Cryptocurrency Enforcement Heating Up

Ariel Neuman is a trial lawyer who clients turn to for their most high-profile civil cases and criminal investigations. A former Assistant United States Attorney and graduate of Harvard Law School (where he still serves as visiting faculty in the Trial Advocacy Workshop), his work has ranged from defending a Fortune 150 company against criminal charges at trial, to representing both a member and former member of Congress in relation to grand jury investigations, to defending the largest minority-owned brokerage firm in a high-stakes business dispute.

Mr. Neuman has led teams of lawyers in numerous jury trials involving complicated issues of fraud and misconduct. He has experience litigating and arbitrating cases around the country, and regularly takes on cases against the biggest law firms, as well as government regulators like the SEC, and DOJ. He is often called upon to conduct internal investigations related to accounting issues, False Claims Act allegations, potential FCPA violations, and related matters for national and multi-national corporations, or represent corporate executives and board members at companies experiencing such investigations.

He advises clients in matters involving securities fraud, claims of anti-competitive conduct, environmental crimes, health care fraud, money laundering, tariff issues, tax crimes, and other offenses. He also routinely represents companies and individuals involved in bet-the-company litigation. He has had recent success in cases involving unfair business practice and trade secret claims.

Before joining Bird Marella in 2014, Mr. Neuman served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles for almost seven years. Mr. Neuman was named Prosecutor of the Year by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers’ Association, and received numerous commendations and awards for his service. He led numerous high profile investigations and prosecutions of white collar and violent crimes, and was also responsible for the domestic portion of several international investigations. During his tenure at the US Attorneys’ office, Mr. Neuman handled cases involving securities fraud, tax evasion, real estate fraud, health care fraud, art fraud, bank fraud, counterfeit currency, computer crimes, and more. He is among the most experienced federal RICO prosecutors in the country now in private practice, having prosecuted over 200 individuals for violating federal racketeering laws.

Representative Cases

  • Matters at Bird Marella

    Represented Plains All American Pipeline, a Fortune 150 company, in a four-month trial defending against criminal charges arising from an oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara. Obtained dismissal of 37 out of 46 counts.

  • Represents a former member of the United States House of Representatives in an ongoing confidential grand jury investigation.  Mr. Neuman’s client is not accused of any wrongdoing.

  • Representing a CFO and part owner of a media holding company against money laundering and Travel Act charges in connection with the recent indictment in Arizona relating to, as well as in connection with numerous related forfeiture proceedings in Los Angeles.

  • In “bet-the-company” litigation, defeated a preliminary injunction demand that would have shuttered oil-services business and required firing of all employees.

  • Represented one of the largest minority-owned broker/dealers in a FINRA arbitration and successfully defeated a demand for a permanent injunction regarding certain business practices related to muni bonds and fixed income investments.

  • Represented a patent attorney under investigation for violation of the Hobbs Act (extortion involving threats of financial harm). Mr. Neuman set the stage for his client to get immunity from the Department of Justice.

  • Represented an individual under investigation for antitrust, anti-competitive activities in the public works construction area. The investigation was closed without any charges being filed against Mr. Neuman’s client.

  • Represented an immigration attorney charged with securities fraud and other violations by the SEC related to the attorney’s work on behalf of clients seeking EB-5 visas.

  • Represented a financial professional involved in a dispute with his former business partners, who attempted to freeze Mr. Neuman’s client’s out of the partnership and deprive him of his rightful assets and membership interests. The matter was confidentially settled to the satisfaction of Mr. Neuman’s client.

  • Represented two prominent physicians under investigation for alleged Medicare and Medicaid fraud. The United States Attorney’s Office and Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, closed the investigation without filing any charges against Mr. Neuman’s clients.

  • Conducted an internal investigation for the Chinese subsidiary of a US-based technology company. The investigation focused on possible FCPA and tax violations, and was concluded without any finding of wrong-doing.

  • In major federal trade-based money laundering prosecution, secured settlement for client that resulted in dismissal of money laundering charges. Mr. Neuman and his colleagues successfully argued for the suppression of evidence illegally seized from one of the client’s business locations.

  • Represents a corporate executive facing a civil contempt action brought by the Federal Trade Commission. This case is on hold while other litigation continues, but to date Mr. Neuman has successfully prevented the FTC from deposing his client.

  • Represented a number of witness subpoenaed to testify by the California Attorney General before a criminal grand jury in Riverside County. Several of the witnesses were granted immunity as a result of Mr. Neuman and his colleagues’ efforts.

  • Matters at the U.S. Attorney’s Office
    In a three-week jury trial of a defendant charged with crimes related to tax evasion, art theft, and art fraud, Mr. Neuman and a colleague secured convictions on all charges. Mr. Neuman joined the case only weeks before trial, took over opening and closing arguments as well as the examination of numerous key witnesses, and earned accolades for his trial advocacy skills from colleagues and onlookers.

  • Mr. Neuman led the investigation and prosecution of over a dozen defendants involved in a $20 million mortgage and bank fraud scheme involving short sale and lending fraud on over 35 properties around Southern California. Among the defendants was a former bank officer who accepted bribes to manipulate the bank’s short sale process. Mr. Neuman received a special commendation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation for his efforts in this matter.

  • Mr. Neuman and a colleague obtained a conditional guilty plea on the day of trial from a licensed medical doctor who admitted issuing prescriptions for highly addictive narcotic drugs and other medications without a legitimate medical purpose and in exchange for cash. Mr. Neuman successfully defended the conviction before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

  • After a Santa Barbara-based hotel developer and former bank officer defrauded various banks and credit unions and obtained millions of dollars in loans, Mr. Neuman secured a pre-indictment guilty plea and an order of restitution for the victims.

  • In a matter that garnered world-wide media attention, Mr. Neuman and a colleague secured the extradition to Mexico of a producer of television shows such as “Survivor” and “Pimp My Ride.” In Mexico, the defendant faced charges of murdering his wife at a Cancun resort and then fleeing back to the United States.

  • Mr. Neuman has prosecuted over 200 defendants for violations of federal racketeering (“RICO”) laws. The defendants were members and associates of the Mexican Mafia, as well as several Los Angeles-based gangs. As part of these and related cases, Mr. Neuman won several jury trials where defendants were convicted of RICO charges, murder conspiracy charges, alien smuggling offenses, firearms offenses, and narcotics distribution charges. His efforts were recognized repeatedly in awards and commendations from various organizations.


  • Visiting Faculty, Harvard Law School: Trial Advocacy Workshop
  • Member, American Bar Association: Criminal Justice Section, Health Law Section, Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Section of Litigation
  • Member, Federal Bar Association: Federal Litigation Section, Criminal Law Section, Health Law Section, Securities Law Section
  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Board Member, Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice

13 Bird Marella Attorneys Honored as 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers

Bird Marella is proud to recognize the attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the 2019 Southern California Super Lawyers list: Terry W. Bird – Criminal Defense: White Collar, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation Joel E. Boxer – Business Litigation, Estate & Trust Litigation Paul S. Chan – Business Litigation, ...

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Bird Marella Successfully Defends Plains All American Pipeline in Historic Environmental Crimes Case

In what may be the largest environmental crimes trial in California history, Bird Marella principals Gary Lincenberg and Ariel Neuman were victorious in defending Plains All American Pipeline, the largest pipeline company in North America, in one of the largest environmental crime trials in California history. After a four-month ...

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Ariel Neuman Quoted by Law360 on Russian Hack Indictment

Principal Ariel Neuman was quoted in the Law360 article, “Russian Hack Charges Offer Rare Look at Spy vs. Spy Battles,” detailing the indictment brought against 12 Russian military officers, as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Unsealed on July 20th, ...

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Benchmark Litigation Names Three Bird Marella Principals to the Under 40 Hot List

Bird Marella is proud to announce that principals Ariel Neuman, Timothy Yoo, and Nicole Van Dyk have been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as leading litigation attorneys under 40 years of age in its annual Under 40 Hot List. To see the full ...

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Ariel Neuman Named to Top 40 Under 40 by Daily Journal

Bird Marella is proud to announce that Principal Ariel Neuman was selected by the Daily Journal as one of the Top 40 Under 40 attorneys in California. To read full article click here.

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Six Ways to Avoid Being Co-Opted Into a Trade-Based Money Laundering Scheme

Bird Marella principal Ariel Neuman and associate Jen Won co-authored an article for Bloomberg BNA titled, "Six Ways to Avoid Being Co-Opted Into a Trade-Based Money Laundering Scheme." The article enumerates six rules for businesses and business owners to avoid finding themselves cooperated into international money ...

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Ariel Neuman Comments on Cryptocurrency Regulations

Bird Marella Principal Ariel Neuman was interviewed by Corporate Counsel at on what types of enforcement actions can be expected in the cryptocurrency sector in the near future. Mr. Neuman comments, "Regulatory enforcement won’t be slowing in the near future. In fact, it will only be a matter of time until ...

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Ariel Neuman Interviewed by Corporate Crime Reporter on the Crackdown on the EB-5 Visa Program

Bird Marella principal Ariel Neuman was interviewed by Corporate Crime Reporter regarding the SEC and DOJ's focus on the EB-5 visa program, including his experience representing an immigration lawyer targeted by the SEC for the lawyer's work on behalf of EB-5 investors. To read the full article, please

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14 Bird Marella Attorneys Honored as 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers

Bird Marella congratulates Thomas Reichert and Ariel Neuman as Southern California Super Lawyers. In total, 14 Bird Marella attorneys were selected as Super Lawyers for 2018: Terry W. Bird – Criminal Defense: White Collar, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation (Top 100) Sharon Ben-Shahar Mayer – Business Litigation, Criminal ...

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Ariel Neuman Interviewed by KNX-AM

Bird Marella principal Ariel Neuman was recently interviewed by Heather Jordan of KNX-AM on criminal groups that avoid detection and target international trade companies for money laundering. To listen to the segment, please click below:

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Other News & Events

  • Interviewee, “Russian Hack Charges Offer Rare Look At Spy Vs. Spy Battles,” Law360, July 19, 2018
  • Interviewee, “Lawyers who advise EB-5 visa clients face SEC scrutiny,” Daily Journal, January, 2018
  • Interviewee re criminal groups that avoid detection and target international trade companies for money laundering, KNX-AM, December, 2017
  • Interviewee re trial strategy, “Defense in San Bernardino County corruption trial rests after half a day,” Daily Journal, July, 2017
  • Interviewee re False Claims Act and qui tam provision, “LA hospital settles fraud claim with $42M payout,” Daily Journal, June, 2017
  • Interviewee, “Can Families Sue Facebook For Violent Videos of Victims?,” International Business Times, April, 2017
  • Interviewee, "Pick the Right Law School for Criminal Law Practice," U.S. News & World Report, March, 2017
  • Panelist, ABA 31st Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, "Significant Legal Developments in the Regions" (March 8, 2017)
  • Co-Presenter, 2016 Federal Bar Association CLE Luncheon, "Ethical and Effective Use of Advance Wavers in Criminal and Civil Cases" (July 28, 2016)
  • Interviewee, Law360 Feature Story on U.S. Supreme Court’s Opinion on Betterman v. Montana (May 20, 2016)
  • Interviewee, STAT News Feature Story on Criminal Investigation of Theranos (April 19, 2016)
  • Speaker, Tax Resolution Institute 2015 Seminar, “Criminal Tax Cases (Priorities, Practices, And Tactics)” (July 17, 2015)
  • Guest Speaker, KPCC 89.3 Southern California Public Radio Discussion on Prosecutors Seeking Death Penalty in Fatal LAX Shooting (January 5, 2015)
  • Guest Interviewee, The Associated Press Feature Story on FBI Seizure of LAUSD iPad Documents (December 2, 2014)
  • Panelist, California Society for Healthcare Attorneys Fall Seminar, “Hospice, Home Health and Physical Therapy – Government Audits and Investigations” (November 7, 2014)
  • Panelist, 2014 IMN Crowdfunding Forum for Real Estate, “Managing Risks, Including Fraud, Inherent in Crowdfunding” (September 9, 2014)
  • White Collar Legal News Blog

  • Co-Author, “Six Ways To Avoid Being Co-Opted Into a Trade-Based Money Laundering Scheme,” Bloomberg BNA, May 14, 2018 (with Jen Won)

  • Co-Author, “Backpage Dismissal Does Not Solve Websites’ Woes,” Law360, December, 2016 (with Julian Burns)

  • Co-Author, “United States: White-Collar Criminal Defence,” Global Investigations Review, October, 2014 (with Gary Lincenberg)

  • Co-Author, “FedEx Indictment Creates Bad Incentives,” Daily Journal, August 5, 2014 (with Benjamin Gluck)

  • Co-Author, “Custodial Interrogations: What We Know, What We Do, and What We Can Learn From Law Enforcement Experiences,” in Educing Information – Interrogation: Science & Art, National Defense Intelligence College Press, 2006 (with D. Salinas)