Marjorie J. Peerce

Tel 646.346.8039
Fax 212.223.1942
New York

Marjorie J. Peerce is a litigator with a practice focus on white collar criminal defense, virtual currency, regulatory matters, and complex civil litigation. In her more than 30 years of practice, she has handled matters across the criminal and regulatory spectrum. She is Managing Partner of the firm's New York office, a member of its Elected Board, and is a founding leader of the Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency team. That team is composed of lawyers from virtually every practice area in the firm, and aids clients in myriad matters related to virtual currency and the blockchain, including matters related to initial coin offerings, developing and implementing new products, navigating the complicated maze of government regulation and enforcement, advising on issues related to blockchain technology, and protecting both the data and the consumers who use it. She also is a board member of the Digital Currency & Ledger Defense Coalition.

Margie appears in New York state and federal courts, as well as in federal districts around the country. She has handled criminal and regulatory investigations concerning, for example, violations of the Internal Revenue Code, securities fraud (including Bitcoins), initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency trading, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Bank Secrecy Act, government contract procurement and subsidy fraud, mail fraud, bribery, accounting fraud, immigration fraud, health care fraud, environmental matters, commodities fraud, computer fraud and hacking, and criminal customs investigations. Margie has handled a significant number of matters with the SEC, as well as with FINRA and the CFTC. She has handled numerous matters with the New York Attorney General in a variety of areas. She also regularly represents individuals in myriad matters in the Criminal and Supreme Courts in New York City.

In her civil practice, Margie has represented defendants in securities class actions, financial institutions in commercial and real estate disputes, employees involved in noncompete disputes, general commercial litigation, and matters for several major real estate companies in New York City. She has represented doctors under investigation with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct in New York, as well as lawyers with disciplinary matters pending before the Departmental Disciplinary Committees, state employees with the New York State Department of Professional Discipline, health care professionals with the New York State Office of Medicaid Inspector General, and a former state employee in a matter with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Margie is past president of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, a premier defense lawyers' organization composed of 240 of New York's preeminent white collar lawyers. As the past chair of the Council's Sentencing Guidelines Committee, she prepared regular submissions to the U.S. Sentencing Commission on the Guidelines and testified before the Commission on two occasions. Margie is the current co-chair of the Sentencing Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and serves on a task force addressing the Trial Penalty.

Representative Matters

Virtual Currency

  • Represents several clients under criminal and SEC investigation related to initial coin offerings
  • Handling an investigation into alleged manipulative conduct in cryptocurrency trading

Securities Fraud

  • Represented an individual in a New York Stock Exchange Investigation into the trading of pre release ADR's
  • Represented several employees of a hedge fund in an internal investigation, SEC investigation, and civil litigation involving alleged misuse of investor funds
  • Represented the principal of a private equity fund in a criminal proceeding into misuse of investor funds
  • Handled a number of criminal and regulatory securities fraud cases, including insider trading cases, hedge fund fraud, Bitcoins, and alleged fraud with PIPE investments
  • Represented a specialist on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange indicted for securities fraud

Accounting Fraud

  • Representing accounting firm and personnel into accounting issues concerning audit of energy trading company
  • Represented numerous executives of public companies in multi-pronged accounting fraud investigations
  • Represented numerous employees of a public accounting firm in investigations nationwide, as well as the accounting firm itself
  • Represented an auditor of several public companies in numerous SEC investigations
  • Represents an auditor in an SEC and DOJ investigation into municipal accounting


  • Defended a client against criminal RICO charges in 14-month trial in the Southern District of New York
  • Represents individuals in investigations being conducted by the New York County District Attorney as well as the Department of Justice, into myriad construction-related matters, including alleged Disadvantaged Business Enterprises fraud, testing lab issues, criminal safety violations, and criminal labor law violations
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of felony Disadvantaged Business Enterprise fraud charges against an individual


  • Represented an executive of an international family business charged with mail and tax fraud
  • Represents several individuals under investigation for maintenance of offshore bank accounts
  • Handled several matters related to the Bernard Madoff matter
  • Represents an international jeweler in criminal sales tax investigations

Bank Secrecy Act

  • Represents numerous employees in several bank Anti-Money Laundering/Bank Secrecy Act investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Represented a financial institution in a matter implicating Bank Secrecy Act issues

Health Care

  • Represented an investigator in a major matter in the Southern District of New York concerning use of an experimental drug, resulting in a deferred prosecution agreement
  • Represents the owner of a nursing home in a New York Attorney General's Office investigation and civil lawsuit into alleged Medicaid false claims act violations
  • Represents a prison health care provider in numerous matters
  • Represented a medical provider concerning HIPAA issues
  • Represents the former CEO of a nursing home chain in an investigation conducted by the New York State Office of Medicaid Inspector General

Public Corruption

  • Successfully defended a CEO of a public company charged with government contract procurement fraud in a two-month trial in district court in Washington, D.C.
  • Represented an employee of a public utility charged with receipt of gratuities
  • Represented an elected official charged with receiving a bribe
  • Represents a family member of a public official charged with receiving a bribe


  • Represents individuals in a Department of Justice investigation into the Volkswagen emissions matter
  • Represented an individual involved in the Deepwater Horizon investigation
  • Successfully represented a national restaurant chain in a felony criminal environmental spillage case resulting in non-criminal disposition
  • Represented an employee of a concrete supplier in a criminal environmental spillage case

Labor and Employment

  • Represented numerous executives of public companies in internal investigations related to company employment
  • Represented a union under investigation for a number of criminal violations, successfully resolving the matter with a non-prosecution agreement

Internal Investigations

  • Conducted an internal investigation for an international financial institution into alleged FCPA violations in South America, subsequently investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York resulting in no prosecution
  • Conducted an internal investigation into alleged misuse of a customs stamp for an import company
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a public company into alleged securities fraud
  • Conducted an internal investigation into alleged procurement fraud

Customs and Immigration

  • Representing a number of entities in matters related to compliance with I-9 regulations
  • Represented an employee of a company under indictment for a major customs importation fraud
  • Represents a number of employees of a multinational company in a criminal investigation into visa fraud
  • Represents a corporate officer in Department of Labor investigation into visa fraud
  • Represented a group of employees in a criminal undocumented worker investigation


  • Represents several individuals under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly participating in mortgage fraud schemes
  • Represented individuals under investigation by various state and city agencies, including the New York Attorney General's office, the New York City Department of Investigation, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, and Inspectors General of numerous New York City and state agencies
  • Defended an attorney accused of paying kickbacks for the settlement of personal injury cases
  • Represents several individuals in investigations into antiquity fraud being conducted by the New York County District Attorney's Office
  • Represented a witness in an alleged sex discrimination case
  • Represented an individual and a financial institution in New York County District Attorney's Office investigations into alleged elder abuse
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of felony reckless endangerment charges brought by the New York County District Attorney's Office
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of felony sexual abuse charges brought by the New York District Attorney's Office and reduction of felony sexual abuse charges to non-criminal dispositions
  • Successfully convinced the U.S. Secret Service not to seek criminal prosecution of an individual who allegedly hacked into a computer system
  • Represents a jewelry store in a Department of Justice investigation into the alleged possession of stolen property
  • Represented individuals involved with investigations being conducted by bankruptcy trustees
  • Represented several indigent defendants at trial as appointed counsel while a member of the Southern District of New York Criminal Justice Act panel for 12 years

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Vincent L. Broderick, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Professional Activities

New York City Bar Association, Chair, Board of Directors, Member, Executive Committee; former Member, White Collar Crime Committee; former Chair, Criminal Law Committee; Member, Mass Incarceration Task Force

New York Council of Defense Lawyers, former President; former Chair, Sentencing Guidelines Committee

Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Eastern District of New York, Member, Oversight Committee

Federal Bar Council, Member, Federal Bar Foundation Board; former Editor-in-Chief of newsletter

State/Federal Judicial Advisory Council

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Co-Chair, Sentencing Committee; Task Force, Member, First Step Implementation, 2019; former Representative, ABA task force addressing revisions on sentencing guidelines for economic crimes; former Member, Steering Committee, Clemency Project 2014

New York University School of Law, former Adjunct Professor, trial advocacy

The Supreme Court Historical Society, New York State Membership Chair for New York City

Ballard Spahr's Diversity and Inclusion Council

Recognition & Accomplishments

The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel, Woman Leader in the Law, 2020

Chambers USA, litigation: white-collar crime & government investigations (New York), 2017-2020

Expert Guides' Women in Business Law, white collar crime, 2013-2018, 2020

The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel, AV Preeminent Top Rated Lawyer, 2018

Corporate Crime Reporter, 150 Women in White Collar, 2016

Recipient of Lawyer Monthly's Women in Law Award, white collar crime, 2017

Recipient of New York Law Journal's Lawyers Who Lead by Example Public Service Award, 2016 

New York Metro Super Lawyers, 2006-2018; Top Women, 2015-2016, 2019

Women in the Law Top Peer-Nominated Lawyers, Best Lawyers, 2016-2019

The Best Lawyers in America, administrative/regulatory law, criminal defense: white collar, 2008-2021

New York's Women Leaders in the Law, Martindale-Hubbell, New York Magazine, and ALM, 2014-2017

AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

Recipient of Ballard Spahr's 2015 Alan J. Davis Award for pro bono work on the Clemency Project

Recipient of New York State Bar Association President's Pro Bono Service Award for the First Judicial District, Manhattan, 2015

Marquis Who's Who in the East, 2016

International Who's Who of Business Crime Defence Lawyers, 2011-2017

Avenue Magazine's Legal Elite list of top women lawyers

Corporate Crime Reporter, 150 Women in White Collar, 2016 

Recent Publications

Frequent contributor to Money Laundering Watch, Ballard Spahr's blog focused exclusively on money laundering issues.

Co-author, "NY Court of Appeals Grapples With Classifying Gig Workers and the Modern Economy," Ballard Spahr alert, May 18, 2020

Co-author, "Federal Crackdown on Hoarding and Gouging During COVID-19 Crisis," Law Journal Newsletters, May 2020

Co-author, "How to Avoid Post-Discovery Pitfalls During Trial Preparation," American Bar Association, April 20, 2020

Co-author, "Virtual Depositions in the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic," The Legal Intelligencer, April 14, 2020

Co-author, "Money Laundering Watch: 2019 Year in Review," Ballard Spahr alert, January 8, 2020

Co-author, "Immigration Form 1-9: A Form That Can Have Severe Consequences," Law Journal Newsletters, October 2019

Co-author, "New York Dramatically Changes Harassment/Discrimination Landscape for Employers," Ballard Spahr alert, August 12, 2019

Co-author, "Federal Court Rules that the FAA Preempts New York Law Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims," Ballard Spahr alert, July 15, 2019

Co-author, "New York Expands Salary Protections for Employees," Ballard Spahr alert, July 11, 2019

Co-author, "1980s Sentencing Reform and Its Impact on Federal Plea Bargaining and the Trial Penalty," Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 31, No. 4-5, April/June 2019

Co-author, "Utah Privacy Law Would Be First to Require Search Warrant for Government to Access Stored Data," The National Law Review, March 28, 2019

Co-author, "Money Laundering Watch: 2018 Year in Review," Ballard Spahr alert, January 2, 2019

Co-author, "Supreme Court Forecloses Reimbursement for Certain Internal Investigations Under Mandatory Victims Restitution Act," Law Journal Newsletters, November 2018

Co-author, "Updates to New York State Guidance to Employers on Sexual Harassment Policies and Trainings," Ballard Spahr alert, October 8, 2018

Co-author, "Virtual Currencies May Be Commodities, Federal Judge Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, September 28, 2018

Co-author, "NY State Issues Guidance to Employers on Sexual Harassment Policy and Training Requirements," Ballard Spahr alert, August 27, 2018

Co-author, "DOJ Announces New Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud," Ballard Spahr alert, July 13, 2018

Co-author, "Rosenstein Announces New DOJ Policies to Reduce 'Piling On' and Refocus Corporate Enforcement," Ballard Spahr alert, May 9, 2018

Co-author, "The Growing Risk of Providing Oral Summaries," Law Journal Newsletters, May 2018

Co-author, "Virtual Currency Is a Commodity Regulated by the CFTC, Eastern District of New York Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, March 8, 2018

Co-author, "Money Laundering Watch: 2017 Year in Review," Ballard Spahr alert, December 12, 2017

Co-author, "New York’s "No Credit Card Surcharge" Law Regulates Speech, SCOTUS Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, March 30, 2017

Co-author, "2016 Year in Review: Money Laundering (Part Two)," Money Laundering Watch, February 6, 2017

Co-author, "2016 Year in Review: Money Laundering (Part One)," Money Laundering Watch, February 1, 2017  

Co-author, "New York Regulators Drive Cyber Security Accountability for the Financial Sector," Payments & FinTech Lawyer, November 10, 2016

Co-author, "D.C. Circuit to Decide Scope of Judges’ Authority in Approval Process for Deferred Prosecution Agreements," Ballard Spahr alert, September 10, 2015

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, "New Girls on the Block," American Bar Association's 2019 Women in Litigation Joint CLE Conference, Chicago, IL, November 14, 2019

Panelist, "Blockchain is Coming: Blockchain Basics and How It Might Arrive at a Bankruptcy Near You," National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges Education Committee, Washington, D.C., October 31, 2019

Keynote Speaker, "The Evolving Regulation of Crypto," Arkansas Law Review Symposium, Fayetteville, AR, October 25, 2019

Panelist, "Plea Bargaining," National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' 28th Annual National Seminar of Federal Sentencing, St. Petersburg, FL, August 28, 2019

Speaker, "Ethical Issues in the Digital Age: How the Virtual Era Affects the Criminal Defense Lawyers' Role," National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' 9th Annual West Coast White Collar Conference, Santa Monica, CA, June 20, 2019

Panelist, "Whistleblowers and Other Employment Issues: What You Should and Should Not Do," NYC Bar Association's Regulation of Financial Institutions: Hot Topics and Key Challenges, New York City, June 14, 2019

Speaker and co-chair, "The Intersection of State and Federal Law Regarding Sentencing," The Second Circuit Judicial Council and the New York State-Federal Judicial Council, New York City, April 16, 2019

Speaker, "Current Issues in Cryptocurrencies and ICOs," Federal Bar Council, New York City, March 14, 2019

Speaker, "Legal Issues of Blockchain for Practicing Attorneys," UNC Journal of Law and Technology's Blockchain and the Law Symposium, Chapel Hill, NC, February 22, 2019 

Speaker, "Current Issues in Cryptocurrencies and ICOs," Federal Bar Council's 2018 Fall Bench & Bar Retreat, Westbrook, CT, October 19, 2018

Speaker, "Dark Web and Virtual Currencies," National Association of Women Judges' 40th Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, October 4, 2018

Speaker, "Plea Bargaining," 27th Annual National Seminar on Federal Sentencing, Orlando, FL, September 6, 2018

Speaker, "Shattering the Shackles of Collateral Consequences: Exploring Moral Principles and Economic Innovations to Restore Rights and Opportunity," NACDL's 2018 Presidential Summit & 17th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference," Atlanta, August 25, 2018

Speaker, "The 21st Century Currency: Who, Why, and How Should Cryptocurrencies be Regulated in a Tech World," North American Securities Administrators Association Fintech Forum, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2018

Speaker, "Crypto Currency," 2018 The Turnaround Management Association Network of Women Summit, Chicago, May 8, 2018

Speaker, "Cryptocurrency and Blockchain – the New Super Currency Market," The Mid-Atlantic Women's Public Finance Forum, Hershey, PA, May 4, 2018 

Moderator, "Initial Coin Offerings," ABA 2018 Blockchain Technology and Digital Currency and ICO National Institute, New York City, April 27, 2018 

Speaker, "Eye on Virtual Currency and Blockchain Technology," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 19, 2017

Speaker, "Current Trends in Criminal Law: The Mechanics of Virtual Currency, From Legitimate Use to Misuse," Lawline webinar, September 7, 2017

Speaker, "Mastering Bitcoin, Blockchain, & Digital Currency Law," The Rossdale Group CLE, June 6, 2018 and August 30, 2017

Speaker, "Departures and Variances," 26th Annual National Seminar on Federal Sentencing Guidelines, St. Petersburg, June 30, 2017

Moderator, "Enforcement Actions," ABA 2017 Blockchain Technology and Digital Currency National Institute, New York City, April 10, 2017

Speaker, BELA Ethisphere's Business Ethics Leadership Alliance Dinner , New York City, March 15, 2017

Speaker, "The Next Wave: The Government’s Focus on U.S. Investments to Evade Foreign Taxes," 33rd Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the Sixth Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy, Las Vegas, December 8, 2016

Speaker, "Plea Bargaining," Twenty-Fifth Annual National Seminar on Federal Sentencing, Orlando, June 1, 2016

Speaker, "Federal Sentencing: Maximizing Client Outcomes from the Investigation to Post-Sentencing," Lawline CLE webinar, May 17, 2016

Speaker, "Recent High Frequency Trading and Spoofing Enforcement Actions: Lessons Learned and Compliance," ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting, Montreal, Canada, April 7, 2016

Speaker, "Recent Developments in Law Enforcement," ABA 2016 Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology Institute, Washington, D.C., April 1, 2016

Speaker, "Is Climate Change Real? The Current Atmosphere and Future Forecast for White Collar Sentencing Guidelines," Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Philadelphia, November 12, 2015

Speaker, "The Do's and Don'ts of Conducting Internal Investigations," Ballard Spahr webinar, November 10, 2015

Co-Presenter, "Clemency Petitions: How to Shave Years Off Sentences," The Second Circuit Judicial Council and The Federal Defenders of New York, New York, June 26, 2015

Speaker, "Attorney Privilege and Work Product," New York State – Federal Judicial Council and the Second Circuit Judicial Council: Attorney Privilege and Work Product, New York, June 18, 2015

Board Memberships

Digital Currency & Ledger Defense Coalition

Chair of the Board of Directors of the New York City Bar Association

Federal Bar Foundation

Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., cum laude, 1983)
Managing Editor, Tax Lawyer

Tufts University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1980)

District of Columbia

New York

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit