Overview

Steven is a former federal prosecutor and seasoned trial lawyer who represents companies and individuals in complex civil litigation and criminal and regulatory matters. He also conducts sensitive internal investigations for corporations, boards of directors, and government entities.

During his tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney, Steven tried numerous cases to verdict, investigated and prosecuted hundreds of cases involving a wide range of criminal offenses, and briefed and argued nine cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Steven served as a Deputy Chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he trained and supervised junior prosecutors, including approving charging decisions and developing trial strategy. During his almost 10 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Steven focused primarily on investigating and prosecuting complex financial crime and public corruption cases, including bribery, embezzlement, racketeering, Bank Secrecy Act, bankruptcy fraud, tax evasion, insider trading and complex wire and mail fraud cases. Several of these matters involved parallel civil proceedings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory enforcement agencies.

Steven also served as Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he supervised more than 70 prosecutors and investigators handling cases involving racketeering, public corruption, financial crimes, law enforcement misconduct, and violent crimes such as murder. As Chief, Steven had ultimate responsibility for all charging decisions and plea agreements in cases within the Bureau. Steven is among the few white-collar practitioners in Chicago who have had recent senior supervisory experience as both a federal and state prosecutor.

Since returning to private practice, Steven has represented corporate executives, business owners, and public officials in federal criminal and regulatory matters, including investigations involving allegations of insider trading, market manipulation, antitrust offenses, public corruption, cybercrime, and economic espionage. Steven has also conducted internal investigations for firm clients and was retained by a large state agency to conduct an independent investigation into the agency’s handling of sensitive and high-profile matters under its purview.

Steven has a strong commitment to pro bono work and his community. In 2021, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker appointed Steven to the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC), which investigates claims of tortured confessions to determine whether sufficient evidence of torture exists to merit judicial review. As a TIRC commissioner, Steven reviews evidence brought by individuals claiming they were wrongfully convicted due to police torture to decide whether a case should be remanded to the courts for further proceedings. Steven is also actively involved in training lawyers nationally and internationally. He has presented on financial crime, public corruption, and prosecutorial ethics on behalf of the DOJ Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training; National District Attorneys Association; Attorney General Alliance; and Illinois State’s Attorney’s Best Practices Committee.

Steven previously worked in private practice at a large global law firm and as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Mathew F. Kennelly of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Experience

In private practice

  • Independent investigation for public agency regarding agency’s handling of sexual abuse allegations.
  • Internal investigation for publicly traded company regarding alleged False Claims Act violations.
  • Internal investigation for audit committee of major reinsurance company regarding alleged accounting irregularities.
  • Corporate executive in connection with Department of Justice criminal investigation into bid rigging and price fixing allegations.
  • Executives of broker-dealer under investigation by U.S. Attorney’s Office and SEC for insider trading.
  • Employees of large government contractor in connection with investigation of company for False Claims Act violations.
  • Various individuals in connection with U.S. Attorney’s Office public corruption investigations.
  • Scientist charged with economic espionage and theft of trade secrets.
  • Business owner charged with manufacturing counterfeit goods.
  • Financial advisor in connection with U.S. Attorney’s Office and SEC fraud investigation.
  • Professor under investigation by U.S. Attorney’s Office for False Claims Act violations.
  • Former executive of major financial institution in civil litigation before federal banking agency.
  • Publicly traded company in federal trade secret trial against former employee and Chinese competitor.
  • Publicly traded company in federal breach of contract trial. 
  • Publicly traded grocery store chain in arbitration alleging breach of non-compete agreement by former chief executive.
  • National retailer in federal lawsuit suit against manufacturer alleging anticompetitive practices in pricing of goods.
  • Pet food company in lawsuit to recover damages resulting from international price-fixing conspiracy.
  • Italian luxury clothing manufacturer and Canadian distributor in fraud and civil conspiracy suit brought by U.S. distributor.
  • Successfully argued case of first impression before Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of pro bono client regarding imposition of extended term prison sentence.

For the government

  • Led the investigation and prosecution of former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for illegally structuring financial transactions and obstructing justice.
  • Investigated, prosecuted and tried a former police officer and 18 others in a racketeering, kidnapping, money laundering and narcotics conspiracy case.
  • Led the bribery investigation and prosecution of executive at city contractor involved in privatization of city’s parking meter program.
  • Investigated and prosecuted village clerk for wire fraud scheme involving theft of public funds and tax evasion.
  • Secured convictions of seven defendants paying or accepting bribes to steer public works contracts for over a decade.
  • Secured the conviction of city official for embezzling public funds and tax fraud.
  • Investigated and prosecuted owner of Chicago Public Schools’ largest school bus contractor for tax evasion scheme.
  • Led prosecution of eight defendants convicted of bank fraud, perjury and other charges arising from massive identity theft scheme.
  • Supervised prosecution of first trial in Cook County involving charges brought under state racketeering law.
Publications

Print 

Media

  • CBS News Chicago, “Pharmacist Arrested for Selling COVID Vaccination Cards Online,” August 2021
  • Guest, "Gaetz-gate," Yahoo! News Skullduggery podcast, hosted by Michael Isikoff, March 2021
  • CBS News Chicago, "Illinois Investigators Looking Into Blank COVID-19 Vaccine Cards Being Sold Online," March 2021
  • CBS News Chicago, "Prosecutors Charge Three With Threatening Women in R.Kelly Sex Abuse Case," August 2020
  • WBEZ News, “How Your Private Illinois Tollway Data Is Shared With Cops And Divorce Lawyers,” September 2019
  • CBS News Chicago, “R. Kelly Charges: Singer Faces Two Federal Indictments: Child Porn, Enticement, And Obstruction Charges In Chicago; Sex Trafficking Case In New York,” July 2019
  • CBS News Chicago, “Michael Avenatti Arrested on Federal Charges of Wire Fraud and Extortion,” March 2019
  • CBS News Chicago, “Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty to Disorderly Conduct Indictment.” March 2019
  • CBS News Chicago, “Illinois Supreme Court Denies Bid to Resentence Van Dyke,” March 2019
  • CBS News, “”Roger Stone Case Set For Trial,” March 2019
  • CBS News, “Why Was Flynn’s Sentencing Delayed?,” January 2019
Presentations
  • "Investigation & Prosecution of Trade-Based Money Laundering via Cryptocurrency," Attorney General Alliance, March 2021
  • "Federal Criminal Trade Secret Law and Managing Risks of IP Theft," Thompson Hine White-Collar Crime - Recent Developments and Emerging Risks Webinar, March 2021
  • “Economic Crimes Evidence,” National District Attorneys Association, March 2019
  • “Discovery Issues for Prosecutors,” National District Attorneys Association, March 2019
  • “Following the Money,” National District Attorneys Association, April 2018
  • “Discovery Obligations,” National District Attorneys Association, April 2018
  • “Investigating and Prosecuting Financial Crimes,” Illinois State’s Attorneys Best Practices Committee, 2017
  • “Advanced Forensic Accounting for Prosecutors and Investigators,” U.S. Department of Justice, Sarajevo, Bosnia, 2017
  • “Investigating and Prosecuting Corruption Crimes,” U.S. Department of Justice, Sarajevo, Bosnia, 2016
Distinctions
  • "Notable Rising Stars in Law," Crain's Chicago Business, 2021
  • Commissioner, Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission
  • Drug Enforcement Administration Special Recognition Award
  • Chicago Bar Foundation, Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award
  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Student Funded Public Interest Fellowship Public Service Award
NewsEvents