White Collar Defense

  • Our attorneys include former government trial attorneys, former law clerks to federal judges, law professors, and dual-credentialed CPAs with deep experience in white-collar defense. Nearly one-third of our attorneys serve as law professors at tier-one law schools.
  • Our white-collar attorneys have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being named to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America list, Super Lawyers, and recognized by Chambers & Partners as among the leading attorneys in the United States, including for fraud representations.
  • Freeman’s attorneys have extensive white-collar litigation experience in complex, sophisticated federal matters.

Freeman is a go-to white-collar boutique for companies, executives, and public officials facing sensitive government investigations, prosecutions, and related litigation. Our white-collar defense attorneys offer big-firm talent in a collaborative environment; think-tank intellect; and exacting analytical precision. Well-versed in high-stakes litigation, our attorneys are trial-ready and battle tested; we’re ready when you are.

The right move at the right time can mean the difference between the right outcome and the wrong one. The initial response to a white-collar legal crisis is critical. It requires an organized, strategic response, often on multiple fronts, framing the discourse and issues. Many of our most successful representations never see the light of day. But when trial is necessary, we defend our clients zealously and strategically.

Freeman is the firm that clients seek out when the stakes are high and the issues are complex.

Experience Against the Government

Our attorneys have experience navigating, and defending against, a range of government agencies, including the:

  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • State Agencies

Freeman’s white-collar attorneys also assist corporate and individual clients with responses to government inquiries, including Department of Justice investigations, federal agency investigations, and investigations carried out by state Attorneys General.

Corporations and Executives

Government scrutiny can have high-stakes implications for executives and corporations. Our white-collar defense practice represents clients facing threatened enforcement, as well as clients in civil fraud litigation and administrative proceedings. We represent companies, senior executives, public officials, and other individuals in government investigations and prosecutions.

High stakes

Government investigations and prosecutions can represent an existential threat. And a white-collar investigation can be a life-altering event. Whether the investigation results in an indictment or not, it can be expensive, protracted, and stressful. Our firm is accustomed to handling complex, sensitive matters; we were designed for bet-the-company proceedings.

Responding to high-profile crises—both inside and outside the courtroom—requires legal and strategic considerations, including navigating public relations and responding to fast-moving developments. We prepare for those hidden “x factors” that come with the territory in high-stakes, high-profile white-collar disputes.


Courtrooms are human institutions. And when parochial interests threaten the principles of justice, clients need articulate, forceful advocacy. Clients need advocates with courage and the fortitude to push through the most difficult challenges.

Strategic Representation

White-collar investigations test savvy and strategic thinking, necessitating tactical navigation of complex factors. We work collaboratively, developing a strategic plan of attack. Recognizing that indictments in many white-collar matters can be almost as devastating as convictions, we proactively investigate the facts, develop viable defenses, and engage the government in an effort to stop prosecutions short of an indictment.

White-collar matters often involve simultaneous and parallel criminal, regulatory and civil proceedings. Freeman can navigate the complexities and collateral consequences of multiple proceedings. And when it comes to the court of public opinion, we employ ethical and strategic tactics to manage publicity.


Our attorneys at Freeman employ a proactive approach to defend and strategically position our clients. Our attorneys often initiate interaction with federal and local prosecutors, regulatory agencies, congressional investigators, and the media. The stigma of criminal accusations can impact anyone, especially professionals. Where appropriate, we seek early and rapid intervention, counteracting the impact of an investigation before it becomes public.


Our attorneys exercise sound judgment and discretion. Ultimately, our credibility is our most important attribute. We build upon it through discerning judgment and considered analysis.


Our lawyers are connected as former government trial attorneys, former federal court law clerks, law professors at top-tier law schools, and leaders in positions of influence in public organizations. We use our firsthand knowledge of government agencies and their investigative protocols to navigate our clients through the morass, leveraging our government experience and contacts.

Experience that Counts

We have experience representing clients against a broad range of allegations and investigations, including:

  • Tax Fraud
  • Bank Fraud
  • Money Laundering
  • Bank Secrecy Act
  • Seizures and Forfeitures
  • Securities Fraud
  • Mail and Wire Fraud
  • Computer Intrusion
  • Health Care Fraud
  • Conspiracy
  • Other Financial Crimes

Our white-collar defense attorneys have experience in complex and sensitive matters, including tax evasion, healthcare fraud, government contract fraud, government investigations, enforcement actions, and internal investigations. Our attorneys have experience defending allegations of public corruption, the Anti-Kickback Statute, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, government program fraud, and other matters.


We represent clients under criminal investigation, in federal agency probes, IRS criminal investigations, SEC investigations, and other inquiries and investigative matters. We often conduct a “shadow” investigation, evaluating the facts as they evolve and homing in on the government’s theories—factual and legal—as well as developing defensive information and positioning the client for efforts to end the process without an indictment.

We also conduct internal investigations for institutional clients, including investigating officer and employee misconduct or suspected criminal activity.

Federal Criminal Defense

We have broad experience in white-collar criminal defense. Our white-collar attorneys have represented clients in tax evasion, financial fraud, securities and accounting fraud, healthcare fraud, anti-corruption violations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, false claims, perjury and false statements, and obstruction, among others.

We represent clients in all stages of criminal and administrative enforcement proceedings, including:

  • Grand jury investigations and subpoenas
  • Regulatory agency investigations enforcement actions
  • Trial
  • Criminal appeals
  • U.S. congressional oversight hearings and investigations
  • Whistleblower internal investigations
  • Parallel proceedings

Our white-collar representations involve a cross-section of subject matter under federal criminal laws and agency jurisdiction, including:

  • Anti-money laundering
  • Tax offenses
  • Securities, financial institution, and accounting fraud
  • Computer and intellectual property crimes
  • The False Claims Act
  • The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Health care fraud
  • Privacy and cybersecurity
  • Procurement fraud
  • Mail and wire fraud
  • Political corruption
  • RICO

IRS Criminal Tax

Our criminal tax defense practice has gained a national reputation for astute, deeply knowledgeable counsel, positioning Freeman as a “go-to” criminal tax defense firm. We are hyper focused on defending our clients in criminal tax investigations and prosecutions; rewriting the odds in complex, criminal tax matters one case at a time.

We combine unique white-collar criminal defense experience with substantive tax knowledge. Our attorneys bring big-firm talent and backgrounds, think-tank intellect, and analytical precision. They are steeped in substantive tax expertise gained from years of experience in the trenches and provide sophisticated representation and penetrating legal acumen.

Best Lawyers® and U.S. News & World Report have recognized Freeman as a “Tier 1” Tax Law firm and our tax attorneys have garnered national recognition for their tax litigation work, such as:

  • The “Leading Tax Controversy Litigation Attorney of the Year” for the State of Texas;
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Lawyers in America;
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Chambers USA.

In criminal tax matters, the right move at the right time can mean the difference between the right outcome and the wrong one. We begin thinking through the end game from day one. We sift through and evaluate the case, cultivating its thematic essence and distilling complex facts into clear and compelling narratives and defenses.

Our firm and attorneys maintain a reputation for integrity and vigorous representations defending criminal tax prosecutions and investigations, often seeking to convince government decision-makers to decline prosecution.

Consistent with national recognition of our tax practice, Freeman hosts the world’s largest international tax conference, focusing heavily on civil and criminal tax litigation developments in the United States and internationally.

Our criminal tax representations include matters involving:

  • Offshore trusts and foundations
  • Offshore accounts
  • Accounting irregularities,
  • Off-balance-sheet,
  • Unreported income,
  • Over-reported expenses,
  • Cryptocurrency-related taxation and evasion
  • Conservation easements
  • Tax shelters

Criminal investigations often raise sensitive and important privilege and work-product considerations, including the need to evaluate Fifth Amendment privileges under the act-of-production doctrine, attorney-client privilege, and other factors. We guide clients through the relevant considerations with the end-game in mind.

Political Corruption

We represent clients in public corruption cases and investigations, including high-profile, multi-defendant public corruption cases. Whether premised on conflict-of-interest allegations, false statement, bribery or extortion, honest-services fraud, campaign-law violations, or related tax charges, we deploy calculated representation, positioning our clients for successful outcomes. Our representation capabilities include matters involving:

  • The Hobbs Act
  • RICO
  • Mail Fraud
  • Wire Fraud
  • The Travel Act
  • Federal Bribery statutes
  • The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

We represent clients alleged to have violated Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) rules and regulations, including campaign finance laws and Political Action Committee regulations.

Federal investigators devote substantial resources to the investigation of alleged public corruption. The Department of Justice carries out the investigation and prosecution of bribery, extortion, fraud, and embezzlement committed by elected and appointed officials, government employees, and those doing business with city, state, and federal government through its Public Corruption and Civil Rights section. Our attorneys work with DOJ officials and government investigators to resolve allegations and defend our clients against politically motivated accusations.

SEC Enforcement

We represent clients in civil enforcement investigations carried out by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and state securities regulators. We also represent clients in Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) proceedings, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) matters, and criminal investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Our representation capabilities include matters involving:

  • Insider trading
  • Accounting fraud
  • Securities offerings
  • Violation of Rule 10b-5
  • Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs)
  • State securities law violations
  • The Dodd-Frank Act
  • Whistleblower actions
  • Cryptocurrency and digital assets

Federal securities-related investigations can impact public companies, audit committees, other special committees, registered investment advisers, hedge funds, private equity funds, asset managers, broker-dealers, accounting firms and lawyers, and others. We provide clients with thorough representation in government enforcement investigations.

Anti-Money Laundering Prevention and Defense

We advise clients in anti-money laundering (“AML”) rules and regulations, helping clients navigate the complex, overlapping AML regulatory framework. We assist clients with implementing compliance measures and responding to regulators.

We are versed in AML requirements, including counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regimes, know-your-customer (KYC) rules, Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) obligations, money transmission reporting and Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) asset blocking and reporting requirements, as well as statutory requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act, the Money Laundering Control Act, the USA PATRIOT Act.

Global legal and regulatory AML and reporting regimes are increasingly complex. Contributing factors include the development of international standards stemming from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and evolving standards and rules under U.S. oversight agencies, including the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), OFAC, and the bank regulatory agencies such as the Federal Reserve System (the Fed) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (the OCC).

We represent financial institutions in Bank Secrecy Act/AML compliance matters, including money laundering, asset forfeiture, and economic sanctions compliance. We also assist financial institutions with:

  • Implementing anti-money laundering compliance programs under the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act
  • Advising regarding currency-reporting requirements and compliance
  • Training employees with respect to anti-money laundering practices and principles
  • Reviewing suspicious transactions and, preparing suspicious activity reports
  • Implementing compliance programs with respect to trade embargoes and government terrorist and prohibited parties lists

We represent clients in matters connected with allegations of tax crimes and money laundering. We are versed in DOJ’s Tax Division authorization requirements relating to prosecution under § 1956(a)(1)(A)(ii) where the sole or principal purpose of the financial transaction was to evade the payment of taxes.

Our deep knowledge in cryptocurrency and blockchain matters likewise position our firm to assist clients in this evolving area.

Government Fraud

Government contracts with private companies and individuals may give rise to allegations of false claims violations or attempts to defraud the government. The United States has both statutory (e.g., the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733) and common law rights of action with respect to fraud against the government and from the corruption of its officials.

Government allegations may include allegations of “cross charging,” improper cost allocations, violation of the Truth in Negotiations Act (“TINA”), defective pricing, bid-rigging, kickbacks, and bribery, among others. We defend clients in matters involving:

  • The False Claims Act
  • The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Bank Fraud
  • Bank Secrecy Act
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Criminal Antitrust Violations
  • Sherman Antitrust Act

The federal False Claims Act and the Texas False Claims Act provide for “qui tam” lawsuits by whistleblowers against companies believed to have defrauded the government. We also represent clients in matters under the FCA and TFCA, including qui tam suits.


Our firm maintains unique and deep knowledge with respect to cryptocurrency, blockchain, and digital assets. We are an innovative thought leader in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Blockchain and virtual currency activities take place in a rapidly-evolving regulatory landscape. Freeman is at the forefront as these emerging technologies continue to revolutionize social and economic activities.

Virtual and crypto-currencies are built on blockchain technology—a technological innovation that allows for a distributed, decentralized digital ledger generally built upon cryptographic security mechanisms and complex consensus protocols. From a legal perspective, many of the tax, regulatory, and other legal issues associated with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency require an understanding of this underlying technology.

Our professionals are well-versed in government enforcement initiatives and investigations relating to digital assets, and regulatory represent clients in litigation, disputes, and fraud investigations utilizing propriety data analytics and procedures to trace defrauded, stolen digital assets through blockchain transactions.

Cryptocurrency issuers and administrators may be subject to “money transmission” regulations at both the state and federal level. FinCEN and state analog agencies administer “money transmission” regulatory regimes, which may include Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) and Know-Your-Customer (“KYC”) compliance requirements. Violations and failures to properly register under these regimes may even give rise to criminal violations. We assist clients with compliance under AML, Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and KYC regimes.

Parallel Proceedings

White-collar investigations and prosecutions often involve “parallel” proceedings—criminal, civil, regulatory, and administrative. Under longstanding DOJ policy, prosecutors and civil attorneys coordinate together and with agency attorneys in efforts to vindicate the government's criminal, civil, regulatory and administrative remedies. We are attuned to the unique implications connected with parallel proceedings and the possibility that civil, administrative, or regulatory proceedings may be used improperly to further a criminal investigation.

Grand Jury Proceedings

We represent clients in responding to federal grand jury subpoenas and in preparing to give testimony before a grand jury.

The United States Attorney’s Office empanels a grand jury to conduct federal criminal investigations and, ultimately, to seek an indictment to charge defendants with a federal crime. The United States Constitution requires that the federal government use a grand jury to charge all felonies, providing that: "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger . . . ."

The grand jury's principal function is to determine whether or not there is probable cause to believe that one or more persons committed a criminal offense. Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure governs grand juries and requires a grand jury to be composed of 16 to 23 members and that 12 members concur in an indictment. The grand jury's decision is either a "true bill,” which results in the issuance of an indictment, or "no true bill.” It does not, however, decide guilt or innocence.

Grand jury proceedings are secret—no judge is present and the proceedings are led by a prosecutor. Even the defendant has no right to be informed of the proceedings at all, much less to present his case.

The grand jury's power, although expansive, is limited by its function toward possible return of an indictment. Accordingly, the grand jury cannot be used solely to obtain additional evidence against a defendant who has already been indicted. Nor can the grand jury be used solely for pre-trial discovery or trial preparation.

A grand jury may subpoena a subject or a target of the investigation and question the target about his or her involvement in the crime under investigation.

A question frequently faced by Federal prosecutors is how to respond to an assertion by a prospective grand jury witness that if called to testify the witness will refuse to testify on Fifth Amendment grounds. If a "target" of the investigation and his or her attorney state in a writing, signed by both, that the "target" will refuse to testify on Fifth Amendment grounds, the witness ordinarily should be excused from testifying unless the grand jury and the United States Attorney agree to insist on the appearance.

Representative Matters

  • RICO. Represented client in RICO suit involving millions of dollars in alleged fraudulent transfers.
  • White-Collar Government Litigation. Represented clients in litigation with Department of Justice regarding Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) monetary penalty; obtained removal of judgment against individual client and 97% reduction of penalty for remaining clients.
  • White-Collar Criminal Defense. Lead criminal defense counsel for client indicted for allegedly hacking Microsoft and EA Sports company servers and illegally obtaining more than $20 million of virtual currency laundered through Russian and Chinese secondary markets. Obtained resolution of no prison time for client.
  • Government Fraud. Represented client in federal investigation into alleged conspiracy to commit government fraud through improper loans.
  • White-Collar Criminal Defense; Parallel Proceedings. Represented client in multiple, parallel federal proceedings, including federal criminal proceedings and indictment for bankruptcy fraud and money laundering; SEC securities fraud proceedings; and federal civil action for alleged $200 million fraud. Obtained dismissal from federal suit alleging $200 million damages and release of client from prison.
  • Healthcare Fraud. Represented client in federal investigation regard Medicare and Medicaid fraud, alleging overbilling.
  • Criminal Tax. Represented attorney in federal indictment for tax evasion.
  • Criminal Tax. Represent client in alleged $12 million tax evasion.
  • Criminal Tax Investigation; Non-Prosecution. Represented client in criminal tax investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation Division involving allegations of income tax evasion; “killed investigation,” obtaining agreement from IRS CID not to seek prosecution against client.
  • Tax Litigation; Wrongful Seizure. Recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars as lead counsel in suit against United States/IRS and Department of Justice for wrongful collection activities and seizure of assets.
  • Criminal Tax Investigation; Non-Prosecution. Represented client in criminal tax referral involving allegations of income tax evasion; “killed case,” obtaining declination to prosecute client from United States Attorneys Office.
  • Criminal Tax Investigation; Non-Prosecution. Represented client in criminal tax investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation Division involving allegations of income tax evasion; “killed investigation,” obtaining agreement from IRS CID not to seek prosecution against client.
  • Criminal Investigation; Seizure; Non-Prosecution. Represented client under federal investigation for laundering and facilitating cryptocurrency exchanges following government seizure of cash. “Killed case,” and obtained government declination to pursue criminal charges, as well as obtained return of all seized funds.
  • State Criminal Tax Investigation; Non-Prosecution. Represented client in state criminal tax investigation and obtained dismissal of charges.
  • Criminal Tax Investigation; Non-Prosecution. Represented client in federal criminal investigation related to alleged healthcare fraud and false statements, and obtained non-prosecution.
  • White-Collar Criminal Defense. Represented client in federal criminal charges involving alleged mail and wire fraud, money laundering, and false statements related to Federal Election Code and political action committees.
  • White-Collar Criminal Defense; Non-Prosecution. Represented client in grand jury investigation with respect to allegations of perjury, obstruction of justice, and financial kickback scheme, obtaining United States Attorneys Office’s agreement not to prosecute.
  • White-Collar Criminal Defense. Represented client accused of bank fraud involving in excess of $50 million.
  • Criminal Tax Defense. Represented client as criminal counsel in federal criminal case in United States Virgin Islands involving allegations of criminal tax evasion and conspiracy.
  • Appellate. Served as lead appellate counsel in federal court of appeals (Third Circuit Court of Appeals, St. Croix, USVI), providing oral argument in federal tax case.
  • Federal Criminal Defense. Following appointment as counsel, initiated investigation and obtained release of client from prison after uncovering wrongful investigative actions and entrapment.
  • IRS “SEP” Audit/Investigations. Represented client in Special Enforcement Program (“SEP”) audit/investigation involving millions of dollars of alleged unreported income and several million dollars of unpaid tax and assessments; obtained deal to avoid criminal referral and avoidance of fraud penalties.
  • IRS International Penalty Defense and Voluntary Disclosure. Represented client in IRS offshore voluntary disclosure, guiding client through an “opt out” and reducing penalties by hundreds of thousands of dollars through penalty defense.
  • Criminal Tax Defense. Represented client against criminal tax evasion charges involving allegations of the evasion of tax in excess of $1.5 million. Obtained result of no prison time.
  • IRS Voluntary Disclosure/Cryptocurrency. Represent client in IRS voluntary disclosure involving multi-million-dollar cryptocurrency holdings.