Cyber Crime and Counter Malign Foreign Influence Defense

Cyber attacks designed to influence and interfere with American democracy are a new reality for U.S. law enforcement authorities. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and other federal agencies have been enhancing their capabilities for combating malign foreign influence, and individuals and organizations accused of attempting to corrupt the democratic process are at risk for swift and aggressive prosecution.

From the birth of our nation, its leaders have been concerned with protecting the rights of American citizens to decide who governs. Democracy is the founding principle of the United States, and our nation’s sovereignty takes precedence over all else. America is strong because is governed by the will of its people, and because its leaders understand the fundamental, immeasurable value of giving its people a voice that matters.

But, American’s democracy is under attack. In the words of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ):

“Hostile foreign actors have long sought to influence, and to subvert, our Nation’s democratic institutions. Modern technology—including the Internet and social media platforms—has both empowered and emboldened foreign governments and their agents in their attempts to affect U.S. attitudes, behaviors, and decisions in new and troubling ways.”

Combatting this risk of malign foreign influence is the top priority of the DOJ, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), and other federal authorities. These authorities are utilizing highly-sophisticated technological resources to identify and thwart attempts to undermine America’s democratic institutions. For foreign nationals and foreign entities that fall into DOJ, FBI, CIA, or NSA crosshairs, the response can be immediate and overwhelming, and the risks can be almost incalculable.

Nick is extremely professional and knows what he is doing. He is also very kind as a person (unless he is in court!) I would recommend him to just about anyone if they need an amazing lawyer that is top notch and would frankly be scary to face in the court room. He will always do a great job representing his clients.... Thank you very much.read more
Anna P.
Anna P.
Nick is the absolute top expert in any federal case
Jeff C.
Jeff C.
Smart. Smarter. Nick. As a healthcare executive, I once ran into a litigation issue. I hired Nick and, literally, before I knew it the case was resolved in my favor. Nick has an incredible presence and every lawyer in the room knows that Nick will do exactly what he says. It was a mesmerizing experience to see Nick... in action! Very calm and determined, Nick is the absolute top litigator.read more
Whitney Bryant M.
Whitney Bryant M.
Nick has been a friend and trusted advisor for almost 10 years. As anyone just looking at his bio can tell, Nick is an outstanding attorney in highest demand across the country. All healthcare providers should hire attorney Nick Oberheiden!! You will not be disappointed.
Pamela M.
Pamela M.
Dr. Oberheiden has served as council and represented our company on several occasions, even during depositions, contract reviews and providing invaluable advice on multiple occasions that transpired into multilevel success in our business. He and his teams knowledge of both local, state and federal statues,... accompanied by their areas of expertise law regarding best asset protection, estate planning and wealth management solutions have provided both professional and personal growth for my companies, safeguarding them and protection my family’s name and legacy. I would recommend this firm and Dr. Nick Oberheiden without hesitation. I have no doubt that you will experience success with his council.read more
Corban M.
Corban M.
I have worked with Nick Oberheiden for over ten years on various litigation matters in and around New York City. Nick is an accomplished and seasoned lawyer and litigator---efficient, reliable, practical and, at the same time, highly academic. Nick will take the time necessary to understand a client's short- and... long-term goals, and tailor his representation and advice to work toward and achieve those ends. Nick is a zealous advocate for his client, and will never sacrifice his client's interests for a quick or easy resolution to a case. At the end of the day, Nick is a great person to know if you or your business is in need of a top litigator or defense attorney.read more
Brendan C.
Brendan C.
When I was faced with one of the most terrifying and unexpected situations in my life, I called Dr. Oberheiden. I had vetted other attorneys and came right back to him. His knowledge, expertise, and reassuring presence made the decision easy. Throughout my case, his level of communication was what I needed and... expected. He constantly updated me on the status and progress of my case and was able to “talk me off the ledge” when the stress of it all would set in. He is simply the best of the best...there’s not a question about it.read more
Scarlett L.
Scarlett L.
Nick is a superb lawyer with exceptional skills and a formidable personality. Nick works harder, he thinks smarter, and he delivers faster than any lawyer you will ever find. Good, better, Nick!
Jacqueline S.
Jacqueline S.
1st class service. Atty. Iberheiden and Atty. Lynette Byrd were always available for us during the whole process of our Home Health Audit. Thank you so much!
Ed O.
Ed O.
I am a healthcare compliance consultant with almost 25 years of experience. The one advice I have for anyone seeking a lawyer with unbeatable healthcare law experience is to hire attorney Nick Oberheiden. For the past 8 years, I have worked with Nick on a variety of healthcare matters—from DEA compliance to DOL... supervisory rules to setting up PT and pain management clinics. I have never once seen a client not being 100% intrigued by Nick’s proven expertise in the field of healthcare structuring and compliance. Dr. S.T.read more
RAFT C.
RAFT C.
Nick Oberheiden is a spectacular lawyer, a true life saver. Nick is simply the very best!
Michael P
Michael P
Nick Oberheiden is the absolute best federal litigation attorney. Nick gives you the immediate comfort of feeling 100% protected. He is polite, respectful— and extremely compelling. His legal strategy turned out to be brilliant.
Marshall M
Marshall M
Great firm, with a great firm record of experienced healthcare and litigation attorneys.
Chris A.
Chris A.

Federal Defense Attorneys for Matters Involving Allegations of Malign Foreign Influence

Our attorneys provide federal defense representation for individuals and organizations accused of exerting, or attempting or conspiring to exert, malign foreign influence over U.S. elections and other democratic processes. As succinctly summarized by the DOJ, “[f]oreign influence operations can pose a threat to national security—and they can violate federal criminal law.” At Oberheiden P.C., we rely on our attorneys and former federal agents’ centuries of combined experience to ensure that all individuals and organizations accused of attempting to infiltrate U.S. democracy are able to defend themselves and (if necessary) receive a fair trial.

The U.S. government targets all types of covert and overt activities that are perceived as attempting to unduly influence U.S. elections and other democratic processes. These activities constitute crimes under various federal laws, and federal prosecutors can use various other criminal laws of general applicability to pursue multiple additional charges as well. For example, the following are all activities that the DOJ has identified as forms of malign foreign influence that will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of federal law:

  • Spreading Disinformation and Sewing Division Through False News Stories and Headlines – “Fabricated news stories and sensational headlines like those sometimes found on social media platforms are just the latest iteration of a practice foreign adversaries have long employed in an effort to discredit and undermine individuals and organizations in the United States.”
  • Efforts that Target One or More Political Bases – “Malign foreign influence operations need not favor one political figure, party, or point of view. Foreign adversaries can take advantage of social media platforms to send contrary (and sometimes false) messages simultaneously to different groups of users based on those users’ political and demographic characteristics, with the goal of heightening tensions between different groups in our society.”
  • Efforts that Target Specific Political Campaigns, Candidates, and Officials – “[A]dversaries could conduct cyber or other operations against U.S. political organizations and campaigns to steal confidential information and use that information, or alterations thereof, to discredit or embarrass candidates, undermine political organizations, or impugn the integrity of public officials.”
  • Efforts to Directly Corrupt U.S. Elections – “Elections are a particularly attractive target for foreign influence campaigns because they provide an opportunity to undermine confidence in a core element of our democracy: the process by which we elect our leaders. . . . [This includes] messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations—such as cyber activity—with overt efforts by [government] agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or ‘trolls.’”
  • Targeting U.S. Election Infrastructure – “[A]dversaries could employ cyber-enabled or other means to target election-associated infrastructure, such as voter registration databases and voting machines, or to target the power grid or other critical infrastructure in order to impair an election. Operations aimed at removing otherwise eligible voters from the rolls or attempting to manipulate the results of an election (or even simply spreading disinformation suggesting that such manipulation has occurred) could undermine the integrity and legitimacy of our free and fair elections, as well as public confidence in election results.”

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior Trial Attorney
U.S. Department of Justice

Local Counsel

Joanne Fine DeLena
Joanne Fine DeLena

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney

Partner

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former Federal Prosecutor

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (OIG)

Gamal Abdel-Hafiz
Gamal Abdel-Hafiz

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Chris Quick
Chris Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Kevin M. Sheridan
Kevin M. Sheridan

Former Special Agent (FBI)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Dennis A. Wichern
Dennis A. Wichern

Former Special Agent-in-Charge (DEA)

Defending Against Allegations of Malign Foreign Influence in U.S. Democratic Processes

While federal agencies use all resources at their disposal to combat malign foreign influence, the DOJ has outlined five specific tactics that it intends to use to target individuals and organizations suspected of using misinformation and cyber attacks to corrupt U.S. democratic processes. At Oberheiden P.C., our Cybercrime and National Security Team includes several former senior prosecutors with the DOJ as well as multiple former high-ranking agents with the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and other agencies, and we are able to utilize these professionals’ past experience to build targeted defense strategies to protect our clients. According to the DOJ, it intends to combat malign foreign influence through:

1. Investigation and Prosecution of Criminal Charges

“First, the [DOJ’s] investigations may reveal conduct that warrants criminal charges. Criminal charges not only are a tool the Department uses to pursue justice, but also can help deter similar conduct in the future. We will work with our international partners to obtain custody of foreign defendants whenever possible.” Indeed, foreign corruption of U.S. elections can support numerous criminal charges under various sections of the U.S. Code, and individuals targeted for prosecution will often be at risk for millions of dollars in fines and decades of federal imprisonment. Through extradition treaties, the DOJ can prosecute U.S. citizens and foreign nationals who currently reside in foreign countries.

2. Imposition of Financial Sanctions on Foreign Nations that Facilitate or Support Malign Foreign Influence

“Second, in some cases, the [DOJ’s] investigations can support other U.S. government agencies’ actions, such as financial sanctions or diplomatic and intelligence efforts.” Through coordination with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the White House, and other federal authorities, the DOJ can seek the imposition of embargoes, tariffs, and other financial sanctions on foreign nations that harbor criminals or otherwise facilitate or support malign foreign influence in U.S. elections.

3. Coordination with Other Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies

“Third, the Department’s investigations produce information about threats and vulnerabilities that we can share with State and local election officials [and] political organizations.” The DOJ works in close coordination with the FBI and other federal agencies on many different types of federal law enforcement investigations, and it also works with and supports state and local authorities when necessary. With our firm’s nationwide reach, we are able to effectively represent clients that are being targeted by all federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities.

4. Leveraging of “Strategic Relationships” with Social Media Providers

“Fourth, the Department maintains strategic relationships with social media providers that reflect the private sector’s critical role in addressing this threat. . . . The FBI can assist the providers’ voluntary efforts to identify foreign influence activity and to enforce terms of service that prohibit the use of their platforms for such activities.” Our attorneys and former federal agents have significant experience on both sides of federal investigations involving the cooperation of private entities. We can assist in ensuring that all applicable statutory and constitutional protections are strictly observed, and we can make sure that information obtained from private sources is not unduly used to support criminal charges or economic sanctions.

5. Alerting Victims To and Publicly Identifying Corrupt Influences

“Finally . . . [t]he [DOJ] may alert victims or targets about foreign influence operations consistent with its longstanding policies and practices. . . . [I]n certain circumstances, public disclosure and attribution can also be an important means of countering the threat and rendering those operations less effective.” In many situations, maintaining the confidentiality of a federal investigation can be crucial to mitigating its consequences. We have experience working with federal authorities to negotiate maintaining the confidentiality of our clients’ cases; and, when providing defense representation during federal investigations, we focus on achieving favorable outcomes without charges being filed.

Are you accused of a federal crime?

Don't delay. Learn about your rights.

Call Dr. Nick Oberheiden now!

888-680-1745

Speak with a Cyber Crime Federal Defense Lawyer at Oberheiden P.C. in Confidence

For individuals facing accusations of perpetrating or facilitating malign influence in elections and other democratic processes, it is imperative to engage federal defense counsel promptly. The attorneys and former agents on our Cybercrime and National Security Team are available to speak with prospective clients 24/7. To speak with a member of our team in confidence, call 888-680-1745 or contact us online now.

If you are under
investigation
you should contact us today

Contact the Experienced Attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C. Now for a Confidential Consultation

Contact Us Now