Securing Compensation For
The Wrongfully Injured And Their Families

James M. Deichert

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Practice Areas

  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Complex Civil Litigation
  • RICO
  • Fraud
  • False Claims Act
  • Preventive Services

James M. Deichert has been awarded Martindale-Hubbell’s highest professional rating: AV. He is a former federal prosecutor and Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney. From 1982-1997 he was the Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force for the U. S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Deichert now focuses his practice on White Collar Criminal Defense, Complex Civil Litigation: RICO, Fraud, the False Claims Act, and Preventive Services — including Internal Investigations. His practice provides a full scope of counseling and representation before Federal and State authorities.

His peers elected Mr. Deichert as a Georgia Super Lawyer in the White Collar Criminal Defense practice area in surveys conducted by Atlanta Magazine in 2005-2010. He received similar peer ratings as one of Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite from 2006-2009 and was recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Georgia 2007 for Business Crime representation.

In his 25-year career with Department of Justice, Mr. Deichert prosecuted many significant organized crime and labor racketeering cases throughout the United States. He specialized in prosecuting criminal enterprises using the racketeering statute (RICO) to dismantle organizations, trace laundered criminal proceeds and forfeit assets. Mr. Deichert successfully prosecuted dozens of jury trials. He also tried over 30 multiple-defendant cases charging RICO, money laundering, fraud, labor racketeering (graft, embezzlement, extortion and E.R.I.S.A.), tax evasion, arson and conspiracy. He has extensive experience using sophisticated investigative techniques, including court-ordered electronic surveillance, “sting” operations, financial search warrants and long-term grand jury probes.

Since entering private practice, Mr. Deichert has consulted, defended or prosecuted a number of state and federal civil RICO cases. The following cases illustrate his Civil RICO practice:

  • Trustees of the Idaho Laborers Pension Fund v. Capital Consultants, Inc., CV-00-1338 (District of Oregon) Mr. Deichert was a consultant to a consortium of plaintiff’s attorneys representing over 60 union pension and employee benefit plans in the Pacific Northwest. This was a classic labor racketeering scam orchestrated by a corrupt money manager who misused the funds’ investment monies. The scheme involved bribes, kickbacks, false financial statements and money laundering. The total fraud loss exceeded $360 million. Mr. Deichert coordinated the internal investigation, was an advocate for the victims during the criminal prosecution and restitution proceedings, drafted federal civil RICO allegations for the Complaint, and was involved in a mediation supervised by a Senior Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In September 2002 the trial court approved a $140 million settlement by the defendants facing RICO liability.
  • Douglas Asphalt Co. v. Qore, Inc., et. al., CV 2-06-229 (Southern District of Georgia), the State of Georgia appointed Mr. Deichert as a Special Assistant Attorney General to defend 8 Department of Transportation (DOT) employees, including the Commissioner, in a federal civil RICO case. The complaint alleged the employees conspired to destroy the company by wrongly denying DOT highway construction contracts. Losses in the case exceeded $ 80 million. Mr. Deichert and the firm successfully defended the case, winning a Motion to Dismiss.
  • In April 2000 Mr. Deichert and Hank Fellows represented the plaintiff in a Georgia civil RICO case in Fulton County Superior Court charging the company’s CFO with embezzling $500,000. First, the firm won a restraining order freezing the defendant’s assets. Then, after expedited discovery, the firm collected a $610,000 consent judgment.

The following cases illustrate Mr. Deichert’s Criminal RICO experience:

  • United States v. Coppola, 955 F. 2d 688 (11th Cir. 1992), Mr. Deichert directed a multiple-agency investigation and was lead counsel in a 13-week RICO jury trial. The defendants conducted a huge drug importation/distribution operation, used the profits to acquire legitimate businesses and murdered a series of rivals. The case also involved E.R.I.S.A. violations stemming from fraudulent health insurance claims. This was one of the longest and most significant criminal trials in the history of the Northern District of Georgia. The jury returned convictions and a RICO forfeiture verdict of more than $1 million against the Jilly’s – The Place For Ribs restaurant chain.
  • United States v. Romano, 736 F. 2d 1432 (11th Cir. 1984), Mr. Deichert was sole counsel in a 6-week RICO, E.R.I.S.A., Mail Fraud, and Criminal Tax Evasion trial. The defendants bilked a Teamsters’ pension fund using a complicated scheme. The prosecution traced the laundered fraud proceeds into a condominium project and a restaurant. The defendants were convicted, and the Government won a $1 million RICO forfeiture verdict. However, the verdict was overturned because of the trial court’s error, 755 F. 2d 1401. The judge was impeached after a finding of judicial misconduct in the case. Mr. Deichert testified before the Senate during the impeachment proceedings.
  • “Operation Burnout,” Mr. Deichert supervised a two-year sting operation and financial investigation targeting motor fuel excise tax evasion. The project ended in 1994 after 9 defendants pled guilty to RICO or money laundering charges. The IRS recovered over $1 million via a jeopardy tax assessment.
  • Mr. Deichert was co-counsel during the prosecution of the Rosenthal drug empire: United States v. Rosenthal, 793 F. 2d 1214 (11th Cir. 1986). The prosecution relied on court-ordered electronic surveillance and an extensive undercover operation before making a controlled delivery of 755 pounds of cocaine to the defendants. An historical investigation proved the defendants, including members of the La Cosa Nostra, had previously imported and distributed over 10,000 pounds of cocaine. After a 10-week jury trial, the defendants were convicted on Conducting a Criminal drug Enterprise and RICO charges.

Mr. Deichert is a frequent speaker at professional training events. He has lectured on RICO and federal criminal practice before legal education audiences, including the 2010 and 2009 Corporate Internal Investigation Seminar, the 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2002, 2000 & 1998 Georgia Annual RICO Seminars, the 2004 Federal Criminal Practice Seminar and the 2003 White Collar Crime Seminar. He has also lectured on civil RICO and Criminal Restitution to the Georgia Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the International Association of Special Investigative (insurance) Units, and before a joint meeting of the Gwinnett County Bar – CPA Society. He has also served as a guest instructor at Emory Law School’s Trial Techniques Program.

Mr. Deichert is a member of the American Bar Association (Criminal Justice and Antitrust Sections, as well as the Civil RICO Subcommittee), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Federal Bar Association, the Atlanta Bar Association (Litigation and Criminal Law Sections), the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, and the Old War Horse Lawyers Club.

Mr. Deichert has 25 years’ military law experience as a Judge Advocate. From 1991-1999, he served as the State Judge Advocate of the Georgia National Guard, before retiring as a Colonel.

Mr. Deichert earned his Juris Doctor in 1972 from Seton Hall University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in history from Rutgers College in 1969. He entered the Justice Department through the Attorney General’s Honor Law Graduate Program, and won numerous achievement awards during his career as a federal prosecutor.

Education

  • Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey
    • Juris Doctor - 1972
  • Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey
    • B.A. - 1969
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Major: History

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1972
  • Georgia, 1983
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Georgia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1981
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1980
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, 1983

Classes & Seminars

  • Corporate Internal Investigation Seminar
  • Georgia Annual RICO Seminars
  • Federal Criminal Practice Seminar, 2004
  • White Collar Crime Seminar, 2003

Professional Associations

  • Georgia National Guard, State Judge Advocate/Colonel, 1991 to 1998
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Member
  • Atlanta Bar Association, Member
  • Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
  • Lawyers Club of Atlanta, Member
  • Old War Horse Lawyers Club, Member

Past Positions

  • United States Department of Justice, Assistant United States Attorney, 1972 to 1997
  • U. S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta, Georgia, Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force, 1982 to 1997
  • Georgia National Guard, State Judge Advocate, 1991 to 1999

Fraternities or Sororities

  • Chi Psi

Current Employment Positions

  • Of Counsel