Jay R. Nanavati

Counsel

Washington, D.C.
T 202.861.1747  |  F 202.861.1783

Jay Nanavati maintains an international practice, focusing on white collar criminal defense and investigations, with an emphasis on tax matters. He represents individuals and entities facing some of the government's most complex investigations and prosecutions. His clients, regardless of where in the world they reside or do business, rely on his intimate knowledge of the U.S. justice system, his strong connections, and his sound judgment to guide them through their most difficult challenges.

Jay spent more than a decade as both a federal and a state prosecutor, developing a particular expertise in criminal tax enforcement. He supervised more than 30 federal prosecutors and oversaw criminal tax enforcement for a region covering 22 states. He is a veteran trial lawyer, having conducted 35 solo jury trials and hundreds of bench trials. 

Select Experience

  • Represented multi-national financial institution facing federal grand jury investigation for allegedly assisting U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. tax obligations.
  • Represented U.S. expatriate residing in Europe in IRS audit relating to use of a Panama foundation, Seychelles international business company, and a Cyprus bank account.
  • Persuaded U.S. attorney to cease a grand jury investigation of a client whose name was one of the first that UBS turned over to the Department of Justice in 2009 pursuant to its landmark deferred prosecution agreement.
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Experience

  • Represented a multinational financial institution facing federal grand jury investigation for allegedly assisting U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. tax obligations.
  • Represented a U.S. expatriate residing in Europe in an IRS audit relating to the use of a Panama foundation, Seychelles international business company, and a Cyprus bank account.
  • Persuaded a U.S. Attorney to cease a grand jury investigation of a client whose name was one of the first that UBS turned over to the Department of Justice in 2009 pursuant to its landmark deferred prosecution agreement.
  • Represented a captive insurance management company against the IRS in U.S. Tax Court regarding the legitimacy of the insurer’s risk shifting and risk distribution.
  • Represented a businessman facing a federal grand jury investigation for the felonies of tax evasion and structuring cash transactions. The felony charges were abandoned and only a single charge of misdemeanor failure to file a tax return was brought.
  • Represented an owner of a tax return preparation business in a civil injunction suit brought by the Department of Justice Tax Division in federal district court.
  • Represented the owner of a healthcare company who was indicted by Virginia state authorities for multiple felonies arising from alleged failure to pay over employment taxes. Negotiated the replacement of felony charges with misdemeanor charges.
  • Represented a real estate development firm against the IRS in U.S. Tax Court regarding a tax deduction for contribution of historic façade and interior easements to a 501(c)(3) organization.

Recognitions

  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • DOJ Tax Division
    • Outstanding Attorney Award (2009, 2010)
    • Special Commendation Award (2008)
    • Special Act or Service Award (2007)
  • American College of Tax Counsel: Fellow

Memberships

  • International Bar Association
  • American Bar Association Section of Taxation
    • Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee
  • American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section
    • White Collar Crime Committee
  • American Bar Association Section of International Law
    • International Anti-Money Laundering Committee
  • International Fiscal Association
  • International Association of Prosecutors
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists
  • Federal Bar Association: Taxation Section, Criminal Law Section
  • Virginia State Bar: Taxation Section, Criminal Law Section

Services

Prior Positions

  • Assistant Chief for the Department of Justice Tax Division’s Western Criminal Enforcement Section
  • Counsel to the Department of Justice Tax Division’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Matters
  • Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Law Clerk for the Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico

Admissions

  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • Virginia, 1999
  • District of Columbia, 2013

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1999, Order of the Coif, Virginia Law Review
  • B.A., Government and Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia, 1996, High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, Echols Scholar

Blog

In The Blogs

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Global Tax Enforcement
U.S. Treasury Seeks to Stanch Flow of Proceeds of Corruption and Other Crimes Into Manhattan and Miami Luxury Real Estate
January 19, 2016
On January 13, 2016, the U.S. Treasury’s financial intelligence unit, known as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), announced the issuance of geographic targeting orders (GTOs) to certain unnamed real estate title insurance...
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Global Tax Enforcement
Global Tax Enforcement in 2016: What You Need to Know
January 4, 2016
The investigation and prosecution of tax evasion has, in the past decade, grown from a specialized subcategory of law enforcement into a first-tier policy concern for the international community. Financial institutions, bankers...
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Global Tax Enforcement
IRS and DOJ Use a New Method to Defeat Taxpayers’ Fifth Amendment Argument Against Turning Over Foreign Account Records
January 4, 2016
At virtually every turn, courts have ruled against taxpayers who have asserted their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to avoid turning over foreign account records to the government, citing the “Required Records...
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Global Tax Enforcement
Congress Passes Law Revoking Passports of Those with “Seriously Delinquent Tax Debt”
December 7, 2015
On December 3, 2015, Congress passed a bill requiring the IRS to notify the State Department of any taxpayer with “seriously delinquent tax debt” and requiring the State Department to revoke that taxpayer’s passport until the debt is...
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Global Tax Enforcement
“Unclean Hands” Prevent UBS and Birkenfeld from Recovering Damages from Olenicoff for Malicious Prosecution
July 30, 2015
On July 23, 2015, the Superior Court in Orange County, California, dismissed a lawsuit brought by UBS and joined by whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld against former UBS customer Igor Olenicoff. The suit alleged malicious prosecution arising...
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