White Collar Criminal Defense

After the near-collapse of the American banking system, the prosecution of Enron and other high-profile cases, and highly publicized trials for insider trading (as in the case of Martha Stewart), companies and individual executives have increasingly found themselves under a government magnifying glass.

This heightened scrutiny has not been confined to regulatory action but has often resulted in criminal investigations and prosecutions. Enforcement actions have increased in health care, securities, banking, antitrust, government contracting, mortgage loan fraud, and under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – to name just a few. Executives are sometimes shocked to find that their business decisions may lead the government to seek felony convictions, lengthy prison terms and enormous fines.

Our attorneys have deep experience in defending these types of cases and are recognized by our peers for their exceptional talent. Jennifer Keller, Kay Rackauckas and Tom Umberg are all listed in “The Best Lawyers in America®” in White Collar Criminal Defense. Jennifer, a career defense lawyer, has handled high-profile white collar prosecutions for over 35 years in state and federal court. Tom, a former federal prosecutor, knows the U.S. Attorney’s Office inside out. And Kay, a veteran of the District Attorney’s Office, has concentrated her practice on state court white collar defense, with excellent results.

All three partners count among their major successes the many cases they have persuaded prosecutors not to file, or which have been disposed of pre- or post-indictment on favorable terms. The key to achieving these outcomes is early intervention, meticulous preparation and thorough investigation, along with knowledge of the internal workings of the various prosecuting offices. Other indispensible elements are the superior reputations and credibility our attorneys bring to the table when arguing for a no-filing decision or negotiating a reduced penalty.

  • Represented insurance company executive on 32 counts of mail and wire fraud. The executive was charged with providing kickbacks to others in the industry, insurance brokers and agents in exchange for preferential sales treatment. After a nine week trial in federal court for the District of Arizona, the jury acquitted our client on all counts.


  • Represented an executive at a chrome wheel company on numerous counts of felony illegal discharge of toxic substances into stream bed.  After extensive litigation and payment of remediation expenses, all charges dismissed.

Conflict of interest/governmental 

  • Represented the Orange County CAO in Orange County bankruptcy litigation with the District Attorney and SEC, as well in civil litigation.  Client was never charged with a crime, fined, or ordered to pay restitution.
  • Represented a major landscaping contractor on multiple felony charges he entered into an illegal scheme to secure a multi-million-dollar contract with the County of Orange.  After extensive motions, case resolved on the day of trial for payment of pro-rata restitution.  All charges dismissed.
  • Represented the Sheriff of Orange County in an investigation by the state Attorney General into claims of misuse of his public office.  Grand jury convened; no indictment obtained.  (Client was indicted in a separate federal investigation, in which he was represented by different counsel.)

Progress payment fraud

  • Represented a leading supplier to the U.S. government of covert surveillance and radar/microwave/sonar devices on allegations of progress payment fraud.  Client was a target of U.S. Attorney investigation.  No indictment.

Medical and health care fraud

  • Represent the former chief of gastroenterology at a major Southern California hospital, and professor of medicine at UCLA, on an indictment alleging conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.  District Attorney alleges fraud was in excess of $100 million.
  • In same case listed above, represented physician in action by the state Attorney General to suspend client’s license to practice medicine while criminal case pending.  Motion denied; client continues to practice.  (Both codefendant physicians represented by different lawyers lost their licenses.)
  • Represented a pharmacist/pharmacy owner being investigated by U.S. Attorney for multi-million dollar violation of Pharmaceutical Drug Marketing Act; negotiated a no-prison time disposition.
  • Represented a physician in the UCI fertility clinic litigation, both civil and criminal.  Federal prosecutor was seeking indictments on mail and wire fraud for alleged false billings.  Client was the only doctor, of four in the group, not indicted by the U.S. Attorney.
  • Represented a major provider of dental services in California in a $30 million dispute concerning the shareholder rights of the founder. Settled in mid-trial after our client won a series of favorable rulings.
  • Represented an acute care hospital before a jury in Los Angeles Superior Court. The hospital was accused of firing a whistle blower and racial discrimination. The trial ended successfully for the defendant hospital with the plaintiff ordered to cover our clients costs.

Legal services fraud

  • Represented, through jury verdict, a lawyer charged with engineering the then-largest insurance fraud case in the history of California, a massive RICO prosecution alleging $200 million dollars worth of over-billing to insurance carriers for legal fees.  Acquitted on over half the counts.

Investor Fraud

  • Represent the principal of an investment company in a District Attorney investigation into a $54 million Ponzi scheme and sale of unlicensed securities.

Mortgage loan fraud

  • Represented the target of investigation into over $200 million dollar mortgage loan fraud scheme.  No indictment.
  • Represented investor charged with mortgage loan fraud in state court based on multiple incidents in two counties.   After hotly contested litigation, case dismissed for lack of territorial jurisdiction and denial of a continuous preliminary hearing.
  • Represent the president of an appraisal company charged with conspiracy to commit mortgage loan fraud and identity theft.
  • Represent the CEO of a mortgage loan company under investigation for mortgage loan fraud.

Movie Piracy

  • Represented defendant on federal charges of illegally uploading and distributing pre-release film by major motion picture studio.  Studio sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution.  Negotiated sentence of straight probation with U.S. Attorney.  Persuaded court to order no restitution.


  • Representing executive of failed bank on federal investigation into misstatements of earnings.  No indictment will be brought.


  • Represented a savings and loan officer and venture capital investor on federal charges in three states on completely separate cases involving multimillion dollar 1) misapplication of funds, 2) defrauding an insurance company, 3) bank fraud. Cases were ultimately wrapped up for a 16-month sentence in a minimum security facility in California.

Corporate investigation

  • Retained by a billion dollar company to do an extensive internal investigation that uncovered illegal kickbacks to highly placed employees.  Several employees terminated.

Insurance Fraud

  • Represented insurance company executive on 32 counts of mail and wire fraud. The executive was charged with providing kickbacks to others in the industry, insurance brokers and agents in exchange for preferential sales treatment. After a nine week trial in federal court for the District of Arizona, the jury acquitted our client on all counts.

Bribery and Kickbacks

  • Represented a major travel agency group investigated by the Attorneys General of California and Arizona for a pattern and practice of selling airline tickets to undocumented workers for illegal entry into the US. The matter was resolved without any criminal filing.

If you would like further information regarding our White Collar Criminal Defense practice, please contact ,  or .

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