Pete is a former U.S. Attorney with extensive national experience in white collar criminal litigation and corporate compliance. A seasoned trial lawyer and partner in Taft’s Compliance, Investigations, and White Collar Defense practice, Pete’s client work is distinguished by his ability to navigate complex investigations and prosecutions. He has both led and responded to numerous high-stakes federal investigations, including those relating to:

  • Banking and business crime.
  • Financial fraud.
  • Regulatory investigations.
  • Public corruption.
  • False claims to the government.
  • Theft of trade secrets.
  • Securities fraud.
  • Insider trading

Pete most recently served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, with a career spanning 22 years as a federal prosecutor. He brings uncommon litigation experience to bear on behalf of his clients, having tried 22 cases to jury verdict in federal courtrooms across the Midwest and having argued more than 33 cases in the federal courts of appeal.

Since joining Taft in 2021, Pete has helped clients respond to high-stakes federal investigations targeting financial fraud, insider trading, public corruption, theft of trade secrets, environmental compliance, product safety and recalls, food and drug labeling, banking violations, false claims relating to health care and government contracting, ADA violations, mishandling of prescription medications, Packers and Stockyards Act violations, and failure to disclose foreign ties in connection with academic grant applications. He has also helped clients respond to NCAA and professional players association inquiries and related government actions. Pete has led multiple confidential internal investigations and assisted businesses victimized by fraud, misuse of proprietary information, and rogue employee misconduct.

In addition, Pete advises clients on money-laundering laws and regulations and has served as an overseas instructor on U.S. and international anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and public corruption investigations.

As U.S. Attorney, Pete directed additional civil resources to False Claims Act enforcement, making the district a favored venue for Qui Tam filings. Pete also focused criminal resources on corporate fraud, gun crime, cartel-linked methamphetamine sources, the opioid epidemic, and financial crimes targeting the elderly.

Pete served in leadership and advisory positions at the national level. He chaired the Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Management and Performance and served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee for White Collar Fraud, the Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee for Native American Issues, and the Deputy Attorney General’s Privilege Review Working Group.

His career specializing in federal investigations began with his appointment as an Assistant to the Iowa Attorney General specially assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Pete later served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Detroit, prosecuting complex matters, including alien smuggling, medical device smuggling, and financial fraud. After returning to Iowa, Pete focused on complex fraud and business crimes. He prosecuted the two largest financial fraud cases in the history of the district, including a $215 million fraud committed by the owner of Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. Pete also co-led the investigation of the largest criminal immigration enforcement action in U.S. history and the subsequent prosecutions of several company managers for harboring-related offenses and a $26 million bank fraud. Pete led the investigation and prosecution of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and public corruption crimes related to the largest food-borne salmonella outbreak in the nation’s history. This resulted in prison sentences for two top corporate officials under the Responsible Corporate Officer doctrine.

Prior to his confirmation as U.S. Attorney, Pete served as the Chief of the Criminal Division in the Northern District of Iowa, supervising all criminal prosecutions in the district. These included cases involving arms smuggling to Hezbollah in Lebanon, theft of trade secrets from a Fortune 100 company, immigration fraud by a perpetrator of the Rwandan genocide, threats to a U.S. senator, and the largest organic certification fraud in U.S. history involving over $100 million in grain.


  • Taft Pro Bono Honor Roll Award


  • U.S. Treasury / Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Certificate of Appreciation (2020)

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Special Commendation for Outstanding Service in the Civil Division (2015)

  • Council of the Inspectors General, Gaston L. Gianni, Jr. Better Government Award (2015)

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, Award for Distinguished Service (2015)

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Litigative Team (2014)

  • United States Department of Agriculture, Honor Award for Excellence (2010)

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations, Special Recognition Award (2010)

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation, Certificate of Recognition (2010)

All Service Areas


  • Wayne State University Law School (1995)
  • University of Notre Dame (1992)

    Philosophy with a concentration in Middle East studies


  • State - Illinois
  • State - Iowa
  • State - Michigan
  • State - Wisconsin
  • State - District of Columbia

Notable Matters

  • Quality Egg/DeCoster – led criminal investigation into largest foodborne Salmonella Enteritis outbreak in U.S. history and prosecution of public corruption and Responsible Corporate Officer (Park liability) offenses by top company officials.
  • Peregrine Financial Group/Wasendorf – led criminal investigation and prosecution of $215 million fraud by owner and Chief Executive Officer of Futures Commission Merchant leading to 50-year federal sentence.
  • Agriprocessors/Rubashkin – co-led largest criminal worksite enforcement investigation in U.S. history and related harboring and bank fraud investigation leading to felony convictions for more than 300 employees, several supervisors, Human Resources Officer, Controller, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer.
  • Hancher – prosecution of multimillion-dollar wire and securities fraud committed by investment broker promoting plans to take one company public through a stock offering and another company private through a stock buyback.
  • Hoffert – prosecution of real-estate broker for stealing mortgage loan proceeds and failing to pay off prior mortgage loans.
  • Plower – investigation and prosecution of law enforcement officer for scheme to defraud insurance company by setting fire to insured property leading to 13-year federal sentence.
  • Kinseth – prosecution of investment broker for Ponzi scheme targeting multiple victims – including a paraplegic and a member of the clergy – and resulting in more than four years in federal prison.

Speeches and Publications

Financial Services and Bank Secrecy Act

Financial Services Volunteer Corps / Luanda, Angola

  • Training in Global Corruption and Money Laundering Phenomena for Angolan Judges and Prosecutors (2024)

Financial Services Volunteer Corps / Judicial Institute for Africa, Cape Town, South Africa

  • Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Public Corruption Training for Judges from Angola, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia, and South Africa (2022)

Financial Services Volunteer Corps / Judicial Institute of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

  • Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Training for Jordanian Judges/Public Prosecutors (2021, 2022)

IRS / Iowa Special Enforcement Operations Bureau Training for Gaming Organizations, Dubuque, Iowa

  • Sports Book/Anti-Money Laundering Compliance remarks (2019)

Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on White Collar Fraud, Los Angeles, California

  • Suspicious Activity Reports Best Practices panel (2019)

Northeast Iowa Bank Security Training, Waterloo and Dubuque, Iowa

  • Suspicious Activity Reports and Financial Crimes presentation (2016)

Iowa Bankers Association Two-Day BSA/AML Compliance School, Des Moines, Iowa

  • Federal Financial Crimes presentation (2015)

Food Safety

Faegre Food and Ag Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Food Safety panel (2016)

ABA Food and Device Conference, Omaha, Nebraska

  • Food Safety panel (2015)

Employment-Related Immigration

U.S. Department of Justice National Advocacy Center, Columbia, South Carolina

  • Border Security Conference, Worksite Enforcement Issues panel (2018)
  • Criminal Immigration Seminar case study (2010, 2011)
  • Employment Related Immigration Crimes Seminar case study (2009)

Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Border and Immigration Issues

  • Worksite Enforcement Best Practices presentation (2018)

Homeland Security Investigations Supervisor School, Glynco, Georgia

  • Worksite Enforcement Prosecutions for HSI Supervisors presentation (2018)

Publication: 2013 revisions and updates to Chapter 12 of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Education, Immigration Manual (Civil and Criminal Remedies for Illegal Employment of Aliens)

White Collar Investigations

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association

  • Co-Presenter, “Best Practices and Criminal & Civil Implications: Internal Investigations,” May 9, 2023.

U.S. Department of Justice National Advocacy Center, Columbia, South Carolina

  • Filter Review Team Guidance panel (2020 Webinar)

University of Iowa Law School, Iowa City, Iowa

  • Adjunct Faculty, Federal White Collar Crime Course (Spring 2016)

Mt. Mercy University Criminal Justice Program, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  • White Collar Crime panel (2016)

Author, “Elder Financial Fraud Schemes: The Case for Federal Investigation and Prosecution,” 66 DOJ J. FED. L. & PRAC., no. 7, 2018

Trial Advocacy

U.S. Department of Justice National Advocacy Center, Columbia, South Carolina

  • Visiting Faculty, Basic Criminal Trial Advocacy Course (2005 to 2020)
  • Jury Trials during COVID-19 Pandemic panel (2020 Webinar)

University of Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, Indiana

  • Visiting Faculty, Intensive Trial Advocacy Course (annually since 2017)

Lawyers Without Borders

  • Virtual Trial Advocacy Trainer for Kenyan Prosecutors (2021)

Professional Affiliations

  • Linn County Iowa Bar Association
  • Northern District of Iowa Historical Society
  • Michigan Bar Association
  • National Association of Former United States Attorneys
  • American Bar Association

    Member, Criminal Law Section

  • Wisconsin State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association

    Member, Chicago Chapter

Community Involvement

  • St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    Past Board of Education Member
    Past Board of Education President
    Past Co-chairperson, Capital Campaign Committee

  • Notre Dame Club of Cedar Rapids/Iowa City

    Past Admissions Volunteer Coordinator

  • Financial Services Volunteer Corps

    Volunteer Expert