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Craig M. Warner
Biography

Craig M. Warner is a member of the firm’s white collar defense and litigation practice areas. He has litigated six jury trials as lead counsel in federal courts; another twelve jury trials as lead or second counsel in military trial courts; and has briefed and argued five appeals before the United States Courts of Appeals. He has successfully litigated hundreds of other civil and criminal cases at Summary Judgment or by plea or settlement, including disputes arising from import/export trade contracts, energy-industry supply problems, and federal class action claims. In addition to his admission in Texas and North Carolina, he is admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, all U.S. District Courts in Texas, and several specialty military courts, including the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (“CAAF”).  


As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Craig prosecuted complex drug trafficking/money laundering conspiracies, bribery and fraud offenses, and violent crime. In two cases, he obtained the imposition of a life sentence after securing guilty verdicts as lead counsel at the jury trials of narcotics conspiracy kingpins. He also led a three-year interagency investigation into an international syndicate involving multiple Title III wiretaps, then secured the indictment and conviction of more than a dozen conspirators. At the same time, he investigated and prosecuted bribery, illegal gratuities, and fraud. Craig was one of three AUSAs assigned to the task force responsible for the investigation and apprehension of serial killer Israel Keyes.

Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Craig served for five years as a Naval Judge Advocate. As a Naval prosecutor, he brought charges and secured convictions in cases involving insurance fraud by senior officers, sexual exploitation of minors, and complex security clearance violations. As a Naval Defense Counsel, he obtained the complete acquittal at Court-Martial of a Marine Staff Sergeant charged with hazing, orders violations, and dereliction of duty; and obtained the complete dismissal of aggravated sexual assault charges against an enlisted Sailor after a hotly contested Article 32 hearing. Craig litigated more than forty Administrative Separation Boards, repeatedly preserving the careers and retirements of Sailors and Marines who had given decades of service to the United States. In 2007, Craig volunteered for deployment to Fallujah, Iraq with Regimental Combat Team – 6, United States Marine Corps. 

Since 2012, Craig has applied his background as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Naval prosecutor to the challenges faced by businesses, individuals, and government agencies in Texas and worldwide. He has litigated a broad variety of business disputes, including extensive work on energy-industry matters. These have ranged from lawsuits involving delinquent payment for drilling supplies, to complex arbitrations involving cost overruns at the construction of one of North America’s largest refineries.He has

defended several complex federal class actions — representing one of the Forbes “100 Largest Private Companies” as associate counsel in one, then serving as lead counsel for the State of Texas in another. Both were resolved on favorable terms after substantial briefing before federal courts. He has also successfully litigated civil cases arising from import/export trade contracts, employee compensation disputes, and real estate contracts.

In his White Collar/Internal Investigations work, Craig has advised a Fortune 500 company applicant in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division’s Corporate Leniency Program and the nearly two-year internal investigation that resulted. The matter was resolved when the Department of Justice closed its investigation. He has represented clients in proceedings before FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and has investigated Stark Law/Anti-Kickback Statute/False Claims Act allegations on behalf of Texas hospitals and medical practices. 

 

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia, 2004
  • B.A., With Distinction, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2001
Representative Matters

 

  • As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, twice tried drug syndicate kingpin cases to jury as lead counsel, resulting each time in conviction on all counts and a life sentence.
  • As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, obtained convictions for bribery and illegal gratuities in a case involving an Army Officer secretly receiving cash from Iraqi contractors during Operation Iraqi Freedom.   
  • As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, led a three-year interagency investigation involving multiple Title III wiretaps into an international syndicate, then secured the indictment and conviction of more than a dozen conspirators, including a prison official.
  • As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, was one of three Department of Justice officials assigned to lead the interagency task force responsible for the investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of serial killer Israel Keyes.
  • As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, successfully represented the United States in five appeals before the U.S. Courts of Appeals.
  • Obtained a complete plaintiff’s verdict and substantial judgment at summary judgment, including pre-and-post judgment interest, in a federal court against a Brazilian importer of a popular American beer after the importer refused to pay for $1.8 million in shipments.
  • Conducted internal investigations for hospitals and medical practices on Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, and False Claims Act allegations raised in qui tam litigation.
  • Advised a Fortune 100 company applicant in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division’s Corporate Leniency Program and the nearly two-year internal investigation that resulted. The matter was resolved when the Department closed its investigation.  
  • Obtained a substantial judgment as lead counsel in Texas state court on behalf of a supplier of essential energy industry products whose customers had failed to make prompt payment.
  • As a Naval prosecutor, obtained the conviction of a senior officer for insurance fraud years after the fraud was complete.
  • As a Naval prosecutor, obtained the conviction of a senior Sailor as lead counsel at Court Martial for security clearance violations relating to the “SF-86” background form.
  • As lead Naval Defense Counsel, obtained a complete acquittal at Court-Martial for a Marine Corps Staff Sergeant charged with hazing, orders violations, and dereliction of duty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 
  • As lead Naval Defense Counsel, obtained the complete dismissal of aggravated sexual assault charges after a hotly litigated Article 32 preliminary hearing, successfully preventing referral of charges to Court-Martial.   
  • As lead Naval Defense Counsel, obtained recommendations of “retention” for numerous Sailors and Marines facing Administrative Separation Boards, thereby preserving military careers and retirements.
Noteworthy
  • Commended by the Department of Justice for excellence in trial work during a “difficult” seven-day jury trial resulting in a successful conviction: “[Though] the evidence against [the defendant] was the weakest among all of the co-conspirators….AUSA Warner cross-examined the defendant and was able to elicit damaging testimony that made the defendant’s explanation for his presence at the scene implausible.” 
  • Awarded the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal for outstanding achievements as a Naval Prosecutor: “Inheriting a high-visibility child sex case that had stalled for 18 months, quickly compelled a favorable deal for the government through exceptional advocacy and unparalleled tenacity. Responsible for the successful prosecution of a [Lieutenant Commander] for insurance fraud, handling this sensitive case with aplomb.” 
  • Served as Deputy Regimental Judge Advocate – Detainee Operations with Regimental Combat Team – 6, United States Marine Corps, in Fallujah, Iraq in 2006 and 2007, earning the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) Officer Warfare Qualification, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Eagle, Globe & Anchor Insignia, and the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, among other awards.
  • Continuing military service as a Reservist, qualifed as an Airborne Paratrooper at the U.S. Army Airborne School, traveled to Africa to train indigenous militaries during Operation Flintlock 2017. And provided humanitarian relief during Hurricane Harvey.
  • Qualified as an U.S. Army Airborne Paratrooper through service with the Texas Army National Guard IN 2016. In a two-week exercise in Africa in 2017, trained hundreds of senior African military Officers in the Law of Armed Conflict and Counterinsurgency. 
Activities & Memberships
  • Captain – Judge Advocate, Texas Army National Guard
  • Appointed to the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) Panel by the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas.
  • Dallas Bar Association, Litigation and Criminal Sections
  • St. Thomas More Society, Dallas Chapter