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Nathan J. Hochman


As of November 24, 2014 practicing with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Nathan Hochman is the chair of Bingham’s White Collar Investigations and Enforcement Group. He practices complex civil and criminal litigation, with a focus on white collar criminal defense and tax controversy matters. He represents individuals and organizations involved as targets, subjects, or witnesses in state and federal criminal investigations, internal investigations, and related grand jury and pre-trial proceedings, trials, and appeals. He also represents clients in state and federal tax controversy, tax litigation, arbitrations and complex civil matters.

Over the past five years, Nathan has achieved notable successes representing clients throughout the world in connection with the United States government’s ongoing efforts to investigate and prosecute United States taxpayers, intermediaries (e.g., bankers, lawyers, accountants), and foreign banks for unreported offshore income and accounts. He has assisted scores of clients with unreported foreign bank accounts in successfully entering and completing the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative program that commenced in 2009. That program offers taxpayers with such unreported offshore accounts lower civil penalties and the potential for criminal amnesty. He has additionally represented intermediaries who have facilitated alleged offshore tax evasion and have been targeted for criminal prosecution by the United States Department of Justice’s Tax Division and United States Attorney Offices. With respect to foreign banks and in connection with the Department of Justice’s amnesty program for Swiss Banks announced on Aug. 29, 2013, he has represented Swiss banks, acting as counsel and separately as an “independent examiner” of the Swiss bank’s compliance with the requirements of the program.

Notably in 2013, Nathan represented three U.S. taxpayers who had each been criminally investigated and prosecuted by the Department of Justice for offshore felony tax or bank secrecy act offenses. Each case involved hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars of unreported foreign bank accounts. In each instance, he successfully convinced the United States district judges to sentence each client to a term of probation and no imprisonment.

Prior to joining the firm, Nathan was the assistant attorney general for the tax division of the U.S. Department of Justice. As head of the Tax Division, Nathan oversaw the nation’s largest tax litigation firm with over 350 lawyers enforcing federal tax laws through criminal, civil and appellate litigation in every federal district in the country.

Prior to joining the Justice Department, Nathan was in private practice for 11 years in a boutique litigation firm, where he concentrated on representing individuals and organizations in tax controversy litigation, federal and state white collar criminal investigations and litigation, and complex civil litigation.

Before joining the ranks of private practitioners, Nathan served as an assistant United States attorney for the criminal division of the Central District of California. In that role, Nathan prosecuted over 180 cases in the public corruption and government fraud section, ranging from tax violations, bank fraud, loan fraud, money laundering, and bribery to government program fraud, customs fraud, environmental crimes, arson, narcotics trafficking, bank robbery, alien smuggling, and perjury. He spearheaded the Los Angeles Disaster Fraud Task Force, was the environmental crimes coordinator, tried over 20 jury trials, argued over 20 appeals before the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and ran over 30 complex grand jury investigations.

Nathan clerked for United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson in Los Angeles. He is a certified specialist in Criminal Law in California and has previously been appointed as federal receiver in several cases. (Certification by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.)


  • Won dismissal of all criminal charges on Aug. 20, 2014, against a prominent southern California philanthropist, George Molsbarger, in a $50 million Internet sports betting and enterprise corruption case brought by the District Attorney’s Office for Queens County, N.Y. The indictment was originally unsealed on Oct. 25, 2012, and charged Mr. Molsbarger, along with 24 other defendants, with enterprise corruption, promoting sports betting over the Internet, money laundering and conspiracy. The indictment, which as the government acknowledged at the time was not evidence, set forth allegations of a nationwide and international sports betting operation that used the Internet and brought in over $50 million in 18 months from bettors throughout the United States. Mr. Molsbarger was looking at a potential jail sentence of 25 years under the indictment.
  • United States v. Sherman Mazur — Represented the lead defendant in a $30 million stock manipulation indictment. Obtained a full dismissal of all charges against Mazur and eight co-defendants prior to trial through motion to suppress wiretap evidence.
  • United States v. Mary Estelle Curran — Represented widow who pleaded guilty to concealing $43 million from IRS in offshore accounts. Co-authored sentencing memo that resulted in the United States District Judge imposing a sentence of five seconds of probation and chastising government for bringing the case.
  • United States v. Howard Berger — Represented businessman charged with multiple counts of tax fraud, obstructing an IRS audit and lying to IRS agents. A jury trial in federal court resulted in not-guilty verdicts on all counts after less than an hour of jury deliberations.
  • United States v. Wesley Snipes — Argued as part of government sentencing team where the district court sentenced Snipes to three years imprisonment on misdemeanor tax convictions
  • United States v. Texaco, 528 F.3d 703 (9th Cir. 2008) — Argued government’s position on appeal where Ninth Circuit overturned district court’s summary judgment ruling for Texaco and remanded for entry of judgment for the government. The court ruled that the inventory exception in 26 U.S.C. § 1341(b)(2) prevented the company from taking advantage of the favorable tax treatment of Section 1341(a) involving over $100 million.
  • Kandi v. United States, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 20761 (9th Cir. 2008) (unpublished) — Argued government’s position on appeal where Ninth Circuit upheld district court’s granting of summary judgment for the government, concluding that deference was owed to the IRS’ “check the box” regulations for whether an individual and/or his corporation would be responsible for unpaid employment taxes
  • Palahnuk v. Commissioner, 544 F.3d 471 (2nd Cir. 2008) — Argued government’s position on appeal where Second Circuit affirmed Tax Court ruling for the IRS, holding that the rules governing the calculation of net operating loss for regular tax purposes also apply for the alternative tax net operating loss purposes
  • United States v. Flowers, 2008 U.S. LEXIS 10943 (9th Cir. 2008) (unpublished) — Argued government’s position on appeal where Ninth Circuit affirmed district court’s sentence that did not include imprisonment, on third government appeal, under deferential abuse of discretion review in criminal tax defier case
  • United States v. Gardellini, 545 F.3d 1089 (D.C. Cir. 2008) — Argued government’s position on appeal where D.C. Circuit, in a 2-1 split decision, affirmed the district court’s sentence of probation after consideration of 18 U.S.C. Section 3553(a) factors in criminal tax case
  • United States v. Tomko, 05-4997 (3rd Cir. 2009) (en banc) — Argued government’s position on en banc appeal where Third Circuit, in an 8-5 split decision, affirmed district court sentence of home detention in the very home “built by the taxpayers” where original circuit panel vacated sentence as substantively unreasonable
  • Metabolife investigation — Represented one of the founders of Metabolife in a criminal and civil investigation involving allegedly $90 million tax fraud, resulting in resolution where government conceded over 97 percent of the tax loss
  • Fortune 500 subsidiary investigation — Represented Fortune 500 subsidiary in complex criminal and civil FBI/FEMA investigation, resulting in no criminal charges or civil case being filed
  • HUD loan investigation — Represented individual accused of more than $5 million in HUD earthquake loan fraud in a criminal, civil, administrative HUD, FBI, IRS investigation, resulting in a one-year probationary sentence, no restitution, no civil case and no debarments
  • Pellicano investigation — Represented individual attorney targeted for years by government in celebrity wire-tapping case, resulting in no criminal or civil charges being filed against attorney


  • Panelist, Post Return Conduct Impacting the Civil and Criminal Case, UCLA 30th Annual Tax Controversy Institute, Beverly Hills, Calif. (October 2014)
  • Keynote Speaker, Emerging Ethical Issues in Tax Practice, New Jersey State Bar Association, Fairfield, N.J. (October 2014)
  • Speaker, Crisis Management in China: What American Executives Need to Know, Bingham Seminar, Palo Alto, Calif. (July 2014)
  • Featured speaker, Insider Trading, USC Gould School of Law’s Corporate Fraud Seminar, Los Angeles (March 2014)
  • Panelist, The Tax Man Cometh: Recent Investigations and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), ABA 28th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, Miami (March 2014)
  • Speaker, Department of Justice Criminal Tax Roundtable, The 30th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the Third Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy, Las Vegas (December 2013)
  • Panelist, Money & Time: Sentencing Trends in Criminal Tax Cases, Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Philadelphia (November 2013)
  • Keynote Speaker, Ethical Issues in Keeping Your Client from a Tax Indictment, New Jersey Lawyers’ Continuing Legal Education Program, Fairfield, N.J. (November 2013)
  • Speaker, Private Public Partnerships to Combat Tax Evasion and Money Laundering – The U.S. Perspective, Cambridge University 31st International Symposium on Economic Crime, Cambridge, England (September 2013)
  • Speaker, FCPA: Compliance and Internal Investigations, Bingham Program, Los Angeles and Costa Mesa, Calif. (March 2013)
  • Speaker, Department of Justice Criminal Tax Hot Topics, ABA Tax Section Webinar (March 2013)
  • Panelist, Department of Justice Criminal Tax Roundtable, 29th Annual ABA National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud, Las Vegas (December 2012)
  • Speaker, U.S. Tax Enforcement and the Voluntary Disclosure Process, 28th Annual UCLA Tax Controversy Institute, Los Angeles (October 2012)
  • Speaker, Government Investigations: In-house Preparation and Response, Litigation Management Supercourse, Scottsdale, Ariz. (April 2012)
  • Speaker, IRS Criminal Investigation Update and Voluntary Disclosures: Still Possible?, 27th Annual UCLA Tax Controversy Institute, Los Angeles (October 2011)
  • Speaker, Inter-Hactivism: Wikileaks, Anonymous and the Future of Sensitive Information, University of Southern California, Los Angeles (August 2011)
  • Speaker, How to Successfully Defend Yourself, Your Client and Your Company Against a Federal Investigation, Trial and Conviction, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Beverly Hills, Calif. (February 2011)
  • Panelist, White-Collar Defense Roundtable, California Lawyer Magazine Roundtable, San Francisco (January 2011)
  • Panelist, Obtaining and Use of Foreign Evidence at Trial, ABA National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud, San Francisco (December 2010)
  • Speaker, Understanding International Tax Enforcement Issues in 2010-2011, Knowledge Congress Webcast Series (November 2010)
  • Speaker, The CPAs Role in a Criminal Tax Case, California Society of CPAs Hollywood/Beverly Hills Group, Los Angeles (July 2010)
  • Speaker, When the Feds Knock on Your Door, Network of Trial Law Firms Conference: A New Decade of Challenges for In-House Counsel, Scottsdale, Ariz. (April 2010)
  • Panelist, Developments in Tax Related Money Laundering, Forfeiture and Restitution, ABA 26th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud, San Francisco (December 2009)
  • Panelist, Ethics: Economic Substance Doctrine’s Impact on Tax Planning, California State Bar Taxation Section, San Diego (November 2009)
  • Speaker, Referral and Prosecution Declinations: Finally Someone Agrees — It Is Just A Civil Matter, 26th UCLA Annual Tax Controversy Institute, Los Angeles (October 2009)
  • Panelist, Role of Tax Intermediaries — OECD Perspectives-Plus, Panelist, Off Shore Compliance Initiatives — Current and Future Trends, University of San Diego School of Law — Procopio International Tax Institute, San Diego (October 2009)
  • Panelist, Case Study on Penetration of Financial Institutions in the USA, Cambridge University International Symposium on Economic Crime, Cambridge, England (September 2009)
  • Keynote speaker, Tax Enforcement in an Uncertain World, USC Gould School of Law 2009 Tax Institute, Los Angeles (January 2009)
  • Panelist, Current Trends in Tax Prosecutions, 29th Advanced Criminal Law Seminar, Aspen, Colo. (January 2009)
  • Panelist, Tax Division’s Civil and Criminal Enforcement Efforts; Panelist, Diversity; Judge, ABA Tax Law Challenge, ABA Tax Section Meeting, New Orleans (January 2009)
  • Panelist, IRS and DOJ Enforcement; Panelist, Obtaining of Evidence Abroad, ABA 25th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud, San Francisco (December 2008)
  • Keynote speaker, Closing the Tax Gap, Stanford Law & Policy Review Conference, Stanford, Calif. (November 2008)
  • Keynote address, Los Angeles County Bar Tax Section and California CPA Society Meeting, Los Angeles (November 2008)
  • Panelist, Abuse of Tax-Exempt Organizations; Panelist, Federal Tax Procedure, 2008 Annual Meeting of the California Tax Bar and California Tax Policy Conference, San Francisco (November 2008)
  • Tax Division’s International Civil and Criminal Enforcement Efforts, BNA Tax Management International Tax Meeting, Washington, D.C. (October 2008)
  • Keynote address, UCLA 2008 Annual Tax Controversy Institute, Beverly Hills, Calif. (October 2008)
  • Panelist, Civil and Criminal Enforcement Actions of the Tax Division, NYU Annual Institute on Federal Taxation, New York (October 2008) and San Diego (November 2008)
  • Tax Division’s International Civil and Criminal Enforcement Efforts, IRS International Tax Conference, Washington, D.C. (October 2008)
  • The Intersection of Death, Taxes, Property and Politics: A Case Study in the Ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, Department of Justice, Constitution Day, Washington, D.C. (September 2008)
  • Criminal Tax Enforcement Trends and Techniques, IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) Senior Leadership Meeting, San Francisco (August 2008)
  • Terrorists’ Abuse of Non-Governmental Organizations and Charities, FBI/IRS Meeting, Va. (August 2008)
  • Current Civil and Criminal Enforcement Trends in Tax Enforcement, IRS Chief Counsel National CLE Conference, Atlanta (August 2008)
  • Current Trends in Tax Enforcement, Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, Washington, D.C. (June 2008)
  • Patterns and Case Studies on Global Corporate Fraud and Misconduct, International Security Management Association Conference, Boston (June 2008)
  • Panelist, Civil and Criminal Enforcement Efforts of the Tax Division; Panelist, Conflicts of Interest, ABA Tax Section Meeting, Washington, D.C. (May 2008)
  • Department of Justice and Tax Division Honors and Summer Law Intern Program, Boalt Hall, Stanford Law School, UC Davis Law School, USC School of Law, UCLA Law School, and Loyola Law School, Calif. (April 2008)
  • Tax Division’s Role in Combating Gangs Through Tax Prosecutions, Department of Justice Anti-Gang Coordination Committee, Washington, D.C. (March 2008)
  • Tax Division Civil and Criminal Enforcement Efforts, Tax Bar Meeting, Washington, D.C. (March 2008)
  • Tax Division Civil and Criminal Enforcement Efforts, Federal Bar Association Tax Law Conference, Washington, D.C. (March 2008)
  • Panelist, Criminal Tax Fraud, ABA 22nd Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, Miami. (March 2008)
  • Conference of Criminal Chiefs of United States Attorneys’ Offices, National Advocacy Center, Columbia, S.C. (February 2008)



  • California State Bar
  • Certified specialist in criminal law, California Board of Legal Specialization (2004–2014)

Community Service

  • President, Los Angeles City Ethics Commission
  • Board of Visitors, Stanford Law School (former)
  • Executive cabinet member, Los Angeles United Jewish Fund Legal Division and Young Adult Division (1990–2007)
  • Executive Board and Board of Directors, Brandeis-Bardin Institute
  • Executive Board, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
  • Board of Governors, Cedar Sinai Medical Center
  • Board of Directors, Jewish Community Foundation
  • Board of Directors, Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles
  • Co-chair, Legal Division, Los Angeles United Jewish Fund
  • Executive cabinet member, Los Angeles Jewish Community Relations Committee, Urban Affairs Commission and Government Relations Commission
  • Founding Los Angeles member, Wexner Heritage Foundation
  • Lawyer participant, Constitutional Rights Foundation

Awards & Honors

  • Best Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2011–2015)
  • Super Lawyers, Southern California, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2012–2014)
  • Who’s Who in America (2009–2014)
  • Who’s Who in American Law (2009, 2011, 2014)
  • Who’s Who in American Politics (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014)
  • Who’s Who in the West (2011–2014)
  • Who’s Who in the East (2009–2010)
  • Attorney General’s Medal
  • IRS Chief Counsel’s Award
  • Director’s Award for Superior Performance, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Inspector General’s Award of Excellence
  • Federal Bar Association’s Young Federal Lawyer Award
  • Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association’s Prosecutorial Award
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Brown University

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