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White-Collar Criminal Defense
& Government Investigations

Kostelanetz LLP, represents clients in white-collar criminal, corporate, and regulatory investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, and state and local prosecutors, among others.

Several of our attorneys have served as federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Tax Division, and as state prosecutors in New York, Virginia, and Massachusetts. In addition, our Director of Investigations was a career special agent and former Chief of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Criminal Investigation Division. This rich experience on the prosecution side gives Kostelanetz unique insight into the government’s perspective, as well as the ability to effectively represent clients in every phase of a white-collar criminal investigation or regulatory enforcement action.

Kostelanetz attorneys are regularly retained to represent individuals and entities in cases involving allegations of federal and state tax fraud, violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (including structuring and reporting violations), antitrust violations, honest services fraud, customs fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, bank fraud, securities fraud, embezzlement, and art fraud.

Kostelanetz also conducts internal investigations for corporate and institutional clients facing potential criminal charges or regulatory violations, or whose officers or employees may have engaged in misconduct.

Kostelanetz has been recognized by major legal ratings agencies for its white-collar defense work. The firm, overall, has been recognized by Best Lawyers™ as a Tier 1 National “Best Law Firm” in three categories, Criminal Defense – White-Collar, Tax Law, and Litigation – Tax. Additionally, Chambers USA has recognized partner Sharon L. McCarthy for Litigation – White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations – New York.

Securities Fraud

Persuaded the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to abandon insider trading claims against a family insider accused of having nonpublic information about an impending merger.

Convinced the SEC to abandon securities fraud claims against the ex-chairman of a major telecommunications company.

Persuaded federal prosecutors not to pursue “front-running” claims against a securities specialist.

Successfully defended traders accused by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of engaging in off-market trading.

Successfully achieved a negligence-based settlement with the SEC on behalf of the chief financial officer of a public company in connection with a multi-year DOJ and SEC investigation into alleged materially misleading statements and omissions related to a public contract.


Successfully defended a foreign currency exchange trader under investigation by the DOJ’s Antitrust Division for participating in a multi-bank chat that resulted in a major criminal antitrust prosecution of other chat participants; represent the client in related matters being investigated by a foreign government’s competition authority.

Successfully defended a food producer in a criminal antitrust investigation of alleged industry-wide price fixing.

Successfully negotiated immunity agreements for four employees of an heir-location company being investigated for antitrust violations by the DOJ’s Antitrust Division.

Represent an employee of a generic pharmaceutical company in connection with a DOJ Antitrust Division price-fixing investigation.

Honest Services Fraud

Represent various vendors charged in the Southern District of New York with committing wire fraud by paying kickbacks to customer employees.

Represented Andrew Davenport at sentencing in the Southern District of New York after he was convicted by a jury of honest services fraud related to his company’s relationship with Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Despite facing a possible sentence of 8 to 10 years, achieved for the client a sentence of a year and a day.

Health Care-Related Fraud

Convinced a U.S. District Judge to grant a motion of acquittal, after eight weeks of trial, in a case involving an alleged health plan insurance fraud.

Represented a spine surgeon after conviction at trial for violation of Anti-Kickback Statute in seeking judgment of acquittal.

Art Fraud

Successfully obtained a downward departure of more than ten years and a sentence of two and a half months of time served for an art dealer who pled guilty to one of the largest art forgeries in history.

Other Government Investigations

Represented a client at sentencing in connection with a wire fraud charge, and secured a non-jail sentence for the client, who was facing 33 to 41 months imprisonment under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Convinced U.S. Customs and Border Protection to discontinue its investigation of a jewelry importer who allegedly maintained three sets of books and submitted false invoices.

Persuaded a U.S. Attorney’s Office not to indict a manufacturer and importer of designer shoes who was accused of engaging in a money laundering scheme.

Persuaded a U.S. Attorney’s Office to dismiss a criminal complaint against a businessman who failed to declare his possession of nearly $200,000 in cash as he was leaving the country. Obtained the return of approximately 90% of the seized funds.

Convinced prosecutor to accept a plea bargain providing for no jail time for a defendant accused of a major, multi-million-dollar insurance fraud.

Persuaded a U.S. Attorney’s Office not to charge a construction company executive with fraud related to government contracts involving Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE).

Obtained a non-jail disposition for a prominent oncologist who admitted to filing false tax returns and owing more than $750,000 in additional federal income tax.

Obtained a more than 50% downward variance for an owner of a numerous food service businesses operating within government buildings in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, despite an admission of employment and sales tax loss exceeding $11,000,000.