George B. Donnini

Shareholder
Director
Detroit
donnini@butzel.com | P 313 225 7042 | F 313 225 7080

George B. Donnini is a shareholder practicing in Butzel Long's Detroit office. He is a Vice President of Butzel Long and serves on the firm's Board of Directors.

Mr. Donnini practices in the areas of white collar criminal defense, SEC civil enforcement actions, antitrust investigations, and also routinely conducts corporate internal investigations. Due to the expansive nature of fraud claims, he routinely counsels his clients through both criminal charges and civil liability/enforcement actions. Accordingly, Mr. Donnini must manage complex litigation involving multiple adversaries, multiple jurisdictions, and interrelated issues.

Mr. Donnini has experience in a broad array of criminal and civil cases, representing clients at both the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts across the country. He has varied and significant experience representing clients in criminal cases involving allegations of revenue recognition, securities, and tax fraud, theft of trade secrets, insider trading, stock options back-dating, health care, environmental and mortgage fraud. He also has conducted several internal investigations for both private and publicly traded companies. He aggressively, creatively, and successfully represents clients in a wide variety of federal and state criminal matters.

Before joining Butzel Long, Mr. Donnini served as a law clerk to The Honorable William H. Pauley III, United States District Court, S.D.N.Y., New York, New York (1998-1999). He also served as a Judge Advocate for the United States Marine Corps from 1999 to 2003. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2003 after serving as counsel of record in numerous criminal trials.

Clerkships

Honorable William H. Pauley III, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Admissions

Mr. Donnini is admitted to practice in Michigan (2003), New York (1998) and California (2000). He is also admitted before all U.S. District Courts in Michigan, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd and 6th Circuits.

Affiliations

ABA, Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee, Young Lawyers' Division; National Co-Chair (2006-2009)

ABA, Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee; Midwest Regional Co-Chair (2005-Present)

ABA Criminal Justice Section, Book Board, Appointed Member (2008-Present)

Memberships

American Bar Association Sections of Litigation and Criminal Justice
Federal Bar Association
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Honors

Michigan Lawyers Weekly 2016 "Leader in the Law"

Up and Coming Michigan Lawyers, Michigan Lawyers Weekly (December 8, 2008)

DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2011-2012, 2014, 2016-2018

Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star in Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2011-2012

Michigan Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2013-Present

Representative Matters

The following matters are representative of his recent work:

Represented auto supplier in major US and foreign antitrust investigation

Represented multiple Corporations in federal antitrust investigation re highway contracts

Represented Company in federal antitrust investigation re transportation industry

Represented Corporation in federal antitrust civil class action re automotive products

Represent multiple employees/ executives/ officers in major US and international antitrust investigations

Conducted numerous internal investigations for public and private companies

Represented Tier 1 suppliers and companies in other industries in federal antitrust investigations

Represented Tier 1 supplier in parallel proceedings conducted by U.S. Attorney's Office (SDNY) and SEC

Represented numerous individual and corporate defendants facing federal criminal prosecution arising from allegations of wire and mail fraud, tax fraud, insider trading, healthcare fraud, environmental crimes, theft of trade secrets and drug conspiracy

Represented a registered representative in a selling away action

Represented the CFO of a public company in a significant SEC enforcement action alleging 10b-5 and 17(a) violations in federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan

Represented a CFO of a non-profit hospital system in a joint DOJ and SEC investigation

Represented an attorney in connection with tax shelter investigation conducted by the DOJ Criminal Tax Division

Represented an attorney in criminal matter involving kickbacks on vendor contracts being funneled to corporate executives of public company

Represented a public company in an SEC investigation involving revenue recognition issues which, after significant document production and SEC depositions, culminated in a no action termination letter being issued by the SEC

Represented a witness involved in options back-dating investigation by the United States Attorneys' Office for the Northern District of California

Routinely represent individuals and companies subject to SEC subpoenas and investigations concerning alleged violations of securities laws with respect to a wide variety of financial transactions

Represented a book publisher and distributor in criminal investigation conducted by U.S. Postal Service

Represented executive of an environmental company charged with criminal violations of the Clean Water Act and related environmental statutes

Represented corporate manager in a significant criminal health care fraud case, which culminated in an acquittal of the firm's client, involving allegations of federal anti-kickback statute and Prescription Drug Marketing Act violations

Represented Director of Financial Accounting and Reporting of Tier I supplier in SEC Enforcement action alleging 10b-5, 13(b), 17(a) in federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan

Representative Speaking Engagements

Moderator, Aggressive Use of the Rules of Evidence to Gain Tactical Advantage: Views From the Government, the Bench, and the Defense, ABA National Institute on White-Collar Crime (2006).

Panelist, Daubert: The Challenge in 2008 and Beyond, Federal Bar Association/ABA White Collar Crime Committee, Midwest Region.

Panelist, Corporate Fraud Investigations: Financial Fraud in Small Companies, Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (May 13, 2009)

Panelist, Taking Aim at Kickbacks, Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (May 18, 2010)

Firm Publications

Sentencing Advocacy For White Collar Defendants: Show Some Gall, December 21, 2007

Justice Department Approves New Guidelines For Charging Corporations With Crimes, August 30, 2008

External Publications

Call The Question: Is Capitol Hill A Warrant Free Zone Post-Rayburn? (Published in ABA White Collar Crime Institute Publication (March, 2008)

  • George Washington University Undergraduate 1995, B.A.
  • Duke University Law School Law School 1998, J.D.

Up and Coming Michigan Lawyers, Michigan Lawyers Weekly (December 8, 2008)

DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Non-White-Collar Criminal Defense Professional Malpractice Law, 2011-2012; White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2011-2012, 2014, 2016-2018

Michigan Super Lawyers, Rising Star in Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2011-2012

Michigan Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2013-2017

  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

American Bar Association - Sections of Litigation and Criminal Justice

ABA - Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee, Young Lawyers' Division National Co-Chair (2006-2009)

ABA - Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee Midwest Regional Co-Chair (2005-Present)

ABA - Criminal Justice Section, Book Board, Appointed Member (2008-Present)

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Federal Bar Association

  • Represented multiple Japanese Auto Supplier companies in criminal antitrust investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (Washington, DC)
  • Represented multiple employees/ executives/ officers in major US and international antitrust investigations
  • Successfully represented officer of pharmaceutical company in largest health care fraud trial to date in U.S. District Court in Boston
  • Represented Corporation in federal antitrust civil class action re automotive products
  • Represented a witness involved in stock options back-dating investigation by the United States Attorneys’ Office for the Northern District of California
  • Represented a major automotive supplier under investigation for allegedly participating in a several hundred million dollar international antitrust price-fixing conspiracy.
  • SEC Enforcement Actions: individual and corporate defendants facing federal criminal prosecution and SEC investigations
  • Represented pharmaceutical company in Qui Tam case in Boston.
  • Obtained a declination of prosecution for an accounting officer of an international automotive supplier after investigation by the DOJ and the SEC
  • Represented a public company in an SEC investigation involving revenue recognition issues which, after significant document production and SEC depositions, culminated in a no action termination letter being issued by the SEC
  • Represented a registered representative in a selling away action
  • Represented a major law firm partner in connection with tax shelter investigation conducted by the DOJ Criminal Tax Division
  • Represented Company in federal antitrust investigation re transportation industry
  • Represented a book publisher and distributor in criminal investigation conducted by US Postal Service
  • Represented corporations and executives under federal investigation
  • Represented witnesses in a variety of criminal and civil proceedings
  • Represented an attorney in criminal matter involving kickbacks on vendor contracts being funneled to corporate executive of company
  • Represented a defense contractor accused of fraudulently supplying non-conforming materials to the Department of Defense.
  • Represented multiple Corporations in federal antitrust investigation re highway contracts
  • Represented a physician accused of illegally prescribing pain medication to individuals without a medical need.
  • Obtained a complete declination of all proceedings, criminal and civil health care fraud, against pharmaceutical client by the US Attorney's Office in Dallas
  • Represented the CFO of a public company in a significant SEC enforcement action alleging 10b-5 and 17(a) violations in federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Ponzi Schemes: Representation of Broker Dealers/Investment Advisors
  • Obtained acquittal of pharmaceutical company executive in federal trial in Boston following 4 month jury trial
  • Represented individuals and companies subject to SEC subpoenas and investigations
  • Represented numerous individual and corporate defendants facing federal criminal prosecution arising from allegations of wire and mail fraud, tax fraud, insider trading, healthcare fraud, environmental crimes, theft of trade secrets and drug conspiracy
  • Represented a company in connection with a bribery investigation.
  • Represented a former Chief Financial Officer and Controller of several corporations accused in state court of embezzling almost $200,000.
  • Routinely represent individuals and companies subject to SEC subpoenas and investigations concerning alleged violations of securities law with respect to a wide variety of financial transactions
  • Represented Tier I auto supplier in parallel proceedings conducted by US Attorney’s Office
  • Represented numerous Tier I auto suppliers in federal Antitrust investigations
  • Health Care Fraud Federal Criminal Trial: Individual Defense
  • Represented auto supplier in major US and foreign antitrust investigation
  • Represented a former employee accused of stealing more than $100 million worth of trade secrets from his employers in violation of the federal economic espionage act.
  • Represented executive of an environmental company charged with criminal violations of the Clean Water Act and related environmental statutes
  • Represented metals trading company in major U.S. Attorney and U.S. Customs investigation
  • Represented CFO of a non-profit hospital for securities fraud; case settled no jail or fine, SEC restitution
  • SEC Enforcement Action: Corporate Representation Regarding Alleged GAAP Accounting Irregularities