Jay Nanavati’s practice focuses on criminal tax defense, white collar criminal defense and civil tax controversy. He advises and represents individuals and corporations in criminal tax fraud investigations, sensitive civil tax examinations where allegations of fraud or substantial penalties may arise, voluntary disclosures, criminal and civil tax disputes, tax shelter matters and corporate internal investigations. Jay has attained Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating, AV Preeminent, for his “Legal Knowledge, Analytical Capabilities, Judgment, Communication Ability and Legal Experience” in the areas of General Practice, Criminal Law and Taxation.
A former Department of Justice Assistant Chief for the Western Criminal Enforcement Section of the Tax Division, Jay brings a deep background in criminal tax enforcement, having spent more than seven years with the Department of Justice. He supervised 34 Department of Justice prosecutors and oversaw litigation and case review of criminal tax prosecutions for 22 states. As a line prosecutor and later as the Assistant Chief of the Western Criminal Enforcement Section, he conducted and supervised white collar criminal grand jury investigations and prosecutions. These cases involved allegations of tax fraud (including offshore tax evasion), mail and wire fraud, honest services fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, conspiracy, racketeering, identity theft and false claims.
While he was at the Department of Justice, the Tax Division recognized Jay’s work by presenting him with the Special Act or Service Award (2007), the Special Commendation Award (2008) and the Outstanding Attorney Award (2009 and 2010). Jay also was recognized by IRS Criminal Investigation’s Seattle Field Office for his work on the investigation and prosecution of the promoters of one of the largest nationwide tax fraud schemes pursued by the Department of Justice. In 2010, he was appointed to a one-year term as Counsel to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Matters, the official overseeing all criminal tax prosecutions in the United States. As Counsel, Jay conducted hiring for the Department of Justice’s prestigious Honors Program.
Jay investigated and prosecuted a sophisticated $200 million nationwide tax and investment fraud scheme involving investments in thoroughbred horses and natural gas exploration; a $100 million nationwide Internet-based tax fraud scheme that defrauded over 12,000 taxpayers; a $20 million Ponzi scheme involving the use of abusive trust arrangements and offshore tax evasion; and a defendant who used a sham loan arrangement in a tax-haven country to commit tax evasion.
During his three and one-half years as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fairfax County, Virginia, Jay conducted 35 solo jury trials and hundreds of bench trials. His cases ranged from theft and fraud to gang activity, manslaughter, rape and robbery. His prosecution of members of the violent MS-13 street gang for a machete attack that maimed its victim garnered substantial press coverage. He also served as the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s contact with the United States Department of State regarding prosecution of diplomats and their dependents. Jay was nominated by a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge and selected by the Virginia State Bar to a three-year term to teach a course on ethics and professionalism.
Immediately following law school at the University of Virginia, Jay served as law clerk to Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.
Jay is a member of the American Bar Association’s Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties Committee and White Collar Crime Committee. He is also a member of the South Asian Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Jay serves as a regular contributor to BakerHostetler’s Issues in Tax Controversy blog.
10/31/2013 - Nanavati Co-Authors Article on U.S. Tax Enforcement for Business Crimes Bulletin
9/5/2013 - U.S. DOJ Offers Landmark Non-Prosecution Deal for Swiss Banks
4/10/2013 - Jay Nanavati for Tax Notes: FATCA and FCPA Working Together to Prevent Foreign Corruption