Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office Corporate and Securities Fraud Chief William Frentzen Joins Morrison & Foerster

Mr. Frentzen’s arrival further expands the firm’s Trial, Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense, and Global Risk and Crisis Management capabilities

06 Jan 2022

January 6, 2022 – Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce that William Frentzen has joined the firm as a partner in its Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Group. Mr. Frentzen brings to the firm more than two decades of prosecutorial experience investigating and trying high-profile criminal cases, including spending the last 12 years in senior leadership positions in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California (NDCA). He has successfully tried more than 40 federal felony jury cases around the U.S. over the span of his 24-year career.

During his tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the NDCA, Mr. Frentzen investigated and tried some of the longest and most complex criminal cases in the Northern District of California, including securing the conviction of Autonomy’s Chief Financial Officer and bringing charges and extradition proceedings against its CEO and founder in connection with the largest fraud case in the history of the NDCA. He also supervised the investigation of high profile trade secrets cases and prosecuted pioneering cryptocurrency cases as well as some of the most significant cybersecurity cases in the District, including the hacking of a significant social media platform that led to intrusion and fraud through “verified” VIP accounts.

Mr. Frentzen most recently served as Chief of the Corporate and Securities Fraud Section within the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the NDCA. In this role, he supervised the unit with primary responsibility for prosecuting white collar crime in the District, including corporate fraud, securities fraud, public corruption, intellectual property crimes, money laundering, healthcare fraud, digital currency crime, tax crimes, and cybercrime. Before that, Mr. Frentzen oversaw an elite unit responsible for prosecuting the highest profile white collar crimes in the NDCA.

Before that, Mr. Frentzen served as Senior Trial Counsel, where he was responsible for supporting the office in all litigation- and trial-related matters, reporting directly to the Criminal Chief and the United States Attorney.  He also served as Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force, where he supervised and prosecuted cases involving international organized crime, RICO violations, public corruption, bribery, sophisticated fraud, digital currency crime, money laundering, healthcare fraud, and all other forms of organized crime. In that role, Mr. Frentzen also developed the country’s first Cryptocurrency Crime Coordinator position.

Mr. Frentzen also developed an exceptional record as a prosecutor during the first decade of his career, serving as an Associate Independent Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel, and subsequently as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Georgia and the District of Columbia.

“Over the course of his career, William has built a stellar reputation as a gifted prosecutor and worked on dozens of high-profile white collar cases in the Bay area and beyond,” said Morrison & Foerster’s Litigation Department Co-chair Christine Wong. “In addition to being a highly respected investigator, William’s trial experience—developed over the course of 40 jury trials—will allow us to deploy his vast courtroom experience in a number of matters for our clients around the globe. William’s arrival further expands our capabilities across investigations, white collar defense, crisis management, and trials, in areas where our clients see increasing government enforcement, such as healthcare fraud and cryptocurrency.”

Mr. Frentzen adds to the deep bench of senior government officials that the firm has added in recent years. He is the 10th former senior official to join Morrison & Foerster since the start of 2021, and the sixth to join the Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense and Investigations + White Collar Defense Groups, together with Adam Braverman—who joined the firm in California, having previously served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California—Brian K. Kidd, Brandon Van Grack, Katherine (Kate) Driscoll, and Nathan Reilly.

“Serving in the Bay Area and in Washington, D.C. has provided me opportunities to investigate, litigate, and supervise a wide variety of complex white collar matters—securities and accounting fraud in publicly traded companies, cybersecurity breaches involving corporate hacks, trade secret theft of cutting-edge technology, public corruption at the federal and local level, cryptocurrency offenses involving billions of dollars, sophisticated health care fraud, international organized crime, and more. Trying those types of cases in front of some of the most diverse and savvy juries and judges around the country has been enriching. I am excited to bring that experience to Morrison & Foerster, an outstanding global law firm with deep roots in the Bay Area, a similarly broad range of expertise in cutting-edge and emerging industries, and an excellent reputation for litigation.”

Mr. Frentzen earned his B.A. from the New College of the University of South Florida and his J.D. cum laude from Tulane Law School. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Louisiana*. Mr. Frentzen has been a frequent instructor and guest speaker on numerous topics related to investigations and white collar, prosecution ethics-related issues, and cryptocurrency matters. Mr. Frentzen has received numerous awards for his exceptional work, including, among others, the FBI Director's Award for Excellence, the DOJ Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Criminal AUSA, and the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, in addition to various other awards and commendations from Northern California federal and state agencies.

* Mr. Frentzen is not admitted in California.

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