Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is pleased to announce that Nick Hanna will join the firm’s Los Angeles office. Hanna, a former Gibson Dunn partner, most recently served as United States Attorney for the Central District of California.
At Gibson Dunn, Hanna will co-chair the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group. He joins the firm’s deep bench of 50 former Justice Department lawyers, who represent clients in courts across the country, and he is the fourth former U.S. Attorney to be currently based in the firm’s California offices, including Chuck Stevens in San Francisco, Benjamin Wagner in Palo Alto and Debra Wong Yang in Los Angeles.
“We are delighted to welcome Nick back to the firm,” said Ken Doran, Chairman and Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn. “Nick is an excellent lawyer and outstanding trial lawyer who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in his public service. Growing our premier white collar practice is a strategic priority for us, and Nick’s return to the firm having served as the U.S. Attorney for the Central District deepens our white collar litigation and investigations capabilities and adds another dimension to our ability to provide best in class service to our clients.”
“We are excited to have Nick back,” said Jay Srinivasan, Co-Partner in Charge of the Los Angeles office. “His previous two decades at Gibson Dunn underscore his cultural fit, and his government service has only deepened the substantive experience he developed at the firm, including in securities fraud, healthcare fraud, environmental crimes, export crimes, cybercrimes and privacy issues, corruption and anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act matters. In addition, he has enhanced his national profile through working with other U.S. Attorneys around the country and other government officials in D.C.”
About Nick Hanna
Hanna served as the presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed United States Attorney for the Central District of California for three years. In this role, he was the chief federal law enforcement officer for the Los Angeles-based district, the largest Department of Justice office outside of Washington, D.C., and oversaw approximately 280 Assistant U.S. Attorneys. Under his leadership, the Central District brought and litigated some of the most impactful cases in the country and recovered nearly $4.5 billion in criminal penalties, civil recoveries, forfeited assets, and restitution.
During his tenure as U.S. Attorney, Hanna served as the Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee’s White Collar Fraud Subcommittee. He also was a member of the Department of Justice Corporate Enforcement and Accountability Working Group, and one of two U.S. Attorneys on the Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud chaired by the Deputy Attorney General.
Prior, Hanna was a partner at Gibson Dunn, where he practiced for 20 years from 1998 to 2018. Before that he served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles from 1990 to 1994 and in San Diego from 1995 to 1998.
An accomplished first-chair trial lawyer, Hanna is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Hanna received his law degree, magna cum laude, in 1984 from Georgetown University, where he served as Associate Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.
April 28, 2008 was a typical sunny day in California.
My mother Tallie and my brother Todd were by my side. In hindsight, it would have been better if my mom hadn’t come along. Seeing her standing there with tears streaming down her face still haunts me today.
Yet there we were, the three of us, standing in front of Taft Correctional Institution, a minimum security federal prison camp, saying our final goodbyes as I prepared to self-surrender and begin my 18-month federal sentence for violating securities laws while working as a stockbroker at UBS, an international investment banking company.
Prison was not part of the life trajectory I’d envisioned.
I’d enjoyed a relatively privileged upbringing in an upper middle class Jewish community in Encino, California. Ever since l picked up a baseball bat at the age of seven, I’d dreamed of one day going pro.
In 1993, I attended USC as a student athlete, playing baseball for The Trojans while majoring in psychology. While I’d always been a star player, it was soon clear I’d hit my baseball peak in high school and would have to carve out a different path for my future.
Playing baseball had always given me an adrenaline rush, and now I would need to find that rush somewhere else.
After graduation, my mother arranged for me to shadow a successful cousin of ours who was a broker at Goldman Sachs. As I watched my cousin and other brokers on the desk shouting trades into their phones, I was hooked by the high energy and excitement. I’d found the adrenaline rush I’d been missing.
By my mid-20s, I’d built a successful practice as a professional investment advisor, managing money for MLB players and executing bulk trades for hedge funds.
In 2001, my business partner and I were hired by UBS, an international investment bank, where a joint million-dollar signing bonus awaited us. A year in, we started feeling the pressure of meeting our goals, so when a former colleague reached out to me about handling $6 million in investments for his hedge fund, I jumped at the opportunity despite knowing he’d been dishonest with investors in the past.
It turned out he was running a Ponzi scheme by operating a fraudulent hedge fund. In time, me and my partner and UBS began to grow suspicious of his actions, even drawing up a disclosure letter and trying to distance ourselves from our client’s actions, yet we retained his hedge fund as our client.
Instead of blowing the whistle on him, I kept my mouth shut to allow the commissions to continue to roll in, which made me complicit. Since I was the one executing the trades on the fund’s behalf, I was in essence aiding and abetting the fraudulent fund. In the end, the fund’s clients lost approximately $9 million.
I’d let greed and self-interest run its course, leading me down a path where I eventually pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and securities fraud.
I was 33 years old. I was tired and angry. After three and a half years in court, I was actually kind of relieved to begin my sentence and start getting credit for serving time.
Within a few hours of surrendering that morning in 2008, I went from being Justin Paperny to Inmate #44499-112. Reality hit as I was handcuffed, strip searched, fingerprinted, DNA sample tested, and photographed for a mugshot. The expensive running sneakers and watch I’d assumed I could keep were quickly confiscated and replaced by prison-issued slip-on sneakers, khakis, and t-shirts.
I’d been unwilling to embrace the reality that I was going to prison, so I hadn’t prepared at all, which made my entrance into lockup much harder.
Things might have been a lot different had I not met Michael Santos, a fellow convict, on my first day inside.
Michael had already served 20 years and immediately took me under his wing. While incarcerated, he’d earned both an undergraduate and master’s degree and written extensively on the complexities of America’s criminal justice system as well as about people who’d been convicted of white-collar crimes.
Michael changed my perspective on prison by teaching me not to buy into the myth that there’s nothing I could do during my time in prison to advance myself and prepare for my release. He helped me understand that prisoners discount how much control they have and oftentimes focus solely on what they cannot control. Not enough federal prisoners use their time to self-reflect and analyze the motivations behind their choices.
If I hadn’t gone behind bars, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to reflect on my decisions and come to terms with what I’d done.
During my time, in addition to my assigned job duties such as cleaning pots and pans in the kitchen that paid fifteen cents an hour, I spent my free time getting back in shape, handwriting letters to people in my network to prepare for my reentry into society, and writing a daily blog.
As my friendship with Michael grew, we began to plan to build a business together once we were released from prison. During the last five months of my sentence we wrote a book, “Lessons From Prison”. We also created a curriculum we could use to help anyone who was facing a sentencing hearing.
We wanted to build a business to support and empower people during their time in prison.
We began writing, doing research, and talking to people while at Taft. Since Michael’s sentence was longer than mine, we decided upon my release, I’d work on launching the business from the outside while Michael would work on it from the inside until his release in 2013.
Now, our business White Collar Advice helps clients through all three stages of the process: sentencing, prison, and probation. The more you understand about prison, the better able you’ll be to navigate it successfully. Upon Michael’s release, we also launched Prison Professors which provides digital resources to help improve outcomes of the country’s prison system.
We’re not lawyers nor do we provide legal advice, instead we’re a team of ten that often works in tandem with lawyers on behalf of clients to help prepare their sentencing mitigation packages with the goal of getting the shortest sentence possible.
Showing up to your sentencing and saying ‘I’m sorry’ isn’t enough to convince a judge to shorten your sentence.
It’s critical to express your remorse, identify with your victims, and most importantly, demonstrate that it’s the last time you will break the law.
We prepare clients for what life will be like behind bars and help them create a blueprint of what life will be like upon release. We work with clients on everything from helping them create content in the form of blogs and podcasts, to ghostwriting books on their behalf, to helping them run or manage businesses while in prison.
We’ve managed to build a successful business in an extremely small niche market. Based on the scope of the work involved, our costs can range from a flat hourly fee of $400 to more inclusive packages that can run from $5,000 to six figures.
Recently, we signed a $4,000 contract with a New York physician to help prepare him for his sentencing and another contract for $50,000 for a client who is under investigation and wants our guidance through the investigation, sentencing, prison, and probation.
We also strive to provide as much free content as possible through our blog and YouTube Channel.
On August 16, 2009, I was released on three years probation and went to live in a halfway house in Hollywood for three months.
At the time it was an economic recession, and I was a convicted felon stripped of my licenses to sell stocks and real estate, which I’d done up until my sentencing. I was still paying down $535,000 in restitution I owed the government, which took me until May 2019 to fully pay back.
Since my release, I’ve written four books, some which have been required reading at my alma mater USC as well as other universities. I also do a public speaking all around the country and have even spoken at The FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Because I spent my time in prison preparing for my release, good opportunities awaited me and still continue to come my way.
I’m now 45, married since 2013, and I have two small children. I recently signed a deal with CBS Studios to sell a pilot comedy show loosely based on my life and produced by Will Arnett to CBS All Access. My and Michael’s business has helped more than 1,000 people rebuild confidence, prepare for the toughest challenge they’ve ever faced, and recalibrate their lives afterwards.
We can’t change the past for anyone, but we can help guide them to the best possible future with the circumstances they’re facing in the present. By doing this and making the most of your time behind bars, a prison sentence doesn’t turn into a life sentence.
The acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin (left), is overseeing the massive criminal investigation of Wednesday’s assault on the U.S. Capitol.
Tasos Katopodis/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Tasos Katopodis/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
The acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin, says “hundreds” of people may ultimately face charges related to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, which interrupted a session of Congress and left five people dead.
Sherwin spoke with NPR’s Martin Kaste in an exclusive interview Saturday evening about the multiagency investigation, the challenges officials face and what they’ll be looking for.
Sherwin says he doesn’t want to “Monday morning quarterback” the U.S. Capitol Police, but the fact that they allowed hundreds of potential suspects to leave the scene has made his job more difficult. Now he says staffers are putting in “24-hour shifts” to identify suspects, searching for evidence online and saving it before it can be deleted.
He says there’s likely to be a wide array of criminal charges, ranging from destruction of federal property to murder. He also expects to find evidence of coordination among at least some of the rioters.
At the same time, Sherwin is careful about what to call the violence at the Capitol. He says it’s not his place to make political judgments.
“I don’t want this tyranny of labels saying this was sedition, this was a coup,” Sherwin says. “But what I will say is, it was criminal.”
And, he says, if the evidence points to crimes by elected officials — such as incitement of violence — he’s prepared to bring the appropriate charges.
Below are highlights of the interview, edited for length and clarity.
I’m sure you have many sources of intel before an event like this. Did you get warnings about the possibility of violence?
Of course, there were warnings. I mean, look, you scrub social media, there is all types of intelligence indications. So, of course, there were warnings on social media, the different platforms, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and we were cognizant of those. There’s always outliers, but, yeah, there were warnings that people were going to coalesce and protest, and some individuals said, “Yeah, we’re going to take back our house.” So, yeah, those warnings were out there.
What is your job looking like right now? Your department, your people?
So, look, we’re in the crucible of it right now. I was looking back through the history of the [Justice] Department, and, you know, you look at Oklahoma City, obviously 9/11, and obviously those were tremendously unbelievable investigations and incidents in American history. … But this is different, I think, for a couple of reasons. One is the scale of suspects. We have potentially thousands of people that may have information about crimes … meaning there could be hundreds of people charged. I don’t think there’s any similar case in DOJ history that compares to that. Also, the litany of crimes that may have been committed. So we’re looking at everything — in a very limited period of time — we’re looking at everything from destruction of property to theft of property, to unauthorized access to restricted areas, to potential theft of national security information, to potential murder, to potential excessive [police] force investigations.
On Thursday you were quoted saying the conduct of “all actors” would be examined, which was interpreted to mean President Trump might face charges. Is that what you meant — the man who gave the speech at the start of the day could be looking at charges?
Look, I meant what I said before. In any criminal investigation, I don’t care if it’s a drug trafficking conspiracy case, a human trafficking case or the Capitol — all persons will be looked at, OK? If the evidence is there, great. If it’s not, you move on. But we follow the evidence. If the evidence leads to any actor that may have had a role in this and if that evidence meets the four corners of a federal charge or a local charge, we’re going to pursue it.
How convinced are you that there was some kind of a plan or coordination between at least some of these people?
I don’t think there was an overall command and control. However, I would not be surprised if we find loose affiliations of groups that were organized and had plans in place. Look, we saw in some of these individuals we identified — they look paramilitary almost, right? You’ve got the uniform, you’ve got communication, you have all the paraphernalia. Those show indications of affiliation and a command and control. So I believe we are going to find those hallmarks. But I think we’re weeks, if not months, out to understanding how clear that picture is.
The fact that so many people streamed out of the Capitol afterward, how does that affect your job now in finding people and arresting them?
I don’t want to Monday-morning-quarterback what the Capitol Police did when people flooded the Capitol and breached it, destroyed material, stole materials and left. But what I can tell you is, yes, there were very few people that were detained at the time of the incident and hundreds fled without being stopped. So, of course, it makes our job difficult. That’s why we have to reengineer what happened through cell site data, social media postings, witness statements, video camera footage. This is a process that’s going to take a while. But that’s why we’ve got all hands on deck trying to identify and move very quickly, charging both federal and local charges as soon as possible.
Clearly crimes were committed at the Capitol, but there are people who earnestly believe a lot of the things those people were saying. How do you as a U.S. attorney pursue these cases without this becoming politicized?
You pursue this case like any other case. You remove the politics. I don’t want to sound flippant, but it’s really not rocket science. You look at the evidence, you gather video, you gather witness statements, you scrub social media. And if that conduct fits a federal or local charge, they’re going to be charged, divorced of individual politics.
What’s your shorthand for describing what happened at the Capitol on Wednesday? What do you call it?
This is unprecedented. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a “crime scene” with such a diversity of charges, with such a large group of individuals on such a large grounds, in such egregious conduct.
Some people call this a coup. Some call it a riot. Where do you fall in that?
I don’t want this tyranny of labels saying this was sedition, this was a coup. But what I will say is, it was criminal. I’m a prosecutor. I’m not a political scientist. But what happened was criminal, and I’ll leave the labels, whatever it was, in terms of a coup or sedition, to the political scientists that I’m sure are going to look at this for decades. But as I sit here as a prosecutor, what we’ve seen and what we’ll prove and what we’ll charge is criminal conduct.
A prosecutor who played a leading role in the US Department of Justice investigation of the multibillion-dollar bribery scandal tied to the investment fund 1MDB has quietly taken a role at Facebook leading “special investigations,” Insider has learned.
A source directly familiar with the move told Insider that Woo S. Lee had joined Facebook. Lee, who is still listed on the DOJ’s website, began working at Facebook in December, according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously worked at the DOJ, where he was on the team that charged Goldman Sachs and extracted a $2.9 billion settlement over its role in the 1MDB bribery scandal.
Facebook declined to comment on the hire. A job listing for Lee’s role says he “will oversee a worldwide team of attorneys and investigators” that will field inquiries from the DOJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The listing indicates he will also conduct internal investigations “on matters such as anti-corruption, taxation, fraud, sanctions, and international trade.”
The addition of Lee comes as Facebook faces a thicket of legal and regulatory threats. The US Federal Trade Commission and 48 state attorneys general have sued Facebook to try to force it to sell WhatsApp and Instagram. Con artists have used the site to steer victims to scams and users have sued Facebook, alleging it violated their privacy rights.
Facebook has also found itself thrust into the spotlight on issues around how it moderates potentially dangerous content on its platforms. After years of pressure from activists and its own employees, the company banned President Donald Trump on Jan. 7, saying his fanning the flames of conflict could “provoke further violence” after the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.
And as Facebook has expanded into payments, it has also faced new regulations. Job listings show it has been hiring people with experience building sanctions and compliance programs.
Lee’s move comes with several major cases that he played a role in having wound down. The Goldman investigation was settled in October with Goldman Sachs Group, the corporate parent, inking a nonprosecution agreement and a Malaysian subsidiary pleading guilty to criminal charges. Prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York are still set to go to trial in 2021 against Roger Ng, a Goldman banker.
The 1MDB saga was seen as a dark cloud over Goldman for years, with three employees said by US prosecutors to be implicated in the bribery scheme others accused of ignoring “significant red flags.” The bank made $606 million in fees from arranging bonds for the state-owned Malaysian investment fund, but ended up having to pay billions in penalties, not just to US prosecutors, but also to authorities in Malaysia.
Jho Low, a businessman who has been criminally charged with stealing billions from the 1MDB investment fund, settled several asset-forfeiture cases in 2019 for $700 million. The agency reached other civil settlements connected to 1MDB in 2020. Low has not yet been arrested and is reportedly thought by the US to be in China.
But some of the 40-plus civil forfeiture lawsuits filed by the Justice Department in connection with the 1MDB scheme are still ongoing. Even though the first complaints were filed in 2016, prosecutors are still digging, having filed suit over $96 million in allegedly ill-gotten assets as recently as July.
Other cases Lee is credited with working on involved an alleged scheme to move $20 million in violation of Iranian financial sanctions and efforts to assist South Korea in seizing assets looted by its corrupt former president Chun Doo Hwan.
It’s not clear when Lee’s last day in government was. The DOJ didn’t respond to an inquiry from Insider. His title was deputy chief of the international unit of the money-laundering and asset recovery section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. He also worked on the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
Lee didn’t respond to a request for comment from Insider.
Criminal Minds certainly wasn’t lacking when it came to memorable killers. Over 15 seasons, the BAU team tracked every kind of criminal imaginable, from devious cult leaders to a murderer who killed via hypnosis. While many of the show’s stories were wholly fictional, the show’s writers often turned to real-life cases for inspiration. These frightening characters were all based on actual serial killers.
The killers in ‘Riding the Lighting’ were similar to Fred and Rosemary West
The season 1 episode “Riding the Lighting” focuses on Jacob and Sarah JeanDawes (Michael Massee and Jeannetta Arnette), who are on death row for murderings 12 young women, as well as their 2-year-old son. Jacob is believed to have masterminded the killings, with Sarah Jean helping to lure victims and also murdering their child. But the BAU team believes their more to the story.
Real-life English killers Fred and Rosemary West appear to be the inspiration for the Dawes. Fred raped and murdered multiple girls and young women from the 1960s to the 1980s. Rosemary, his second wife, participated in his crimes and also killed her husband’s 8-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.
Richard Kuklinski likely inspired the character of Vincent Perotta
In season 1 episode “Natural Born Killer,” a murder that at first looks like a mob hit may be the work of a serial murderer. The killer, Vincent Perotta (Patrick Kilpatrick), was likely based on Richard Kuklinski, an alleged mafia hitman and killer who claimed to have killed hundreds of people.
Two ‘Criminal Minds’ episodes were based on Richard Ramirez, aka The Night Stalker
Billy Flynn (Tim Curry) made his Criminal Minds debut in the shocking season 5 finale, titled “Our Darkest Hour” and appeared again in the season 6 premiere. During a series of rolling blackouts in Los Angeles, a killer nicknamed “The Prince of Darkness” breaks into people’s homes and then rapes and murders his victims. His crimes resemble those of Richard Ramirez, aka The Night Stalker. Ramirez was a serial rapist and murderer who killed multiple people in a series of Los Angeles-area home invasions in the mid-1980s.
Nathan Tubbs had an MO like Ted Bundy’s
Season 3 killer Nathan Tubbs (Vince Grant) was dubbed the “Campus Killer” before his identity was finally discovered by the BAU team. He worked as a security officer at a college, where he found his victims — all attractive female students with brown hair.
Tubbs bears more than a passing resemblance to the notorious Ted Bundy. Many of Bundy’s known victims were young women with brown hair, and several were abducted from college campuses. Like Tubbs, Bundy appeared to be non-threatening. He often faked an injury or posed as a police officer to get a victim to let her guard down.
The Boston Reaper is basically the Zodiac Killer
C. Thomas Howell played George Foyet, aka the Boston Reaper, one of the most memorable killers in Criminal Minds history. Foyet (who appeared in multiple episodes) often killed couples in cars in isolated locations and then taunted the authorities (including Hotch) after committing his crimes. Foyet’s all-black getup and habit of killing couples in out-of-the-way spots are similar to the Zodiac Killer. The Zodiac is a still-unidentified murderer who killed multiple people in Northern California in the 1960s and 1970s.
This ‘Criminal Minds’ killer resembled Jeffrey Dahmer
In season 7’s “There’s No Place Like Home,” the BAU heads to Wichita, Kansas, to investigate the mysterious killings of a number of vulnerable teenage boys with a history of drug use and working as prostitutes. A man named Travis James (Alex Weed) is responsible, and he has been collecting body parts from his victims. The killer in this episode seems to have been inspired by Jeffrey Dahmer. The Milwaukee-based serial murderer lured vulnerable men to his apartment. He then sexually assaulted and murdered his victims before dismembering them, keeping body parts as souvenirs.