Steven M. Dettelbach

Partner

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7177
F +1.216.696.0740
Washington, D.C.
T +1.202.861.1621
F +1.202.861.1783

Overview

Steven Dettelbach is a seasoned litigator and counselor who serves as co-leader of BakerHostetler's national White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations team. He returned to the firm in 2016 after spending almost seven years as the presidentially appointed United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. As U.S. attorney, Steve ran high-profile investigations and both supervised and personally handled large-scale, crisis-level litigations, many of which involved intense public and media scrutiny. He also supervised a broad docket of complex civil matters, representing both defendants and plaintiffs. He has worked closely with and led selection processes for independent monitors when required.

Steve brings a depth of experience in managing crisis-level commercial, regulatory and criminal matters, as well as in advising clients on how to structure compliance programs so as to help avoid such problems. He has served in senior policy roles at the Department of Justice, having been appointed by two attorneys general to the prestigious Attorney General's Advisory Committee (AGAC), where he worked closely with other senior leaders at the department. Prior to his appointment, Steve served for almost two decades as a federal prosecutor at Main Justice and in three different United States Attorneys' Offices, as counsel in the United States Senate, and as a litigator in private practice. He has represented companies and individuals in high-stakes criminal, civil, internal and congressional investigations. He has tried more than 30 cases to verdict and been involved in criminal matters in more than 20 states and the District of Columbia. Steve has never lost a federal criminal trial.

Select Experience

In his 25-year career, Steve has been involved in nearly every type of criminal, civil or regulatory investigation, in many circumstances with experience serving as counsel on different sides. He has also served as counsel on both sides of congressional hearings and investigations. Representative matters and areas of experience include:

Healthcare
  • Personally 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.
  • Counseled an internet-based healthcare provider in its efforts to ensure compliance with multiple state and federal anti-kickback and inducement statutory and regulatory schemes.
Corruption and Compliance

  • Personally handled one of the largest-ranging municipal corruption prosecutions in United States history, resulting in three trials and the conviction of officials and businesspeople in four major cities.
  • Organized a coalition of more than 100 leading local businesses in Cleveland to improve their compliance and anti-corruption protections.
FCPA
  • Represented a senior energy executive in an FCPA and antitrust investigation in which the executive was identified as a target but in which no charges were ever brought.
  • Supervised a major FCPA investigation in which the target company negotiated a Deferred Prosecution Agreement and paid a fine in the tens of millions of dollars. Led the selection of an independent monitor for the company.
Cybersecurity
  • Oversaw the prosecution of a "hacktivist" for breaching the network of a nationally prominent cable news host.
  • Led the effort to form a regional cybersecurity information-sharing consortium involving many of the largest corporate entities and universities in northern Ohio, the Federal Reserve Bank, the FBI, the United States Secret Service, and the United States Attorney's Office, and hosted a kickoff cybersecurity summit featuring the director of the FBI.
Financial Services
  • Oversaw the investigation and personally tried a case involving 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.
Congressional Matters
  • Represented a senior House staff member in an investigation by the House Committee on Official Standards (Ethics).
  • Served as counsel on the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, including oversight hearings in the Enron scandals, after which he helped draft and negotiate many of the key enforcement provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
More »

Experience

In his 25-year career, Steve has been involved in nearly every type of criminal, civil or regulatory investigation, in many circumstances with experience serving as counsel on different sides. He has also served as counsel on both sides of congressional hearings and investigations. Representative matters and areas of experience include:

Healthcare
  • Personally 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.
  • Counseled an internet-based healthcare provider in its efforts to ensure compliance with multiple state and federal anti-kickback and inducement statutory and regulatory schemes.
  • Represented a nursing home chain in a federal investigation that began as a criminal matter, was changed to a civil investigation and, in the end, resulted in a regulatory action in which the client paid no fine or penalty.
Corruption and Compliance

  • Personally handled one of the largest-ranging municipal corruption prosecutions in United States history, resulting in three trials and the conviction of officials and businesspeople in four major cities.
  • Organized a coalition of more than 100 leading local businesses in Cleveland to improve their compliance and anti-corruption protections.
  • Defended an executive in a bribery case involving construction projects at a healthcare agency. The defendant in that case pleaded guilty and received a sentence significantly lower than did the others involved in that scheme.
  • Appointed by the governor and served as a commissioner on the Ohio Ethics Commission.
FCPA
  • Represented a senior energy executive in an FCPA and antitrust investigation in which the executive was identified as a target but in which no charges were ever brought.
  • Supervised a major FCPA investigation in which the target company negotiated a Deferred Prosecution Agreement and paid a fine in the tens of millions of dollars. Led the selection of an independent monitor for the company.
  • Counseled and represented companies in investigations and on compliance issues involving the FCPA.
Cybersecurity
  • Oversaw the prosecution of a "hacktivist" for breaching the network of a nationally prominent cable news host.
  • Led the effort to form a regional cybersecurity information-sharing consortium involving many of the largest corporate entities and universities in northern Ohio, the Federal Reserve Bank, the FBI, the United States Secret Service, and the United States Attorney's Office, and hosted a kickoff cybersecurity summit featuring the director of the FBI.
Financial Services
  • Oversaw the investigation and personally tried a case involving 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.
Congressional Matters
  • Represented a senior House staff member in an investigation by the House Committee on Official Standards (Ethics).
  • Served as counsel on the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, including oversight hearings in the Enron scandals, after which he helped draft and negotiate many of the key enforcement provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Civil Rights
  • Oversaw the pattern and practice investigation of a major city police department and negotiated a landmark consent decree widely recognized as a national reform model. Led the selection of an independent monitor team to ensure compliance.
  • Oversaw and handled numerous hate crimes prosecutions, including ritual violence directed at Amish victims and the torching of one of Ohio's largest mosques, both of which were recognized by the Department of Justice with rare national awards.
National Security
  • Participated in Senate oversight of the nation's implementation of post-9/11 security measures as counsel for then chairman Patrick Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including balancing privacy and security measures.
  • Oversaw the investigation and prosecution of numerous cases involving providing material support for foreign terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Hezbollah and ISIL.
  • Oversaw the prosecution of self-proclaimed anarchists who attempted to blow up a bridge during rush hour outside Cleveland.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • The Legal 500 United States (2017)
    • Recommended in Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
    • Recommended in Corporate governance
  • Northeast Ohio Chapter of the American Constitution Society: Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones Award for Public Service (2016)
  • Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Special Service Award in recognition of exceptional work as chair of the AGAC Civil Rights Subcommittee
  • William D. Neumann Prosecutor of the Year, International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (1998)
  • Multiple Letters of Commendation from United States attorneys general, FBI directors, inspectors general and others
  • Exemplar Award, Recovery Resources, for organizing and leading the Heroin and Opioid Task Force aimed at a multidisciplinary approach to the opioid epidemic (2015)
  • Community Partner of the Year, Cuyahoga County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (2014)
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's Pace Setter Diversity and Inclusion Award, for community outreach and hiring as United States attorney (2012)

Memberships

  • National Association of Former United States Attorneys

News

News

Press Releases

Community

  • Legal Aid Society of Cleveland: Board of Directors
  • Democratic National Convention
    • Platform Committee (2016)
    • Credentials Committee (2008)
  • Montefiore Nursing Home, Beachwood, Ohio (2008 to 2009)
    • Board of Directors and Chair of Government Relations Committee
  • Anti-Defamation League: Board of Directors for the Allegheny Region (2006 to 2008)
  • Cleveland Marshall College of Law: Board of Visitors (2012 to 2015)

Prior Positions

  • United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio (2009 to 2016)
  • Baker & Hostetler LLP: Partner (2006 to 2009)
  • Ohio Ethics Commission: Commissioner (2008 to 2009)
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, Cleveland, Organized Crime and Corruption Task Force (2003 to 2006)
  • United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary: Detailed as Counsel to Chairman Patrick Leahy (2001 to 2003)
  • Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Chief, Southern Division, District of Maryland (1997 to 2001)
  • Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section: Trial Attorney and Acting Deputy Chief (1992 to 1997)
  • Hon. Stanley Sporkin, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Law Clerk (1991 to 1992)

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • Ohio
  • District of Columbia

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1991, magna cum laude
  • A.B., Dartmouth College, 1988, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa