Jay R. Nanavati

Counsel

Washington, D.C.
T 202.861.1747  |  F 202.861.1783

Jay Nanavati is a former federal tax prosecutor and maintains a nationwide practice, focusing on criminal tax defense and tax controversy matters. He represents individuals and entities facing tax investigations and prosecutions, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits, and civil tax litigation. His clients rely on his ability to analyze cases from the government's perspective as a former tax prosecutor, his strong connections and his sound judgment to guide them through their most difficult challenges. Jay has particular strength in defending holders of foreign bank accounts in IRS "offshore audits" and offshore criminal investigations and prosecutions. With foreign banks turning over vast amounts of information on their American customers, the U.S. government is aggressively pursuing those who have failed to disclose their accounts.

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

Select Experience

  • Achieved a rare acquittal for a business owner in a federal tax fraud jury trial after four weeks of government evidence and 117 government witnesses. The government was represented by a team of three attorneys from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice Tax Division. 
  • Represented a multinational financial institution facing a federal grand jury investigation for allegedly assisting U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. tax obligations.
  • Persuaded IRS Criminal Investigation to terminate an investigation of the owner of a tax return preparation business. 
More »

Experience

  • Achieved a rare acquittal for a business owner in a federal tax fraud jury trial after four weeks of government evidence and 117 government witnesses. The government was represented by a team of three attorneys from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice Tax Division. 
  • Represented a multinational financial institution facing a federal grand jury investigation for allegedly assisting U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. tax obligations.
  • Persuaded IRS Criminal Investigation to terminate an investigation of the owner of a tax return preparation business. 
  • Represented a U.S. expatriate residing in Europe in an IRS audit relating to the use of a Panama foundation, a 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 an alleged failure to pay 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

  • Chambers USA: Nationwide Tax Fraud (2016)
  • American College of Tax Counsel: Fellow
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • Department of Justice 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

  • Department of Justice Tax Division
    • Assistant Chief for the Western Criminal Enforcement Section
    • Counsel to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Matters
    • Trial Attorney
  • Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Law Clerk for Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte of the U.S. 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

Previous Next
Global Tax Enforcement
Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill Moving Through Congress
July 11, 2016
The “Restraining Excessive Seizure of Property through the Exploitation of Civil Asset Forfeiture Tools Act” (tortuously abbreviated as the RESPECT Act) (H.R. 5523) continues to make its way through Congress, with a markup session held on...
Read More ->
Global Tax Enforcement
Is a Hurry-Up Wire Transfer of $3 Billion on Behalf of a Malaysian Government Fund to a Little-Known Private Bank Suspicious? Apparently Goldman Sachs Didn’t Think So.
June 8, 2016
Multiple news sources (for example, here and here) are reporting that the U.S. government is conducting an investigation into whether Goldman Sachs violated the so-called Bank Secrecy Act (real and less-Orwellian name: Currency and Foreign...
Read More ->
Global Tax Enforcement
Reversal of Countrywide Fraud Verdict a Reminder of Government’s Heavy Burden of Proof
June 1, 2016
On May 23, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a jury’s finding of civil fraud against Countrywide Home Loans and other lenders, finding that the government had failed to prove fraud in Countrywide’s sale of...
Read More ->
Global Tax Enforcement
Firm Client Found Not Guilty of Tax Fraud After Month-Long Trial
May 24, 2016
On April 12, after four weeks of trial and one week of deliberations, a federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas returned a verdict of not guilty for a firm client accused of engaging in a conspiracy with his wife...
Read More ->
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...
Read More ->