Dean J. Polales

Mr. Polales has spent his career investigating, coordinating and trying criminal cases in the State of Illinois. He now focuses his work in the area of white-collar criminal defense, corporate compliance and internal investigations.

Representative Experience

  • Representing a number of subjects of interest in federal grand jury investigations involving allegations of theft of trade secrets, unlawful access to stored electronic communications, public corruption, mail, wire and securities fraud and other financial crimes.
  • Successfully representing a large corporate entity in a Commodities Futures Trading Commission investigation of potential market manipulation.
  • Conducting internal investigations and representing health care providers embroiled in false claims act investigations conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services and United States Attorneys Offices.
  • Providing counsel to a securities exchange in connection with computer and internet issues.
  • Pursuing and defending fraud claims in civil commercial litigation.
  • Successfully represented a real estate development company in a corporate dissolution case resulting in the dismissal of the case at the close of the cross-examination of the Plaintiff.
  • In November 2010, successfully defended a Chicago Police Officer in a Federal criminal civil rights case in the Northern District of Illinois resulting in a not guilty jury verdict. 

U.S. Attorney's Office

  • Counsel to the United States Attorney (2002-2004)
    Advisor to the United States Attorney in matters affecting complex financial and public corruption investigations and prosecutions; Northern District of Illinois’ first Anti-Terror Task Force Coordinator post 9/11.
  • Chief, Special Prosecutions Section (1995-2002)
    Supervised as many as 36 senior Assistant United States Attorneys. Oversaw investigation and prosecution of complex white-collar crimes, consisting primarily of complex financial and fiduciary fraud, securities fraud, health care fraud, defense contractor fraud, commodities fraud, and public corruption matters. Supervised numerous tax and other criminal matters.
  • Financial Institution Fraud Coordinator (1993-1998)
    Personally reviewed and evaluated new matters presented to the United States Attorney’s Office relating to fraud or other misconduct affecting federally insured financial institutions. Supervised six to eight prosecutors, two financial auditors, and a paralegal dedicated to financial institution fraud cases. Organized, supervised and coordinated numerous investigations involving the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision, and FDIC. Supervised two Deputy Chiefs of Special Prosecutions who handled Financial Institution Fraud Coordinator duties from 1998 to 2002.
  • Deputy Chief, Special Prosecutions Division/Section (1988-1995)
    Supervised 10-12 Assistant United States Attorneys in the investigation and prosecution of complex white-collar crimes, including complex fraud and public corruption. Served as Civil Rights Coordinator (1989 to 1991). Served as Assistant to the Special Counsel to Attorney Generals Reno and Barr in the internal Department of Justice investigation of fraud claims by INSLAW, a software vendor to the Department of Justice.
  • Deputy Chief, Criminal Division (1987-1988)
    Supervised 8-10 Assistant United States Attorneys in the investigation and prosecution of white-collar crimes, and other federal criminal matters, including numerous narcotics prosecutions.
  • Assistant United States Attorney (June 1983-October 2004)
    Responsible for the investigation and prosecution of a wide variety of federal criminal offenses involving financial institution, health care, securities, defense contractor, commodities, tax and other fraud, money-laundering, organized crime racketeering and narcotics. Briefed and argued approximately 15 appeals before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Representative matters

  • United States v. Michael Segal, Near North Insurance Brokerage, Inc. and Daniel Watkins (2001-2004). Initiated and led the investigation and eight week jury trial of Segal and the corporate defendant on all charges and the return of the largest jury forfeiture in the history of the Northern District of Illinois.
  • United States v. Joseph Cusimano and Van Craig Thompson (1989-1992). Initiated and conducted the investigation and led the prosecution of an income tax conspiracy and false statement case relating to the fraudulent use of corporate assets for political campaigns.
  • United States v. Three Traders, et al. (1988-1989). Successfully prosecuted three traders for racketeering and fraud crimes uncovered during “Operation Sourmash,” the FBI’s “Group I” undercover investigation of fraudulent trading practices at the Chicago Board of Trade’s U. S. Treasury Bond Pit.
  • United States v. Robert Bailin, et al. (1990-1991). Tried a six month jury trial of twelve defendants on charges of racketeering and fraud arising out of “Operation Hedgeclipper,” the FBI’s “Group I” undercover investigation of fraudulent trading practices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s Japanese Yen Pit.
  • United States v. Thomas Kolter (1994-1995). Conducted the investigation and successful prosecution on fraud charges of the former General Counsel of futures commission merchant, Stotler Group, in the wake of its collapse and bankruptcy.
  • United States v. Albert Tocco and Clarence Crockett (1988-1990). Tried the five-week “anonymous” jury trial of a Chicago “mob boss” resulting in the conviction of both defendants on all charges, including a murder and extortion racketeering charge.
  • United States v. Juventino Herrera-Rivera, et al. (1984-1987). Tried the ten-week, eight defendant racketeering, continuing criminal enterprise, and conspiracy jury trial resulting in the conviction of all defendants on over 100 charges arising out of “Operation Durango,” an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force undercover investigation of the Herrera narcotics organization.
  • United States v. Angel Rojas, et al. (1995-1996). Tried the four-week jury trial of four defendants resulting in their conviction on all charges relating to a twelve-defendant cocaine distribution conspiracy involving the distribution of over 1000 pounds of cocaine.
  • United States v. Robert Tezak, et al. (1990-1995). Initiated and conducted the investigation and successful prosecution of Robert Tezak, former coroner of Will County and majority shareholder of International Games, Inc. (the maker of the family card game UNO), resulting in the conviction of Tezak and five co-defendants, including Kenneth Floyd, the former President of the Joliet, IL. Teamsters Local, on charges of mail fraud, arson and obstruction of justice.
  • United States v. Richard Joutras (1998). Successfully represented the Government in the prosecution and guilty plea of the Chairman of the Board of a bank holding company charged with insider trading prior to the merger of the bank with another financial institution.
  • United States v. Phelan and Chodora and United States v. Topolski (1996-2000). Initiated and conducted the investigation and successful prosecution of a racketeering extortion case against two LaGrange Park, IL. detectives and a Cook County Probation Officer, arising out of a conspiracy to engage in the false arrests and shakedowns of so-called “gypsies.”
  • United States v. Kevin Jones (1999-2001). Initiated and conducted the investigation and led the successful prosecution of the Illinois Governor’s Assistant for Minority Affairs as a result of his shakedown of a start-up renal care business seeking a Certificate of Need before the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.
  • United States v. George J. W. Smith (2000-2002). Conducted the investigation and successful prosecution of the only Cook County Circuit Court Judge convicted in the Northern District of Illinois since Operation Greylord, on charges of unlawfully structuring cash transactions in order to generate funds to secure his appointment as an Associate Judge.
  • United States v. Raletta Ingram and 15 other related cases (1999-2004). Initiated and led the investigation and successful prosecution of GSA employees and vendors engaged in a systematic pattern of fraud and bribery in the procurement of goods and services by GSA inside the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago.
  • United States v. 8 Material Witnesses (2001). Led the investigation that quickly cleared eight Egyptian males residing in Evansville, Indiana, in connection with allegations that a terrorist conspiracy existed to destroy the Sears Tower shortly after 9/11.
  • United States v. Larry Flynt (1983-1984). Successfully prosecuted Larry Flynt, the publisher of Hustler Magazine for contempt of court after he disrupted a court appearance before United States Magistrate Olga Jurco.


  • Speaker, The Law Firm Alliance International Business Community teleconference, "The Extra-Territorial Reach of US and UK Anti-Bribery Legislation," June 25, 2012
  • Lectured on fraud and public corruption investigations at national and local training seminars for the Department of Justice, ATF, DEA, FBI and FDIC
  • Trained Greek Police, Prosecutors, and Judges in a nationwide seminar on American legal and investigative approaches to money laundering and narcotics trafficking
  • Lectured at the Illinois CPA Society and Illinois Mortgage Banker’s Association on accounting and financial fraud
  • Speaker, National Association of College and University Attorneys 46th Annual Conference, “Five Mistakes You’re About to Make: Ethical Issues in Criminal Investigations”


  • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law, 1999-2005
  • Adjunct Professor, The John Marshall Law School, 1985-1989, 2003-2005
  • Adjunct Professor, DePaul University School of Law, 1990-2000

Fire Safety Co. reaches $5M settlement for gov't FCA claims

Law360 | January 26, 2017

This article highlights a recent action by the U.S. government who filed a $5M settlement agreement in a False Claims Act case involving Monaco Enterprises. The settlement does not require the company to admit any wrongdoing. Chicago commercial litigation partner John Ruskusky and government investigations and white collar defense partner Dean Polales are listed as representing the defendant.


Dean J. Polales



Phone: 312-977-4883

Fax: 844-562-8026


  • The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 and 2019, Criminal Defense: General Practice
  • A/V Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2005 Award for Excellence by the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency
  • Joan M. Corboy Memorial Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Trial Advocacy and Professionalism; Northwestern University School of Law, April 2005
  • Finalist: Segal Trial Team; Federal Employee of the Year Award for Outstanding Law Enforcement Team; Federal Executive Board, 2005
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