Steve is a partner and former white-collar chief for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Drawing upon his experience as a federal prosecutor in several nationally noted cases, Steve maintains a diverse litigation and advocacy practice. Recent matters include:
- Defending a Fortune 15 medical distributor in high-stakes product litigation.
- Defending a state supreme court justice in an impeachment proceeding.
- Representing a prominent energy-sector company in an SEC investigation that resulted in no action against the company.
- Defending an operator of skilled-nursing facilities against a fraud lawsuit by a state attorney general seeking hundreds of millions of dollars; the state dismissed the case with the operator paying no new money beyond part of a small, previously posted bond.
- Representing a group of wine distributors in an antitrust action against a major national alcohol distributor.
- Representing a university in a toxic tort action against two global chemical companies.
- Representing an internet sports betting company in a complex licensing matter.
- Defending physicians and other medical professionals against fraud allegations and in disciplinary proceedings.
Steve also maintains an active white-collar criminal defense practice, with recent representations of clients facing charges or investigations of bank fraud, health care fraud, wire fraud, and misuse of government funds.
As a prosecutor, Steve amassed a record of convictions that gained national renown. In the wake of a 2010 coal mine explosion that killed 29 miners, he spearheaded an investigation that led to five criminal convictions and a $209 million resolution with the successor company of the mine’s operator–the largest-ever recovery in a criminal mine safety case. That investigation culminated in a nine-week jury trial and the first-ever conviction of a major-company CEO for a workplace safety crime. The case was featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes in March 2016.
Steve also led a successful investigation and subsequent prosecution of a California extortioner who made death threats to seven prominent American business leaders, including Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula and coal executive Chris Cline. The perpetrator in that case threatened to murder members of his victims’ families unless he was paid a total of $122 million.
In 2011, Steve led the investigation and prosecution of another extortioner who targeted West Virginia’s then governor. During Steve’s tenure as a prosecutor, he also secured convictions of eight elected officials, notably including a state-court judge who railroaded a defendant in order to protect a political ally, and three county officials in an election-fraud scheme.
Steve is an honors graduate of Duke University and graduated first in his class from the Washington and Lee University School of Law. He served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert B. King of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and, before his work as a prosecutor, practiced in Washington, D.C., handling complex civil and criminal matters for one of the nation’s best-known law firms.
West Virginia, 2008
Law Clerk, Hon. Robert B. King, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of West Virginia
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia