Kelley Drye


Contact Information

Julian Solotorovsky
Practice Chair

Phone: (312) 857-7083
Fax: (312) 857-7095

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White Collar Crime and Investigations

In-house counsel may be struck without warning with a maze of issues that arise out of government investigations or enforcement proceedings. Kelley Drye's White Collar Crime and Investigations attorneys successfully advise and defend corporations and individuals facing criminal charges, as well as civil and administrative claims, quickly, comprehensively and discreetly. With the strength of experience as former Assistant U.S. Attorneys and years of combined experience in both the public and private legal sectors, Kelley Drye is ready and able to deliver the favorable results that our clients expect.

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Kelley Drye’s White Collar Crime and Investigations practice is highly respected in the field.  For the last two years the group received Metropolitan First-Tier rankings in Chicago and New York in the “Criminal Defense: White-collar-Litigation” category in the “Best Law Firms” survey published by U.S. News and Best Lawyers. Kelley Drye attorneys have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America under the category of Criminal Defense: White Collar.

Anticipating the government's next move and responding effectively to investigations requires proper guidance from lawyers with experience from both sides of the table. Aligning our approach with each client's legal and business objectives, we are meticulous in our investigation and analysis and dedicated to obtaining a favorable resolution. Kelley Drye's individualized approach to crafting defense or investigative strategies is grounded in our many years of successfully representing Fortune 500 senior business executives, corporate entities, trade associations, universities, professional organizations, political action committees, public and privately-held corporations, members of Congress and state elected officials.

We assist clients in such matters as:

  • Securities fraud and insider trading
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Environmental crime
  • Government contracting and procurement fraud
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Customs and export controls violations
  • Civil qui tam False Claims Act
  • Tax and accounting fraud
  • Criminal antitrust
  • Congressional investigations
  • Lobbying, ethics and campaign finance violations
  • Public corruption

The firm's white-collar and government relations lawyers work together closely to execute effective defense strategies in the face of congressional investigations. Kelley Drye partners have conducted high-profile congressional investigations and have represented those subject to these investigations. The team includes former Department of Justice prosecutors who can minimize client risk by balancing the demands of congressional inquisitors with the potential consequences for criminal liability.

Compliance and Investigations

Kelley Drye has a long and successful record of managing large, complex internal investigations on behalf of organizations. We ensure compliance before and during the investigation process, adapting our clients' operations to the changing elements of regulatory agencies' requirements for financial, management and operational reporting and internal controls, so that our clients benefit from prompt and efficient legal services without our having to adjust to a learning curve.


We aggressively tackle trial work on behalf of our clients when necessary. When cases go to trial, we have the resources and the experience to obtain favorable resolutions for our clients. In addition to numerous trials in federal and state courts in a wide number of jurisdictions, Kelley Drye's experienced trial lawyers have represented clients before regulatory and compliance agencies. Nothing can take the place of experience in the courtroom for an effective defense, and our firm delivers consistent results to our clients.

Congressional Investigations

Kelley Drye's experienced team includes partners who have represented companies and individuals subject to high-profile investigations. Our lawyers are familiar with the unique characteristics and "unwritten rules" of congressional investigations, and we guide clients through the process of document production and testimony to maintain our clients' reputation and minimize risk. 

Representative Experience

Criminal Trials
  • Defended R. Foster Winans, "Heard-on-the-Street" columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Represented Winans from trial through oral argument in U.S. Supreme Court on insider trading charges for trading in advance of publication of his market-moving columns. Carpenter v. United States, 484 U.S. 19.
  • Defended director of administrative services of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on bribery charges involving alleged receipt of kickbacks from moving company employed by the Court. Client acquitted of all charges and continued in his position with the Court. United States v. Frank Pisana, 88 Cr. 846 (MBM) (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Tried the capital murder/conspiracy case of United States v. Quinones, et al., 00 Cr. 761 (JSR), in which client, Diego Rodriguez, was charged with participating in the abduction and murder of a police informant. District Judge Rakoff declared the federal death penalty statute to be unconstitutional, before being reversed by the Second Circuit.
  • Defended employee of car dealership extradited from Aruba at his trial on drug importation conspiracy charges. Client acquitted of all charges and returned to Aruba. United States v. James Duque, 02 Cr. 1290 (RMB) (S.D.N.Y.).
  • Represented Vice President of Caremark, Inc., a large health care company, in federal prosecution in Minneapolis of alleged payment of kickbacks to doctor for referrals of patients on human growth hormones. Our client was acquitted of all charges following a ten week trial.
  • Represented healthcare company sales executive in federal prosecution in Southern Illinois of alleged payment of kickbacks to medical equipment distribution company. Judge granted motion for judgment of acquittal at conclusion of government's case in chief.
  • Represented elected official in Illinois on federal criminal prosecution on charges of extortion and bribery.
Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions
  • Represent foreign bank president in connection with various criminal tax shelter investigations.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for an insurance company which suspected that an independent agency had been misappropriating premiums meant for the company. Turned over the results of the investigation to federal prosecutors in New York, the responsible individual was indicted and eventually pleaded guilty.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a telecommunications company which suspected that an executive had embezzled and misappropriated corporate funds. Furnished the results of the investigation to federal prosecutors in New York. The responsible individuals were indicted and eventually pleaded guilty. The executive raised an allegation of other corporate misdeeds, and our investigation established that such allegation had no merit.
  • Represent a director on the compensation committee of a publicly traded company in an investigation by the SEC and DOJ into stock options backdating.
  • Represent a European-based global oil trading corporation in criminal prosecution related to the United Nation's "Oil-for-Food" program. The client entered into a favorable plea agreement.
  • Represent officers and directors of AIG, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Computer Associates, Merrill Lynch, and Nortel in investigations involving allegations of accounting irregularities.
  • Represented Halliburton executives in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations by DOJ and the SEC.
  • Represented a former senior officer of Bankers Trust/Deutsche Bank in connection with the DOJ investigation into tax shelters.
  • Represented a former senior banker in connection with a DOJ investigation into tax shelters.
  • Represented brokers at various firms in connection with Eastern District of New York "squawk box" prosecutions.
  • Represented one of the largest foreign paper companies, its U.S. subsidiary, and certain executives in the first joint sovereign criminal antitrust investigation by the U.S. and Canada.
  • Represented an officer and various employees of automobile manufacturer in connection with a criminal antitrust investigation.
  • Representing individuals involved in the KPMG and Deutsche Bank tax shelter investigation in the Southern District of New York.
  • Represented analysts from Lehman Bros. and Credit Suisse during the spate of investigations into investment banking influence over analysts' recommendations.
  • Represented a provider of energy derivatives trading and brokerage services in parallel investigations being conducted by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), SEC, DOJ, and Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
  • Represented a former executive of American International Group (AIG) and obtained a non-prosecution agreement.
  • Represented an officer of ACE Insurance in connection with multiple investigations of collusion in the insurance industry.
  • Represented a former state elected official in a highly publicized federal RICO prosecution. Negotiated a plea agreement for a considerably reduced sentence.
  • Represented numerous former Deloitte & Touche accountants in connection with the government's prosecution of Adelphia and its principals, the SEC's proceeding against other D&T individuals, and private litigation.
  • Represented a bond broker in DOJ investigation of New Mexico State Treasurer's office.
  • Represented the managing director of a financial institution in an investigation involving MCI-WorldCom.
  • Represented a former managing director of financial institution in connection with criminal investigation probing IPO allocations.
  • Represented a senior officer of Tommy Hilfiger Inc. in connection with the DOJ investigation into the tax treatment of buying office commissions.
  • Representing an individual involved in the Bristol Myers-Squibb investigation in the District of New Jersey.
  • Represented a project manager of an architectural firm in federal investigation of alleged environmental crimes involving asbestos disposal.
  • Represented an individual in connection with an investigation concerning financial transactions involving Iran and assorted corporate entities.
  • Represented the president of a large nursing home company in a grand jury investigation of violations of the Anti-Kickback Act that resulted in the criminal prosecution of a related company and civil disposition for the client.
  • Represented a physician charged with prescribing drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Represented individuals employed by a major auto retailer being investigated by the DOJ's Antitrust Division for its pricing practices.
  • Represented Cayman Islands-based banker initially charged with securities fraud and money laundering who was released. We negotiated a plea and our client received a drastically reduced sentence of unsupervised probation.
  • Represented a former government scientist in connection with FBI and postal service investigation into anthrax mailings.
  • Represented a landscaping company and its president in New York labor law "prevailing wage" criminal investigation.
  • Represented a construction company and its officers in criminal investigation involving alleged kickbacks and money laundering.
  • Represented a sales manager of an international furniture company in a criminal investigation into alleged vendor kickbacks and fraudulent invoicing.
  • Represented a former counsel of a multinational food product and dairy company in financial fraud investigation.
  • Represented a former officer of a footwear company in SEC and DOJ investigations into sales reporting practices.
Congressional Investigations
  • Represented the former legal counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Department of Defense, in an investigation of the detainee interrogation policy by the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services.
  • Represented an official of the Department of State's Office of the Inspector General in connection with allegations that the Inspector General impeded congressional and DOJ investigations regarding a contractor fraud in Iraq.
SEC Investigations and Enforcement Proceedings
  • Representing a former senior executive at a Fortune 500 financial institution in an SEC investigation arising out of allegations of accounting improprieties. We successfully persuaded the SEC Staff, via a Wells submission, not to proceed with an enforcement action against our client.
  • Representing a publicly traded company in an SEC investigation of the United Nations Oil-for-Food program.
  • Represented Halliburton executives in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation.
  • Represented a former executive of a Fortune 500 company in an SEC enforcement investigation of insider trading.
  • Represented a senior business executive in connection with the SEC/DOJ investigation involving mutual fund market-timing.
  • Representing a former senior officer of Citigroup in connection with an SEC investigation into revenue recognition and accounting treatment matters.
  • Represented numerous current and former officers of MBIA in an SEC/DOJ investigation of accounting treatment of reinsurance transactions.
  • Represented an investor who purchased based on alleged insider information. Persuaded the U.S. Attorney's office not to charge and settled with the SEC.
Internal Investigations
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a large professional membership organization facing allegations of fraud and mismanagement involving its political action committee. We defended the association and certain of its officers in connection with allegations by Federal Election Commission. We also assisted with employment law-related issues stemming from the internal investigation. We successfully resolved the FEC matter after conducting a forensic audit which disproved the whistleblower's allegations of fraud relating to political action fundraising.
  • Represented a Fortune 100 company in all matters relating to the alleged illegal bond trading activities of the senior vice president of the company's pension fund. Conducted a parallel internal investigation which resulted in recovery of 80% of lost funds.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a worldwide air freight company in a grand jury investigation concerning a shipment of military aircraft parts to Iran. We presented the findings to the U.S. Attorney for Northern District of Illinois which resulted in a decision not to prosecute company.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company in an FDA/Customs case of illegal importation of misbranded antibiotics into the United States. Represented the client in a grand jury investigation. Our client was not indicted while other individuals were indicted.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for one of the largest banks in the world and represented the client in a grand jury investigation relating to possible violation of Export Control Act and presented the findings to U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York which resulted in decision not to prosecute bank.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for one of the nation's largest professional organizations relating to the sale of a valuable city block of land that they owned.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a Big Ten university relating to gambling activities by student athletes. At the conclusion of the investigation, we presented our findings to the U.S. Attorney which led to the indictment of a number of individuals.
  • Conducted an internal investigation relating to the death of a football player for a Big Ten university in connection with training drills and whether NCAA violations had occurred.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for one of the world's largest telecommunications companies relating to possible violations of the Iranian Transaction Regulations concerning contracts for TV broadcasting via satellite.
  • Conducted a parallel internal investigation for a large construction company in Mexico and Panama and presented findings to the U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Florida, which resulted in decision not to prosecute for bank fraud.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for the acquiring company in connection with a possible fraud in the acquisition of another company. The investigation resulted in the seller returning a significant portion of the sales proceeds to our client, the acquirer.
  • Represented a bank official of a major Southeastern bank in an internal investigation of the bank's accounting and revenue recognition practices.
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