White collar defense is never elective. A whistleblower report, government investigation, FBI visit, search, arrest, or subpoena can suddenly thrust a company or individual into a hostile world of legal entanglements that can stretch out for years, affecting resources and reputations. It is crucial to get the right representation early on. We represent corporations and executives at every stage, from compliance counseling and internal investigations, to grand jury investigations, criminal trials, appeals, and monitorships, and everything in between.
Buckley’s white collar defense practice has been recognized in Chambers USA as the “crème de la crème of the white collar community” with the “breadth and the ability to handle everything from individual representations to large internal investigations and compliance matters.” Our lawyers have been described as “fantastic trial lawyers,” “people with tremendous experience and great reputations,” “legends of the white-collar bar,” “fearless,” “extremely thoughtful and imaginative,” and among “the best trial lawyers in the city.”
Our lawyers have decades of experience successfully helping corporations understand their compliance risks and investigate potential problems, as well as defending companies or their executives in government investigations and litigation where multibillion dollar judgments, bet-the-company sanctions, personal freedom, reputations, family, health, and livelihood are on the line. Our breadth of expertise is substantial. Our lawyers have assisted clients in every major Department of Justice white collar enforcement initiative in the past three decades, whether in foreign bribery; political corruption and scandals; securities, accounting, and financial fraud; antitrust; environmental crimes; tax fraud; or other complex issues. Working together with our best-in-class financial services practice, we are particularly well-suited to handle any type of white collar matter for financial services providers.
We have a deep bench of former federal prosecutors, including former senior leadership at leading U.S. Attorney’s Offices. Our lawyers include multiple fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. We collectively have tried hundreds of cases, and are known for our willingness to take cases to trial. We have also adeptly resolved countless cases before they ever reach a courtroom.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anti-Corruption. When it comes to the FCPA, we have done it all, from navigating clients through DOJ and SEC investigations and hard-fought trials, to internal investigations and compliance counseling, including the design and testing of compliance policies and programs and daily compliance advice. We have represented clients in anticorruption matters across a wide variety of industries, including banking, mining, oil & gas, energy, manufacturing, telecommunications, gaming, firearms, engineering, restaurants, and chemicals, and in investigations around the world, through our deep relationships with the best white collar and anticorruption practices in key geographic regions, including in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. We have secured declinations and non-prosecution agreements for many clients, and have had many high-profile litigation and trial successes, with examples below and additional information available on our FCPA practice page.
- SEC v. Mark Jackson. We secured a voluntary dismissal on the eve of trial of six claims alleging FCPA violations against the former CEO of an oilfield services company concerning the company’s business in Nigeria. The SEC agreed to a very favorable settlement of the remaining claim, with no monetary payment and no restriction on future employment opportunities. The case was litigated in the Southern District of Texas.
- United States v. Goncalves (Africa Sting Case). After a four-month trial, we secured a dismissal of all claims against our client, the owner of a military arms company. The case, which was litigated in the U.S. District for the District of Columbia, was the DOJ’s largest FCPA prosecution of individuals and its first sting operation in an FCPA case.
- Wynn Resorts v. Universal Entertainment Corp. Our client, a Japanese gaming manufacturer, was accused by a business partner of being involved in alleged FCPA violations. Following four years of hard-fought litigation in Nevada state court, we secured a $2.63 billion settlement in our client’s favor in the underlying corporate dispute against Wynn Resorts Limited and the dismissal of FCPA-related allegations.
- One of our lawyers represented a brother of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a grand jury investigation in the Southern District of New York concerning alleged FCPA and other violations. After more than two years of investigation, prosecutors declined to bring any charges.
Securities and Accounting Fraud: We represent clients in all types of investigations, enforcement proceedings, and litigation concerning securities, accounting, and financial fraud. Our team includes a 20-year veteran of the SEC’s Enforcement Division and former head of its Office of Market Intelligence. A few of our high-profile successes are noted below, with additional information available on the Securities practice page.
- United States v. Wakeford and SEC v. Wakeford. One of our lawyers secured a total acquittal for our client, a senior AOL executive, following criminal and civil jury trials on fraud charges relating to revenue recognition.
- In re Fannie Mae Securities, Derivative and ERISA Litigation. We secured at summary judgment dismissal of all claims against our client, the Senior Vice President and Controller of Fannie Mae, in a securities fraud class action that was litigated for eight years in the District of D.C. The case concerned alleged accounting errors connected to the company’s $6 billion restatement.
Inspector General Investigations: We have represented dozens of clients in investigations conducted by a wide variety of inspectors general, including by the inspectors general of the Department of Treasury, Small Business Administration, Veterans Administration, Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Justice. These investigations are often a prelude to civil, criminal, or congressional investigations and we have successfully curtailed their impact for dozens of clients. Recent representations have included:
- A top-5 bank in a multiyear investigation of its Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgage lending practices initiated by the Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, DOJ, and several U.S. Attorney’s Offices, which resulted in a $200 million civil settlement with no admission of liability.
- A high-ranking FBI official in pending IG and congressional inquiries regarding presidential influence on budget and logistical decisions.
- A senior Department of Education official in an IG investigation of a purported conflict of interest in administering a Department program and spurred by congressional inquiry. Investigation closed with public report confirming no evidence to support allegation.
- Central Intelligence Agency employees and attorneys in IG and related DOJ investigation of matters related to classified enhanced interrogation techniques, persons captured and detained as enemy combatants, and Near East affairs. No clients were found to have acted improperly.
- Former GSA official called before House Committee on Oversight and Reform as a result of IG investigation of misappropriation of government funds
Environmental: We have deep experience in environmental criminal matters, having handled everything from unannounced site inspections to criminal trial defense. A few of our high-profile matters are listed below, with additional information available on the Environmental Enforcement & Litigation practice page
- United States v. W.R. Grace. We secured a total acquittal following a three-month jury trial in Montana federal court for our client, a W.R. Grace executive, on charges under the Clean Air Act, in DOJ’s largest and longest environmental crime prosecution.
- We have represented senior executives in many high-profile environmental matters, including relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the release of chemicals at a pesticide manufacturing facility in LaPorte, Texas, and Volkswagen’s certification and sale of diesel engines in the United States.
Public Corruption: Our lawyers have represented lead defendants in some of the most high-profile trials and appeals of public officials and their benefactors in the last decade.
- United States v. McDonnell. One of our lawyers was lead trial counsel for the former governor of Virginia Robert McDonnell, and helped reverse his political corruption conviction at the Supreme Court, narrowing the definition of an “official act” for all future public corruption cases.
- United States v. Roberson. We secured a sentence nearly 30 months below the Sentencing Guidelines range for our client, a senior executive of Drummond Company, following his conviction in the Northern District of Alabama on corruption charges. Our appeal of his conviction is ongoing at the Eleventh Circuit.
- United States v. Livingston. One of our lawyers secured the acquittal of a former principal of a government contracting company in a corruption and fraud trial in the Eastern District of Virginia.
- United States v. Herbert Vederman. One of our lawyers represented the former deputy mayor of Philadelphia and financial benefactor of U.S. congressman Chaka Fattah in various post-trial proceedings, securing dismissal of various bribery-related convictions and reversal of others on appeal.
- United States v. Bridget Kelly. One of our lawyers represented Kelly in an appeal in the “Bridgegate” case at the Third Circuit, and her convictions were ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision.
Antitrust: We have represented senior executives and companies in many high-profile antitrust matters, including in investigations of alleged fixing of LIBOR and foreign exchange rates, and of price fixing in the Japanese auto parts supply, airline freight, auto shipping, and international moving and storage industries, as well as in related False Claims Act prosecutions.
Export Controls and Sanctions: We routinely assist individuals and institutions in investigations, enforcement actions, and voluntary disclosures related to sanctions and export control laws. We also develop and advise on compliance programs for a wide range of financial and nonfinancial institutions. Select matters are listed below, with more information available on our Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering & Sanctions practice page.
- United States v. Viau. We represented a technology company executive in in a criminal prosecution in federal court in the District of D.C. concerning alleged false statements in a voluntary disclosure of failure to comply with export laws. Case resolved with misdemeanor charge.
- We currently represent the general counsel of a publicly traded company in connection with export control violations arising from foreign manufacturing and dissemination of intellectual property to foreign affiliates.
Healthcare: One of our lawyers has defended many medical professionals and businesses in a wide variety of healthcare fraud investigations.
- United States v. Holland. We represent a former senior executive of Tenet Healthcare in an ongoing action in the Northern District of Georgia concerning alleged healthcare fraud, including alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
The federal government’s financial response to the Covid-19 pandemic is measured in trillions of dollars, and the intensity of oversight related to that response reflects this unprecedented commitment. All involved in the government’s response, particularly financial services providers, should expect increased scrutiny of how those dollars have been and will be spent.
Buckley’s white collar, enforcement, congressional investigations, class actions, complex civil litigation, and False Claims Act & FIRREA teams are prepared to assist with government and congressional inquiries, examinations, investigations, and government and private party litigation that arise from the pandemic response. We work closely with our financial services regulatory practices to combine the firm’s core substantive experience with our deep knowledge of government investigations and litigation of all kinds.
More than 70 inspectors general throughout federal agencies and other governmental entities have the power to issue subpoenas, coordinate with civil enforcement agencies, make referrals to and work with criminal prosecutors, issue public reports, and liaise with Congress. These investigations and potential enforcement actions can significantly strain resources, impede normal business activity, and cause reputational damage.
Buckley regularly guides clients through these inquiries and investigations, including those triggered by or involving whistleblowers, as well as handles the civil and criminal enforcement actions and congressional inquiries that arise from IG investigations.
Excellent white-collar lawyers with a tremendous amount of trial experience.Chambers USA
What constitutes criminal cyber activity is far from a settled question under federal law, despite the ubiquity of computers and the internet in daily life. Much of the confusion rests with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act or CFAA, a law first passed almost 35 years ago that continues to be a...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
President Donald Trump announced a wave of pardons on Tuesday for people ranging from Republican allies to two men who pleaded guilty in Robert Mueller's Russia investigation . Meanwhile, speculation grows about whether President Trump will pardon three of his adult children, his son-in-law, or...Articles
"Defending attorneys against extortion charges presents unique challenges" by Bradley A. Marcus (Business Crimes Bulletin)
Although the criminal prosecution of lawyer misconduct is nothing new, the recent indictment of a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Maryland and sentencing of two plaintiffs’ lawyers in Virginia illustrate the particular danger to attorneys who arguably cross the line during negotiations with potential...Articles
"New FCPA guide signals laxer successor liability approach" by Paige Ammons and Bree Murphy (Law360)
The U.S. Department of Justice 's and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 's recently updated resource guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act signals a potential relaxation of stringent requirements that have previously been applied to successor liability in mergers and acquisitions...Articles
"Nickel and diming access to court records: The National Veterans Legal Services Program decision and PACER fees" by Elizabeth R. Bailey
For years, remote access to most federal court records has been locked behind a government paywall. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit may have pulled the first brick out of that wall, though, in an...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia turned political and judicial heads by refusing to immediately rubber stamp the government’s decision to drop the prosecution of Michael Flynn after it had already obtained a guilty plea. However, he is not the first...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
A recent Supreme Court decision allows the Securities and Exchange Commission to continue pursuing disgorgement in its enforcement actions, but with significant limitations that will curb disgorgement’s scope and could complicate the SEC’s future efforts to seek it.
Whether the SEC has...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
A century ago, the Spanish Flu ravaged the globe and impacted the legal industry in ways not dissimilar to what we are seeing today. Trials could not be held as attorneys and judges contracted the virus, courts —...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
"Some lies matter more than others: Why Congress should consider a 'false statement misdemeanor'" by Preston Burton, Paige Ammons, Bree Murphy, Jackson Hagen (Law.com)
The Department of Justice’s attempted abandonment of the Michael Flynn prosecution has sparked troubling and conflicting questions of political interference, prosecutorial indiscretion and judicial overreach. But a difficult question at the heart of the matter has gone begging: whether there are...Articles
"Watching Amazon—How a Hill investigation can morph into criminal inquiry" by Bradley A. Marcus (Bloomberg Law)
Amazon’s regulatory headache became a migraine in May when the House Committee on the Judiciary notified Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that the company’s statements to Congress about its business practices “appear to be misleading, and possibly criminally false or perjurious.” The committee called on Bezos...Articles
One of the federal government’s most immediate responses to the coronavirus crisis was a highly visible campaign against profiteering. While the absence of an overarching federal anti-price gouging statute has forced prosecutors to improvise and legislators to contemplate new laws in order to...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
What happens when prosecutors fail to make constitutionally required disclosures of evidence because the court ordered them not to? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit weighed in on this issue recently,...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
"CARES Act puts inspectors general back in the spotlight" by Daniel R. Alonso, Preston Burton, & Meredith Leeson (New York Law Journal)
Federal Inspectors General—the nation’s watchdogs over government agencies and government programs—are back in the news. First, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act , received close attention not only for its $2 trillion infusion of taxpayer dollars into the U.S. economy, but also...Articles
Corporations determined to maintain employee productivity amidst the massive global shift to remote work triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic may not have given as much thought to a critical complication: How to oversee those employees and validate their ongoing compliance with policies, procedures,...Articles
U.S. law respects the confidentiality of a prisoner’s communications with counsel, including phone calls and visits, but with one critical exception that goes unnoticed by many attorneys: The government routinely monitors — and then uses in court — emails between federal prisoners and their...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
The growth in cross-border criminal investigations has intensified the risk of overlapping prosecutions by multiple countries, potentially resulting in duplicative prison sentences and/or fines. Some countries recognize that multiple punishments for the same conduct are unjust and have taken...Buckley Commentary & Analysis
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, signed in March 2020, enacted an unprecedented level of emergency government spending to provide public health relief and stabilize an economy damaged by the pandemic, and included oversight provisions to monitor how the $2 trillion is spent...Articles
"Op-ed: Prepare for the coronavirus scams: Learning from post-9/11 fraud" by Daniel R. Alonso (Daily News)
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Beatrice Kaufman sat in her Hamptons house watching the Twin Towers collapse. Although she lived and worked in Manhattan, her 6,000-square-foot apartment was being renovated, so she stayed at her country home instead. But that did not stop her from filing papers...Articles
The CARES Act will infuse more than $2 trillion into the U.S. economy — the largest such action in history. But if history is any guide, wherever there is a big pot of money, some people will look to steal it. Some desperate individuals might misrepresent their eligibility for unemployment benefits...Articles
On March 27, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. Although the False Claims Act is not mentioned in this stimulus bill, the implications of the act on FCA enforcement are likely to be significant. Click here to...Articles
Daniel R. Alonso quoted in Wall Street Journal article, “Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance unlikely to run for fourth term”
Daniel R. Alonso — a former federal prosecutor who also served as chief assistant DA under Cyrus Vance — commented on Vance’s decade of service in the Wall Street Journal article, “Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance unlikely to run for fourth term.” Alonso noted, “He has continued to focus...In The News
Daniel R. Alonso extensively quoted in The Telegraph article, “Donald Trump faces avalanche of legal cases as he becomes private citizen”
The Telegraph article “Donald Trump faces avalanche of legal cases as he becomes private citizen,” took a look at the many different suits — from potential tax fraud to debt repayment — that Trump is facing and if there is enough evidence to support these cases. Daniel R. Alonso commented...In The News
Daniel R. Alonso extensively quoted in Law360 article, "'Hole' in Bannon's pardon may leave room for new charges”
The Law360 article, “'Hole' in Bannon's pardon may leave room for new charges,” discussed the pardon former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon received and the opportunities it left open for local prosecutors to charge him with allegedly defrauding local residents through his “We Build The...In The News
Daniel R. Alonso quoted in Reuters article, “With no self-pardon in hand, private citizen Trump faces uncertain legal future”
In the Reuters article, “With no self-pardon in hand, private citizen Trump faces uncertain legal future,” Daniel R. Alonso explored the question of whether Trump could have pardoned himself and others in secret? “ It’s possible. Pardons are usually made public. But the Constitution does not...In The News
Daniel R. Alonso quoted in Reuters article, “Trump pardons ex-aide Bannon but not himself or family”
Daniel R. Alonso noted in the Reuters article, “Trump pardons ex-aide Bannon but not himself or family,” that “Bannon can still be charged with fraud by New York state prosecutors. Fraud prosecutions are frequently brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.” Click here to read the full...In The News
Daniel R. Alonso quoted in New York Times article, “As soon as Trump leaves office, he faces greater risk of prosecution”
Daniel R. Alonso was quoted on November 13, 2020 in a New York Times article, “As soon as Trump leaves office, he faces greater risk of prosecution,” which discussed how President Trump will be more vulnerable to an investigation into his business practices and taxes after he leaves office as he...In The News
Daniel R. Alonso quoted in Law360 article, “The sealed indictment: How Trump could be secretly charged”
Daniel R. Alonso was quoted on August 13, 2020, in a Law360 article, “The sealed indictment: How Trump could be secretly charged,” which explored mechanisms in which Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. could secretly secure an indictment and even an arrest warrant for the president, beating...In The News
Daniel R. Alonso quoted in New York Times article, “Trump’s bank was subpoenaed by N.Y. prosecutors in criminal inquiry”
Daniel R. Alonso was quoted on August 5, 2020, in a New York Times article, “Trump’s bank was subpoenaed by N.Y. prosecutors in criminal inquiry,” which discussed the Manhattan district attorney’s office’s subpoena for President Trump’s financial records — including tax returns — for possible...In The News
Hank Asbill was extensively quoted on July 10, 2020 in an Agenda article, “New wild cards for white-collar enforcement,” which discussed the state of white collar enforcement amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Asbill noted, “Covid-19 has made it exponentially more difficult to conduct criminal trials. The...In The News
Daniel R. Alonso quoted in Spectrum News article, “What’s next after the Supreme Court’s rulings on Trump’s tax returns?”
Daniel R. Alonso was quoted on July 9, 2020 in a Spectrum News article, “What’s next after the Supreme Court’s rulings on Trump’s tax returns?” which discussed Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.’s right to subpoena financial records from a sitting president. Alonso noted, “It’s a very big...In The News
“Buckley attorneys are incredibly responsive while providing top quality legal services,” is how respondents described the firm in the 2020 edition of Legal 500, which ranked Buckley as a top law firm and recognized it in six categories:
- Corporate Investigations and White ...
Buckley recognized by Chambers USA as a “top-notch” firm in financial services and white collar work
Buckley has once again received top recognition in financial services regulation, white collar crime/government investigations, and fintech from Chambers USA, which ranks the country’s leading firms and lawyers in a range of practice areas based on research and client interviews....Announcements
The Legal 500 once again ranked Buckley as a top law firm and recognized it in five categories:
- Corporate Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense: Corporate – Tier 4
- Corporate Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense: Individuals – Tier 2 ...
Buckley recognized by Chambers USA as a “first-rate firm” in financial services; “crème de la crème” for White Collar practice
Buckley has once again received top recognition in financial services regulation and white collar crime/government investigations from Chambers USA, which ranks the country’s leading firms and lawyers in a range of practice areas based on research and client interviews.
Benchmark recognizes Buckley Sandler litigation team; David Krakoff inducted into American College of Trial Lawyers
Benchmark Litigation has recognized Buckley Sandler as one of the nation’s top litigation law firms, awarding it a National Tier 1 ranking for its White Collar practice and deeming its District of Columbia litigation team “Highly Recommended” — Benchmark’s highest...Announcements
Buckley Sandler seeks order in James Wolfe case prohibiting further misleading and prejudicial statements by President Trump and others
On behalf of James A. Wolfe, Buckley Sandler filed the following motion for an order restricting the government’s extrajudicial statements.
WASHINGTON, DC (June 13, 2018) — James A. Wolfe served as a dedicated public servant for 35 years, first serving his country as a decorated U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and then for most of his career as a Senate staff member. He was entrusted with the government’s most important classified...Press Releases
Buckley Sandler LLP again has been noted as one of the nation’s top law firms by The Legal 500 in its 2018 rankings, with recognition in five practice areas:
- Financial Services: Litigation
- Financial Services: Regulation
- Corporate ...
Buckley Sandler recognized by Chambers USA as “an excellent firm” with “a fine stable of expert attorneys”
Buckley Sandler once again has received top recognition in financial services regulation and white collar crime/government investigations from Chambers USA, which ranks the country’s leading firms and lawyers in a range of practice areas by researching the firms and interviewing...Announcements
WASHINGTON, DC (April 23, 2018) – Buckley Sandler LLP announced today that renowned trial lawyer Henry Asbill has joined the firm as a partner in its White Collar and Complex Civil Litigation practices. Asbill has obtained outstanding results for his clients for decades. He has successfully...Press Releases
Our White Collar Team
"Defending attorneys against extortion charges presents unique challenges" by Bradley A. Marcus (Business Crimes Bulletin)
"New FCPA guide signals laxer successor liability approach" by Paige Ammons and Bree Murphy (Law360)
"When the government wants to cut and run, but a judge won’t be a rubber stamp" by Nadav Ariel