Michael S. Schachter
is a partner in the Litigation Department of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York, and cohead of the firm's White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group. His practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, securities enforcement matters, internal investigations, and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Schachter has been consecutively recognized by Ethisphere Magazine as one of the "Attorneys Who Matter" (2010-2011) in the area of securities.
Prior to joining Willkie, Mr. Schachter served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he focused on criminal prosecution of securities fraud and was a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. In that role, Mr. Schachter worked closely with the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, and the New York Stock Exchange. Mr. Schachter investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of violations of the federal securities laws, including accounting fraud, insider trading, and market manipulation. In addition to securities matters, Mr. Schachter has significant experience in health care fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, and other white collar criminal matters. Mr. Schachter has tried numerous jury trials and argued many appeals in both federal and state courts.
During his tenure as a prosecutor, Mr. Schachter was responsible for some of the nation’s highest profile white collar prosecutions. Among Mr. Schachter's prominent trial victories was the conviction of Martha Stewart and her broker, Peter Bacanovic. He was also responsible for the investigation and prosecution of Samuel Waksal, the former chief executive officer of ImClone Systems.
Selected Significant Matters
Recent Criminal, Enforcement and Investigative Representations:
- Defended former general counsel of Hollinger, Inc. in the highly publicized four-month federal criminal trial of United States v. Conrad Black, et al. (N.D. Ill.), resulting in acquittal on nearly all charges.
- Defended former chief marketing officer of Penn Traffic against federal criminal securities fraud chargespending in United States v. Leslie Knox (N.D.N.Y.).
- Obtained dismissal of all charges against attorney facing federal mortgage fraud charges in United Statesv. Meyers, et al. (S.D.N.Y.).
- Represented global health care provider in DOJ and SEC options backdating investigation.
- Representing global telecommunications company in DOJ and SEC investigation involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- Represented Audit Committee of the City of San Diego in investigation of issues relating to integrity of the City’s pension system and financial reporting.
- Represented Audit Committee of one of Korea’s largest companies in investigation conducted in Korea and the U.S. of accounting and financial reporting issues.
- Represented Audit Committee of Seracare Inc. in investigation of accounting and financial reporting issues.
- Represented senior executives in a wide variety of investigations conducted by the SEC, DOJ, Manhattan
- District Attorney’s Office, and New York Attorney General’s Office, including those involving Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, BP, Saks Fifth Avenue, Alcoa, and Bank of Montreal.
Recent Civil Litigation:
- Defended major accounting firm in arbitration against wrongful termination claims brought by former
- partner and director, obtaining defense verdict on all claims.
- Defended major accounting firm in civil action brought by investor in alleged tax shelter.
- Represented hedge fund in civil action to recover losses suffered in Ponzi scheme.
- Mr. Schachter serves on the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Southern District of New York, defending indigent individuals facing federal criminal charges.
- Successfully secured from Illinois’ highest court the reversal of a death sentence imposed on Earl Hawkins,a defendant who had been advised by his corrupt attorney that the only path to acquittal was to bribe thepresiding judge.
- 1993, DePaul University, J.D.
- 1990, Indiana University, B.S.
- New York, 2000
- Illinois, 1993