Michelle Morgan is a former Assistant United States Attorney and Chief of the Corruption & Civil Rights Section for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. With more than 25 years of experience as a litigator, Michelle has practiced in multiple jurisdictions handling both criminal and civil matters in public and private practice.
During her 17 years as an Assistant US Attorney, Michelle tried cases involving public corruption, human trafficking and child exploitation, as well as healthcare fraud, economic crime and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. She also litigated matters related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international money laundering and transnational crime.
Michelle has handled all types of complex white collar and violent criminal cases from investigation through appeal. She spearheaded sex trafficking prosecution efforts and managed dozens of federal prosecutors while supervising high-profile, federal, state and local public corruption and civil rights investigations and prosecutions. Michelle regularly led complex investigations in coordination with law enforcement officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Homeland Security; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Drug Enforcement Administration, among others.
Michelle is experienced in handling patent infringement litigation primarily in the Life Sciences and Technology sectors. In addition, she has litigated corporate matters in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Michelle is a fellow of the esteemed American College of Trial Lawyers. She is proficient in speaking conversational Russian and holds Top Secret/SCI clearance.
Michelle brings decades of experience as a litigator and federal prosecutor handling all types of complex white collar and violent criminal cases. She is skilled in resolving matters that range from investigation through appeal. Michelle was responsible for all aspects of prosecution, including investigations, search warrants, complaints, subpoenas, grand jury indictments, e-discovery, victim support, motions briefings and hearings, trials, pleas, sentencings, and appeals. A selection of Michelle’s representative matters includes:
- US v. Edwin Pawlowski, et al.: Tried the sitting mayor of Allentown, Pennsylvania for nine different campaign finance bribery and wire fraud schemes involving approximately 60 witnesses and hundreds of hours of recordings, resulting in guilty verdicts on dozens of counts and a 15-year prison sentence.
- US v. Vaughn Spencer: Tried the former mayor of Reading, Pennsylvania for campaign finance bribery and wire fraud, resulting in guilty verdicts on all counts and an eight-year prison sentence.
- US v. Dmitrij Harder: Investigated and prosecuted this Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and international money laundering case involving the payment of kickbacks to a foreign official, eventually leading to the conviction of his co-conspirators.
- US v. Omelyan Botsvynyuk, et al.: Tried two of five brothers for a RICO conspiracy involving the smuggling and labor trafficking from Ukraine of nearly a dozen victims, resulting in guilty verdicts.
- US v. Kevino Graham, et al.: Tried two of four defendants who ran a sex trafficking organization in Philadelphia, securing the testimony of their survivors and two cooperating defendants, resulting in guilty verdicts and a 100-year prison sentence for the lead defendant.
- US v. Kenneth Schneider: Tried a highly publicized case of a prominent American lawyer who traveled to Russia to sexually molest a teenage ballet prodigy. Handled overseas witness interviews, extensive interface with the family who traveled from Russia for trial, and substantial coordination with Russian law enforcement that resulted in a guilty verdict.
- US v. Boris Rostovsky; U.S. v. Ivan Tkach, et al.: Instituted a series of prosecutions of private ambulance companies for the fraudulent billing of Medicare, resulting in the closure of these two companies.
- From 2020 to 2022, managed 10 federal prosecutors in the Corruption and Civil Rights Section, supervising complex, high-profile, federal, state and local public corruption and civil rights investigations and prosecutions.
- From 2018 to 2020, served as Deputy Criminal Chief, managed 40 federal prosecutors in the Violent Crime, Narcotics and Organized Crime, and General Crimes sections, as well as approved indictments, plea agreements, and sentencing recommendations, and determined and developed criminal division policies.
- From 2005 to 2022, prosecuted primarily public corruption, human trafficking and child exploitation offenses, as well as violent crime, civil rights, healthcare fraud, economic crime, narcotics and RICO violations.
A selection of Michelle’s career milestones as a prosecutor include:
- Tried 19 cases to a jury and argued five appeals before the Third Circuit.
- Spearheaded the district’s sex trafficking prosecution efforts in 2008, created a task force, and brought the first prosecutions and trials of that type in the district.
- Served as human trafficking coordinator from 2016 to 2022.
- Supervised law enforcement officers conducting complex investigations, including from the FBI, ATF, DEA, HSI, USPIS, USSS, IRS, HHS, EPA, FDA and TIGTA, local police, computer forensic examiners and financial analysts.
- Due to extensive child exploitation docket, routinely assimilated, analyzed and presented in court cyber-related evidence, including emerging social media platforms, communication technology and internet data storage methods.
- Regularly trained national and international law enforcement on child exploitation, human trafficking and corruption investigations, particularly in Russia and former Soviet nations.
- J.D., Villanova University
Order of the Coif
Villanova Law Review, Associate Editor
magna cum laude
Post-baccalaureate pre-medical program, University of Pennsylvania
- B.A., Oberlin College
- "Director's Award for Superior Performance" by a Litigative team," Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA), 2017 and 2020
- "Beau Biden Shield Award," Anti-Defamation League, 2017
- "Law Enforcement Award," National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, May 2011
- "Inspector General's Integrity Award," US Department of Health & Human Services, 2011
- Medal for Cooperation, General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, November 2009
- "Appreciation Award," National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, June 2005
- "Special Achievement Award," US Department of Justice, Criminal Division, November 2004
- "Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award," Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, 2001
- "Masters of Litigation," Temple University Beasley School of Law, November 2022
- "From Policy Through Investigations – Anti-Corruption/Anti-Bribery," Drexel University Kline School of Law Compliance Week Summit, Supply Strain: Managing Global Compliance Through Your Supply Chain, Philadelphia, June 2022
- "Right Before Our Eyes: How Children Are Recruited into Prostitution," Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security, October 2021
- "Best Practices for Effective Federal Criminal Sentencing Advocacy," Federal Bench and Bar Conference, Philadelphia, December 2020
- "Understanding Child Sex Trafficking," National Conference of Black Women, Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Summit at Temple University, Philadelphia, October 2019
- "The Public Corruption Prosecutions of the Mayors of Allentown and Reading, Pennsylvania," Chester County Bar Association, West Chester, Pennsylvania, May 2019
- "DLA Piper Adds Ex-Federal Prosecutor In Wilmington Office," Law360, October 11, 2022
- "DLA Piper Lands Former Pa. Federal Prosecutor in Wilmington," The Legal Intelligencer, October 11, 2022
- "Pennsylvania court hears closing arguments in trial of mayor," Reuters, February 2018
- "Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski trial: A closer look at the prosecution, defense and judge," The Morning Call, January 2018
- "Michelle Morgan, Esq.: U.S. Attorney's Office – Eastern District of Pennsylvania," From Liberty to Captivity
Prior to joining DLA Piper, Michelle worked in the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as an Assistant US Attorney and the Chief, Corruption & Civil Rights Section, and as Deputy Criminal Chief. She was also an Assistant US Attorney in the Northern District of California in San Francisco.
Michelle was also an adjust professor of law at Villanova University School of Law; a trial attorney and counsel for policy at the US Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section; a patent infringement litigator in private practice in Delaware; a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Joseph J. Farnan, Jr. of the US District Court for the District of Delaware; and a social worker for Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia.
Civic and Charitable
- Advisory board member, Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation, 2014-present
Memberships And Affiliations
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, 2018-present
- Member, Delaware State Bar Association
- Member, The Justinian Society of Philadelphia