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Matthew S. Chester

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Matt Chester brings more than 15 years of practicing law in the private sector and at the Department of Justice to his role on the Firm's Government Enforcement and Investigations Group.

Featured Experience

Represented a former NSA contractor charged with Espionage Act violations.

Represented a former director of an international company in a price-fixing investigation.

Represented an international technology company in connection with an Export Control Act investigation.

Professional Biography

Overview

In more than 15 years of practicing law in the private sector and at the Department of Justice, Matt has handled dozens of arguments, hearings and trials in state and federal court, achieving successful results on behalf of his clients.

In his nearly five years at Baker Donelson, Matt has represented individuals and corporations in connection with a myriad of civil, criminal, and regulatory proceedings, as well as counseled clients on internal investigations. Among many other things, Matt has represented individuals in connection with criminal matters involving allegations of public corruption, fraud, health care violations, export control violations, environmental violations, immigration violations, and espionage. During that time, Matt has also conducted internal investigations for publicly-traded, Fortune 500 companies involving alleged corporate wrongdoing, and he has both defended and prosecuted civil cases, including complex commercial litigation and fraud matters.

Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Matt worked at the Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in New Orleans, Louisiana. As an AUSA, Matt was a member of the Financial Fraud and Public Integrity units in the U.S. Attorney's office and was promoted to the position of Deputy Supervisor of the Public Integrity group. He spent most of his time as a federal prosecutor focusing on white collar crime, fraud and public/official corruption prosecutions. Matt's experience includes multiple high-profile trials and convictions obtained against former elected and public officials.

During those years as a federal prosecutor, Matt was honored as the recipient of multiple awards, including five Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards from the New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission for his work on public corruption prosecutions in and around New Orleans, as well as awards from the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General. Most notably, Matt was awarded the Department of Justice's Award for Superior Performance in Litigation in 2015 for his work in connection with a high-profile public corruption prosecution in New Orleans.

Before serving as Assistant U.S. Attorney, Matt practiced at an international law firm based in Dallas, Texas, where he handled numerous matters involving federal securities, financial class actions, complex civil litigation, white collar criminal matters and corporate compliance.

Representative Matters
  • Criminal/Enforcement Matters

  • Representation of more than a dozen former directors of a failed bank in connection with allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and mismanagement.

  • Representation of numerous health care practices and individuals, as well as hospital systems, in connection with state and federal investigations concerning allegations of health care fraud, including compounding pharmacy matters, false claims matters, kickbacks, and other business practices.

  • Represented a former NSA contractor charged with Espionage Act violations.

  • Represented a former director of an international company in a price-fixing investigation.

  • Represented an international technology company in connection with an Export Control Act investigation.

  • Represented an offshore oil and gas producer in a federal criminal investigation regarding an explosion on a company-owned platform.

  • Represented a nonprofit board member in a federal criminal investigation of self-dealing and fraud.
  • Represented multiple public officials in connection with allegations of public corruption and fraud.

  • Represented a multibillion dollar, publicly-traded international corporation in connection with an internal investigation relating to potential criminal violations.

  • Represented two corporate principals in an obstruction prosecution in connection with Berry Amendment violations.
  • Represented a marine consulting company in a criminal investigation relating to a multi-billion dollar environmental project.

  • Represented a corporate food producer in a federal criminal investigation involving the hiring and harboring of undocumented immigrants.

  • Civil Matters

  • Represented a multi-billion dollar international construction company in connection with federal class action and multiple state lawsuits concerning mass tort claims allegedly totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

  • Represented a domestic loan servicing company in connection with a failed multi-million dollar loan relating to a real estate project.

  • Represented a federally-regulated financial institution in connection with claims of negligence and breaches of fiduciary duty concerning loan practices.

  • Represented Fortune 500 insurance company in connection with prosecution of civil fraud claim, obtaining judgment in excess of $1 million against culpable individual and entities.

  • Represented a multi-million dollar international transportation company in connection with a personal injury claim.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Listed as a Louisiana Rising Star in Louisiana Super Lawyers in Crim Def: White Collar (2017 – 2019)
  • Recognized as a "Top Lawyer" in Criminal Defense White Collar Law by New Orleans Magazine (2017, 2019)
  • Board Member – The American Diabetes Association-Mississippi/Louisiana Chapter (2016 – 2017)
  • Recipient – Department of Justice, Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys: Superior Performance by a Litigative Team Award (2015)
  • Five-time Recipient – Metropolitan Crime Commission Excellence in Law Enforcement Award
    • City of New Orleans Corruption Investigation (2015)
    • Jefferson Parish Corruption Investigation and Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office Corruption Investigation (2014)
    • Plaquemines Parish Corruption Investigation (2013)
    • City of New Orleans Corruption Investigation (2012)
  • Recipient – DHS/FEMA Certificate of Appreciation (2011)
  • Recipient – SSA-OIG Anti-Fraud Award (2010)
  • Recipient – Internal Revenue Service Certificate of Appreciation (2014)
  • Adjunct Professor – Tulane University Law School (2010 – 2017)
Publications
Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker – "Internal Investigations: Practices and Pitfalls," E&Y CPE Event for Financial Professionals (November 2019)
  • Moderator – "Enforcement and Compliance Developments in Louisiana and Beyond," 29th Annual ABA National Institute on Health Care Fraud (May 2019)
  • Panelist/Speaker – "Criminal Enforcement Trends in Louisiana," Last Chance Seminar, Louisiana Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (December 2018)
  • Panelist/Speaker – "Official Acts, Quid Pro Quo, and Honest Services: Legal Developments and New Strategies in Corruption Cases," ABA conference Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute (September 2016)
  • "Emerging Ethics and Compliance Issues in the Oilfield: Coping with the Criminalization of Oil and Gas Operations" (April 2016)

Education

  • Tulane University Law School, J.D., 2004, cum laude
  • Virginia Wesleyan College, B.A., 2001, magna cum laude

Admissions

  • Louisiana
  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

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