Justin is a former federal prosecutor with extensive experience in high stakes litigation.
A seasoned trial attorney, Justin focuses his practice on criminal defense, white collar matters, internal investigations, tax controversy, and sophisticated civil litigation. Justin’s clients have included elected officials, attorneys, current and former law enforcement officers, former prosecutors, doctors, large and small businesses, a university, religious leaders, and hardworking individuals from all walks of life.
Justin is at home in the courtroom and routinely tries cases to verdict. A People magazine courtroom reporter recently described Justin as having “a habit of exhaustively reiterating, underlining and dissecting facts and analysis submitted in the prosecution’s case.” But when it’s in his client’s best interest, Justin resolves cases outside of the courtroom—often with no publicity.
Justin joined the U.S. Department of Justice in 2009 through the Attorney General’s Honors Program and was assigned to the Tax Division’s Southern Criminal Enforcement Section. Based in Washington, D.C. for more than four years, Justin prosecuted a wide range of federal criminal cases throughout the country, including criminal tax, financial fraud, identity theft, offshore banking, immigration fraud, passport fraud, money laundering, international tax evasion and domestic terrorism matters. As a prosecutor, Justin first-chaired 13 federal fraud jury trials and numerous federal bench trials—winning all of them. Justin spearheaded more than 50 financial fraud grand jury investigations and represented the United States before federal courts of appeal with a 100% success rate.
Justin routinely presents continuing education to attorneys and accountants throughout the country on cutting-edge legal issues. Justin was a Faculty Member at the National Advocacy Center, the U.S. Department of Justice’s acclaimed legal academy in South Carolina, where he taught hundreds of federal prosecutors the ins and outs of criminal tax cases. He played a large role in crafting the innovative way stolen identity tax refund fraud cases are now investigated and prosecuted, and trained more than 1,000 federal agents in 15 states on investigative techniques utilized by law enforcement today. For this work, Justin received the 2013 Attorney General’s Award for Fraud Prevention, an award widely recognized as one of the Justice Department’s highest honors in the field of white collar and public corruption litigation. Justin is routinely invited to present to private practitioners at national conferences from coast to coast and in Missouri.
Justin has served as an adjunct professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.
Justin graduated in the top 5% of his class at Washington University School of Law and was inducted into the Order of the Coif. During law school, Justin was Senior Editor of the Washington University Law Review.
Cases Justin has litigated have been covered by CNN, FOX News, ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, Forbes magazine and hundreds of other television, radio, print and online publications. Justin is regularly quoted as an expert by the national and local media.
- Won complete acquittal in a federal criminal jury trial where indictment carried the possibility of 10 years in federal prison.
- Won complete acquittal in a Missouri sex crimes jury trial.
- Won rare, post-indictment dismissal in a federal felony immigration fraud case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
- Won acquittal of all conspiracy and corporate tax evasion counts in a federal criminal tax jury trial in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas spanning four weeks of government evidence and 117 government witnesses; the Government was represented by a team of three attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice’s Tax Division.
- Won acquittal of all of the most serious counts—those carrying mandatory minimums of decades in prison and maximums of life—in a federal sex trafficking jury trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri; in a pleading, the federal prosecutor claimed her star witness “was mercilessly questioned by defense counsel [Justin Gelfand].”
- Won acquittal of all felony false tax return counts in a federal criminal tax jury trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on behalf of a Missouri accountant.
- Won acquittal of felony tax evasion count in a federal criminal tax jury trial in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri on behalf of a Missouri business owner; sole count of conviction (26 U.S.C. 7212(a)) is currently on appeal.
- Won a rare withdrawal of 17-year old guilty plea after a Missouri court found “manifest injustice” and ruled in Justin’s client’s favor.
- Won a post-indictment dismissal on behalf of a Missouri landowner charged with crimes relating to his property.
- Obtained a favorable settlement in a complicated civil litigation matter on behalf of a multinational company.
- Persuaded the IRS not to prosecute a business owner under investigation for tax fraud.
- Persuaded Missouri prosecutors not to prosecute a juvenile accused of a sex crime.
- Persuaded Missouri prosecutors not to prosecute a man accused of a sex crime against a child.
- Persuaded the U.S. Department of Justice not to prosecute a large business owner.
- Persuaded the U.S. Department of Justice not to prosecute a small business owner.
- Persuaded authorities not to prosecute a healthcare worker under investigation for child endangerment.
- Client charged in both Missouri and Illinois with more than 10 fraud felonies carrying the possibility of life in prison; negotiated a resolution of probation with no criminal conviction.
- Client charged in Missouri with six criminal tax felonies; negotiated a resolution of probation with no criminal conviction.
- Client charged in what Justice Department called the “largest software piracy case ever prosecuted in U.S. history”; negotiated resolution of probation.
- Client charged with eight federal felonies carrying a mandatory minimum of 8 years and a statutory maximum of 43 years in federal prison; negotiated a plea to one count carrying a 2-year sentence.
- Represented numerous individuals and entities with previously undisclosed offshore bank accounts; all resolved favorably.
- Represented numerous individuals and entities in serious civil and criminal matters resolved favorably and entirely out of court with no publicity.