Thomas C. Frongillo
Thomas C. Frongillo, is the Co-Managing Partner of the Boston Office and the Co-Chair of the Firm’s White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice. He is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, and a trial lawyer with over 35 years of litigation experience, specializing in white collar criminal defense and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Frongillo represents corporations and individuals in white collar prosecutions and corporate and regulatory investigations involving the Economic Espionage Act (EEA), cryptocurrency, health care fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud, public corruption, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and environmental crimes.
Throughout his career, both as a private practitioner and as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Frongillo has been called upon to handle a multitude of complex, high-stakes cases involving a wide range of legal issues in jurisdictions across the country. In 2013, he served as Special Counsel to the Massachusetts House of Representatives Committee on Ethics in an investigation of possible misconduct by a State Representative. He has represented the Massachusetts Legislature in a federal grand jury investigation of alleged corrupt hiring practices involving the Massachusetts Office of the Commissioner of Probation. In other high-profile matters, Mr. Frongillo has successfully represented the majority owners of an NBA team in a dispute concerning a trade of one of the NBA’s top players; the engineers who designed the ceiling of the Big Dig’s connector tunnel near Logan Airport in Boston that collapsed in 2006; a Fortune 50 company in an investigation by the SEC of alleged securities fraud stemming from the financial crisis of 2008; a bank in the Nation’s largest bank failure; a University in an investigation of alleged financial impropriety by its former president; and a non-profit Rhode Island hospital indicted on federal public corruption charges. He represented the City of Boston in proceedings before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in connection with the proposed development of a casino in the Boston area.
A former trial advocacy instructor at the Attorney General’s Institute for Trial Advocacy, Mr. Frongillo is well known for his thorough preparation and courtroom skills. In 2009, he obtained an acquittal of a senior executive of W.R. Grace in a landmark three-month criminal jury trial, United States v. W.R. Grace, in which his client was vindicated on charges of knowing endangerment under the Clean Air Act and conspiracy to defraud the United States. The Justice Department characterized the case as the most significant criminal environmental prosecution in United States history. Due to Mr. Frongillo’s cross-examination of the government’s key witness, evidence of the government’s discovery violations were exposed, which resulted in a mid-trial hearing on prosecutorial misconduct. Ultimately, this incident played a key role in the Justice Department’s subsequent overhaul of its criminal discovery practices. Recently, in 2018, he obtained an acquittal of a prominent real estate developer charged with committing extortion in violation of the Hobbs Act in United States v. DeCicco. In that case, through vigorous discovery efforts, the defense uncovered evidence of undocumented meetings between federal agents and a government confidential source, as well as the government’s failure to preserve critical evidence. This resulted in the district court’s issuance of jury instructions on spoliation of evidence and the government’s failure to follow normal investigatory practices.
While serving as an Assistant United States Attorney, federal law enforcement agencies frequently called on Mr. Frongillo to handle some of their most important and difficult cases. Mr. Frongillo was the lead prosecutor in a case known as Operation Southwest Express, which involved the indictment of over 100 individuals in several jurisdictions in the largest narcotics and money laundering case investigated by the FBI at that time. Mr. Frongillo also was a member of the prosecution team in United States v. Darryl Whiting, a/k/a “God,” a case involving the trial of The New York Boys, a violent inner-city gang consisting of over 50 members and the subject of the movie In Too Deep. Many of his cases also involved the investigation of money laundering and tax violations. In his 10 years as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Frongillo worked closely with the FBI, IRS, DEA, Boston Police and Massachusetts State Police, and was instrumental in the formation of a task force of those law enforcement agencies that later dismantled several organized criminal enterprises in New England.
A leader in his field, Mr. Frongillo is a frequent author and speaker on white collar and regulatory issues. In the wake of September 11th, he consulted with members of the United States Treasury, the SEC, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network regarding their promulgation of anti-money laundering federal regulations under the USA Patriot Act.
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Cyber Security and Data Protection
Intellectual Property Litigation
White Collar Defense & Government Investigations
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law
B.A., College of the Holy Cross
Assistant United States Attorney
District of Massachusetts
State Bar of Massachusetts
United States District Court, Massachusetts
United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Co-Chair of the White-Collar Committee
Epiphany School of Boston, Member of the Board of Overseers
“When the Government Comes Calling on Your Civil Client,” co-authored with, Paul Mogin, Williams and Connolly LLP; Sonia Escobio O’Donnell, Sonia Escobio O’Donnell PA; M.C. Sungaila, Haynes and Boone LLP, February 2018.
The Reinvigorated Confrontation Clause: A New Basis to Challenge the Admission of Evidence from Nontestify Forensic Experts in White Collar Prosecutions, with Caroline Simons, Matthew Knowles, and Jacklyn Essinger, The Champion, April 2013.
FCPA: Minefield for Drug and Device Industries, with Caroline Simons, New England In-House, September 2012.
Environmental Prosecutions: Criminal Liability without Mens Rea and Exposure Under the Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine, with Douglas S. Brooks, 79 Def. Counsel J. No. 1, 12. January 2012.
The Shifting Sands of Government Regulation, IADC Corporate Counsel College Journal, Volume 2, October 2011.
Be Prepared When Government Agents Show Up With a Search Warrant: A Corporate Counsel’s Guide, with Graham O’Donoghue, IADC, July 2011.
Corporate Privilege Waivers in Federal Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions, IADC’s White Collar Defense & Investigation Committee Newsletter, September 2010.