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Matthew M. Graves
Returning to the nation’s largest U.S. Attorney’s Office, Matthew M. Graves takes a seat as the Chief Federal Law Enforcement Official for the District of Columbia. His nomination was previously made by President Joe Biden on July 26, 2021, which had been confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 28, 2021. United States Attorney Matthew M. Graves was sworn into office by Honorable Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell in the afternoon of November 5, 2021. The highest position in the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia was previously filled by Channing D. Phillips, who served as Acting U.S. Attorney since March 3, 2021, following the resignation of former U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.
Table of Contents
- Educational Background and Academic Honors and Awards
- Legal Career of Attorney Matthew M. Graves
- Early Legal Career
- Work at the U.S. Attorney’s Office D.C.
- Private Practice
- Notable Litigation Matters
- 10 most significant litigated matters handled by Attorney Matthew Graves
- Professional Honors and Awards
- Bar and Court Associations and Admissions
- Bar Associations
- Bar Admissions
- Court Admissions
- Office Jurisdiction
- Published Writings by Attorney Matthew Graves
- Contact Details
- Main Office
- Social Media Profiles of Attorney Matthew Graves
Educational Background and Academic Honors and Awards
A man with excellent educational background, U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Washington & Lee University in May 1998. He subsequently received his Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School in May 2001. During his undergraduate years, Top Federal Prosecutor Graves was granted the Merit Scholarship from 1994 to 1998. He was also recognized as a University Scholar from 1995 to 1998 and was awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in 1998.
- Yale Law School, 1998-2001
J.D. – May 2001
- Washington & Lee University, 1994-1998
B.A. – May 1998
Legal Career of Attorney Matthew M. Graves
Early Legal Career
In his first summer in law school, U.S. Attorney Graves launched his legal career by working as a Summer Associate at the Piper Marbury Rudnick & Wolfe LLP. In 2000, he established a career in the government sector. He joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut – New Haven as a Law Student Intern, working in the capacity for about three months. Following his graduation from Yale Law School, Top Federal Prosecutor Matthew Graves became a part of the United States District Court. He was employed as a Law Clerk under the Honorable Richard W. Roberts from September 2001 to 2002. The subsequent month, he became an Associate at the WilmerHale, where his practice shifted to focus on a combination of general civil litigation, securities enforcement, and securities litigation. U.S. Attorney Graves remained in the position for about five years, until May 2007, before joining the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Work at the U.S. Attorney’s Office D.C.
U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves’ nine-year service in the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia began in May 2007. He was appointed as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He was initially assigned to the Criminal Division of the Office, where he was tasked to investigate and prosecute crimes of violence both in local and federal courts. In December 2010, he was named Senior Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Office’s Fraud and Public Corruption Section. He was made responsible for investigating and prosecuting an array of white-collar crimes such as domestic and international bribery, healthcare fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, tax fraud, and U.S. sanctions violations. Top Federal Prosecutor Graves served as a Senior Assistant U.S. Attorney for the next five years, until January 2015, when he was promoted to Supervisor of the Office’s Fraud and Public Corruption Section, and later, as the section’s Acting Chief. Throughout his tenure as a supervisor and Acting Chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section, U.S. Attorney Graves maintained a significant caseload while leading a team consisting of roughly 30 professionals. Moreover, the latter years of his service in the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia allowed him to interact and collaborate with various federal and state regulatory agencies on investigations of cases within the district.
Leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in September 2016, Top Federal Prosecutor Matthew Graves became a Partner at the United States branch of the DLA Piper LLP in October 2016. In the period of time that he worked in the office, U.S. Attorney Graves served as a member of the White Collar section of the law firm’s U.S. Litigation and Regulatory Group. His practice for the approximately seven years of his work in the DLA Piper LLP comprised two primary components. On the one hand, he maintained a traditional white-collar practice that consisted of providing legal advice to clients who were involved, as a subject or witness, in government investigations, as well as entities who have received a formal or informal request for information from a different state and federal prosecutors, regulators, and law enforcement agencies. In addition, part of this line of work was providing legal advice to clients in purely internal investigations to avoid implicating regulatory agencies and providing clients general compliance advice to aid them in minimizing regulatory risks. On the other hand, U.S. Attorney Graves handles and represents clients in general civil litigation matters, wherein he manages all facets of the litigation cycle, from pleadings to the trial.
Notable Litigation Matters
With over two decades of working in the legal field, U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves has handled an array of criminal prosecutions and civil litigations. Throughout his tenure as a prosecutor in the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, U.S. Attorney Graves has been tasked to take on numerous high-profile cases, including the prosecution of public officials, government contractors, international business organizations, as well as individuals and entities charged in relation to Ponzi schemes and other large-scale fraud. Among the notable litigations, U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves handled is the 2015 case against Commerzbank, wherein the defendant knowingly and willfully moved $263 million through the U.S. financial system on behalf of Iranian and Sudanese entities subject to U.S. economic sanctions. On this occasion, U.S. Attorney Graves functioned as one of the lead negotiators for the DOJ on the Deferred Prosecution Agreement with Commerzbank. Apart from this, Top Federal Prosecutor Graves also served as sole counsel in a two-year securities fraud prosecution against a defendant responsible for a Ponzi scheme, which resulted in the scheme’s collapse and debt of over $28.6 million. In February 2012, U.S. Attorney Graves worked as co-counsel in the second trial of a case involving an undercover operation, where 22 individuals were indicted following their agreement to give a part of their commission to a government official. A mistrial was declared after the jury failed to reach a verdict on any of the four defendants under the second trial.
In addition to handling civil litigations, U.S. Attorney Graves also prosecuted scores of cases involving kidnapping, robbery, and shooting, among other violent crimes. In 2010, he began handling a felony case as lead trial counsel. The prosecution involved a defendant responsible for the shooting of several individuals. Despite pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, the case was closed in 2011. The defendant was convicted of 32 felony counts, declaring the defendant criminally responsible for all of this conduct and receiving a sentence of 987 months imprisonment. United States Attorney Graves also once served as sole counsel in prosecuting a robbery. The defendant was found guilty of robbing four different sets of individuals at gunpoint and was convicted at trial and sentenced to nearly 16 years of incarceration.
10 most significant litigated matters handled by Attorney Matthew Graves
- United States v. Commerzbank (March 2015)
- United States v. Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (October 2015 – November 2015)
- United States v. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Sandra Stevens Jackson (February 2013 – August 2013)
- United States v. Wesley Johnson (January 2010 [estimated] – October 2011)
- United States v. Garfield Taylor (April 2013 [estimated] – May 2015)
- United States v. Washington Gas Energy Systems (November 2014)
- United States v. Amaro Goncalves, et al. (April 2011 [estimated] – February 2012)
- United States v. Neil Rodgers (January 2014 [estimated] – June 2015)
- United States ex re. Maxwell et al. v. ANHAM USA, Inc., et al. (August 2019 – August 2020)
- United States v. Atat Marry (July 2008 – February 2010)
Further details regarding the above litigation matters may be found in the public questionnaire accessible here.
Professional Honors and Awards
- Service Award, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2014
- Special Achievement Award, Department of Justice, 2013
- Special Achievement Award, Department of Justice, 2012
- Special Achievement Award, Department of Justice, 2010
- Special Achievement Award, Department of Justice, 2008
- Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, Washington & Lee University, 1998
- Pi Sigma Alpha, Washington & Lee University, 1998
- Omicron Delta Kappa, Washington & Lee University, 1997-98
- University Scholar, Washington & Lee University, 1995-98
- Merit Scholarship, Washington & Lee University, 1994-98
Serving for almost a decade as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Top Federal Prosecutor Matthew M. Graves has received several awards recognizing his dedication and excellence in his prosecutions. He is a four-time recipient of the Special Achievement Award from the Department of Justice, earning the recognition every two years, in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2013. Additionally, he has received the Service Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014.
Bar and Court Associations and Admissions
United States Attorney Matthew Graves has been admitted to the District of Columbia Bar since 2003 and is an inactive member of the Illinois State Bar. Furthermore, he has been admitted to practice in several courts, including in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia since August 2017. He also remains an active member of the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, and Washington Bar Association.
- American Bar Association
- National Bar Association
- Washington Bar Association
- Illinois, February 2002
- District of Columbia, March 2003
- United States District Court for the District of Columbia (August 2017)
- All local courts within the District of Columbia (March 2003)
- State courts in Illinois (February 2002)
- Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court, Member, 2003 – Present
- Washington & Lee University – Shepherd Poverty Program, Board of Advisors, 2001-2004 (approximate)
Taking on new responsibilities as he holds the highest position in the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves serves as the Chief Local and Federal Prosecutor for the nation’s capital. Leading the largest United States Attorney’s Office, Top Federal Prosecutor manages and supervises a staff of over 660 employees, consisting of more than 330 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and over 330 support personnel. Together with the dedicated employees of the office, U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves handles the prosecution of misdemeanor drug possession cases to murders, as well as child pornography, violent gangs, financial fraud, and terrorism. On top of this, the office is also in charge of enforcing the law and defending the interests of the United States in civil suits brought in the district.
Published Writings by Attorney Matthew Graves
- Commodities News and Trends, Commodities Alert, DLA Piper, June 3, 2021
- DOJ Relaxes Stance on Personal Communications and Ephemeral Messaging Platforms in Enforcement Policy Amendment, DLA Piper, March 13, 2019
- FDA Solicits Public Comment on Adding List of Device Materials to Certain Medical Device Labels, DLA Piper, May 26, 2021
- How Courts Condone Discrimination in the Marketplace , 7 M ICH. J.L. & R ACE 159 (Jan. 2002)
- Incentivizing Prosecutors to Pursue Individuals, Bloomberg Law, March 31, 2017
- OFAC’s Recent Enforcement Actions Identify Key Trends and Offer Valuable Takeaways, Business Law Today, July 12, 2019
- Sticking to the Bargain: The DC and Second Circuits Uphold Limits on Courts’ Authority to Supervise, Modify, or Challenge DPAs, Bloomberg Law, November 10, 2017
- Student Body Diversity About Real World, Ring Tum Phi, Washington and Lee University (1995 [approximately])
- The Russia Sanctions and Their Impact on Commodities Companies: Action Steps for Companies Engaged in Transactions with Russian Gas and Energy Companies, DLA Piper, May 11, 2021
- Treasury Enforcement Actions: Civil Enforcement with Criminal Consequences, Business Law Today, April 22, 2019
- With Friends Like These: The Insider Trading Risk Presented by Family
Members, Friends, and Contractors, Securities Regulation Daily, July 16, 2019.
Full Name: Matthew Michael Graves
District/State: District of Columbia
Public email ID: [email protected]
United States Attorney’s Office
555 4th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530
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Social Media Profiles of Attorney Matthew Graves
Username: Matthew Graves
Username: U.S. Attorney DC
Updated: March 17, 2022