Portland Attorney Michelle Kerin

Professional Background

For more than 20 years, Michelle Kerin has distinguished herself as an experienced and formidable litigator. She has tried numerous cases to verdict before juries and arbitrators and engaged in significant, complex, and novel motion practice. For the 11 years prior to joining the Angeli Law Group, Michelle served as an Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting some of the largest, most complex white-collar criminal cases in the District of Oregon. In this capacity, she directed and managed all aspects of multi-district investigations involving money laundering; securities, bank, wire, investment, bankruptcy, tax, and mortgage fraud; Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations; and cyber, and environmental crimes. She was designated as one of the District’s Computer, Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) prosecutors. She also served as the Deputy Chief of the Economic, National Security and Cyber Crime Unit where she managed and directed federal prosecutors, staff, and law enforcement in white-collar, national security and cyber-criminal investigations and prosecutions.

Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Michelle was a shareholder at Farleigh Wada & Witt where she represented businesses, executives, and financial institutions in complex civil business litigation. She also represented special litigation committees in internal corporate investigations and federal receivers in civil enforcement actions filed by federal regulatory agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Trade Commission.

In 2019, Michelle was awarded the Federal Bar Association’s prestigious James Burns Award, awarded annually to the lawyer who demonstrates the highest standards of professionalism in their work in federal court. She was also chosen by her peers in 2018 for the Frank Noonan Award, awarded annually to a federal prosecutor in the District of Oregon for exemplary dedication to the mission of the United States Attorney’s Office, excellence in the performance of her duties, and a tireless work ethic. In 2014, Portland Police Bureau awarded her the Achievement Medal, one of the highest honors given by PPB to a citizen.

Throughout her career, Michelle has been a frequent speaker to lawyers and law enforcement on white-collar criminal substantive and procedural issues. She served as an adjunct professor at the Lewis & Clark law school for more than 10 years and as faculty at the National Advocacy Center, the national training center for the Department of Justice.

Below are some of her representative cases:

United States v. Dan Heine, et al. (appeal pending)—Lead trial attorney in prosecution involving illegal conduct at a community bank. The case was one of only a handful of criminal prosecutions in the Department of Justice charging a CEO and CFO of a financial institution for manipulating a bank’s books and records to deceive the bank’s board of directors, shareholders, and regulators. After a seven-week jury trial, the CEO and CFO were convicted of 13 counts each, including Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud.

United States v. Jon Michael Harder—Prosecuted the CEO and President of Sunwest Management, Inc., the fourth largest assisted living facility organization in the country. Mr. Harder was convicted of wire fraud for perpetrating the biggest investment fraud in the history of the District of Oregon (at the time) involving more than 1,000 victims and $300 million in losses.

Lighthouse Financial Mortgage Fraud Cases—Lead prosecutor in an investigation of system-wide mortgage fraud involving Lighthouse Financial Group, one of the largest mortgage brokers in the Portland metro area. The investigation resulted in the conviction of 13 individuals, including realtors, mortgage brokers, accountants, straw buyers and the President and CEO of Lighthouse.

United States v. Michael Young, et al.—Prosecuted a ring of diamond thieves who engaged in a sophisticated scheme to rob independent, high-end jewelry stores throughout the country, including three stores in Oregon. Ultimately, the investigation solved more than 20 thefts in multiple states involving more than $3 million dollars of stolen diamonds. The investigation resulted in 11 convictions, including the individual and the corporation that fenced the stolen diamonds. The case was depicted on a national television news show, in newspapers throughout the country and is the subject of a young adult book.

United States v. Ammon Bundy, et al.—Served as the lead Filter AUSA in a case arising out of anti-government protestors who started an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge. Michelle led a team of law enforcement to review voluminous evidence for potentially privileged information to ensure the prosecution team was not exposed to any privileged information inadvertently seized, coordinated with law enforcement and prosecutions in five different districts, interacted with lawyers for 27 defendants on same and testified in court regarding the process.

United States v. Alexandre Dimov, et al.—Michelle prosecuted the first synthetic drug case in the District of Oregon, a multi-defendant synthetic drug ring involving the sale, distribution and marketing of spice and bath salts. The case presented complicated and novel issues of law and involved significant motion practice.

United States v. Joseph Saladino, et al.—Prosecution of a multi-defendant tax fraud case charging the promoters of a tax scheme. Following a three-week jury trial, all but one of the defendants were convicted.

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