Carole S. Rendon

Partner

Cleveland
T +1 216.861.7420
F +1 216.696.0740

Overview

Former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Carole Rendon possesses a wealth of experience in a range of matters, including criminal prosecution, private defense and civil litigation. As the first woman to serve as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and later as the United States Attorney, Carole both supervised and personally handled high-profile, crisis-level litigation, much of which involved intense public and media scrutiny. As the chief federal law enforcement officer, Carole enforced a wide range of criminal and civil statutes, including False Claims Act litigation and the prosecution of public corruption, civil rights, consumer fraud and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). She also oversaw and personally handled high-profile civil litigation, including as lead counsel on the Consent Decree providing comprehensive reform for the Cleveland Division of Police. A passionate advocate for the community, Carole helped establish the Northeast Ohio Business Ethics Coalition, the U.S. Attorney’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, and the Northeast Ohio Cyber Security Consortium.

Carole has significant experience managing crisis-level commercial, regulatory and criminal matters, with a particular depth of knowledge regarding the FCPA, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and monitorships, as well as advising clients on structuring compliance programs to help avoid such problems. Previously, Carole served for a decade as a federal prosecutor in the Organized Crime Strike Force and as Chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, Massachusetts, and for more than a decade as a litigator in private practice. She has represented companies and individuals in high-stakes criminal, civil, internal and congressional investigations.

Select Experience

In her 30-year career, Carole has been involved in nearly every type of criminal, civil and regulatory investigation, in many circumstances with experience serving as counsel on different sides. Representative matters and areas of experience include:

FCPA
  • In conjunction with the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and the SEC, served as lead counsel for the U.S. Attorney's Office on an FCPA investigation in which the target company entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, paid $25 million in fines and agreed to a monitorship to resolve its FCPA violations. 
  • Represented the controller of a target company in an FCPA investigation.
Healthcare
  • Supervised multiple civil and criminal investigations of a large pharmaceutical distribution company involving violations of the False Claims Act and the Controlled Substances Act, resulting in fines totaling more than $150 million.
  • Supervised civil and criminal investigations of medical professionals, hospitals and nursing homes for violations of the False Claims Act, wire fraud, mail fraud, Medicare fraud, money laundering and related violations. 
Criminal Litigation and Corruption
  • Lead counsel on the investigation and prosecution of Suarez Corporation Industries, Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Suarez and Chief Financial Officer Michael Giorgio for violations of the campaign finance laws and obstruction of justice.
  • Prosecuted a series of cases and appeals involving corruption in the Boston Police Department resulting in the convictions of more than 30 defendants for paying and receiving bribes in exchange for information and favorable treatment.
Civil Rights
  • As lead counsel for the United States Attorney's Office, in partnership with the Civil Rights Division of Main Justice, engaged in an extensive investigation of the Cleveland Division of Police's excessive use of force, and negotiated a consent decree with the city of Cleveland for comprehensive reform of the Cleveland Division of Police. 
  • As lead counsel for the United States Attorney's Office, in partnership with the Voting Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, negotiated a consent decree with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections requiring the adoption of bilingual ballots, bringing Cuyahoga County into compliance with the Voting Rights Act. Assisted in the negotiation of a similar agreement with the Lorain County Board of Elections the following year.
Cybersecurity
  • Oversaw the formation of the Northeast Ohio Cyber Security Consortium, a unique, regional cross-sector information-sharing organization that combines leading private sector institutions, public entities and federal law enforcement in a joint effort to identify and mitigate ongoing cyber threats. Planned the kickoff conference to announce the consortium's creation, at which the FBI director was a keynote speaker. 
  • Oversaw nearly a dozen national and international cyber prosecutions. 
Commercial Litigation
  • Co-counsel for Park Corporation in eminent domain litigation between the city of Brook Park and the Brook Park Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation over the planned expansion of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Following a three-week bench trial, the judge ruled in favor of the client. 
  • Represented major corporations and financial institutions in employment, contract and commercial litigation. 
Financial Services
  • Oversaw the investigation of the largest credit union failure in United States history. The investigation resulted in convictions of more than 20 businesspeople, bank officials and organized crime figures for bank bribery, fraud and obstruction of justice.
  • Oversaw a civil False Claims Act enforcement action involving a large bank for its actions leading up to the mortgage meltdown, resulting in a $200 million fine.
Testimony
  • Testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs Hearing titled "Examining the Impact of the Opioid Epidemic," April 22, 2016.
  • Appearance with City of Cleveland Law Director Barbara Langhenry before the Cleveland City Council on the Consent Decree for comprehensive reform of the Cleveland Division of Police, June 3, 2015.

More »

Experience

In her 30-year career, Carole has been involved in nearly every type of criminal, civil and regulatory investigation, in many circumstances with experience serving as counsel on different sides. Representative matters and areas of experience include:

FCPA
  • In conjunction with the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and the SEC, served as lead counsel for the U.S. Attorney's Office on an FCPA investigation in which the target company entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, paid $25 million in fines and agreed to a monitorship to resolve its FCPA violations. 
  • Represented the controller of a target company in an FCPA investigation.
Healthcare
  • Supervised multiple civil and criminal investigations of a large pharmaceutical distribution company involving violations of the False Claims Act and the Controlled Substances Act, resulting in fines totaling more than $150 million.
  • Supervised civil and criminal investigations of medical professionals, hospitals and nursing homes for violations of the False Claims Act, wire fraud, mail fraud, Medicare fraud, money laundering and related violations. 
  • Successfully defended the owner and operator of a group of nursing homes in a prosecution for Medicaid fraud. 
Criminal Litigation and Corruption
  • Lead counsel on the investigation and prosecution of Suarez Corporation Industries, Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Suarez and Chief Financial Officer Michael Giorgio for violations of the campaign finance laws and obstruction of justice.
  • Prosecuted a series of cases and appeals involving corruption in the Boston Police Department resulting in the convictions of more than 30 defendants for paying and receiving bribes in exchange for information and favorable treatment.
  • Represented the largest American manufacturer and distributor of explosives in two separate matters involving criminal investigations regarding the company's federally mandated record keeping.
  • Lead defense counsel in a case charging false statements in the context of a submission to the SEC in response to a Wells notice. Following extensive briefing and a contested hearing, the judge dismissed the indictment in its entirety on statute of limitations grounds.
  • Co-counsel defending a former Cuyahoga County probation officer charged with multiple counts of kidnapping, gross sexual imposition and related offenses.
Civil Rights
  • As lead counsel for the United States Attorney's Office, in partnership with the Civil Rights Division of Main Justice, engaged in an extensive investigation of the Cleveland Division of Police's excessive use of force, and negotiated a consent decree with the city of Cleveland for comprehensive reform of the Cleveland Division of Police. 
  • As lead counsel for the United States Attorney's Office, in partnership with the Voting Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, negotiated a consent decree with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections requiring the adoption of bilingual ballots, bringing Cuyahoga County into compliance with the Voting Rights Act. Assisted in the negotiation of a similar agreement with the Lorain County Board of Elections the following year.
Cybersecurity
  • Oversaw the formation of the Northeast Ohio Cyber Security Consortium, a unique, regional cross-sector information-sharing organization that combines leading private sector institutions, public entities and federal law enforcement in a joint effort to identify and mitigate ongoing cyber threats. Planned the kickoff conference to announce the consortium's creation, at which the FBI director was a keynote speaker. 
  • Oversaw nearly a dozen national and international cyber prosecutions. 
Commercial Litigation
  • Co-counsel for Park Corporation in eminent domain litigation between the city of Brook Park and the Brook Park Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation over the planned expansion of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Following a three-week bench trial, the judge ruled in favor of the client. 
  • Represented major corporations and financial institutions in employment, contract and commercial litigation. 
Financial Services
  • Oversaw the investigation of the largest credit union failure in United States history. The investigation resulted in convictions of more than 20 businesspeople, bank officials and organized crime figures for bank bribery, fraud and obstruction of justice.
  • Oversaw a civil False Claims Act enforcement action involving a large bank for its actions leading up to the mortgage meltdown, resulting in a $200 million fine.
Testimony
  • Testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs Hearing titled "Examining the Impact of the Opioid Epidemic," April 22, 2016.
  • Appearance with City of Cleveland Law Director Barbara Langhenry before the Cleveland City Council on the Consent Decree for comprehensive reform of the Cleveland Division of Police, June 3, 2015.
  • Testimony before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission on Human Trafficking, June 5, 2013.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Northeast Ohio Chapter of the American Constitution Society: Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones Award for Public Service (2017)

Memberships

  • Litigation Counsel of America: Senior Fellow
  • Women's White Collar Defense Association
  • National Association of Former United States Attorneys 
  • American Bar Association (1998 to 2017)
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (1998 to 2017)
    • Trustee (2005 to 2008 and 2013 to 2017)
    • 3Rs Program (2006 to 2017)
    • Membership Committee (2013 to 2015)
    • Citizens’ Legal Academy: Co-Chair (2012 to 2013)
    • Minority Clerkship Committee (2007 to 2009)
    • Women in the Law Section: Chair (2007 to 2008)
    • Trustee (2005 to 2008, 2013 to 2017)
    • Criminal Law Section: Chair (2005 to 2006)
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation: Fellow (2005 to 2017)
  • John M. Manos Inn of Court: Barrister (2000 to 2017)
  • Eighth District Judicial Conference Executive Committee
    • Life Member
    • Co-Chair (2018)
    • Delegate (2007 to 2010)
  • Federal Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Ohio: Selection Panel (2016)
  • Federal Bar Association (2011 to 2015)
  • Toledo Women’s Bar Association (2011 to 2014)
  • Cleveland Marshall College of Law: Visiting Advisory Committee (2008 to 2011)
  • Litigation Associates of America (2008 to 2010)
  • Federal Defender for the Northern District of Ohio: Selection Panel (2007)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2005 to 2009)

News

News

Press Releases

Community

  • Memorial Elementary School: Tutor (2012 to 2017)
  • Cuyahoga County Justice System Reform Project
    • Member (2005 to 2010)
    • Community Council: Chair (2007 to 2009)
  • Park Synagogue
    • Education Committee (2000 to 2003)
    • Mitzvah Day Committee (2000 to 2003)
    • Mitzvah Day Site Coordinator (2000 to 2017)
  • Trinity Cathedral Sunday Lunch Ministry: Team Captain (1999 to 2012)
  • Pardes High School Board of Trustees: Vice President (1999 to 2000)
  • Cleveland Municipal School System: Mock Trial Volunteer
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law: First Amendment Advisory Board

Industries

Prior Positions

  • United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Ohio
    • United States Attorney (2016 to 2017)
    • First Assistant United States Attorney (2010 to 2016)
    • Executive Assistant United States Attorney (2009 to 2010)
  • Private Practice in Boston, Massachusetts, and Cleveland, Ohio (1997 to 2009)
  • United States Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts 
    • Chief, OCDETF Unit (1994 to 1997) 
    • Organized Crime Task Force: Assistant U.S. Attorney and Trial Attorney (1988 to 1994) 
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Joel M. Flaum, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (1987 to 1988)

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • Ohio
  • Illinois [Inactive]
  • Massachusetts [Inactive]

Education

  • J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 1987, cum laude
  • B.A., Northwestern University, 1984, summa cum laude