Throughout his 40-year career, Chuck La Bella has been the driving force behind managing large-scale investigations of civil and criminal wrongdoing. Chuck has the unique ability, wisdom and sound judgment necessary to provide targeted crisis management to clients. He sees the big picture and can craft informal resolutions to even the most difficult and complex problems.
A former federal prosecutor, Chuck focuses his practice on leading internal investigations, white collar criminal defense and representing clients in business litigation, which often involves significant efforts related to gathering evidence and interviewing thousands of potential witnesses both domestically and internationally. Specifically, his work entails handling subpoenas and search warrants for corporate clients, which he can do efficiently because of his understanding of the inner workings of governmental investigations.
Chuck’s extensive experience in both public service and private practice makes him uniquely qualified to guide corporate clients through the investigation of complex and potentially damaging internal issues, as well as external threats.
Before entering private practice, Chuck was deputy chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Fraud Section, where he supervised white collar crime investigations and prosecutions throughout the country. Most significantly, he was responsible for the conviction of Las Vegas Home Owners Association crime kingpin Leon Benzer, who was given a long prison sentence. In addition, the prosecution resulted in 40 convictions following a multiyear investigation. The scheme was widely reported to be the largest fraud case in the history of Nevada.
Chuck also led cases and investigations regarding violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Securities Act, RICO, and a variety of other federal laws; and was involved in supervising healthcare investigations and prosecutions involving the Department of Justice Healthcare Strike Force in Los Angeles and other major cities.
In 1998, while First Assistant U. S. Attorney in San Diego, Chuck was called to Washington, D.C., by then-Attorney General Janet Reno to serve as the supervising attorney of the Department of Justice Campaign Finance Task Force. The task force was charged with investigating the possible illegal infusion of foreign money and the use of ‘’soft money’’ in connection with the Clinton-Gore presidential campaign.
He also served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. Earlier in his career, Chuck spent 11 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and in that capacity served as the chief of the Public Corruption Unit, the Narcotics Unit, the Organized Crime Unit, and the General Crimes Unit in the Southern District of New York.
Professional and Community Involvement
Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
Former ethics commissioner, Inaugural San Diego Ethics Commission
Former director, San Diego chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTO)