Corporate Compliance and White Collar Criminal Defense

Individuals and businesses today routinely face scrutiny from foreign and domestic government law enforcement agencies, whistleblowers and aggressive plaintiffs’ counsel. Clients must be able to call on experienced legal advisors who can help them respond to investigations and defend criminal charges and parallel proceedings.

Taft’s Corporate Compliance and White Collar Criminal Defense team includes several lawyers with significant prior experience as senior federal prosecutors in the U.S. Department of Justice. Our team has a depth of experience that is unique among Midwest law firms. Its members have tried dozens of cases in federal and state courts, consistently earning recognition by peer-reviewed directories such as The Best Lawyers in America®, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Benchmark Litigation. Pair our wealth of experience with our strong values and commitment to pursuing the best course for our clients, and you have a formula for success.

Taft attorneys have represented clients in enforcement actions and investigations pending before the U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Internal Revenue Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense and various state attorneys general.

Our Corporate Compliance and White Collar Criminal Defense team has an arsenal of resources within Taft to supplement and strengthen our criminal defense expertise. We utilize the strengths of top-notch attorneys with specialized skills in areas such as:

  • Antitrust violations.
  • Tax violations.
  • Government procurement and contracting.
  • Environmental violations.
  • Securities fraud, manipulation and other regulatory violations.
  • Healthcare fraud and Anti-Kickback laws.
  • False Claims Act, qui tam and whistleblower actions.
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

With heavily-coordinated investigations by national and multinational law enforcement authorities, investigators are not seeking only civil fines, penalties or disgorgement — they are pursuing criminal charges and incarceration for culpable individuals. We understand the high-stakes circumstances our clients face, and we formulate strategies designed to successfully minimize liability.

Individual Team Recognitions

Ralph W. Kohnen
Group Co-Chair

  • Formerly with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.
  • Former Federal Prosecutor.
  • Member of the Ohio Federal Judicial Selection Commission.
  • Named 2016 Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year" for Cincinnati Criminal Defense: White Collar.
  • Rated as an Ohio Super Lawyer.
  • Listed in Chambers USA for Litigation Law: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations.

Jackie M. Bennett, Jr.
Group Co-Chair

  • Former Federal Prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Indianapolis, Ind., and in the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section in Washington, D.C.
  • Served in the Office of Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr; Principal Deputy in charge of the OIC’s Washington, D.C. operations; Senior advisor to Judge Starr, including the Impeachment Referral of William Jefferson Clinton.
  • Awarded “Lawyer of the Year 2012 – Environmental Litigation” by Best Lawyers in America.
  • Honored by Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense: White-Collar; and Environmental Litigation).
  • Rated as an Indiana Super Lawyer.
  • Listed in Chambers USA for Litigation Law.

Jeanne M. Cors

  • Honored as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation by Benchmark Litigation.
  • Listed as a Top Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation.
  • Rated as an Ohio Super Lawyer Rising Star.
  • Honored by Best Lawyers in America (Antitrust Law).

Trent J. Sandifur

  • Former Federal Prosecutor.
  • Chair, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Group.
  • Former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney to the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.
  • Former Major and Senior Defense Counsel in the Army National Guard.
  • Rated as an Indiana Super Lawyer.
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation.

Charles A. Bowers

  • Former Assistant Prosecutor in Erie County, Ohio.
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation.

William C. Wagner

  • Chair, Environmental Crimes Subcommittee to DRI's Government Enforcement and Corporate Compliance Committee.
  • Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.
  • Member of the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society.
  • Member of the Sedona Conference Working Groups on Data Security and Privacy Liability.
  • Holds the CIPP/G, CIPP/US, CPCU designations.
  • Indiana Liaison to the 7th Circuit Bar Association.
  • Rated as an Indiana Super Lawyer.
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation; Insurance Law; Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants.

David H. Thomas

  • Board-certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Criminal Trial Advocate.
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar; White-Collar.
  • Rated as an Ohio Super Lawyer for criminal defense.

Gregory G. Lockhart

  • Former United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.
  • Honored by Drug Enforcement Administration.
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Criminal Defense: White-Collar.

Related Practices

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