Christopher P. Hotaling - Government Investigations & White Collar Defense - Nixon Peabody LLP

Christopher P. Hotaling

Christopher Hotaling is a member of the Government Investigations & White Collar Defense practice group. After 16 years as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, Chris focuses his practice on representing entities and individuals in all types of government investigations, criminal prosecutions, and regulatory enforcement actions. A seasoned trial attorney, clients also come to Chris for their most significant complex commercial litigation.

What do you focus on?

Leveraging my years of experience as a federal prosecutor in Chicago, I represent clients on a wide range of criminal and regulatory matters covering a broad scope of industries, including health care, financial services, and securities. I regularly interact with the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulatory agencies in enforcement actions and investigations. I also have significant experience investigating and litigating an expansive array of white collar and regulatory areas including securities fraud, bankruptcy fraud, health care fraud and the False Claims Act, tax fraud, money laundering, RICO, and public corruption.

Relying on the skills I developed as the section chief covering domestic and international money laundering, I further focus on conducting investigations and advising clients across industries, including financial services and the emerging cannabis industry, on anti-money laundering (AML) and Bank Secrecy Act issues. These same skills allow me to counsel clients who are the subject of corruption investigations involving Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations. I’m well positioned to help our clients not only ensure their AML compliance systems are adequate, but also advise and negotiate on their behalf if they are the target of a money laundering or FCPA investigation.

Before joining the firm, I was the Chief of the Narcotics and Money Laundering Section at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. During my tenure as section chief, I personally led or supervised over 500 complex investigations touching on virtually every corner of federal criminal law. Additionally, while acting as section chief, I served as the DOJ Opioid Coordinator for the Northern District of Illinois. In that role, I coordinated the federal response, together with state and local stakeholders, to address the rampant opioid crisis, including the deadly role fentanyl and its’ analogues played in that crisis, affecting the entire northern Illinois area. I also have extensive courtroom experience, including 24 federal jury trials, many involving complex fraud and financial issues, and arguments in over 12 matters before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

What do you see on the horizon?

Money laundering investigations and prosecutions are on the rise as enforcement agencies and regulators are heavily scrutinizing the strength of AML compliance programs employed by companies across the financial services sector. If companies don’t take AML seriously and implement rigorous internal controls, they could be on the wrong side of a settlement agreement with DOJ covering well over a billion dollars in fines and penalties. Numerous such agreements with DOJ over the past few years clearly demonstrate that money laundering investigations are, and will continue to be, a high priority for DOJ for years to come.

Healthcare fraud probes grow in number, intensity

Modern Healthcare | October 03, 2020

Chicago Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Chis Hotaling is quoted in this article for his outlook on the financial incentive that may be driving larger information requests by government investigators.

Indicted Flynn Associate Wants To Weigh In On DOJ Dismissal

Law360 | June 05, 2020

This article mentions Chicago Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Chris Hotaling and Washington, D.C. Complex Commercial Disputes associate Scott Dinner for representing Ekim Alptekin, who on Friday requested permission to file an amicus brief in support of the U.S. Department of Justice's bid in U.S. v. Flynn.

Managing Risks That Come with Federal Funds

Corporate Compliance Insights | April 17, 2020

NP’s Christopher Hotaling, Adam Tarosky, Scott O’Connell and Colin Missett authored this article detailing key considerations for businesses to consider, given that funds under the CARES Act come with associated responsibilities for recipients, creating potential criminal and civil liability if not properly handled.


Christopher P. Hotaling



Phone: 312-977-4418

Fax: 833-968-0535

University of Virginia School of Law, J.D.

Duke University, A.B., cum laude


U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

  • Executive Office for the U.S. Attorney’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance by a Litigative Team (2010)
  • Chicago Crime Commission Stars of Distinction Award for Law Enforcement Excellence (2016)
  • OCDETF Strike Force Appreciation Award (2015)
  • Chicago Bar Association, Criminal Law Committee (former chairperson)
  • Federal Bar Association
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