Lesley Frieder Wolf is an experienced first-chair trial and appellate attorney who focuses on complicated litigation matters and complex fraud cases. She returned to Ballard Spahr from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware, where she had served as Chief of the Economic Crimes Section. In that role, she supervised cases involving bank fraud, securities fraud, tax evasion, wire fraud, money laundering, and public corruption and handled investigations involving complex corporate and financial fraud.
Lesley has led an investigative group of local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities investigating pandemic-related fraud; worked closely with federal banking regulators; successfully litigated False Claim Act cases and a range of civil matters; responded to SEC and DOJ inquiries; and has counseled corporate clients and individuals in complex commercial disputes and government enforcement matters.
- United States v. Wilmington Trust Corp., et al.: A seven-week securities and regulatory fraud trial and jury conviction of senior bank executives and pre-trial settlement with financial institution.
- United States v. Roberta Czap: Successful prosecution of accounting executive at financial services company for embezzlement of more than $6 million, subsequently laundered through a series of complex transactions at casinos. Defendant convicted of wire fraud, money laundering, and tax fraud. Recovered more than $1 million in assets to return to victim company.
- United States v. Ed and Carol Johnson: A multi-week mail and wire fraud trial, involving an advanced fee loan scheme, causing over $1.5 million in losses to churches and small business owners in multiple states.
Pro Bono Experience
Lesley maintains a robust pro bono practice, including successfully representing a Ugandan woman in asylum proceedings.
Recognition & Accomplishments
Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Department of Justice Litigative Team, 2020
Council of the Inspectors General Award of Excellence – Investigations, 2019
IRS Criminal Investigations Excellence Award, 2019
Delaware Valley Chapter of International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators, Task Force of the Year, 2019
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Recognition Awards, 2018 and 2013
Panel Instructor, “Role of the Federal Prosecutor,” Duquesne Law School, Federal Criminal Law Class, March 2022
Panel Instructor, “Prosecuting Lies to the Federal Reserve: A Case Study of Delaware’s Wilmington Trust Investigation and Prosecution,” Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Conference of Counsel, April 2019
Panel Instructor, “Corporate Investigations and Individual Accountability,” National Advocacy Center for the Department of Justice, Advanced Fraud and Economic Crimes Seminar, November 2018
“Evading Friendly Fire: Achieving Class Certification After the Civil Rights Act of 1991,” Columbia Law Review, Volume 100 No. 7, November 2000
Co-author, “The Company v. Itself: Derivative Action Pitfalls,” The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, March 2006
Columbia Law School (J.D. 2001)
James Kent Scholar
Columbia Law Review
Yale University (B.A., cum laude, 1996)