Ronald G. White, an experienced trial and appellate lawyer, focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense, SEC enforcement matters, corporate internal investigations, and complex civil litigation. Chambers USA, The Legal 500 US, and Best Lawyers in America recognize Mr. White as a leading lawyer in the area of white-collar criminal defense.
Ronald G. White, an experienced trial and appellate lawyer, focuses his practice on white-collar criminal defense, SEC enforcement matters, corporate internal investigations, and complex civil litigation. A skilled advocate both in and out of the courtroom, Mr. White has been recognized for many years by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 US, and Best Lawyers in America as a leading lawyer in the area of white-collar criminal defense. In recent years, those publications have described him as a “superb” and “excellent” defense attorney of “unique and unequaled experience,” and "a masterful lawyer who is as intelligent as they come, turns over every stone and thinks enormously strategically." He has been cited as a “tireless” advocate who is “very effective for his clients," and who “anticipates key issues before they arise” and “develops a strategy of defense few can match.”
Mr. White represents major corporations and executives in connection with investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory enforcement agencies involving allegations of insider trading, securities fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, bank fraud, tax evasion, health care fraud and criminal antitrust violations. He also regularly conducts internal investigations and defends major corporate clients in civil and criminal investigations by prosecutors and regulators. In addition, he represents clients in significant civil litigation matters, including securities class actions and complex commercial litigation.
In recent years, Mr. White has won a series of significant court victories for clients in high-stakes criminal and civil litigations:
Defense of Hedge Fund Executive in FCPA Case – In a high-profile FCPA investigation, Mr. White won the pretrial dismissal of all charges against his client in a massive SEC enforcement action. Similarly, in a parallel criminal prosecution, he negotiated a favorable resolution of the case in which the government dropped all fraud and conspiracy charges against his client. He also obtained a complete dismissal for the client of a securities class action litigation arising from the same facts.
Defense of Journalist in First Amendment Case – Mr. White won a complete dismissal on First Amendment grounds of a defamation case against a Forbes Magazine contributor brought by a former Mexican government official cited in an article on political corruption in that country.
Mr. White has also secured major victories for clients by persuading DOJ and SEC not to bring charges against them in the first instance:
Defense of Corporate Finance Executive in Accounting Fraud Investigation – After his client received a Wells Notice from the SEC and was notified by SDNY prosecutors that he would be indicted, Mr. White persuaded both the SEC and SDNY not to proceed with charges.
Defense of Corporate Executive in Tax Fraud Investigation – After SDNY prosecutors labeled his client as a co-conspirator in a massive tax fraud, Mr. White persuaded prosecutors that the evidence was insufficient to charge his client and obtained immunity for the client.
Mr. White has represented clients in many of the most high-profile government investigations of recent years, including: a hedge fund executive in the DOJ and SEC’s FCPA investigation of Och-Ziff; a Hong Kong business executive in the DOJ and SEC’s FCPA investigation of 1MDB, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund; Standard & Poor’s, one of the world’s leading credit rating agencies, in connection with investigations and multi-billion dollar lawsuits brought by DOJ and the California Attorney General; the CEO of a media company in connection with the DOJ investigation of FIFA, soccer’s governing body; one of the nation’s largest banks in connection with the DOJ and SEC investigation of hedge fund Platinum Partners; and Swiss private banking executives in connection with the tax evasion investigation by DOJ and SEC of a global financial institution.
Mr. White has tried numerous cases in the New York federal courts, and has briefed and argued many appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Between 2011 and 2013, he served on the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, where he represented indigent criminal defendants on a pro bono basis.
Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Mr. White served for 10 years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. From 1999 through 2004, he served as the Deputy Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Business & Securities Fraud Section, supervising a group of federal prosecutors handling major white-collar criminal and securities fraud prosecutions. Mr. White was twice awarded the U.S. Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.
As an Assistant United States Attorney, he also personally handled numerous investigations, trials and appeals. Among the significant matters prosecuted by him were: United States v. Jacobs, et al. (prosecution of CEO, CFO and other top officers of Allou Healthcare for bank fraud and securities fraud); United States v. Shuster (prosecution of corporate CEO for conspiring with Jordan Belfort, the so-called “Wolf of Wall Street,” to commit securities fraud); United States v. Gordon, et al. (three-month-long, ten-defendant trial involving charges of mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion); United States v. Tec-Air Services, et al. (prosecution of corporation which operated FAA-approved aircraft repair facility and its five highest-ranking executives on charges of defrauding customers and endangering air safety by intentionally failing to properly service aircraft emergency equipment); and United States v. Dhinsa (four-month-long federal death penalty trial, convicting wealthy businessman of the murder of two federal witnesses and a multi-million-dollar consumer fraud).
During his tenure at Georgetown University Law Center, he served as Associate Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.Show More
Represented a high-ranking executive at one of the world’s largest hedge funds in connection with parallel criminal and civil cases in the Eastern District of New York alleging FCPA and securities law violations, a securities class action litigation in the Southern District of New York, and other related civil litigation.
Represent a Hong Kong business executive in connection with a high-profile FCPA investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Main Justice, the SEC and foreign regulators.
Represented credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s in connection with investigations and multi-billion dollar lawsuits by DOJ and the State of California alleging violations of the federal FIRREA statute and California consumer protection laws arising out of S&P’s rating of structured finance securities.
Represent the CEO of a media company in connection with the investigation of FIFA, soccer’s governing body, by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Represent Swiss private banking executives in connection with the DOJ/SEC investigation of a global financial institution for allegedly assisting American citizens to evade taxes and violate securities laws.
Represented a financial institution executive in connection with an investigation of tax shelters by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York which was described by the government as the largest tax evasion case in history.
Represented a corporate finance executive in connection with an accounting fraud investigation by the SEC and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Represented a hedge fund manager in connection with an investigation and enforcement proceedings by the SEC in the District of Connecticut.
Conducted an internal investigation and defended one of the largest U.S. banking institutions in connection with an investigation of banking and securities law violations by the SEC and U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.
Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board of ABN AMRO Bank N.V. regarding anti-money laundering policies and practices at the bank's U.S. dollar clearing unit.
Represented a freelance journalist in a defamation action brought by a former high-ranking Mexican government official arising out of a Forbes article titled “Top 10 Most Corrupt Mexicans of 2013.”
Represented satellite television distributor EchoStar in a $2 billion breach of contract action.
Chambers USA 2020-2021
Legal 500 US 2019
Best Lawyers in America 2022