James M. Trusty

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After 28 years as a prosecutor, James (“Jim”) Trusty brings to Ifrah Law extensive experience in complex, multi-district white collar litigation, especially in matters involving RICO, The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and The Money Laundering Control Act of 1986.

As the federal government continues to apply increasingly broad interpretations of these statutes in its investigations and prosecutions of white collar defendants, corporations and individuals can face the threat of exponentially higher monetary penalties and added jail time. To clients defending against such allegations, Jim offers the insider’s view on how federal cases are built, investigations pursued and settlements negotiated.

Joining Ifrah Law after a long career in public service, most recently as Chief of the Organized Crime Section at the United States Department of Justice, Jim now focuses his practice on the litigation and resolution of complex disputes for clients in a broad array of industries facing issues ranging from cybersecurity and computer fraud, to civil RICO and asset forfeiture.

For seven years, Jim served in the DOJ’s Criminal Division, where he was ultimately responsible for investigating and prosecuting regional, national, and international cases, supervising significant pleadings and providing strategic and tactical guidance in complex investigations and multi-defendant trials. In addition to running the RICO review unit, he also was in charge of establishing and promoting policies focused on immigration reform, firearms trafficking, proposed Congressional testimony for DOJ officials, and internet gambling. Significant and sensitive matters on which he worked include the post-conviction review of Alaska corruption cases related to U.S. v. Theodore Stevens, the investigation into allegations of misconduct by a sitting U.S. Attorney and one of her Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and numerous death penalty cases.

Prior to his work at DOJ, Jim acted as Assistant U.S. Attorney in Greenbelt, Maryland, where he investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of white collar and other criminal cases, including The Washington area Sniper investigation.

Jim regularly speaks at conferences, seminars, and training sessions on topics related to complex litigation and criminal law. In addition to numerous pro bono projects, Jim has coached several Mock Trial teams at American University Washington College of Law. Jim has been awarded numerous honors over the course of his career including the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, Federal Prosecutor of the Year, Community Prosecuting Award, and the Child Abuse Protection Award, to name only a few.

In 2018, Jim was appointed by the Governor of Maryland to serve on The Task Force to Study Maryland’s Criminal Gang Statutes. The Task Force will review and consider the efficacy of existing state laws as they apply to gang-related criminal activity in the state. After their review is complete, the Task Force will present their findings and recommendations to the Governor.


Awards + Recognition

  • Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, 2011
  • ATF Honors Award, 2010
  • Baltimore SAC Award (ICE), 2009
  • Assistant Attorney General’s Award (MS-13), 2007
  • Project Safe Neighborhood Gang Prosecution Award, 2007
  • Project Safe Neighborhood Innovative Practices Award, 2007
  • FLEOA National Award for Investigative Excellence, 2007
  • Federal Prosecutor of the Year, Montgomery County Police, 2005

Professional + Community

  • Task Force to Study Maryland’s Criminal Gang Statutes – Appointed by Governor of Maryland, 2018


Publications + Presentations
September 25, 2019 | Publication

"The Definitive Guide to Online Gaming and Betting in the U.S."

Comprehensive eBook from Ifrah Law, available as a complimentary download

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November 12, 2018 | Presentation

"Social Media and Other Electronic Data – How to Get it Admitted in Criminal, Family, And Other Civil Cases"

CLE for The Bar Association and Bar Foundation - Montgomery County, Maryland

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August 17, 2017 | Publication

James M. Trusty, Author, "Do Criminal Defendants Have Web Rights?"


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December 2016 | Presentation

"Wiretap Investigations", Washington, DC

Philippine Delegation - Washington, DC

November 2016 | Presentation

"Threat Investigations"

Instructor: USMS Deputies - Houston, TX

November 2016 | Presentation

"RICO Prosecution; Cooperating Defendants"

Speaker - Honolulu, HI

October 2016 | Presentation

"Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association 2016"

Instructor and Opening Statements - Linthicum, MD

October 2016 | Presentation

James M. Trusty, Speaker, "Wiretap Evidence"

Speaker to Japanese Delegation - Washington, DC

August 2016 | Presentation

"Oklahoma Supreme Court RICO"

Instructor for Sitting Judges- Oklahoma City, OK

August 2016 | Presentation

"Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorneys"

Opening Remarks - Washington, DC

July 2016 | Presentation

"Death Penalty Investigations"

National Advocacy Center

July 2016 | Presentation

"Advantages and Disadvantages of RICO"

St. Louis, MO

March 2016 | Presentation

"Trial Advocacy Program for Pakistani Prosecutors"

Instructor - Bangkok, Thailand

February 2016 | Presentation

James M. Trusty, Instructor, "FBI Laboratory Moot Court"

Forensics - Quanitco, VA

November 2015 | Presentation

James M. Trusty, Instructor, "Maryland State Attorney’s Association", Linthicum, MD

October 2015 | Presentation

James M. Trusty, Instructor, "FBI Laboratory Moot Court (forensics)", Quantico, VA

January 2015 | Presentation

James M. Trusty, James Trusty, Instructor, "RICO Training", NAC National Conference

October 2014 | Presentation

James M. Trusty, Opening Statements, "Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association", Linthicum, MD

February 2014 | Presentation

James M. Trusty, Instructor, "Federal Criminal Practice Seminar", National Advocacy Center (NAC)

September 2013 | Presentation

"RICO Training (USAO)", New Orleans, LA

January 2013 | Presentation

James M. Trusty, Instructor, "RICO Prosecution and Indian Country", National Advocacy Center (NAC)

December 2012 | Presentation

James M. Trusty, Speaker, "RICO (Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office)", Chicago, IL

April 2012 & October 2012 | Presentation

James M. Trusty, Instructor, "Federal Criminal Practice Seminar "Handling Cooperating Defendants and Confidential Informants"", National Advocacy Center (NAC)

Case Studies

Ifrah Secures Release for International Client Jailed for Alleged Arms Control Violations

When an international businessman was taken into custody at the U.S.-Canada border and jailed for four months without bail, the Ifrah team was brought in to challenge the government.

A businessman from a prominent political family in Pakistan was indicted for violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), statutes traditionally used against professional exporters seeking to evade licensing requirements so the government does not detect their efforts to sell state secrets or military-grade weaponry to parties and governments with anti-U.S. sentiments.  He was also charged with making false statements about his intended use for legally purchased firearm accessories because he was not only an avid hunter but a licensed firearms retailer in his home country. Ifrah Law attorneys quickly filed a number of ground-breaking motions on our client’s behalf. One of the motions also sought bail for the client based on the weakness of the government’s case and notwithstanding the existence of an ICE detainer, a status which usually eliminates the possibility of release.

The Court expressed concern about the government’s ability to meet its burden of proof, and strong displeasure with the government’s case: “(T)he older I get,… the more distressed I am about the inability of government authorities to exercise common sense and practicality…. (W)e’re all in this together under one of the most sacred documents in our whole concept of jurisprudence, the Constitution of the United States, to treat people fairly and justly, not to win at any cost or put the screws to somebody so we can put the screws to them.”

After the defense investigation uncovered that U.S. law enforcement had destroyed physical evidence, the Court granted bail and ultimately the U.S. Attorney agreed to dismiss the IEEPA and AECA charges. Our client chose to plead guilty to the false statement charge and a sentence of time served in order to go home immediately. He had been in jail and away from his family for nine months, during which time he missed the birth of his first child.

Well-crafted motions and aggressive investigation led to the extremely rare circumstance of a foreign citizen charged with weapons violations being released from pretrial detention, and the ultimate dismissal of the more substantial felonies in the case.

(United States v. Durrani, No. 1:17-cr-00024 (W.D.N.Y))

Blog Posts
May 19, 2021

Biden’s aggressive Justice Dept – Civil Rights Division putting local police on notice. Here’s how

Biden’s aggressive Justice Dept – Civil Rights Division putting local police on notice. Here’s how

This article was originally published on FoxNews.com on May 16th, 2021. Department of Justice priorities obviously can change with new administrations, and history shows this with regularity. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was greatly concerned with the Mafia’s activities, and John Ashcroft wanted more obscenity and pornography prosecutions. Generally, the subject matter emphasis pops up and… Read More

March 25, 2021

When Double Jeopardy Means No Jeopardy

When Double Jeopardy Means No Jeopardy

In March of 2019, on the afternoon in which Paul Manafort was sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance unveiled an indictment against Manafort for mortgage fraud and similar state offenses. As rumors had begun to swirl that President Trump… Read More

February 28, 2021

Corruption of NCAA Sports Will Not Fly Under the Radar

Corruption of NCAA Sports Will Not Fly Under the Radar

With the increasing popularity of sports betting across the country comes the ever-present concern that big money brings big temptation, and that concern is most acutely fixated on the NCAA sports scene. Gamblers and non-gamblers alike do not want to see their favorite collegiate contests infected with fixed results or point shaving. But in an… Read More

August 17, 2020

Civil or Criminal Liability: Charging A Payment Processing Case by Coin Toss?

Civil or Criminal Liability: Charging A Payment Processing Case by Coin Toss?

In the eyes of federal investigators, when is a payment processor considered a benevolent alternative to traditional banks, and when is it viewed as a shady facilitator of all things criminal?  In other words, is the client another Paypal or Venmo, or are we looking at a potential WireCard AG prosecution? We have noticed in… Read More

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