Criminal Defense and Sentencing
Defended two clients, investment advisory firm and its chief compliance officer, in a civil contempt proceeding in California, where such proceedings are quasi-criminal. After 7 days of proceedings involving witness examinations and multiple motions raising constitutional objections, the court granted motions for acquittal as to both clients.
Defended the founder of a well-known internet gambling site against federal felony charges with exposure of up to 20 years imprisonment. Ultimately, prosecutors dropped the felony charges in exchange for a guilty plea on a misdemeanor charge, resulting in a sentence of unsupervised probation and payment of a fine. The client also was able to reacquire a domain name that had been forfeited during the course of the prosecution.
Negotiated a settlement agreement with the potential to revolutionize the U.S. sports-betting market on behalf of Laura Varela and 5Dimes, a popular offshore sportsbook in Costa Rica. The U.S. Department of Justice had been investigating illegal gambling and money-laundering activity associated with 5Dimes and Ms. Varela’s husband at the time of his death in 2018. Our team negotiated an unprecedented resolution with prosecutors in the Philadelphia U.S. Attorney’s Office that resolved 5Dimes’s legal liability and that allowed Ms. Varela to reposition the sportsbook to enter the regulated U.S. sports-betting industry. Further, the Government expressly agreed to advise state regulators, banks, and investors about her extraordinary cooperation and impressive efforts to transform 5Dimes into a lawful, regulated company.
Represented an individual under criminal investigation by the Special Counsel’s Office. After extensive meetings with Special Counsel, it decided not to pursue charges against our client.
Served as lead counsel at the sentencing phase to a defendant charged with bribery and wire fraud in connection with services provided to the D.C. government. The sentencing advocacy persuaded the Probation Office to withdraw a proposed aggravating role enhancement and make a rare formal recommendation to the court to grant the defendant a downward variance. The sentencing advocacy further convinced the court to grant a 3-level downward variance to a sentence of 41 months, where the court found that the applicable guideline range was 57-71 months.
Represented an executive of a biofuel company at sentencing and in cooperation efforts in connection with a federal tax fraud prosecution and sentencing. Based on advocacy at sentencing, the judge issued the client a below-guideline sentence of 87 months, substantially shorter than his co-defendants received. Subsequently secured client’s release during the pandemic due to fragile health and vulnerability to COVID-19. The client was among the first seven inmates at his institution to be granted release in the wake of the pandemic. The client ultimately served only a year and a half of his original 87-month sentence.
Represented CEO of publicly traded health care company at trial and sentencing in $85 million health care fraud scheme. Our advocacy at sentencing convinced the judge to sentence the client to 36 months in prison, where the court found the applicable sentencing guidelines range was 121-151 months imprisonment.
Represented several organizations and professors in drafting cert- and merit-stage amicus briefs on matters of public importance.
Represented a high-level foreign public official in a prosecution and mandamus appeal in the Seventh Circuit challenging the validity of an indictment.
Served on a team that successfully represented a woman wrongfully convicted of murder before the Seventh Circuit on habeas review and before the Supreme Court, successfully convincing the Court not to grant the writ or issue a summary reversal.
Represented an individual before the Seventh Circuit on the merits and at oral argument in an appeal of a criminal conviction.
Compliance & Internal Investigations Experience
Completed a six-month secondment with Anheuser Busch InBev’s Global Compliance Team. During this secondment, conducted internal investigations, led witness interviews in Spanish & English, led project to draft and update the company’s compliance policies, and gained familiarity with AB InBev’s award-winning compliance data analytics platform, BrewRIGHT.
Participated in many internal investigations, including over 100 witness interviews, and have led over 40 witness interviews.
Provided comprehensive analysis of U.S. trade sanctions for an international energy company, and advised on a recommended compliance protocol.
Advised gaming companies on compliance issues and business opportunities for sports relating to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Murphy v. NCAA (2018).
Represented a gaming entity before a regulatory body to advocate for regulations to permit entity betting.
Advised major cryptocurrency issuers, investors, wallet providers, and mining companies on regulatory and compliance issues.