Joseph A. Rillotta



Joseph Rillotta assists clients at all stages of government investigations, with a particular emphasis on tax controversies. He has significant experience in both prosecution and defense, having served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Tax Division and as counsel to professionals and corporate officers on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and grand jury investigations.

White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations

Joe represents clients in white collar criminal matters. He counsels corporate officers, executives, professionals and small business owners on IRS, grand jury, and state revenue authority investigations. Joe also represents clients facing allegations of public corruption and procurement fraud, environmental crimes and regulatory violations, and violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and securities laws.

Representative Experience

  • Counseling professionals, small business owners, and corporate officers with respect to IRS, grand jury and state revenue authority investigations
  • Advocating for non-prosecution and for the favorable resolution of criminal tax matters
  • Advocating for the abatement or reduction of civil tax and Title 31 penalties
  • Working with accountants to reconstruct income and expense items
  • Preparing and delivering presentations to IRS-Criminal Investigation agents and federal prosecutors
  • Working with foreign co-counsel to advise bank officers in civil and criminal fraud cases, including in connection with the DOJ Tax Division’s Swiss Bank Program
  • Representing individuals and businesses in public corruption and procurement fraud investigations
  • Counseling individual clients and organizations concerning alleged FCPA and securities laws violations
  • Defending corporate executives and managers against allegations of environmental crimes and regulatory violations
  • Representing professional services firms in connection with grand jury investigations into tax shelters and other allegedly abusive transactions
  • Conducting due diligence investigations concerning potential FCPA and UK Bribery Act implications of proposed acquisitions by U.S. investors of foreign companies, and recommending remediation and risk mitigation measures regarding such transactions
  • Advising importers with respect to potential violations of customs laws
  • Counseling businesses and nonprofit organizations that are the victims of embezzlement and intellectual property theft. This has entailed working with law enforcement and insurance carriers to mitigate losses, as well advising clients on preventative measures going forward

Civil Litigation

Joe represents clients in civil litigation in the U.S. Tax Court and other federal and state courts across the country. He contests IRS assessments of tax and imposition of penalties, defends nonprofit organizations when their tax-exempt status is jeopardized, and defends clients in False Claims Act litigation and investigations.

Representative Experience

  • Contesting the IRS’s assessment of tax and imposition of penalties
  • Defending nonprofit organizations against allegations bearing on their tax-exempt status
  • Defending auditors, accountants, attorneys and other professionals against allegations of malpractice and misconduct, including in licensure revocation proceedings
  • Defending clients in False Claims Act litigation and investigations, at both the federal and state levels

Experience at the IRS and DOJ

Joe joined the firm from the IRS, where he was counselor to the Commissioner. He advised the IRS Commissioner and Chief Counsel on allegations of misconduct by IRS personnel and oversaw agency responses to congressional and Inspector General inquiries. Joe also spent six years in the Tax Division at the DOJ, where he prosecuted tax and financial crimes in large-scale grand jury investigations, jury trials, bench trials and appellate proceedings.


Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

Court Admissions

U.S. Tax Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma


Harvard Law School
J.D. cum laude (2003)

Harvard College
A.B. magna cum laude (1999)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association — Section on Litigation; Section on Taxation (Civil and Criminal Penalties Committee); Chair, Subcommittee on Monetary Violations and Forfeitures


  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2020
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