Seymour Glanzer

Business Litigation

Senior Counsel
1825 Eye Street NW Washington, DC 20006-5403
T: (202) 420-2210 glanzers@dicksteinshapiro.com

Biography

After serving as chief of the Anti-Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC and also as one of the three original Watergate prosecutors, Seymour Glanzer joined Dickstein Shapiro LLP as partner in 1974. He has been senior counsel at the firm since 1998.

AREAS OF CONCENTRATION

Since joining Dickstein Shapiro, Seymour has represented a considerable number of prominent individuals and entities in major criminal and civil cases nationwide.

BACKGROUND

During the period 1965 through early 1967, Seymour served as Assistant U.S. Attorney, prosecuting general criminal cases. Thereafter, he became chief of the Anti-Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC, a position he held starting in 1967, when that section was organized and established. The section focused on investigation and prosecution of major white collar offenses and became a model for the establishment of specialized units of this type in other U.S. Attorneys’ and state prosecutors’ offices nationwide. The section dealt with violations involving corporate, business, and commercial crimes, including tax and antitrust violations. Furthermore, it pioneered the federal prosecution of consumer fraud cases. Seymour received special commendations from the Department of Justice in 1971 and 1973, and from the Attorney General in 1974, for his outstanding performance as a prosecutor.

During this period, he personally tried a number of celebrated successful white collar crime cases, including United States v. Orsinger, United States v. Maturo & Vecchiarello, and United States v. Thompson, et al.

The Orsinger case involved a wealthy, prominent Washington, DC attorney who defrauded a Catholic order of nuns of at least $1.5 million while purporting to serve as their financial and legal advisor. Orsinger was convicted and received a substantial jail sentence. See United States v. Orsinger, 428 F2d 1105 (CADC 1970).
    
The Maturo & Vecchiarello case involved three defendants who submitted counterfeit Mexican medical school documentation and licenses to the District of Columbia medical licensing agency through the District’s reciprocal licensing procedure enabling them to obtain licenses to practice medicine in the District of Columbia without any examination. They had no medical training. The imposters acknowledged “treating” more than 3,000 District of Columbia patients, which generated thousands of dollars in fees to them. The three defendants were convicted and given substantial jail sentences. The loophole in the reciprocal licensing procedure was closed as a result of this case. See United States v. Vecchiarello, 569 F2d 656, 187 U.S. App. DC:11(CADC 1977).
    
The Thompson case pertained to a major District of Columbia bank fraud prosecution brought against two prominent African-American community activists and one bank official. All were convicted after a jury trial. The case involved a huge bank loss resulting from bogus loans and phony documents.
    
Apart from these matters, Seymour also successfully prosecuted a number of consumer fraud cases relating to scores of consumer victims involving fraudulent home improvement and repair contractors and fraudulently obtained residential mortgages. The successful prosecution by Seymour of a string of fraudulent home improvement and repair contractors in DC served as the subject of a book entitled Not With A Gun written by Jean Carper.
    
One of the most important cases Seymour investigated and prosecuted was United States v. Stone, Rosenbaum, et al. This involved a multi-defendant conspiracy to defraud the United States in connection with defense contracts during the Vietnam War. A key aspect of the scheme was that tens of millions of dollars in illicit overcharges from the sale of munitions and military ordnance to the United States were funneled, untaxed, into secret Swiss bank accounts. The principal defendants were a wealthy St. Louis industrialist and his prominent tax lawyer who was a name partner in a Washington, DC law firm. After extensive pretrial motions and hearings, all the defendants pleaded guilty on the eve of trial to multiple felonies without any plea agreement and received stiff jail sentences. The defendants were represented by Edward Bennett Williams, Vincent Fuller and other esteemed defense lawyers from New York and St. Louis. This was the only known instance where Williams pleaded his clients guilty to multiple felonies without any leniency deal. Seymour also used this case as a springboard to gain judicially admissible access to secret Swiss bank accounts for the first time, on behalf of the United States in a criminal prosecution.
    
The litigation in Switzerland relating to disclosure of the Swiss Bank records was decided favorably to the United States by the Swiss Supreme Court, this resulted in the actual Swiss bank records’ being handed over to U.S. prosecutors for the first time. (See International Harvard Law Journal, Volume 12, pp. 557 – 591 (1971). This decision also set the stage for subsequent mutual law enforcement assistance agreements to be established between the United States and Switzerland relating to future disclosure of Swiss bank records in U.S. criminal investigations and prosecutions. Because of the presentation made by Seymour, to the Swiss law enforcement authorities in Bern and Zurich, two prominent Swiss bank officials of separate banks who participated in and implemented the fraudulent scheme plead guilty in Switzerland. They received stiff jail terms. This also set the stage for two successful civil and tax enforcement actions against the two principal defendants.
    
From mid-1972 through 1973, Seymour was one of the three original Watergate prosecutors who participated in the grand jury investigation and subsequent successful trial of the seven Watergate defendants involved in the break-in at the Democratic National Committee Office. Starting in early 1973, Seymour also participated in the grand jury investigation of the so-called “cover-up” of the Watergate break-in, which culminated in a number of guilty pleas obtained from top Nixon Administration officials and several unprecedented indictments of high-ranking White House officials and the former Attorney General. After the Special Prosecutor was appointed, Seymour for a time became a member of the Special Prosecutor’s staff. Thereafter, in mid-1974, he returned to the DC U.S. Attorney’s Office and resumed the position of chief of the Anti-Fraud Section before subsequently entering private practice. In October 1974, when Seymour left the U.S. Attorney’s Office to enter private practice, he received a personal letter of appreciation from Attorney General William B. Saxbe, in which Mr. Saxbe wrote, “We are sorry to lose you.”
    
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1966, Seymour had a distinguished career as an enforcement attorney with the SEC in Washington, DC, from 1961 to 1965. During that stint he played a major role in gaining the conviction in Federal Court of John Christopher Doyle of Canadian Javelin Corporation for a securities violation. After being sentenced to prison, and then an unsuccessful appeal, Mr. Doyle, a Canadian, became a fugitive and was never apprehended. United States v. Doyle, 348 F2d 715 (2d Cir. 1965 ).

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Seymour is a member of the American Bar Association and has served in various capacities on several committees, including the Section of Criminal Justice as council member. He chaired the Grand Jury Committee from 1975 to 1978, and also chaired the Committee on Prosecution and Defense of SEC Cases from 1979 to 1980. He was a member of the Committee on Civil and Criminal Tax Penalties of the Tax Section, as well as a member of the Corporation, Banking and Business Law, Antitrust Law, and Litigation Sections. In addition, he served as a member of the Subcommittee on SEC Practice and Enforcement of the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee.

Seymour served on the Nominating Committee of the District of Columbia Bar in 1974. He was a member of the Advisory Board and the Securities Regulation and Law Section of the Bureau of National Affairs from 1977 to 1984. He has been a member of the Judicial Conference of the DC Circuit, as well as a member of the Judicial Conference of the District of Columbia from 1974 to 1994. He served as a member of the Advisory Board of the American Criminal Law Review from 1985 to 1987, and as a member of the Executive Council of the Washington Civil Rights Committee from 1981 to 1995. He is a lifetime member of the American Law Institute, and has been a member of ASECA (Association of Securities and Exchange Commission Alumni) from its beginning to the present, as well as a member of the Assistant United States Attorneys Association of the District of Columbia, Inc.
    
Additionally, in January of 2001, Seymour was retained as general counsel to the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, headquartered in Washington, DC, where he is serving to date, and he also has served as special counsel of a pension fund affiliated with this organization. He has been a member of the General Counsels of National and International Unions affiliated with the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, from 2000 to the present, and a member of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, which consists of lawyers representing a variety of AFL-CIO union-affiliated organizations.

Full Biography

Experience

  • United States v. Trippett, et al.

    Represented one of the key defendants in the celebrated and novel multi-defendant federal tax shelter fraud prosecution in the Homestake oil case – United States v. Trippett, et al. The indictment originally was returned in California and involved a questionable secondary oil recovery program relating to partially depleted oil wells. The tax shelter program purported to justify inflated deductions taken by taxpayer investors. Many of the investors were stars of TV, cinema, and recordings. After lengthy pretrial proceedings, Mr. Glanzer was able to have the case against his client severed and transferred—first to Oklahoma and, finally, to New York—where the indictment against his client, a prominent New York tax attorney, was dismissed. This case was one of the first criminal tax shelter prosecutions brought by the United States, and is the subject of a book titled Stealing from the Rich – The Homestake Oil Swindle.

  • Defended Coral Petroleum Corporation and its chief executive officer, David Chalmers, in connection with a federal grand jury and FBI investigation in Houston, Texas, regarding alleged oil-pricing violations. This related to the improper distribution of price-controlled newly produced crude oil as though it were precontrolled “old” oil. This distribution was effected by interposing a “daisy chain” of dummy conduit companies to conceal the true identity, price, source, and age of the oil and to thereby circumvent the federal price controls mislead the regulators.

  • United States v. Carver and United States v. Kenny International

    Defended the first two criminal cases initiated by the Department of Justice after the enactment in 1977 of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In each of these cases, Mr. Glanzer represented the top corporate officials who were targeted. The first case, United States v. Carver, was brought in Florida and involved Qatar, one of the United Arab Emirates; it related to proven off-shore oil reserves in the Persian Gulf. This case attracted widespread media attention because Roy Carver was the Chairman and majority stockholder of Bandag, a NYSE-listed company. Bandag was not engaged in the energy business. The case was settled by a civil injunction and fine. The second case, United States v. Kenny International, was brought in the District of Columbia and involved the Cook Islands. Finbar Kenny, considered to be one of the world’s leading philatelists, was the target of the prosecution. This case involved the funding of a rigged election in the Cook Islands. The matter ended with a corporate guilty plea. The case is prominently described in the “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance Guidebook” by Martin Biegelman and Daniel Biegelman.

  • Driver v. Helms

    In the case of Driver v. Helms, retained by the Department of Justice to defend a former top federal law enforcement official in a celebrated multi-defendant civil case charging a number of government officials with tortious interference of the mail going to and from the former U.S.S.R. The plaintiffs claimed violations of their constitutional rights. This case arose as a result of the public disclosures resulting from the Rockefeller Commission investigation (relating to the United States Government’s HTLINGUAL Program). It was a massive case that ultimately went to the First Circuit Court of Appeals and eventually to the Supreme Court of the United States. The case against the firm's client ended favorably with a dismissal after several years of intense pretrial litigation. See 577 F2d 147 (1st Cir. 1978), 74 F.R.D 382 (Dist. R.I. 1977).

  • In the late 1970s, defended Pepco and a number of its top executives in an air pollution environmental criminal prosecution in the District of Columbia relating to particles and smoke discharged from Pepco’s Buzzard’s Point facility. After a pretrial factual presentation all of the charges against all of the defendants were dropped. The dismissal resulted from a presentation to the prosecutor, which showed there was no factual support to justify a criminal prosecution.

  • Successfully represented Frank Fitzsimmons, the former International President of the Teamsters, in connection with a considerable number of federal investigations including the unsolved disappearance of James Hoffa. He represented Mr. Fitzsimmons from about 1978 until his death in 1981. Mr. Fitzsimmons was the only General Teamster President during that era who was not charged or convicted of unlawful conduct. Also successfully represented a number of other well known union officials who headed other national labor organizations and who were the subject of federal investigations. In January 2001, retained as General Counsel to the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades and served in that capacity until 2011.

  • United States v. McDonnell Douglas Corp.

    In United States v. McDonnell Douglas Corp., succeeded in gaining the pretrial dismissal of a multi-count fraud indictment against the client, who was one of the three top executive officers of the corporation. The charges were predicated on a multi-defendant conspiracy to defraud the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which financed the sale of a number DC-10 commercial aircraft to Pakistan. See United States v. Brizendine, 659 F2d 215, 212 U.S. App. D.C 169 (1981).

  • In 1982, successfully resolved a federal grand jury investigation in Los Angeles of Rockwell International Corporation, a major aerospace manufacturer, involving fraudulent claims of substantial overcharging relating to the construction of the space shuttle and global positioning satellite. He was instrumental in negotiating a “global settlement,” which included an injunction and restitution in lieu of any criminal prosecution of the individuals and the company. He also was instrumental in successfully resolving a subsequent criminal investigation of Rockwell in connection with an unrelated government contract involving mischarging allegations concerning Rockwell’s Collins Radio division in Dallas, Texas.

  • United States v. Blake Construction Co.

    In United States v. Blake Construction Co., succeeded in resolving claims of fraudulent mischarging, which involved “front end loading” of inflated costs relating to construction at the Walter Reed Army Hospital. The representation occurred in the context of a federal grand jury investigation in Baltimore. However, he succeeded in having the matter settled by a civil injunction and restitution. In this case, he represented the company as well as its top officers.

  • In 1983, won a pretrial dismissal of the indictment brought in San Francisco federal court against his client, a Hitachi financial executive involved in the multi-defendant conspiracy to purchase stolen IBM technology. After arriving from Japan, the defendant accompanied by several Hitachi electronic engineers unwittingly attended a meeting with FBI undercover agents. The meeting in Silicon Valley was purportedly about the purchase of stolen IBM technology. All the Hitachi officials were arrested as a result of the FBI “sting” operation. The conspiracy was captured on videotape and by monitored telephone conversations. Obtained a pretrial dismissal of the charges against his client, based on his motion showing that his client was innocent because his involvement resulted from entrapment.

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Bar Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
District of Columbia
New York
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Tax Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit