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Jon A. Sale

Of Counsel

2 South Biscayne Blvd.
21st Floor
Miami, FL 33131
jon.sale@nelsonmullins.com

Jon A. Sale is co-chair of the firm’s White Collar & Government Investigations Practice Group. He is a leading white collar criminal defense attorney who is one of two attorneys in the state of Florida designated by Chambers U.S.A. as an “eminent practitioner” in the white collar field.

He is a member of the Southern District...

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Jon A. Sale is co-chair of the firm’s White Collar & Government Investigations Practice Group. He is a leading white collar criminal defense attorney who is one of two attorneys in the state of Florida designated by Chambers U.S.A. as an “eminent practitioner” in the white collar field.

He is a member of the Southern District of Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, which interviews candidates for the federal bench and makes recommendations to the Senators. He is also a member of the U.S. Magistrate Merit Selection Panel, which recommends to the District Court finalists for Magistrate Judge positions. 

He is experienced in representing corporations and individuals in grand jury investigations and diverse and complex criminal litigation, including large scale document reviews and productions. He also is experienced in representing defendants at sentencing hearings. He has represented clients in almost every substantive area of concentration, including health care fraud, securities fraud, financial institution fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, money laundering, criminal anti-trust violations, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, and various fraudulent investment schemes.

Mr. Sale’s government service included serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and in the District of Connecticut.  He also was the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. 

Mr. Sale also served as an Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor under Special Prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski. His responsibilities extended to supervising grand jury matters and functioning as trial counsel in resulting litigation. He participated in legal efforts to obtain and review secret White House tapes to determine whether criminal conduct had taken place in the Oval Office and among senior Presidential staff members. He also participated in litigating an issue of first impression in the Fifth Circuit, which tested the power of the judiciary when ruling on a government Motion to Dismiss a criminal proceeding. Mr. Sale also served as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States supervising a grand jury investigation to determine if an ambassadorship was awarded as a quid pro quo for a political contribution. 

While Mr. Sale was Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, he supervised all major criminal and civil cases within that judicial district. In U.S. v. Fedorenko, he was the chief prosecutor in a civil denaturalization proceeding against a World War II guard at the Nazi death camp at Treblinka, Poland.  Witnesses, who had escaped from Treblinka during the war, traveled to the United States to identify Fedorenko and testify about his war crimes during the trial. The case was ultimately heard by the Supreme Court of the United States, which upheld the decision of the Fifth Circuit and ordered that Fedorenko be denaturalized.

Mr. Sale has served on numerous court committees in the Southern District of Florida, including the U.S. Magistrate Merit Selection Panel, the Trial Experience Committee of the Attorney Admissions Program, and the Advisory Committee on Rules and Procedures for the U.S. District Court.

Mr. Sale was a member of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Transition Team.

of Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, which interviews candidates for the federal bench and makes recommendations to the Senators. He is also a member of the U.S. Magistrate Merit Selection Panel, which recommends to the District Court finalists for Magistrate Judge positions. 

He is experienced in representing corporations and individuals in grand jury investigations and diverse and complex criminal litigation, including large scale document reviews and productions. He also is experienced in representing defendants at sentencing hearings. He has represented clients in almost every substantive area of concentration, including health care fraud, securities fraud, financial institution fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, money laundering, criminal anti-trust violations, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, and various fraudulent investment schemes.

Mr. Sale’s government service included serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and in the District of Connecticut.  He also was the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. 

Mr. Sale also served as an Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor under Special Prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski. His responsibilities extended to supervising grand jury matters and functioning as trial counsel in resulting litigation. He participated in legal efforts to obtain and review secret White House tapes to determine whether criminal conduct had taken place in the Oval Office and among senior Presidential staff members. He also participated in litigating an issue of first impression in the Fifth Circuit, which tested the power of the judiciary when ruling on a government Motion to Dismiss a criminal proceeding. Mr. Sale also served as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States supervising a grand jury investigation to determine if an ambassadorship was awarded as a quid pro quo for a political contribution. 

While Mr. Sale was Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, he supervised all major criminal and civil cases within that judicial district. In U.S. v. Fedorenko, he was the chief prosecutor in a civil denaturalization proceeding against a World War II guard at the Nazi death camp at Treblinka, Poland.  Witnesses, who had escaped from Treblinka during the war, traveled to the United States to identify Fedorenko and testify about his war crimes during the trial. The case was ultimately heard by the Supreme Court of the United States, which upheld the decision of the Fifth Circuit and ordered that Fedorenko be denaturalized.

Mr. Sale has served on numerous court committees in the Southern District of Florida, including the U.S. Magistrate Merit Selection Panel, the Trial Experience Committee of the Attorney Admissions Program, and the Advisory Committee on Rules and Procedures for the U.S. District Court.

Mr. Sale was a member of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Transition Team.

Jon A. Sale is co-chair of the firm’s White Collar & Government Investigations Practice Group. He is a leading white collar criminal defense attorney who is one of two attorneys in the state of Florida designated by Chambers U.S.A. as an “eminent practitioner” in the white collar field.

He is a member of the Southern District... of Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission, which interviews candidates for the federal bench and makes recommendations to the Senators. He is also a member of the U.S. Magistrate Merit Selection Panel, which recommends to the District Court finalists for Magistrate Judge positions. 

He is experienced in representing corporations and individuals in grand jury investigations and diverse and complex criminal litigation, including large scale document reviews and productions. He also is experienced in representing defendants at sentencing hearings. He has represented clients in almost every substantive area of concentration, including health care fraud, securities fraud, financial institution fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, money laundering, criminal anti-trust violations, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, and various fraudulent investment schemes.

Mr. Sale’s government service included serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and in the District of Connecticut.  He also was the Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. 

Mr. Sale also served as an Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor under Special Prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski. His responsibilities extended to supervising grand jury matters and functioning as trial counsel in resulting litigation. He participated in legal efforts to obtain and review secret White House tapes to determine whether criminal conduct had taken place in the Oval Office and among senior Presidential staff members. He also participated in litigating an issue of first impression in the Fifth Circuit, which tested the power of the judiciary when ruling on a government Motion to Dismiss a criminal proceeding. Mr. Sale also served as a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the United States supervising a grand jury investigation to determine if an ambassadorship was awarded as a quid pro quo for a political contribution. 

While Mr. Sale was Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, he supervised all major criminal and civil cases within that judicial district. In U.S. v. Fedorenko, he was the chief prosecutor in a civil denaturalization proceeding against a World War II guard at the Nazi death camp at Treblinka, Poland.  Witnesses, who had escaped from Treblinka during the war, traveled to the United States to identify Fedorenko and testify about his war crimes during the trial. The case was ultimately heard by the Supreme Court of the United States, which upheld the decision of the Fifth Circuit and ordered that Fedorenko be denaturalized.

Mr. Sale has served on numerous court committees in the Southern District of Florida, including the U.S. Magistrate Merit Selection Panel, the Trial Experience Committee of the Attorney Admissions Program, and the Advisory Committee on Rules and Procedures for the U.S. District Court.

Mr. Sale was a member of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Transition Team.

Experience

Following is a selected sampling of matters and is provided for informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future matter.

Experience

  • Represented as lead counsel the former officer of a public company, and the main target in largest federal grand jury investigation in the investigating district, in which the government alleged losses exceeding $1 billion; represented same former officer in parallel SEC investigation and civil litigations. U.S. Attorney’s Office declined prosecution and matter resolved with civil settlement.
  • Represented two corporate executives indicted in the Southern District of Florida for conspiracy to file false Medicare claims. After extensive motion practice, the Court dismissed all charges.
  • Represented prominent Russian executive charged with making false statements on Visa application. After negotiations and motion practice, including raising issues of foreign law, all charges were dismissed.
  • Represented an executive in the business of importing aluminum and other metals from Venezuela. Immunity agreement negotiated; no charges filed.
  • Acted as local counsel and co-counsel for chairman of a public company in nine-month trial in U.S. District Court in Miami, involving charges of land fraud. Client convicted on 1 of 40 counts, which count was then dismissed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Represented public home healthcare company in conducting internal investigation involving alleged false billing and kickbacks. Report made to Special Committee and no charges filed.
  • Represented Fortune 500 Company in conducting internal investigation involving alleged government contract fraud. Numerous employee interviews conducted, report submitted, and no charges filed.
  • Represented international resort company in DOJ FCPA investigation. After employee interviews and extensive investigation, no charges filed.
  • Represented Jordanian citizen in connection with DOJ FCPA investigation involving alleged bribes paid in Jordan. No charges filed against client.
  • Acted as local counsel in FCPA investigation of global telecommunications company, which was resolved with deferred prosecution agreement.
  • Acted as local counsel in FCPA investigation of international airline, which was resolved with deferred prosecution agreement.
  • Represented at sentencing the chief executive of international travel agency charged with tax evasion in the Southern District of Florida. Argued for downward variance from sentencing guideline range of 30-36 months; client sentenced to six months’ imprisonment over government objection.
  • Represented at sentencing a client charged with selling prescription drugs online in the Eastern District of New York. Argued for downward variance from sentencing guideline range of 18-24 months; after argument, Court said it was giving client “the lowest sentence I’m ever going to impose in my life” and released client with neither probation nor special conditions.
  • Represented at sentencing an executive charged with participating in bid rigging in connection with the construction of the airport in Trinidad and Tobago. Argued for downward variance from sentencing guideline range of 33-41 months; Court imposed a sentence of a year and a day, later reduced to time served.
  • Represented president of major airline company in bankruptcy fraud investigation in the Eastern District of New York. No charges filed against client.
  • Represented senior executive of major airline company in Southern District of Florida investigation involving transportation of hazardous materials. No charges filed against client.
  • Represented public company charged with making false statements in connection with security services at airports. Due to compliance efforts, Court did not revoke license and entered probationary sentence.
  • Represented the brother of a sitting Congressman in connection with a homicide investigation. Client cleared of all wrongdoing.
  • Represented a U.S. citizen, held in a Guatemalan prison, charged with import violations. After hearing in U.S. District Court in Miami, Court found that conditions in Guatemalan prison violated due process; statements suppressed and charges dismissed.
  • Represented a client in a high visibility Congressional hearing involving the Alaskan Pipeline and investigation techniques employed. After invoking applicable Congressional rule, client avoided testifying.
  • Represented as chief trial counsel a practicing lawyer charged in the Southern District of Florida with fraud in connection with operation of marketing organization. The jury was unable to reach verdict and the government dismissed all charges against client.
  • Represented prominent Florida lawyer in the Eastern District of Virginia, who was investigated for aiding and abetting massive Ponzi scheme. After extensive negotiations with government, no charges filed against client.
  • Represented Bahamian lawyer who voluntarily came to the United States to challenge a subpoena based on attorney-client privilege. Achieved successful result in Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals by arguing issues of first impression regarding obligations of foreign lawyer to maintain client confidences.
  • Represented renowned international wildlife expert charged with Lacey Act violation for retail sale of wildlife product. Argued for downward variance from sentencing guideline range of 18-24 months; client sentenced to three years’ probation.
  • Represented major pharmaceutical company in connection with Florida Attorney General investigation involving marketing of opioids. Negotiated resolution, which resulted in funding of prescription monitoring program.
  • Represented famous movie star investigated by regulators for unruly behavior during flight; after investigation, no charges filed.
  • Represented major international law firm in gaining approval of fee petition in Northern District of Florida for assisting the Court in retrieving assets.
  • Represented applicant before the Florida Bar who had served two terms in state prison for felony convictions; successfully convinced Bar that rehabilitation merited his admission.
  • Represented various financial institutions in connection with document production and preparing witnesses for trial.
  • Represented several public entities, including two major Sherriff’s offices involved in DOJ civil rights investigations, both civil and criminal. No criminal charges filed in either case, and memorandum of understanding agreed to in one case involving a technical assistance letter.
  • Appointed acting State Attorney in Miami-Dade County, Florida to investigate whether employee of State Attorney’s Office committed perjury. After thorough investigation, charge was filed and defendant pled guilty.
  • Appointed as Special Counsel to Florida Attorney General to investigate circumstances surrounding case being litigated in the United States Supreme Court to determine possible unethical conduct. After thorough investigation, report submitted to Florida Attorney General.

Previous Professional Experience

  • Served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida
  • Served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and the District of Connecticut
  • Served as an Assistant Special Prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force for the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Former Adjunct Law Professor, St. Thomas University Law School
  • Former Associate Professor of Law, Nova Southeastern Shepard Broad Law Center

Education

  • New York University School of Law, JD
  • University of Pennsylvania, BA, with honors

Admissions

  • Florida
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Clerkships

  • Law Clerk, The Honorable Morris E. Lasker, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Practice Areas

The bar rules of some states require that the standards for an attorney's inclusion in certain public accolades or recognitions be provided. When such accolades or recognitions are listed, a hyperlink is provided that leads to a description of the respective selection methodology.

  • Member, U.S. Sentencing Commission Practitioners Advisory Group
  • Member, Federal Judicial Nominating Commission for the Southern District of Florida
  • Member, Southern District of Florida U.S. Magistrate Merit Selection Panel
  • Member, American Bar Association
    • White Collar Crime Committee
  • Member and Past Chair, The Florida Bar 
    • Criminal Law Section
  • New York State Bar Association 
  • Child Protection: Assisted data mining company, in conjunction with National Association for Missing and Exploited Children, to provide state attorneys general and other law enforcement agencies with technology to apprehend sexual predators.
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