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Joel D. Schwartz
12505 Park Potomac Avenue
6th Floor
Potomac, MD 20854
F (301) 230-2891
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Lawyers recommend Joel Schwartz to their clients because they can rely upon him to provide a strategy with the best chance of delivering a superior result.  They know he will deliver the close, personal attention that clients facing white collar criminal, civil enforcement and other investigations expect and need.  Moreover, they are aware of Joel’s comprehensive case preparation, and his smart, tireless, effective advocacy—which once prompted a judge in a sidebar to admonish:  “Mr. Schwartz, you simply cannot go to the mat for every one of your clients.”  Joel disagrees…

A former federal prosecutor and public defender, Joel has tried hundreds of cases to verdict – including prosecuting the United States' civil enforcement action against the tobacco industry under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute.  He has successfully negotiated and litigated numerous Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Product Safety Commission matters including off-label marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, tobacco fraud and regulation, FDA approval and clinical testing, compounding pharmacies, opioids and pull-mills, CGMP and food and drug inspection issues. Joel is also a former assistant director of enforcement at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). 

As a result of his significant experience, Joel is skilled at developing winning strategies, marshaling facts, managing evidence, hard negotiating and when necessary, effective trial work to get the best possible outcome.  Indeed, Joel’s work for one Fortune 1000 client led the in-house counsel to remark, “He is a smart and kind person and I have been delighted and impressed with the work he has done for [our company]. Really – delighted, not a word I use often when I talk about legal work. He is that good.”

Joel is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ White Collar Committee and its Health Care Fraud Subcommittee. He is a past instructor at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and at the Justice Department’s central training facility, the National Advocacy Center, and has given CLE lectures on issues such as preparing for and cross-examining expert scientific witnesses, and challenging forensic evidence.  Before becoming a lawyer, Joel helped manage Massachusetts’ Medicaid and other low-income health care programs.

Representative Matters

Joel represents individuals and entities from a number of diverse industries:

Health Care

  • Successfully turned criminal and Stark Act health care (Medicare) fraud investigation of targeted lead physician in a group of specialists into a pennies-on-the-dollar settlement with no admission of liability, and no limitation on future participation in government-funded programs.

Corruption and Government Contracting

  • No charges or other action brought against clients – construction-consulting firm and its principal – who were targets in District of Columbia City Council political corruption ("pay for play") investigation conducted by Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor's Inspector General and its Office of Labor, Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.
  • Convinced Justice Department not to prosecute or pursue other action against then-CEO of subsidiary to large public utility who was identified as a target of a "8(a) set-aside" fraud investigation brought by DOJ Antitrust Division, the General Services Administration and the Public Corruption Section.

Financial Services

  • Defended former chairman of Philadelphia area bank against TARP-fraud, investor fraud and back fraud charges brought by Justice Department, working in conjunction with the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program (SIG -TARP) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Trial resulted in a split verdict.  Sentencing and appeal are pending.
  • Persuaded Justice Department and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) not to prosecute or otherwise bring action against "luxury home" realty corporation and its managing broker who were targets of mortgage fraud and bank fraud investigation.
  • Represented investment advisor in New York federal court charged with securities fraud and tax fraud in case brought by the Justice Department along with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Convinced Securities Division of the Maryland Attorney General not to bring action against off-shore company suspected of operating "pyramid scheme" within the United States.

Immigration and International Matters

  • Obtained formal declination of charges for client, a Pakistani business owner (who originally entered the United States through diplomatic channels), targeted in immigration fraud investigation brought by Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security's National Security & Joint Terrorism Task Force regarding suspected conspiracy to use his business to illegally sponsor Pakistani nationals.
  • Successfully represented Israeli-national business owners targeted in cross-border immigration fraud conspiracy to bring illegal workers into businesses across the United States – obtaining outcome that kept them out of prison and allowing them to remain in the country. Investigation was jointly operated by the Department of Labor's Office of Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section of the Justice Department and the State Department Diplomatic Security Service
  • Represented Romanian national in matters related to State Department investigation of potential misconduct by U.S. Secret Service agent – no parties were charged.  
  • Served as U.S. counsel to defend foreign nationals against extradition to EDNY for offshore trading and FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) violation, and to challenge legality of extraterritorial detention and search for evidence by foreign and U.S. authorities.
  • Successful representation of clients involved in international development projects before the World Bank Sanctions Board and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).  


  • Counsel for internal cybersecurity investigation of payment processing company; matter resolved without any government or private claims.
  • Prepare handbook and conduct training of corporation's counsel and staff regarding the conducting of internal investigations at the company.
  • Achieved dismissal of federal civil Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case brought by global technology company against our individual client.


  • Represented target of criminal investigation into renewable fuels ("RINs") and tax credit fraud brought by Justice Department Environmental and Natural Resources Division, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Internal Revenue Service.


  • Represented Canadian nationals in investigation of alleged interstate cigarette smuggling by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
  • Defending on-line education company against civil action brought by the FTC alleging deceptive advertising and marketing fraud.



Professional & Community Affiliations

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, White Collar Committee and Health Care Fraud Subcommittee
  • NYU School of Law, 1990, J.D.
  • Rutgers University Eagleton Institute of Politics, 1985 M.A.
  • Franklin and Marshall College, 1984 A.B.
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
Honors & Awards
  • Skadden Foundation Fellow, Class of 1990