Nancy DePodesta


Nancy  DePodesta


161 North Clark
Suite 4200
Chicago, IL 60601

P: 312.876.7146

F: 312.876.6268





Nancy DePodesta is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group of Arnstein & Lehr’s Chicago office.

Ms. DePodesta is a highly acclaimed trial lawyer with substantial experience including trials in Federal District Court and arguments to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She has also overseen numerous investigations at the state and federal level, involving regulatory agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Labor, and Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as handling internal investigations for corporate clients.

With extensive experience in a broad array of subject matters, including securities fraud, tax fraud, health care fraud, bankruptcy fraud, corporate fraud, bribery and corruption, racketeering, and narcotics conspiracies, Ms. DePodesta focuses her practice on white collar criminal defense. An adept and hands-on manager, she has led teams of in-house attorneys and outside counsel in handling complex litigation and investigative matters.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. DePodesta served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and as legal counsel for the Illinois Department of Corrections.


  • Awarded the Chicago Crime Commission Star of Distinction
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Recognition Awards
  • Recipient of the Chicago Police Department Special Commendation Award
  • Recognized for superior performance as an Assistant United States Attorney by the United States Attorney’s Office 
  • Member of the firm’s Women’s Initiative Committee

Notable Cases

Health Care

  • Ms. DePodesta is currently representing a physician before the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, and United States Drug Enforcement Agency relating to alleged violations of the Illinois Medical Practice Act stemming from the prescription of opioids and other controlled substances.
  • Defended a chiropractor in response to allegations of improper billing and fraud alleged by insurance company, and successfully established that the billing was legitimate. Obtained reinstatement of chiropractor into network.
  • Represented a nursing director and marketing consultant, employed by different home health care agencies, in investigations and a prosecution of health care fraud alleging kickbacks and bribes were paid in exchange for referrals.   
  • Counseled multiple home health care agencies in qui tam actions and investigations alleging violations of the False Claims Act stemming from claims being submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for services performed and billed. 

SEC and Tax Issues

  • Defended a businesswoman on charges involving a $1.2 million tax fraud in a prosecution by the United States Attorney’s Office. Obtained sentence of probation following a contested sentencing hearing. 
  • Represented multiple individuals, including an attorney, investor, and a corporate executive in investigations conducted by the Securities & Exchange Commission. The investigations focus on fraudulent misrepresentations to investors, including foreign investors participating in the EB-5 Program.

Fraud Investigations

  • Leading an internal investigation into whether an executive misappropriated corporate funds for personal expenditures and otherwise breached fiduciary duties to company. 
  • Represented and advised a city official with respect to a corruption investigation and prosecution conducted by the Department of Justice. The official was not prosecuted.
  • Counseled multiple individuals subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in a mortgage fraud and bank fraud investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The individuals were not charged.
  • Managed corruption investigation and prosecution of Chicago Park District official and contractors involved in mail fraud, wire fraud and bribery in relation to contracts for landscaping at Chicago-area parks, including Millennium Park. 
  • Conducted fraud investigation and prosecution involving a Minority Business Enterprise obtaining contracts with the Chicago Public Schools.
  • Investigated and prosecuted an individual in the financial services industry who solicited and obtained payments exceeding $1.1 million from four investors by falsely representing that their funds would be invested in particular companies and instead misappropriating the funds for personal expenditures. 
  • Supervised international fraud investigation and prosecution of the production, distribution and sale of counterfeit art of renowned artists.
  • Led investigation and prosecution of fraudulent and deceptive auction practices engaged in by a premier auction house specializing in sports and historical memorabilia.


Speaking Engagements

Ms. DePodesta is a sought-after speaker on topics related to her career as a top prosecutor, the management of complex investigations, trial strategy and dealing with federal and state agency inquiries. Some of her recent speaking engagements include:

  • “SEC Compliance and Enforcement,” Arnstein & Lehr EB-5 Seminar in Miami (June 9, 2017)
  • “When the Feds Come Knocking: Health Care Fraud and Abuse,” webinar (September 28, 2016)
  • “IRS Criminal Investigations: The CPA’s Role in a Fraud Investigation,” Northbrook certified public accountants (September 7, 2016)
  • “When Fraud Is Discovered: Does the CPA Need an Attorney?” Illinois CPA Society (June 2016)
  • “Know the Process, Know Your Rights,” Arnstein & Lehr Criminal Investigations Breakfast Series with partner Robert E. McKenzie (June 2015)
  • “A Governmental Investigation Can Be Costly to Your Business: Is There Insurance for It?” Arnstein & Lehr Criminal Investigations Breakfast Series with partner Daniel J. Struck (June 2015)
  • Trial Advocacy Instructor, Northern District of Illinois in-house program for new Assistant United States Attorneys.
  • Presentation to Northwestern University law students on investigative tools and obstacles in conducting international investigations.


Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology (J.D., with honors, 1993)
Indiana University (B.S., 1990)

Bar Admissions

State of Illinois