SAN FRANCISCO, April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Bartko, Zankel, Bunzel & Miller announced today that former federal prosecutor Charles "Chuck" La Bella has rejoined the firm as Of Counsel and will focus primarily on white collar defense, complex business litigation, internal corporate investigations, as well as enforcement and privacy work.
Mr. La Bella's 20-plus years of experience as one of the nation's top federal prosecutors, including United States Attorney for the Southern District of California and most recently as the Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section of the United States Department of Justice, provides Mr. La Bella with specialized knowledge of the inner-workings of governmental investigations, equipping him to guide corporate clients through the investigation of complex and potentially damaging internal issues as well as external threats.
"Mr. La Bella's decades of experience will greatly assist our clients facing complex internal issues and investigations while also protecting them from external threats through an unparalleled ability to help them enforce their rights," said Patrick Ryan, shareholder of the Bartko firm and co-chair of its antitrust practice group.
Mr. La Bella's relationship with the Bartko firm runs deep. He was the lead prosecutor of the case against former President and First Lady of the Philippines, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, and John Bartko was a member of the defense team. Following the four-month trial the former adversaries struck up a friendship.
Years later, Mr. La Bella was a Court Appointed Receiver in a large Ponzi-scheme case brought by the SEC. The Bartko firm was representing many of the victims of the scheme. During the scope of that case, Bartko and Mr. La Bella collected more than $120 million for victims of that scheme. In 2010, he briefly was Of Counsel at Bartko before eventually rejoining the government as the Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section of the United States Department of Justice.
"Among his many qualities, Mr. La Bella has deep experience in providing crisis management services," said named shareholder Robert Bunzel. "His judgment will help develop informal resolutions to complex problems, which is vital in our line of work and makes him an invaluable addition to our team. Also, Chuck is a seasoned white collar trial lawyer and our firm is known to try big cases."
Before re-joining the Bartko team, Mr. La Bella spent over two decades as a federal prosecutor and held some of the most important federal prosecutorial positions in the Southern District of New York, the Southern District of California, and Washington D.C., including United States Attorney for the Southern District of California. Throughout his career, Mr. La Bella has been the driving force behind large-scale investigations of civil and criminal wrongdoing, involving thousands of potential witnesses, and evidence gathering both domestically and internationally.
As Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section, Mr. La Bella was tasked with supervising white collar investigations and cases throughout the United States. In a recent prosecution, he was responsible for the conviction of Las Vegas Home Owners Association crime kingpin Leon Benzer, who was sent to prison for 15 1/2 years, as well as over 40 of his coconspirators, for their participation in what was widely reported to be the largest fraud case in the history of Nevada.
The cases and investigations he led during his tenure included violations of: the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA"), the Securities Act, RICO, healthcare acts, and a variety of other federal laws. As a key member of the Los Angeles Healthcare Strike Force, Mr. La Bella supervised investigations of healthcare fraud across the western United States and played a significant role in investigating and prosecuting doctors, clinics, and healthcare companies in multiple states.
Mr. La Bella's first day back with the Bartko firm was April 4, 2016.
BartkoZankel is a mid-size complex business litigation and real estate firm, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust, business litigation, intellectual property, and class action cases in California, nationally and abroad, as well as for real estate transactions with a commercial leasing practice second to none in the country. The firm has represented individuals and major international corporations in complex antitrust investigations, including the successful defense of criminal antitrust prosecutions at trial. The firm's franchise and corporate practice groups also represent start-ups and mature private companies, for funding, distribution and licensing.
Patrick M. Ryan
415 291 4540
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SOURCE Bartko, Zankel, Bunzel & Miller