Scott D. Tenley is a former federal prosecutor and first-chair trial lawyer with over 17 years experience representing businesses and individuals in high-stakes criminal, civil, and regulatory enforcement matters. He is frequently retained to defend clients under investigation or charged by the Department of Justice for serious federal criminal offenses.  He is also an aggressive advocate for businesses threatened with civil litigation or regulatory enforcement actions, particularly where trial is unavoidable.

In his criminal defense practice, Scott has represented clients charged with a wide variety of white-collar and financial crimes, such as honest services fraud, insider trading, insurance fraud, health care fraud, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, embezzlement/grand theft, and sanctions-related violations.  He regularly achieves remarkable results for his clients, which has included complete dismissals, declinations, drastically-reduced charges, and no-jail sentences.

Scott is also an experienced and tenacious civil litigator, having represented plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts and in alternative dispute resolution forums across the country.  Among other matters, Scott was recently lead counsel in a multi-forum dissolution proceeding involving a Los Angeles-based hedge fund which settled on extremely favorable terms.  Scott has also defended clients in breach of contract, intellectual property, fraud, trade secret, and employment discrimination actions.

Before joining the firm, Scott worked as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and Orange County, California for over seven years.  In that capacity, Scott led hundreds of federal grand jury investigations and prosecuted dozens of prominent white-collar cases, including what has been described as the single largest healthcare fraud in California’s history.  For his work as a federal prosecutor, Scott was awarded the Department of Justice’s prestigious Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an AUSA in 2020 and was presented with the 2019 ATF Honor Award by the Deputy Attorney General of the United States.

Before his tenure with the Department of Justice, Scott was a commercial litigator and white-collar defense attorney in the New York offices of Wilson Sonsini and Latham & Watkins. In those positions, he represented clients in “bet-the-company” litigation and federal criminal matters and conducted sensitive internal investigations for corporate clients across an array of industries.

From 2007 to 2008, Scott served as a law clerk to United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney in the Central District of California.

Representative Matters


  • Represent entertainment industry executive charged with violating OFAC regulations by engaging in transactions with sanctioned foreign nationals.
  • Represent business in connection with grand jury investigation by the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Army Intelligence into alleged mishandling of export controlled and classified information by former employees.
  • Represented crime victim in connection with federal prosecution of employee accused of embezzling millions from company over 18-year period.
  • Represented entertainment industry executive under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service in connection with $100 million PPP loan fraud scheme; no charges filed.
  • Represented Los Angeles-based retail pharmacy in connection with bulk cash seizure in connection with drug trafficking investigation; no charges filed and seized cash returned.
  • Represented founder of proprietary trading firm in Galleon-related insider trading case in the Southern District of New York.
  • Represented Chief Executive of packaging company in embezzlement and tax fraud prosecution in the Eastern District of New York.
  • Represented publicly traded online education company in connection with various state Attorney General investigations into alleged fraudulent business practices.
  • Represented energy company operated by family of federal public official in connection with Department of Justice investigation of alleged bribery.
  • Represented international apparel company in connection with a federal grand jury investigation into alleged visa fraud.


  • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of regional broker-dealer under investigation by the Department of Justice and SEC for alleged market manipulation and failure to supervise.
  • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of international manufacturing corporation regarding alleged malfeasance by accounting personnel.
  • Conducted internal investigation on behalf of international transportation company in connection with fraudulent representations made during U.S.-based acquisition.


  • Represented national mortgage lender in employment discrimination lawsuit seeking over $500,000 in compensatory damages; case settled for $400 after filing of motion to dismiss.
  • Represented co-founder of Los Angeles-based hedge fund in dissolution and fiduciary duty-related litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery and arbitration.
  • Represented international apparel company in various federal court litigation and arbitration hearings arising out of trademark and licensing disputes.
  • Represented founder of Hudson News in $300 million probate litigation resulting in complete victory at trial and largest sanctions award in New Jersey history against opposing counsel for engaging in frivolous litigation.
  • University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.)
  • The George Washington University (B.A., magna cum laude)
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Admitted to practice in California and New York

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