Global investigations firm Nardello & Co. announced today that former Drug Enforcement Administration Supervisory Special Agent Joseph F. Thompson has joined the firm as a Managing Director in New York. The arrival follows several other recent prominent hires at the firm’s offices eight this year.
With more than 20 years’ experience as a federal narcotics agent, Thompson has led prominent international investigations involving illicit drug trafficking, money laundering cartels and multi-agency law enforcement operations. He arrives after serving as a DEA Country Attaché at the US Embassy in Nairobi since 2020. Previously, he was Commander of the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF), based in San Juan, and also served as a Special Agent in Santo Domingo. During his first decade as a Special Agent with the New Jersey Division, he led seizures of multiple tons of heroin and cocaine, including an investigation that led to the indictment and conviction of high-level Taliban members for heroin distribution.
Thompson is reuniting with former DEA colleague Chris Urben, a DC based Managing Director, and former SDNY prosecutor, Howard Master, a NYC based Partner, Managing Director and Special Counsel to the CEO; they joined Nardello & Co. in February 2022. Thompson, Urben, and Master worked together on several high-profile cases, including an international port corruption investigation in 2010, and the first Hezbollah “super facilitator” case leading to the arrest and extradition of Ali Koleilat, among others.
“We are pleased to welcome Joe, who has played a key role in some of the most significant take downs of transnational kingpins, also known as “untouchables,” said Dan Nardello, Chairman & CEO of Nardello & Co. “His exceptional investigative skills and regional knowledge help augment our global expertise, particularly in Africa and Latin America.”
In its 20th anniversary, Nardello has achieved 30 percent growth over three years, and Thompson is the fourth US arrival this year, following cybersecurity specialist and former prosecutor Wendy Wu in Los Angeles. The firm also moved into an expanded DC office, bringing on former FBI cyber investigator Tim Gallagher as head of Cyber Defense and Chief Security Officer. Internationally, Chris Morgan Jones joined in London last month as the firm’s Regional Head of EMEA, along with Sara Shaltony who returned to the firm as head of MENA, based in Dubai. In July, the firm launched its 8th office in Singapore, led by Steven Westervelt who together with Max Abbott, who leads the Political Risk and Strategic Intelligence practice in Asia, will build the firm’s presence there. In February, the firm added Jenna Burton and Daria Plakhova Freshville in London as Managing Directors who bring significant MENA and FSU experience, respectively.
“I’m eager to join forces again with Chris and Howard and work with the other members of Nardello’s preeminent team,” said Thompson. “It’s a privilege to join a firm that I’ve respected for many years.”
Thompson earned his BA in American Studies from SUNY College at Old Westbury. He began his career in enforcement as a New York City Police Officer, serving in both Queens and Manhattan Narcotics Divisions.
About Nardello & Co.
Ranked as the pre-eminent US investigative firm by Chambers & Partners, Nardello & Co.’s experienced professionals handle a broad range of issues including civil and white collar criminal litigation and arbitration support, due diligence, anti-corruption & fraud investigations, asset tracing, activist defense, political risk and strategic intelligence, digital investigations and cyber defense, monitorships and independent investigations, and compliance consulting.
The firm’s clients include the world’s leading law firms and financial institutions, Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies, high-net-worth individuals and family offices, governments, NGOs, sports organizations, and academic and cultural institutions.
With offices in New York, London, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, and Singapore, Nardello & Co. maintains a professional staff that includes former US federal prosecutors, US and international lawyers, former law enforcement personnel and intelligence operatives, computer forensic experts, research analysts, former journalists, financial crime specialists, and forensic accountants.