Wilmington Office of Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc., for his pro bono service to clients of Legal Aid of North Carolina.… Read More

  News

Cranfill Sumner Attorneys Lead PLAN Webinar

Stephen Bell, Zac Bolitho and Patrick Mincey led the recent PLAN webinar entitled “Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement at the SEC & DOJ: Trends, Considerations & Strategies for D&O Carriers and Counsel.” The webinar was held on Sept. 30.… Read More