Chris Cestaro

Christopher J Cestaro is the head of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit of the Justice Department's criminal division fraud section. He was promoted from trial attorney to assistant chief in the first half of 2017. He was promoted to acting chief in the summer of 2019 and then made the permanent head in December the same year.

Cestaro worked on the prosecution of Russian nuclear energy official Vadim Mikerin, who pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges that he conspired to commit money laundering in a connection with a US$2 million bribery scheme, while he was director of the Pan-American division of Tenex, the Moscow-based subsidiary of Russia's state atomic energy corporation, RosAtom, which supplies and exports Russian uranium. Mikerin was sentenced to four years in prison in December 2015.  

Prior to joining the FCPA unit in 2014, Cestaro served in the healthcare fraud unit, also in the fraud section. He tried several Medicare fraud cases, including one that resulted in the October 2014 conviction of Felicar Williams, the operator of an adult day care center in Detroit. Haven Adult Day Care Center, which claimed to serve patients suffering from mental health disorders, billed Medicare for services that it did not provide. Abdul Malik Al-Jumail and Jamella Al-Jumail, who owned and operated several home healthcare companies, were also convicted of billing Medicare for services that were not needed or not provided. 

Cestaro also prosecuted a case that resulted in the June 2014 convictions of owners of two home healthcare agencies, a doctor and a hospital employee who were charged with selling patient information. Jarvis Thomas sold the information to Valnita Turner and Valdie Jackson, who then submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare for services purportedly provided by three agencies in the Houston area. Turner and Jackson also billed Medicare for medically unnecessary services and relied upon doctors including Dr Nick Patzakis to falsely sign documents. All four people paid restitution. Turner and Jackson were sentenced to prison time, while Thomas and Patzakis were sentenced to time served.

As an associate in the Washington, DC, office of Debevoise & Plimpton, Cestaro handled the legal appeals of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. In fall 2008, he co-authored an article titled "Avoiding FCPA Anxiety: A Roadmap to M&A Due Diligence and Post-Acquisition FCPA Compliance."

He received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004.

Get unlimited access to all Global Investigations Review content