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
The Greater Wilmington Business Journal featured Patrick Mincey’s and Stephen Bell’s representation of the whistleblower who exposed alleged securities violations involving Trump Media & Technology Group Corporation (“Trump Media”) and their work as part of the Cranfill Sumner LLP White Collar, Government Investigations & Special Matters Practice Group.… Read More
The Washington Post discussed the whistleblower who exposed alleged securities violations involving Trump Media & Technology Group Corporation (“Trump Media”).… Read More
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
An ABC News report discussed the whistleblower who exposed alleged securities violations involving Trump Media & Technology Group Corporation (“Trump… Read More
Attorneys Patrick Mincey, Stephen Bell, and Phil Brewster were recently discussed in an in-depth, multimedia Washington Post article regarding their representation… Read More
Attorneys Patrick Mincey, Stephen Bell and Phil Brewster were recently discussed in a Miami Herald article regarding their representation of… Read More
Earlier this month, DOJ announced additional revisions to the Department’s existing policies and practices governing corporate criminal enforcement. Each of… Read More
A product manager at OpenSea, a $13 billion online marketplace for non-fungible-tokens (“NFTs”), was indicted in the first-ever “insider-trading” action brought… Read More
In late May, a court in the Pacific island nation of Fiji upheld on appeal the detention of the 348-foot… Read More
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
In 2020, the European Union proposed a set of regulations known as the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation – MiCA… Read More
Few investors made it through 2021 and 2022 without learning of, discussing, or perhaps purchasing, cryptocurrency or other blockchain assets,… Read More
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
Stephen Bell and Zac Bolitho presented the “Evolving DOJ Enforcement Trends: Considerations for White Collar Practitioners and Their Clients” webinar on March 10. The webinar was hosted by PLAN.… Read More
Cranfill Sumner LLP announced that 11 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2022 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2022 North Carolina Rising Stars lists.… Read More
Cranfill Sumner LLP today announced that Steven Bader (Raleigh), Stephen Bell (Wilmington) and Charles Hicks (Raleigh) have been named partners in the firm.… Read More
In September 2020, Patrick Mincey, Zachary Bolitho and I presented on the changes and trends we expected to see in SEC and DOJ… Read More
The South Carolina Supreme Court recently issued a landmark decision, Keene v. CNA Holdings, LLC (August 11, 2021), narrowing the… Read More
Today Cranfill Sumner proudly announced that 14 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2021 North Carolina Super Lawyers and 2021 North Carolina Rising Stars lists.… Read More
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
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
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
Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) today announced that Stephen Bell has received an AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.… Read More
Cranfill Sumner LLP (Cranfill Sumner) today announced that Stephen Bell has joined the firm’s Wilmington office as an associate attorney. He will focus his practice in the area civil litigation.… Read More