David Deitch Member

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  • David Deitch: What Distinguishes a Lawyer in the Courtroom

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  • Attorney David Deitch on Government Enforcement Actions Against Internet Businesses to Look for in 2013

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  • What should I do when I receive a letter from a prosecutor?

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Building on his experiences as a prosecutor, David has spent his career in private practice representing prominent men and women under investigation by the government for alleged business crimes and in commercial litigation, and assisting companies in conducting internal investigations into allegations of wrongdoing.

While many lawyers never see the inside of a courtroom, David has tried well over a hundred felony jury cases on behalf of federal and state law enforcement agencies, including the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division of the United States Department of Justice, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in New York City. These trials included two of the Department of Justice’s complex and high-profile cases against supporters of international terrorism.

In private practice, David has continued to ply his trade in the courtroom, with recent successes securing a jury verdict rejecting fraud claims against a client facing civil enforcement proceedings by the SEC, and a jury verdict awarding millions to a client wrongfully cut out of a business deal he helped to create.

David has proven a formidable advocate for his clients at Ifrah Law and several other  highly regarded law firms, including Covington & Burling and Janis, Schuelke & Wechsler, representing clients facing investigations and prosecutions involving a wide variety of federal crimes, including wire fraud, bribery, export control violations, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. David’s experiences enable him to recognize what strategy is likely to be most effective for a particular client’s case, and give him the kind of respect and credibility that make him an effective advocate in dealing with government agencies.

David has also been active in professional legal organizations since leaving government. In June 2007, he was elected to the steering committee of the Criminal Law and Individual Rights Section of the DC Bar, and he served as the co-chair of the steering committee from 2009 to 2011. David also served as a member of the steering committee of the Committee on National Security Law, Policy & Practice of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia from 2010 to 2011.

Awards + Recognition

  • Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Advancing National Security, Nov 2004
  • Alvin J. Feldman Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Area of Corporate and Commercial Law, June 1988

Professional + Community

  • Member, ABA Criminal Justice Section
  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
"Change, Online Gaming and the Way Forward for Land-Based Casinos in the United States," American Gaming LawyerSpring 2015
"NJ’s Fight to Legalize Sports Betting Goes into Overtime," iGaming Business North America MagazineAugust-September 2014
"Federal Fears," eGR North AmericaJune 2014
"Cashing in on Bitcoin," eGR North AmericaMarch 6, 2014
"The Federal Government’s Enforcement Actions Against Internet Poker: An Example of Deterrence Without Draconian Punishment," Federal Sentencing ReporterOctober 2013
"The End of the US Sentencing Guidelines Loss Tables," ABA White Collar Crime Committee NewsletterAugust 2013
"The Problems With The SAC Capital Indictment," Law360July 2013
"New Jersey: taking the lead in offering internet gaming to the world," European Gaming LawyerSpring 2013
"Domain Name Seizures: A Primer on the Government’s Hot New Weapon Against Internet Businesses," Bloomberg BNA Electronic Commerce & Law ReportFebruary 27, 2013
"No Word From DOJ When An Investigation Ends: A Proposal for Change," Bloomberg BNA Criminal Law ReporterNovember 14, 2012
"New Jersey Should Hold Off Federal Challenge," Gaming Intelligence Quarterly July-September 2012

Obtaining a Winning Verdict After a Business Relationship Dissolves

Our client, Learning Annex, is a national leader in the post-secondary education industry. In three decades of business success, it has established many professional relationships. After Learning Annex created a unique strategy to promote the business of a financial self-help guru through free preview seminars and found a perfect partner for the execution of that strategy, those parties then cut Learning Annex out of the deal. Ifrah Law was part of the legal team that helped Learning Annex vindicate its rights.

David Deitch of Ifrah Law was co-counsel in a lengthy jury trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in which Learning Annex sought to recover the value of the services it had provided under theories of quantum meruit and unjust enrichment. The jury found in favor of Learning Annex and awarded damages of over $14 million, which together with pre-judgment interest totaled over $20 million. The court upheld the verdict on liability, but ordered a new trial on damages. After a retrial of damages in April 2012, a second jury awarded Learning Annex even more: $15.8 million plus interest.

(Learning Annex Holdings, LLC v. Whitney Education Group, Inc., No. 09- Civ-4432 (SAS) (S.D.N.Y.))


Obtaining Dismissal of Fraud Claims Against Online Gambling

In the first class action suit brought by former U.S. poker players, Ifrah Law went all in and won a big pot on behalf of an online poker company and individual poker pros that were defendants.

The suit involved complex fraud issues arising out of claims of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations. These issues resulted from the plaintiff’s demand for return of U.S. player funds held in online gambler accounts after Black Friday. On that day in 2011, the U.S. government shut down the three most popular online poker sites. More than two million citizens were playing our national card game online, and they were confronted by the seals of the FBI and Department of Justice and a notice of domain name seizure as well as blocked access to each player’s account balance.

The lawsuit demanded return of plaintiff’s money under a conversion claim, and also accused the defendants of racketeering, which would have entitled the plaintiffs to three times the damages owed.

In a closely watched argument in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Ifrah Law held all the right cards and won a dismissal of all claims against the poker pro defendants, as well as all RICO claims against the corporate defendants. The
judge’s order was a big win for the individual defendants in this case, but also a victory
for individual defendants in other class action cases pending in New York.

(Segal et al v Bitar et al. 1:11-cv-04521-LBS (S.D.N.Y.))


Clearing SEC Charges Against a Former Securities Broker

When the U.S. government pushed Frederick O’Meally, the former Prudential Securities Inc. broker pushed back – and won.

Ifrah Law partner David Deitch acted as co-lead counsel in obtaining a jury verdict, rejecting claims by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that O’Meally defrauded 60 mutual fund companies. The jury also rejected the SEC’s negligence claims with respect to 54 of the funds and found only that O’Meally was negligent in his conduct with respect to six of the funds.

Mr. O’Meally had fought the SEC for eight years, claiming his innocence and sticking up for his rights. The SEC asserted that the mutual fund companies had tried to prevent O’Meally from market timing on behalf of his clients, and that he had continued doing so through deception involving multiple account numbers and numerous financial advisor identifying numbers used in trades. But after a four-week trial, the jury found that the defendant did not commit any intentional fraud against the mutual fund companies. Evidence at trial showed that O’Meally had not misused these tools and that, in fact, all of his trading practices had been approved multiple times by his supervisors, by Prudential Securities lawyers and compliance personnel, and even by outside regulators.

The O’Meally case was one of the very small number of SEC compliance cases that go to trial each year, and one of an even smaller number of cases in which a jury has completely rejected SEC claims of fraud. While Prudential Securities and a number of other brokers targeted by the SEC negotiated settlements, Ifrah Law was part of the team that helped Frederick O’Meally vindicate his claims that he was innocent of the SEC’s fraud accusations.

(Securities and Exchange Commission v. O’Meally, No. 06-Civ-6483 (LTS) (S.D.N.Y.), No. 13-1116 (2d Cir.) )


Fifth Circuit Rules Only a Seaman Can Commit Seaman’s Manslaughter

A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court serves as a good reminder that criminal statutes say only what they say, and that it is up to the legislature to revise statutes to expand their scope if the legislature cares to do so. The opinion, United States v. Kaluza, […]

The post Fifth Circuit Rules Only a Seaman Can Commit Seaman’s Manslaughter appeared first on Crime In The Suites.

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The Federal Wiretap Act and the Law of Unintended Consequences

The law of unintended consequences – a distant cousin of Murphy’s Law – states that the actions of human beings will always have effects that are unanticipated and unintended. The law could prove a perfect fit for recent efforts by class action counsel to rely upon the Federal Wiretap Act in lawsuits arising from adware […]

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SCOTUS Rules No Felony for Throwing the Little Ones Overboard

This week, the United States Supreme Court resolved some fishy matters on which prosecutors sought to base a federal felony conviction. The case, Yates v. United States, arose from a offshore inspection of a commercial fishing vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. During the inspection, a federal agent found that the ship’s catch contained undersized […]

The post SCOTUS Rules No Felony for Throwing the Little Ones Overboard appeared first on Crime In The Suites.

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Even Governors Go To Jail

Photo Credit:  Steve Helber, AP This afternoon, the long-running saga of Robert McDonnell came to what may be the end (not counting appeals) when the former Virginia Governor was sentenced to serve two years in prison after a jury convicted him of bribery while in office.  As with many cases, this one has lessons to […]

The post Even Governors Go To Jail appeared first on Crime In The Suites.

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Another SDNY Judge Finds the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Wanting

In a sentencing hearing yesterday in the Southern District of New York, yet another judge reached the conclusion that the quasi-mathematical formulaic approach of the United States Sentencing Guidelines fails to account adequately for differences between criminal defendants.  But, in this case, the result was to the detriment of the individual being sentenced in that […]

The post Another SDNY Judge Finds the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Wanting appeared first on Crime In The Suites.

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