Jennifer DeGraw is a Partner in Gentry Locke’s Criminal & Government Investigations practice group, which is ranked Band 1 by Chambers USA. Jennifer represents individual and corporate clients in all stages of the criminal and investigatory process. She conducts corporate internal investigations for organizations of all sizes to identify possible exposure areas and to provide proactive guidance to protect those clients from future litigation or prosecution. Jennifer previously served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Virginia and began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in North Carolina. As a state and federal prosecutor, Jennifer prosecuted and investigated a broad array of state and federal crimes including narcotics offenses, money laundering, violent crimes and firearms offenses, regulatory offenses, child exploitation, tax offenses, other white-collar crimes and fraud offenses.
As a member of the firm’s Criminal & Government Investigations practice, Jennifer works with clients to develop and implement effective regulatory compliance programs and internal controls across a variety of industries including healthcare, pharmaceutical, government contracting, transportation, insurance, cyber security, banking and securities. Jennifer conducts internal investigations for clients and provides strategic advice targeted to mitigate any potential negative impacts on business operations, criminal, civil or regulatory exposure, and reputational harm. Her significant trial experience allows Jennifer to develop and implement successful litigation strategies for her clients. Her extensive experience on the defense and prosecution sides prepares her to represent clients in any criminal or investigatory matters that arise at the state or federal level.
Jennifer is admitted to practice in Virginia and North Carolina.
If you had not chosen to become a lawyer, what do you think you would be doing instead?
I would probably be an orthopedic surgeon. I had a number of sports injuries growing up and have always been interested in sports medicine. I had the opportunity to observe my own knee surgery and was fascinated by watching the surgery take place in real time on a video monitor.
What do you find most interesting about the practice of criminal law?
The pursuit of justice is the most satisfying part of criminal law for me. I enjoy the opportunity to zealously represent my client, as well as the variety of cases that I encounter practicing criminal law. Every case is unique in its own way and presents new challenges to tackle.
What do you like to do outside of the office?
I love being outdoors when I have the opportunity. Some of my favorite activities are hiking, backpacking, skiing and snowboarding, paddle boarding, sailing, and fishing. My very active dog always gives me a good excuse to get outside, even if it is just for a quick trip to the dog park or to a nearby trail.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A.
- Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D.
- Representation of individuals and corporations on criminal and regulatory matters in the areas of pharmaceuticals and diversion, healthcare and healthcare fraud, transportation, government contracting, banking crimes, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, bribery, public corruption, rackeetering (RICO), national security, tax, program fraud, structuring, and public service, as well as homicide, firearms, violent crimes, and narcotics investigations
- Representation of individuals and corporations on civil matters in the areas of healthcare and pharmaceutical issues, IRS/tax matters, False Claims Act, qui tam actions, cybersecurity/theft matters, banking, and fraud matters
- Represented clients in relation to Congressional, Grand Jury, and other federal and state investigations
- Represented corporate and individual parties in complex tax investigations
- Drafted and argued pretrial motions and sentencing motions for federal district court
- Prepared appellate briefs for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Successfully obtained expungements of a variety of criminal charges for clients
- As a Special Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, from 2012 until 2016:
- Directed government investigations and prosecuted a variety of matters including federal narcotics offenses, offenses involving controlled substance analogues (synthetic drugs), money laundering, firearms offenses, violent crimes, Hobbs Act robbery, identity theft, fraud, Customs and importation violations, and child exploitation cases. Extensive experience with the use of the federal Grand Jury in investigations.
- Represented the United States in seven federal criminal jury trials, to include narcotics conspiracy and narcotics trafficking offenses, firearms offenses, and violent crimes offenses.
- Drafted numerous appellate and habeas pleadings, including appellate briefs filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
- Member, North Carolina State Bar (2008-Present); Virginia State Bar (2016-Present)
- Member, The Virginia Bar Association (2018-Present), Criminal Law Section Vice-Chair (Jan. 2023 – Present)
- Member, Federal Bar Association (2018-Present), FBA Roanoke Chapter Board Member (Jan. 2023 – Present)
- Member, Women’s White Collar Defense Association (2021 – present)
- Member, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (2021 – present)
- Member, Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2021 – present)
- Member, Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (2021 – present)
- Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2016-Present)
- Member, American Bar Association (2016-Present), American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section (2016-Present)
- North Carolina Bar
- Virginia Bar
- Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Western District of Virginia
- Eastern District of Virginia
- Middle District of North Carolina
- Recipient of commendation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (2016)
- Goldberg Scholarship recipient, Wake Forest University School of Law
- Wake Law Trial Bar team member
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