Photo of Richard E. ZuckermanPhoto of Richard E. Zuckerman

Richard E. Zuckerman

Partner

Education

Southwestern Law School, J.D.
  • cum laude
University of Michigan, B.A.

Admissions

Court Admissions

Overview
Experience
Recognition
News & Resources

Overview

Richard Zuckerman focuses his practice on federal and state white collar criminal defense, including representing clients in complex and sophisticated civil tax controversies, conducting internal investigations, advising on domestic and foreign compliance options and representing individuals and institutions in criminal tax investigations and prosecutions.

Prior to rejoining Honigman in 2021, Richard first served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Matters, Tax Division, of the U.S. Department of Justice and later as Acting Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division. As such Richard led the Tax Division and its 340 lawyers and 170 support staff from late 2017 through early 2021. As head of the Division Richard was considered part of the senior leadership of the Department of Justice. His day to day focus was on the supervision of all criminal tax investigations and indictments nationwide. Additionally, he oversaw the Deputy Assistant Attorneys General for Civil Litigation, Civil Appeals, and Tax Policy & Review within the Division.

Richard has been listed in Chambers USA as one of Michigan’s leading lawyers in the Litigation/White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations field since 2005, among other honors.

Experience

Representative Matters

With the U.S. Department of Justice from 2017-2021
  • United States v. McAfee, No. 20-10029 (W.D. Tenn. filed June 15, 2020). Indictment charging McAfee Associates founder John D. McAfee with tax evasion and willful failure to file tax returns.
  • Robert F. Smith Non-Prosecution Agreement (October 9, 2020). Vista Equity Partners’ Founder, Chairman, and CEO’s Non-Prosecution Agreement regarding his involvement from2000 to 2015 in a scheme to conceal and evade millions in taxes by using an offshore trust structure and offshore bank accounts. Smith admitted knowingly and intentionally using the accounts to conceal from the IRS and U.S. Treasury more than $200 million of income earned and distributed from private equity funds.
  • United States v. Brockman, No. 20-00371 (N.D. Cal. filed October 1, 2020). A 39-count indictment charging the CEO of Reynolds and Reynolds, an Ohio-based company that makes software for car dealerships, with tax evasion, wire fraud, money laundering, and other offenses. The charges stemmed from an alleged decades-long scheme to conceal approximately $2 billion in income from the IRS.
  • Bank Hapoalim B.M., Israel’s largest bank, and Bank Hapoalim (Switzerland) LTD, its subsidiary, agreed to pay $ 874.27 million to the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the New York State Department of Financial Services, which at the time of the resolution was the second largest recovery by the Department of Justice investigations into its facilitation of offshore US tax evasion by foreign banks.
  • Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank LTD, an Israeli bank publicly traded on the Tel-Aviv exchange, and certain of its subsidiaries, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to collectively pay $195 million to the United States in connection with its admission of guilt to assisting U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. tax obligations.
  • Michael Cohen, a New York lawyer who between 2012 and 2016 concealed from the Internal Revenue Service more than $4 million in personal income, thus avoiding $1.3 million in income tax. Mr. Cohen received a three year sentence for income tax evasion.
Defense counsel
  • Represented Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist in litigation designed to discover his sources behind a news article concerning federal prosecutorial misconduct, Convertino v. United States, In re: David Ashenfelter, Interested Party, Appellee, 14-1722, ___ F.3d ___, 2015 WL 4590343 (6th Cir. July 31, 2015)
  • Acted as Michigan counsel for a national tobacco products manufacturer in connection with the National Tobacco Settlement Agreement
  • Argued before the Michigan Supreme Court regarding the res judicata effect of the Settlement in connection with a Certified Question from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, In Re Certified Question, 465 Mich. 537 (2002)
  • Defended six class actions in federal and state courts involving the effect of tobacco consumption
  • Represented a publicly traded pharmaceutical provider under investigation by the Michigan Attorney General for over billing and related practices
  • Defended two publicly traded computer system manufacturers in matters involving the functionality of their products, including class action litigation
  • Represented a national toy train manufacturer in a breach of contract matter in the United States District Court in Chicago
  • Defended a publicly traded insurance company in securities fraud class action litigation alleging the failure to disclose potential corporate bribery, Zaluski v. United Am. Healthcare, 527 F.3d 564 (6th 2008)
  • Represented high-profile public figures in matters related to tax evasion investigations by the Internal Revenue Service
  • Defended a privately held telecommunications company in a criminal investigation alleging unfair billing practices
  • Represented individuals and companies in civil and criminal RICO proceedings, including jury trials and appeals
  • Represented a trust before the IRS over the deductibility of expenses incurred in connection with the ownership of the trusts’ rental income properties, which resulted in a precedent-setting U.S. Tax Court decision that allowed those deductions, notwithstanding the IRS’ historically successful disallowance of such deductions; this had significant collateral impact on the Affordable Care Act’s revenue raising 3.8 percent tax on trusts owning rental income properties, as the anticipated revenue from that tax was to be from gross income instead of net income, Frank Aragona Trust v. Comm’r, 142 T.C. 9 (2014)
Plaintiff counsel
  • Detroit Free Press v. City of Detroit, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Christine Beatty, et al. (FOIA litigation involving text messages)
  • Ford Motor Co. v. United States ($500 million claim for overpayment interest on corporate income tax), 768 F.3d 580 (6th Cir. 2014)
Trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice from 1974-1977
  • Timmreck v. United States, 441 U.S. 780 (1979) (U.S. Supreme Court’s acceptance (9-0) of theory that limited a criminal defendant’s ability to set aside a conviction due to a technical violation of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, thereby overturning significant precedent to the contrary). See also Timmreck v. United States, 423 F.Supp. 537 (E.D. Mich. 1976)
  • United States v. Anthony J. Giacalone, 574 F.2d 328 (6th Cir. 1978) (Federal Income Tax Evasion of the individual alleged to have arranged the meeting from which Jimmy Hoffa disappeared)
  • Assisted in leading the investigation into the disappearance of James R. Hoffa
  • Acted as lead attorney in the investigation into the hidden ownership and management of the Aladdin Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, resulting in United States v. Goldfarb, and United States v. Robert Leonard (former Genesee County Prosecutor)
  • Michigan Bell Telephone v. United States, 565 F.2d 385 (6th Cir. 1977) (Action to compel phone company to assist in electronic surveillance. Congress amended Title III to conform to this decision)

Prior Experience

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General then Acting Assistant Attorney General ,Tax Division, Washington, D.C., 2017 - 2021
  • Honigman LLP, Partner and Chair of White Collar Crime and Government Investigations Practice, Detroit, MI, 1987-2017
  • Raymond, Rupp, Weinberg, Stone & Zuckerman, P.C. Litigation Shareholder, Troy, MI, 1977 to 1987
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, Detroit Organized Crime Strike Force, Detroit, MI, 1974-1977

Recognition

Awards

  • Listed in Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business since 2005
    • Recognized as a leader in the White-Collar Litigation field in Michigan; Chambers USA states: 
      • 2017 – "Richard Zuckerman is the leader of the firm's white-collar crime and investigations group, and is well known for his experience acting for tobacco, pharmaceutical, air cargo and software businesses. He also acts for individuals and companies on tax audit investigations."
      • 2016 – "[Richard] maintains an active white-collar crime practice, demonstrating extensive experience in the area following his tenure in the US Department of Justice's Organized Crime division. He represents individual and corporate clients on a range of criminal audits and government investigations."
      • 2015 – "[Richard] is a renowned white-collar specialist, who is described by one impressed source as being 'very cerebral in a positive way - he's a great thinker and a great strategist.'"
      • 2014 – “'Experienced and knowledgeable' Zuckerman practices white-collar criminal defense in both federal and state courts, paying particular attention to areas such as securities fraud, environmental crimes and criminal tax litigation.”
      • 2013 – "White-collar specialist Richard Zuckerman is experienced in the fields of tax fraud and securities fraud. He represents clients in a host of industry sectors before both state and federal courts."
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2001-2018
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Appellate Practice
      • Criminal Defense: White-Collar
      • Litigation - Securities
      • Litigation and Controversy - Tax
    • Detroit Litigation - Securities "Lawyer of the Year," 2016
    • Detroit Criminal Defense: White-Collar "Lawyer of the Year," 2015
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2010-2018
  • Leading Lawyers Magazine Michigan, 2017
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Commercial Litigation
      • Criminal Defense Law: White Collar
    • Named as one of the:
      • Top 10 Leading Criminal Defense Lawyers
      • Top 100 Leading Lawyers
      • Top 100 Leading Business Lawyers
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2005-2016
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated

Professional & Community Involvement

Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission, 1995-2001

  • Vice Chairperson, 1999-2000
  • Chairperson, 2000-2001

State Bar of Michigan

  • Judicial Qualifications Committee, 2005-2010

Federal Bar Association, Detroit Chapter

  • Committee on Criminal Law, Co-Chair, 1984-1995
  • Board of Directors, 1984-1987

American Bar Association

  • Grand Jury Committee, 1980-1995

State Bar of California

State Bar of Nevada

Academic Appointments

  • Cooley Law School, Associate Professor, Tax Fraud, 2010-2012
  • Michigan State University School of Law (formerly, Detroit College of Law), Adjunct Associate Professor, Tax Fraud, 1978-2005
  • Internal Revenue Service Course for Senior Special Agents, Instructor, Tax Fraud, 1979-1981

News & Resources

News

Publications

Seminars & Events

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