Nancy DePodesta is a former federal prosecutor and highly regarded white-collar defense attorney and trial lawyer.  Nancy regularly defends clients in investigations conducted by the Department of Justice and other federal law enforcement and governmental agencies.  As an experienced investigator, she has led complex investigations involving regulatory agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Labor, and Securities and Exchange Commission and has conducted internal investigations for corporate clients and universities.

With extensive experience in a broad array of subject matters, including securities fraud, tax fraud, health care fraud, corporate fraud, bribery and corruption, antitrust, Nancy focuses her practice on white-collar criminal defense. An adept and hands-on manager, she has led teams of in-house attorneys and outside counsel in handling complex litigation and investigative matters.

Nancy previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois for more than 10 years and as legal counsel for the Illinois Department of Corrections.


  • Honoree, Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2024)

  • Honoree, Notable Women in Law list, Crain’s Chicago Business (2022)

  • Honoree, Top Women in Law, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer Magazine (2022)

  • Honoree, Notable Gen X Leaders in Law, Crain’s Chicago Business (2021)

  • “Local Litigation Star” in Illinois, Benchmark Litigation (2021 – present)

  • Honoree, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2019 – present)

  • Chicago Crime Commission Star of Distinction

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Recognition Awards

  • Recipient of the Chicago Police Department Special Commendation Award

All Service Areas


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law (1993)

    with honors

  • Indiana University (1990)



  • State - Illinois

Notable Matters

Health Care

  • Representing a physician before the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and United States Drug Enforcement Agency relating to alleged violations of the Illinois Medical Practice Act stemming from the prescription of opioids and other controlled substances.
  • Represented a nursing director and marketing consultant, employed by different home health care agencies, in investigations and a prosecution of health care fraud alleging kickbacks and bribes were paid in exchange for referrals.
  • Counseled multiple home health care agencies in qui tam actions and investigations alleging violations of the False Claims Act stemming from claims being submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for services performed and billed.

SEC and Tax Issues

  • Defended a businesswoman on charges involving a $1.2 million tax fraud in a prosecution by the United States Attorney’s Office. Obtained sentence of probation following a contested sentencing hearing.
  • Represented multiple individuals, including an attorney, investor, and a corporate executive in investigations conducted by the Securities & Exchange Commission. The investigations focus on fraudulent misrepresentations to investors, including foreign investors participating in the EB-5 Program.

Fraud Investigations

  • Leading an internal investigation into whether an executive misappropriated corporate funds for personal expenditures and otherwise breached fiduciary duties to company.
  • Represented and advised a city official with respect to a corruption investigation and prosecution conducted by the Department of Justice. The official was not prosecuted. Counseled multiple individuals subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in a mortgage fraud and bank fraud investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The individuals were not charged.
  • Managed corruption investigation and prosecution of Chicago Park District official and contractors involved in mail fraud, wire fraud and bribery in relation to contracts for landscaping at Chicago-area parks, including Millennium Park.
  • Conducted fraud investigation and prosecution involving a Minority Business Enterprise obtaining contracts with the Chicago Public Schools.
  • Investigated and prosecuted an individual in the financial services industry who solicited and obtained payments exceeding $1.1 million from four investors by falsely representing that their funds would be invested in particular companies and instead misappropriated the funds for
    personal expenditures
  • Supervised international fraud investigation and prosecution of the production, distribution and sale of counterfeit art of renowned artists.
    Led investigation and prosecution of fraudulent and deceptive auction practices engaged in by a premier auction house specializing in sports and historical memorabilia.

Professional Affiliations

  • Women's White Collar Defense Association
  • Chicago Inn of Court

Community Involvement

  • Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board

    Member, (Appointed by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker), 2020 – present