White Collar

SKV’s white-collar lawyers have played major roles in the country’s most significant white-collar cases.


SKV’s award winning white-collar lawyers—including two former federal prosecutors—have played major roles in some of the country’s most significant white-collar cases over the past 30 years.

SKV is unique among firms of its size in having a significant – and experienced – collection of white-collar criminal defense lawyers. From the savings and loan crisis to the fall of Enron, from Major League Baseball’s steroid scandal to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, from the country’s largest FCPA investigations to modern scandals like Varsity Blues, as well as numerous public corruption cases against public officials, if there’s a major white-collar matter in the Gulf Coast region or the broader country, the odds are that SKV lawyers are part of the defense team.  

In addition to handling sensitive and high-profile matters, SKV’s white-collar lawyers have extensive experience in criminal trials and appeals, parallel civil and administrative proceedings, internal investigations, and government investigations of companies and individuals, whether as a “target,” “subject,” or “witness.”

Our recent successes include dismissals or acquittals in cases alleging insider trading, commodities manipulation, environmental violations, and public corruption.  But of course, not everything we do is on the 10 o’clock news.  While we love to try cases and are always willing to go the distance for our clients, some of our greatest successes have involved us working out favorable outcomes for clients at the early stages of criminal investigations/proceedings:  SKV has helped hundreds of clients avoid charges altogether in investigations into alleged financial fraud, tax evasion, FCPA violations, theft of trade secrets, commodities manipulation, money laundering, and more.

Representative Matters

  • First NBC Bank Failure – United States v. Robert Calloway
    Ongoing.  Dane Ball and John Kinchen represent a bank executive charged with bank fraud following the failure of First NBC Bank in Louisiana.
  • The “Varsity Blues” College Admissions Scandal – United States v. William Ferguson
    Agreement to dismiss.  Dane Ball and Alex Wolf represented a Division 1 athletic coach in the “Varsity Blues” investigation, which led to a RICO and fraud indictment alleging illegal payments in the admissions process at universities.  Before trial, the Court dismissed one of the government’s fraud theories; the government later abandoned its RICO charge; and ultimately, the government and SKV’s client resolved the case in a Deferred Prosecution Agreement under which the government agreed to dismiss the charges before trial.
  • Texas Rep. Dawnna Dukes Public Corruption Scandal – State of Texas v. Dawnna Dukes
    Charges dismissed.  Dane Ball represented one of the longest-sitting members of the Texas House of Representatives, who was charged with public corruption in three indictments.  SKV mounted legal and factual defenses that dismantled all three indictments and caused the prosecution to request a continuance to determine whether it could prove its case.  The prosecution later dismissed all charges with prejudice before trial.
  • Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – United States v. Robert Kaluza
    Not guilty.  Dane Ball, David Isaak, and Alex Wolf represented BP’s “well site leader” in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including a company internal investigation; civil multi-district litigation; parallel administrative proceedings; and federal criminal charges of manslaughter and Clean Water Act pollution.  Over the course of four years, SKV convinced the court to dismiss half the manslaughter charges, and the government itself dismissed the remaining manslaughter charges.  After a two-week trial on the remaining Clean Water Act charge, obtained a not guilty verdict.
  • Black Elk Oil Spill – United States v. Grand Isle Shipyard
    Felony charges dismissed; misdemeanor settlement.  Dane Ball and Alex Wolf represented an offshore contractor charged in the aftermath of the Black Elk explosion with manslaughter, violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and a Clean Water Act violation.  Successfully avoided the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act charges after showing that the relevant statutes do not apply to offshore contractors.  Prior to trial, the manslaughter felonies were dismissed when the parties reached a misdemeanor settlement.
  • Shaw Group / CB&I Merger Insider Trading – United States v. Jesse Roberts
    Not Guilty.  Dane Ball and Alex Wolf represented a businessman indicted for insider trading following his purchase of stock before the formal announcement of the CB&I/Shaw merger.  Obtained a verdict of not guilty on all charges, and later, complete dismissal in the parallel SEC enforcement action.
  • BP Commodities Trading Scandal – United States v. Carrie Kienenberger
    Charges dismissed.  Dane Ball and David Isaak represented a BP commodities trader in a federal criminal case alleging 26 counts of commodities manipulation, cornering, and wire fraud.  By showing that the Commodities Exchange Act did not apply to the alleged trades, obtained dismissal of all 26 counts, and the appellate court affirmed the dismissal. 
  • Largest Tax Fraud Investigation in U.S. History – Confidential Client
    No charges or action filed.  Dane Ball represented an executive in what the United States hailed as the largest tax investigation in U.S. history.  After a multi-year investigation, SKV’s client was not charged in the federal criminal case, and the IRS brought no civil action against the client.


“Varsity Blues”: United States and SKV client enter agreement for dismissal of charges

On October 12, 2021, Judge Indira Talwani of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts approved and unsealed a Deferred Prosecution Agreement resolving the case against SKV client William “Bill” Ferguson, the former Wake Forest Women’s Volleyball coach.  Ferguson was indicted in March, 2019 in the “Varsity Blues” college admissions case. Under the ...

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