Jay R. Nanavati

Counsel

Washington, D.C.
T 202.861.1747  |  F 202.861.1783

Jay Nanavati focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense, with an emphasis on criminal tax defense. He advises and represents individuals and entities facing some of the government’s most complex criminal tax investigations and prosecutions. 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. He is focused on his clients’ goals and works collaboratively with his clients to reach those goals.

During his service as a federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice Tax Division, the U.S. government repeatedly recognized Jay’s work by presenting him with the Special Act of Service Award, the Special Commendation Award, and the Outstanding Attorney Award. He was also recognized by the 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. He is a regular contributor to the firm’s  Global Tax Enforcement blog.

Select Experience

  • Represents clients facing the full spectrum of criminal tax allegations, including failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, tax evasion, filing false tax returns, failure to pay over employment taxes, failure to file tax returns, obstruction of IRS enforcement efforts, tax shelter promotion, false refund claims, "Klein" conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, and currency reporting violations.
  • Represented multi-national financial institution facing federal grand jury investigation for allegedly assisting U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. tax obligations.
  • Represented business owner facing 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.
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Experience

  • Represents clients facing the full spectrum of criminal tax allegations, including failure to disclose foreign bank accounts, tax evasion, filing false tax returns, failure to pay over employment taxes, failure to file tax returns, obstruction of IRS enforcement efforts, tax shelter promotion, false refund claims, "Klein" conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, and currency reporting violations.
  • Represented multi-national financial institution facing federal grand jury investigation for allegedly assisting U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. tax obligations.
  • Represented businessman facing 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 owner of tax return preparation business in civil injunction suit brought by the Department of Justice Tax Division in federal district court. Defended lawsuit, which was settled.
  • Represented owner of healthcare company who was indicted by Virginia state authorities with multiple felonies arising from alleged failure to pay over employment taxes. Negotiated replacement of felony charges with misdemeanor charges.
  • Represented clients with undisclosed foreign bank accounts in the IRS’ Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP).
  • Represented clients who were unable to enter the OVDP and faced federal criminal charges related to their foreign bank accounts.
  • Represented real estate development firm at trial against the IRS in U.S. Tax Court regarding tax deduction for contribution of historic façade and interior easements to 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)

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
China and U.S. Conclude FATCA IGA In Substance
June 27, 2014
On June 26, 2014, China and the United States agreed on a Model 1 FATCA IGA.  The Treasury did not say whether the agreement would be reciprocal.  The IGA comes just in time for the July 1 start of 30 percent withholding on FDAP payments...
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Global Tax Enforcement
Former Head of DOJ Tax Division Warns Taxpayers to Think Twice Before Choosing New Streamlined Procedures
June 25, 2014
Former DOJ Tax Division AAG Kathy Keneally warned on June 24, 2014, that taxpayers should think carefully before signing a certification of non-willfulness and entering the IRS’s new Streamlined Filing Compliance Procedures.  The...
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Global Tax Enforcement
IRS Announces Major Changes to OVDP
June 20, 2014
On June 18, 2014, the IRS announced major changes to the OVDP, including a major expansion of the so-called Streamlined Program and an increased penalties for taxpayers who held accounts at banks that are under criminal investigation. ...
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Global Tax Enforcement
Swiss Financial Institution Pays $4.4 Million and Turns Over 110 Americans
May 10, 2014
Bloomberg BNA reported on May 9, 2014, that Swisspartners Group resolved a U.S. criminal tax probe by forfeiting $3.5 million and paying $900,000 in restitution for helping U.S. clients evade taxes with secret accounts.  The bank also...
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Global Tax Enforcement
Hong Kong Agrees in Substance to FATCA IGA
May 10, 2014
On May 9, 2014, the U.S. Treasury announced that Hong Kong had agreed in substance on a Model 2 FATCA IGA.  Under the  IGA, Hong Kong financial institutions will report information on financial accounts held by U.S. persons directly to the...
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