Richards Kibbe & Orbe attorney Jamie A. Schafer recently represented a federal criminal fraud defendant through the pro bono counsel program with the Office of the Federal Defender for the Eastern District of Virginia. Ms. Schafer worked as co-counsel in the matter from arraignment through guilty plea and settlement, including briefing and arguing the sentencing hearing in which she successfully convinced the court to vary significantly from the applicable federal sentencing guidelines. The charges involved a multi-million dollar scheme with 5,000 alleged victims, international bank accounts, overseas properties, falsified rates of return and other misrepresentations relating to investments as well as false impersonation of an IRS official. The matter was further complicated by the SEC’s filing of concurrent civil fraud charges and a prior fraud conviction.
Through her pro bono assistance, Ms. Schafer was able to alleviate the strain that this massive and complex matter would have placed on the Federal Defender’s office. She worked with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia to negotiate a favorable plea agreement, worked with the defendant to collect and produce voluminous amounts of information and documents and also accompanied the defendant in two days of debriefings with multiple government enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of the Treasury. The Federal Defender’s Office described her as a “tireless and dedicated advocate” and described the outcome as a “real victory” in a case of this complexity.