Charles (Chuck) G. La Bella
Fordham University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1978
Associate Editor, Fordham Law Review
California Western School of Law, Honorary J.D., 1978
Le Moyne College; Brooklyn Prep
From November 2010 through January 2016, Mr. Charles “Chuck” La Bella was Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section of the United States Department of Justice. Mr. La Bella supervised white collar investigations and cases throughout the United States and was responsible for convicting over 40 defendants in what was reported as the largest fraud case in the history of Nevada. During his career as a prosecutor, the cases and investigations he led included violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), the Securities Act, RICO, healthcare acts, and a variety of other federal laws.
As a veteran trial lawyer, Mr. La Bella has tried dozens of major cases to verdict. In 23 years as a federal prosecutor, he held some of the most important federal prosecutorial positions in the Southern District of New York, the Southern District of California, and Washington D.C.
During his 11-year tenure in the Southern District of New York, Mr. La Bella held important supervisory positions, including: Chief, Public Corruption Unit; Chief, Narcotics Unit; Chief, Organized Crime Unit; and Chief, General Crimes Unit. Mr. La Bella was also the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California; the First Assistant United States Attorney and Chief, Criminal Division; and in Washington D.C., the Supervising Attorney on the Department of Justice Campaign Financing Task Force. Throughout his career, Mr. La Bella has been the driving force behind large-scale investigations of civil and criminal wrongdoing, involving thousands of potential witnesses, and gathering evidence both domestically and internationally. This has entailed the need to execute subpoenas and search warrants on major financial and technology companies, providing him unique knowledge and experience in the inner-workings of governmental investigations. His specialized knowledge equips him to guide corporate clients through the investigation of complex and potentially damaging internal issues or external threats. Moreover, he has an exceptional ability to provide crisis management to clients, the wisdom and judgment to develop informal resolutions to difficult and complex problems before they can transform into something worse.
In a recent prosecution, as Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section, Mr. La Bella was responsible for the conviction of Las Vegas Home Owners Association crime kingpin Leon Benzer, who was sent to prison for 15 1/2 years, as well as over 40 of his co-conspirators, for their participation in what was widely reported to be the largest fraud case in the history of Nevada.
And, as a key member of the Los Angeles Healthcare Strike Force, Mr. La Bella supervised investigations of healthcare fraud across the western United States. Mr. La Bella played a significant role in investigating and prosecuting doctors, clinics, and healthcare companies in multiple states.
Notably, in 1998, then Attorney General Janet Reno appointed Mr. La Bella Chief of the Justice Department Campaign Finance Task Force charged with investigating the possible illegal use of ”soft money” by the Clinton/Gore re-election campaign.
Mr. La Bella left his most recent position as Deputy Chief in the Fraud Section of United States Department of Justice in January 2016. His private practice will focus on a variety of white collar defense matters, complex business litigation, internal corporate investigations, healthcare fraud, federal and state regulatory law, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations, and enforcement and privacy work for clients.
A major Medicare-Medicaid fraud case involving five doctors and the owner of a medical clinic. All defendants were convicted after a long trial.
Three Superior Court judges and a San Diego lawyer were charged and convicted of mail and wire fraud charges.
Successfully defended the head of Alvarado Hospital in two criminal trials involving allegations of healthcare fraud. The charges were dismissed after two long jury trials ended in hung juries.
A major fraud case which resulted in over 30 co?conspirators pleading guilty and four defendants convicted after a several week trial.
Deputy Chief Fraud Section – United States Department of Justice
November 2010 through January 2016
Bartko, Zankel, Bunzel & Miller PC – Of Counsel
Founding Partner – La Bella & McNamara, LLP
2002 – 2010
Firm specialized in complex civil litigation; securities litigation, SEC, DOJ and other regulatory investigations and enforcement actions; corporate internal investigations, corporate governance and compliance issues; and, white-collar criminal defense. Firm partners also serve as court-appointed receivers.
Partner – McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
Oct. 2000 – Aug. 2002
Executive Vice President & Senior Counsel – Peregrine Systems, San Diego, California
May 2002 – Aug. 2002
Senior Managing Director and Counsel – DSFX, San Diego
May 1999 – Aug. 2000
United States Attorney’s Office – Southern District of California
June 1993 – May 1999 California
United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York – Department of Justice
Sept. 1982 – Dec. 1993
Aug. 2001 – June 2003 Ethics Commissioner, Appointed by San Diego’s Mayor and confirmed by San Diego City Council to be one of seven Commissioners on San Diego’s Ethics Commission