White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations
Kasowitz has one of the leading white collar criminal defense and investigations practices in the country. The firm represents numerous corporations and executives in significant regulatory investigations and, very often, in complex parallel civil litigation that accompany such matters. The firm has a deep bench, including two former United States Attorneys and numerous former Assistant United States Attorneys, Federal Defenders, and State Prosecutors. The firm’s lawyers have successfully represented clients in many high-profile investigations relating to, among other things, public corruption, trade secret misappropriation, the credit crisis, stock option backdating, market timing, and the California energy crisis. In addition, Kasowitz lawyers have successfully tried and secured acquittals in numerous highly contested matters.
Some of the firm’s significant white collar matters include:
- Hilton Worldwide, in connection with a high-profile grand jury investigation conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, relating to the alleged misappropriation of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ trade secrets. Media outlets have reported that the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York does not intend to pursue charges against Hilton.
- MF Global, in representing the company in connection with investigations being pursued by the CFTC, SEC and DOJ.
- The former McKessonHBOC General Counsel, in a criminal securities fraud case. Following a second jury trial and ten years of investigation and litigation, Kasowitz attorneys obtained not guilty verdicts for the former GC. He is perhaps the most prominent corporate general counsel to be indicted as a result of the financial fraud investigations conducted over the past ten years. The San Francisco Federal jury found him not guilty of all three charges he faced: securities fraud, falsifying books and records of the company, and circumventing internal company controls. Separately, the jury rendered a guilty verdict as to his co-defendant, former McKessonHBOC CEO and Chairman of the Board, who was not represented by the firm.
- Reliant Energy, one of the nation’s leading providers of wholesale electrical energy, in a criminal case arising from the California energy crisis. After the charges were already brought, Kasowitz attorneys obtained non-prosecution agreements for both the company and all the individual defendants. The success was featured in the National Law Journal as one of the most important white collar defense victories of the past decade.
- The former CEO of a major mutual fund, in one of the highly publicized enforcement actions concerning market timing in mutual funds filed by the Securities & Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General’s Office.
- A founder of the Fairfield Greenwich Group, the largest of the so-called feeder funds, in connection with the highly publicized regulatory investigations and actions arising out of the Madoff Ponzi scheme. The firm has also represented other individuals in connection with regulatory investigations concerning the Madoff scheme.
- Norcal Waste Systems, now known as Recology Inc., an industry leader in recycling and landfill management, in a criminal case charging Norcal and the former mayor of San Jose, California, with bribery and misapplication of public funds. The court granted Kasowitz’s motion to dismiss all charges against Norcal prior to trial.
- Two individuals in the U.S. Foodservice/Royal Ahold investigation relating to the $800 million accounting fraud scandal. While other executives were indicted and convicted, Kasowitz attorneys enabled one client to avoid being charged altogether, and secured a plea agreement pursuant to which Kasowitz’s other client received six months of home confinement.
- A Port Captain in the grand jury investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York into the crash of the Staten Island Ferry in which 11 people died. Kasowitz’s client was the only one of the five publicly-identified subjects at the Staten Island Ferry Service who was not indicted.
- Apex Oil, a major shipper of North Coast crude, was indicted in Oregon on multiple federal charges of dumping oil into the ocean. The court dismissed the case, with prejudice, on a defense motion that successfully enforced a very narrow reading of the criminal anti-pollution statute, that was based on an international treaty.
- Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, the exclusive retail electric service provider for the Hawaiian island of Kauai, in an investigation and pending criminal and civil cases relating to alleged violations of federal endangered species statutes.
- Southern Union Company, a publicly listed corporation and one of the largest diversified natural gas operations in the U.S., in the grand jury investigation and subsequent criminal prosecution and trial of Southern Union relating to its storage of mercury at its Pawtucket, Rhode Island facility.
- The former chairman and CEO of InterMune, in a criminal case in the federal court in San Francisco, in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that he committed fraud and violated FDA misbranding laws in connection with statements allegedly made about and alleged off-label marketing of Actimmune™. This case is one of the highest profile FDA off-label marketing criminal cases to be pursued by the United States Department of Justice. The former chairman and CEO was tried and convicted on one charge and acquitted on the other charge.
Senator Joseph Lieberman Joins Kasowitz’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations Practice
Former United States Senator Joseph I. Lieberman has joined the firm’s New York office as Senior Counsel in the White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations practice group. Senator Lieberman’s practice will focus on independent and internal investigations, and advising clients on a wide range of public policy, strategic and regulatory issues. During his 24 years in the Senate, Senator Lieberman served in many leadership roles, including as Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, which is the Senate’s major oversight and investigative committee. On the Committee, Senator Lieberman led numerous congressional investigations, including investigations into Enron’s collapse, the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, the Fort Hood mass shooting, and the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya.. Prior to being elected to the Senate, Senator Lieberman served six years as the Attorney General of the State of Connecticut and 10 years in the Connecticut State Senate, including three terms as majority leader.
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Second Edition of “Defending Corporations and Individuals in Government Investigations” Published
Kasowitz partner Daniel J. Fetterman and Mark P. Goodman of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP have released the 2012-2013 edition of “Defending Corporations and Individuals in Government Investigations.” The book contains chapters authored by Mr. Fetterman, Mr. Goodman, prominent former prosecutors, and other white collar defense lawyers who share an insider’s perspective acquired from years of handling high-profile and complex criminal and regulatory cases. This latest edition provides updates on timely case developments, and has been described as a must-have resource for any white collar lawyer.
The book is now available from West.
Kasowitz Ranked as Tier 1 in the Area of White-Collar and Criminal Defense
Kasowitz has been ranked as a Tier 1 law firm in the area of White-Collar and Criminal Defense in the 2012-2013 publication of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms."
The full rankings are posted online at www.usnews.com/bestlawfirms.