Clay C. Wheeler

Clay Wheeler is an experienced trial lawyer who handles complex criminal and civil litigation matters. As a member of the firm’s Special Investigations & White Collar Crime team, Mr. Wheeler helps clients respond to government enforcement actions that carry potential criminal consequences. He also counsels organizational clients on compliance issues and conducts necessary internal investigations.

Mr. Wheeler’s experience includes representing clients in connection with enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the North Carolina Department of Justice. Mr. Wheeler has worked with clients in the banking, retail, construction, food processing, telecommunications, and health care sectors.

Prior to joining Kilpatrick Townsend, Mr. Wheeler served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina (2002-2011), and Chief of its Economic Crimes Section (2009-2011). As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Wheeler led teams consisting of AUSAs and federal agents in the investigation, prosecution, and, when necessary, trial of complex financial crimes. He worked extensively on securities and investment crimes, computer data theft, tax fraud (including cross-border offenses), money laundering, and health care fraud.

As Chief of the Economic Crimes Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Wheeler was responsible for the work of eight economic crimes prosecutors, covering a broad range of matters, from environmental crimes to mortgage fraud to government contracting fraud. He also served as the office’s Financial Fraud Coordinator, Bankruptcy Fraud Coordinator, Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, and Health Care Fraud Coordinator.

Mr. Wheeler clerked for United States District Judge Susan Y. Illston in San Francisco, and practiced with a national law firm in Palo Alto, California, before joining the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mr. Wheeler serves by court appointment on the federal Criminal Justice Act panels for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina. He is a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke Law School where he co-teaches a course on the role of the federal prosecutor.

For 2013, Mr. Wheeler was voted a Business North Carolina magazine “Legal Elite” in criminal law, and named a “Future Litigation Star” among North Carolina attorneys by the Benchmark Litigation guide.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Complex Business Litigation, 2) White Collar Crime & Special Investigations, 3) Securities Litigation, 4) Directors & Officers Litigation, 5) Health Care Litigation, 6) Government & Regulatory and 7) White Collar Crime & Special Investigations
Law School Duke University School of Law (J.D., 1997)
Education Williams College (B.A., 1992)
Bar Member / Association California State Bar Association, North Carolina State Bar Association
Most recent firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
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