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 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.
  • Represented captive insurance management company against the IRS in U.S. Tax Court regarding legitimacy of insurer’s risk shifting and risk distribution.
  • 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.
  • 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 real estate development firm 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)
  • 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
“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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Global Tax Enforcement
Global Tax Enforcement in 2015: What You Need to Know
June 1, 2015
Tax fraud occurs on a considerable scale that can exceed law enforcement’s ability to detect and punish the conduct. This is true at both the federal and state levels. As of 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the U.S...
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Global Tax Enforcement
IRS Publishes Proposed Regulations for Hedge Fund Reinsurance Arrangements
April 29, 2015
In April 24’s Federal Register, the IRS released proposed regulations (REG-108214-15) to restrict when a foreign insurance company’s income can be excluded as passive income by giving a more strict definition for the “active conduct of an...
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Global Tax Enforcement
Appeal of Tax Court Decision Focuses on Foreign Tax Credit, Tests Scope of U.S.-France Totalization Agreement
April 23, 2015
Briefing is underway in an appeal by two taxpayers—a married couple with dual citizenship in the United States and France—of a U.S. Tax Court decision denying them foreign tax credits for money they contributed to social security payments...
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Global Tax Enforcement
Julius Baer Likely Next to Settle U.S. Tax Allegations
April 21, 2015
During a meeting with shareholders on April 15, Daniel Sauter, Chairman of Julius Baer Group Ltd., said the bank was at “an advanced stage of talks” with U.S. authorities. The U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating Julius Baer...
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