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Jennifer S. Freel
Jennifer S. Freel
Counsel — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense
Counsel — Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense

Jennifer S. Freel

Jennifer S. Freel
Austin

2801 Via Fortuna
Suite 100
Austin, TX 78746

Jennifer S. Freel

Cases Handled in Private Practice

  • (Tex. App. – Austin) — Obtained denial of petition for writ of mandamus, when petitioner challenged district court’s refusal to stay the case pending resolution of similar litigation outside the State of Texas

  • Counseled company after third party accused it of violating federal criminal law during certain activities with the United States Army Corps of Engineers

  • Represented individual under criminal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security in a matter concerning allegations of procurement fraud

  • (WD Tex.) — Represented a trade association in an Administrative Procedures Act case. The court grated a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction, before the case was mooted by government action beneficial to the trade association

  • Assisted tech company with internal investigation after departing employees made complaints regarding unethical conduct and a hostile work environment

  • Led internal investigation for investment fund after a complaint was left on the whistleblower hotline that suggested unethical and fraudulent conduct

  • Represented seventeen individuals—including board members, former board members, senior staff, and former senior staff—who were sued in their individual capacities based on actions of their company. A state court dismissed the individuals pursuant to Texas’s anti-SLAPP statute

  • Represented multiple individuals and companies who have received government subpoenas or requests for interviews, assisting them with best methods for responding and gathering information

  • (W.D. Tex.) — Represented the United States in prosecution of a sophisticated money laundering scheme whereby the defendants cleaned drug money by buying, breeding, training, and racing quarter horses; handled forfeiture matters, including the interlocutory sale of 452 quarter horses for approximately $8.9 million; worked with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to freeze more than $20 million in assets; received the I.R.S. Excellence Award

  • (W.D. Tex.) — Served as trial counsel in the prosecution of a defendant accused of running a Ponzi scheme that targeted NFL players and members of the Mormon Church; the defendant was found guilty of wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering; received the DeAtley Award for Complex or Significant Trial by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas

  • (W.D. Tex.) — Served as trial counsel in case involving a firearms smuggling ring and a money laundering conspiracy; obtained guilty verdicts on 47 separate counts

  • (W.D. Tex.) — Served as lead prosecutor in case involving a scheme to defraud the federal government of financial aid funds; coordinated the pre-indictment investigation; indicted the case and negotiated a guilty plea

  • (5th Cir.) — Represented the United States on appeal, after a jury convicted a licensed pharmacist of health care fraud; the defendant alleged a Speedy Trial Act violation and challenged the sufficiency of the evidence, certain evidentiary rulings, the restitution order, and the forfeiture of specific assets; the Fifth Circuit affirmed the conviction

  • (5th Cir.) — Represented the United States on appeal of conviction for mail fraud; the Fifth Circuit affirmed the defendant’s conviction, sentence, and a $10 million restitution order

  • (5th Cir.) — Represented the United States on appeal of a district court’s refusal to modify a protective order; prior to this case, the Fifth Circuit had never articulated a test for determining when courts should modify criminal protective orders; the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling

  • (5th Cir.) — Represented the United States on two appeals concerning $2 million money judgments entered after the defendants pled guilty to participating in drug and money laundering conspiracies; prevailed in both cases

Credentials

  • George Washington University, J.D. with high honors (Editor-in-Chief, The George Washington Law Review, Order of the Coif), 2005
  • University of Missouri, B.J. with high honors, 1999
  • Counsel, Ewell, Brown, Blanke & Knight LLP, 2017-2018
  • Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas – Austin Division, 2008-2017
  • Associate, Vinson & Elkins LLP, 2006-2008
  • Judicial clerk to The Honorable Fortunato P. Benavides, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2005-2006
  • Legal 500 U.S., Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2019
  • Member: Western District of Texas Attorney Discipline Committee
  • Member: Criminal Justice Act panel for appeals in the Austin Division of the Western District of Texas
  • Former President, Current Member: Federal Bar Association, Austin Chapter
  • Former Chair, Current Member: Criminal Law Section, Federal Bar Association
  • Mentorship Chair, Barrister: Robert Calvert Inn of Court
  • Fellow: The Texas Bar Foundation
  • Adjunct Professor: The University of Texas School of Law (Advanced Legal Writing – Litigation)
  • Member: Planning Committee, State and Federal Appeals CLE Conference, The University of Texas School of Law
  • Member: Federalist Society​​
  • Member: Austin Bar Association
  • Member: Travis County Women Lawyer’s Association
  • Candidate: Place 6, Texas Third Court of Appeals (2017-2018)
  • Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Northern District of Texas
  • Eastern District of Texas
  • Western District of Texas
  • Southern District of Texas​​​
  • Spanish
  • “Creating a Great Legal Workplace,” 5th Annual Women in Litigation Forum New York Benchmark Litigation, September 13, 2018 (panelist)
  • “Preparing for and Managing Risks Involved with Cross-Border Investigations,” V&E Houston Office, September 20, 2018 (panelist)