is the founder and principal of Altchiler LLC. Robert's practice focuses primarily in the areas of White Collar criminal investigations, corporate investigations, litigation, tax and general corporate counseling. Robert has successfully defended individuals and corporations in a wide array of multifaceted investigations in areas such as mortgage fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, prevailing wage, , money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, embezzlement, bank and wire fraud, theft of trade secrets, criminal copyright infringement, criminal anti-counterfeiting, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), International Traffic In Arms Regulations (ITAR), racketeering, continuing criminal enterprises, and circumvention of trade restrictions, among many others. Robert also specializes in non-criminal investigations related to various topics, including finding money allegedly being hidden by individuals, ascertaining the identities of individuals actually involved in corporate matters (when a client believes those identities are being concealed), and running undercover “sting” operations as part of civil and commercial litigation support.
In 1988, Robert started his legal career as a prosecutor in New York City, where he prosecuted a wide array of cases and headed up a variety of different investigations. As a prosecutor, he presented hundreds of cases to grand juries, and ran numerous investigations. In addition to trying several dozen serious cases, ranging from murder to fraud to narcotics violations, he also ran wiretap and grand jury investigations involving money laundering and other financial crimes, as well as a wiretap and investigation concerning a plot to assassinate a prominent NYC judge. Upon leaving the government, Robert began focusing on defending individuals and entities under government investigation and/or indictment. Early in private practice he defended numerous law enforcement officers under administrative and criminal scrutiny, in courts and administrative proceedings. His particular area of practice permitted Robert to further develop and strengthen his already close ties to law enforcement.
Robert conducts corporate investigations and, when appropriate, and when the client instructs, refers the results to law enforcement for prosecution. In one recent example, a corporate CEO came to learn assets and materials were being diverted by employees, and that the corporation was “bleeding” money as a result. The CEO needed assistance in ascertaining the identities and extent of involvement of the wrongdoers, as well as the level of theft involved. Robert directed a corporate investigation that revealed the nature of the problem. He then referred the investigation to federal authorities, which arrested the wrongdoers and prosecuted them. The wrongdoers were convicted. In addition, the amount of the theft was included in a court ordered restitution judgment and the corporation will be repaid in full.
In another recent example, Robert represented a corporate client that believed one of its vendors was inflating invoices to the company and, consequently, stealing thousands of dollars in unearned billings. Robert conducted an investigation and learned that numerous professional corporations had been victimized by the same vendor as well. Robert gathered evidence and documents and met with federal prosecutors, who were thrilled to be presented with what was essentially an open and shut multi-million dollar fraud case. As a result, the government promptly opened an investigation in the case, and, with the Robert’s assistance, arrested the wrongdoer and continued investigating the company responsible for the theft.
In recent years, Robert has developed a specialty in representing companies and individuals being extorted by individuals for large sums of money. The extortionate schemes take many forms, including threats by “whistleblowers” that they will reveal damaging information about the client or the client company, if the money is not paid. Sometimes the threats to individuals involve revealing embarrassing or otherwise damaging information (sometimes including recordings or pictures) to the media, family members or others, if the demanded moneys are not paid. Robert and his investigative teams have successfully, and discreetly thwarted these schemes numerous times.
In addition to his practice, Robert has been an adjunct law professor at Pace University Law School since 1998, where he teaches trial advocacy, a course designed to teach law students how to be trial lawyers via a curriculum including the mock trial of a murder case. Robert has also been a featured participant and lecturer at Cardozo Law School's acclaimed Intensive Trial Advocacy Program in New York City, and has also taught at Yale Law School. Robert’s trial advocacy teaching requires him to constantly integrate new developments in communication theory and trial techniques into his pedagogical methods. Given the changing way students (and prospective jurors) communicate and digest information (via Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, for example) Robert is able to adapt his teaching to the needs of his students. By trying actively participating in the mock trials and by frequently demonstrating methods, he is able to continually adapt his own communication skills and integrate cutting-edge developments into his own practice.
Robert graduated from the George Washington University Law School (formerly, The National Law Center), where he began his career as an advocate by conducting administrative hearings and trials during his second and third year. Prior to GW, Robert graduated with honors from the Business School at the State University of New York at Albany in 1985. He is also a 1996 graduate of the National Criminal Defense College and a 1997 graduate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy's Harvard Teacher Training Program. In 2014, Robert was asked to teach at the prestigious EATES Program at Stetson University Law School, a program designed to teach trial advocacy professors how to better teach their students. Robert has also made dozens of television appearances on Fox, Court TV, and Tru TV, providing legal commentary on televised trials, and participating in discussions related to pertinent issues.
In recent years Robert has: