White-Collar Criminal Defense & Government Enforcement Law

Kennyhertz Perry’s white collar criminal defense law practice can assist you with your defense

Kennyhertz Perry offers proven, effective legal counsel to those charged with a white collar crime. Our attorneys have extensive experience in criminal litigation and government investigations. We have successfully represented corporate clients and individual officers and directors at every stage of investigations, prosecutions and enforcement actions initiated by state and federal agencies.

Our white collar criminal defense lawyers are skilled in handling major felonies, government investigations, criminal litigation in federal and state jurisdiction, and both federal and state criminal appeals. We understand the intricacies of businesses and regulations to help our clients mitigate, resolve or lessen the impact of government investigations and enforcement actions. We guide clients through their options, assist in plea negotiations, and explain how federal sentencing guidelines apply in each case.

Our practice has substantial experience in Missouri and Kansas, and are well-versed in the laws of both. We maintain the experience, skill, and required knowledge to help you navigate the legal system and to minimize penalties faced in Missouri, Kansas, or federal court. Our wide ranging experience includes all types of white collar matters and criminal law including wire fraud, securities fraud, false claims, environmental violations, bribery, and lending fraud among numerous other.

Clients turn to us when finding themselves the target of complex criminal and civil investigations brought by outside agencies or organizations. When facing state or federal charges, contact Kansas City’s most knowledgeable, experienced, and reputable law firm to take on your case. If you need an experienced lawyer who will protect your rights and freedom to the utmost of their ability, contact us immediately at 816.527.9447.

Who We Represent

For those seeking a white collar criminal defense attorney in Missouri or Kansas, Kennyhertz Perry represents clients through all stages of government investigations. This includes response to grand jury and administrative subpoenas, request of business records, request of witness and expert testimony, and response to requests for interviews by law enforcement agencies. We employ proven methods to help minimize the penalties faced by our clients – from business owners to board members and minor shareholders.

Our goal is to provide legal advice to navigate you through all aspects of investigations, enforcement actions, and compliance issues so that you can better understand the seriousness of the charges against you. For those who are or expect to be subject to arrest for criminal charges, we offer a free consultation.

We are dependable Kansas City white collar crime lawyers who advise our clients through their options, assist in plea negotiations, and help them to understand how federal sentencing guidelines apply in each case.

Contact us today for a consultation 816.527.9447.

Intelligent, tailored defense from an experienced Kansas white-collar criminal defense attorney

Kennyhertz Perry’s White-Collar Defense and Government Enforcement practice is led by Ben Tompkins and Braden Perry. Tompkins has worked both in the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division as a trial attorney and also as an Assistant United States attorney prosecuting civil and criminal cases. Perry served as a Senior Trial Attorney at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Braden Perry

A former federal enforcement attorney and veteran in regulatory compliance and white collar defense, Mr. Perry has expertise and consults with clients throughout the United States in areas of internal investigations, enforcement matters, regulatory issues, and corporate transactions, including advising on mergers and acquisitions in highly complex regulatory structures. He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS), and has a deep understanding and first-hand experience with BSA/AML, antitrust, securities, financial institutions, commodities, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and other emerging compliance and enforcement issues. He also serves on the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panels for the United States District of Kansas and Western District of Missouri, representing individuals in federal criminal cases who are unable for financial reasons to retain counsel. Mr. Perry is a frequent speaker on emerging legal topics and featured as a regulator contributor and media source with a variety of financial and legal publications, including Reuters, Forbes, Institutional Investor, Motherboard, Compliance Week, Minyanville, Law360 and ValueWalk, and Nerd Wallet among others.

Prior to forming Kennyhertz Perry, Mr. Perry was a senior vice president and chief compliance officer of a global financial services and FINRA member firm. He was responsible for all aspects of compliance and regulatory responsibilities for multiple registered investment advisors, mutual funds, alternative investments, and a broker-dealer. Mr. Perry focused on identifying and assessing the compliance risks of the firms, creating and implementing policies and procedures that address and allow compliance risks to be managed, and reviewing the policies and procedures to determine their continued adequacy and effectiveness.

Previously, Mr. Perry served as a senior trial attorney for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), managing a team of trial attorneys, investigators and support staff in the investigation and prosecution of market manipulation, market abuse and fraud in the futures and derivatives markets, advising staff in areas of investigations, leading investigations of high profile matters, and facilitating effective engagement and collaborative work with other U.S. regulatory and prosecutorial bodies, international regulators, and exchange staff. Mr. Perry served as a liaison to the Office of General Counsel in the revision of policies and procedures pursuant to regulatory reform, including Dodd-Frank, and named to an interagency task force on the collection and retention of sensitive data.

Mr. Perry began his career in the Blackwell Sanders Government Compliance, Investigations, and Litigation, White-Collar Criminal Defense, Commercial and Business Litigation, and Digital Discovery and Records Management practice groups. He represented clients in the prosecution and defense of complex business disputes in domestic and international jurisdictions, served as counsel to publicly and privately held companies undergoing both internal and external investigations, assisted clients in recognizing and avoiding the expanding risk of corporate criminal liability, and designing and implementing targeted corporate compliance programs. Mr. Perry was a founding member of the electronic discovery practice group and has an E-Discovery Best Practices Certification. He has first-chaired trials in Missouri Circuit Courts and Kansas Chapter 60 and 61 courts, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in various commercial, criminal, and collection matters.

An active member of the community, Mr. Perry is a City of Mission Hills Councilmember, and has previously served as Chair of the City of Mission Hills Board of Zoning Appeals and Crime Prevention and Safety Committee. Additionally, he is a Director of the Tomahawk Road Homes Association and has served as a board member of the Hands & Hearts for Children Children’s Mercy Hospital Auxiliary (2015 co-Chair), the Children’s Mercy Hospital Family Advisory Board (President-elect), Child Protective Center Golf Fore Kids, and the American Royal Grapes & Steaks Competition (2014 co-Chair).

Benjamin L. Tompkins

Ben Tompkins works closely with individuals and companies, providing guidance and counsel in all aspects of civil and criminal litigation, as well as providing counsel to exempt organizations and individuals concerning formation, operation and other entity governance issues. Ben focuses on tax controversies, white collar criminal defense, internal investigations and corporate compliance and has extensive experience successfully defending clients in all types of complex litigation in federal and state courts.

As a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles and Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorney, Ben offers clients a unique depth and breadth of experience in civil and criminal tax matters involving a range of issues, including those involving (i) unreported income, (ii) nonfiler enforcement, (iii) undisclosed foreign bank accounts, (iv) tax return preparers, (v) employment taxes and related trust fund recovery penalties, as well as worker classifications, (vi) excise taxes, (vii) taxpayer, tax promoter and tax preparer penalties, (viii) IRS administrative procedures (i.e., examinations, collection efforts and summons enforcement proceedings), (ix) IRS bankruptcy claims and related bankruptcy fraud issues, (x) valuation disputes, including family limited partnerships, conservation easements and other property interests, (xi) wrongful disclosures, (xii) cryptocurrency, and (xiii) identify theft.

Prior to joining Kennyhertz Perry, Ben worked most recently at a Kansas City litigation boutique where he represented individuals and businesses in complex litigation and other government enforcement proceedings involving the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Trade Commission, and Missouri Attorney General, along with advising individuals and businesses with issues related to exempt organizations, corporate governance and other legal issues.

Prior to returning to Kansas City, Ben served for more than three years at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles and then prior to that he served almost eight years as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division in Washington, D.C. During his more than a decade of government service, Ben has served as first chair in numerous bench and jury trials, conducted extensive civil and criminal investigations (including Grand Jury proceedings), negotiated significant settlements and plea agreements, taken and defended fact and expert depositions, and handled all aspects of motion practice, trial practice, and criminal sentencing proceedings. In this regard, Ben has successfully litigated cases in U.S. District, Bankruptcy, and state Courts in California, throughout the South (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina), as well as Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia. While at the Tax Division, he litigated more than 100 civil tax cases, made several of the largest recoveries in Tax Division, and earned the high honor of Department of Justice Outstanding Attorney for six consecutive years (2008-2013).

During his time with the Department of Justice, Ben served as an instructor in the National Advocacy Center’s Civil Trial Advocacy Course and served as the United States Attorney’s Office Point of Contact for bankruptcy tax fraud matters and substantive tax issues.

Ben draws on his comprehensive experience leading criminal and civil tax prosecutions and investigations for the U.S. Attorney’s office and Department of Justice Tax Division to provide clients with valuable insights and practical strategies to effectively navigate and resolve their civil and criminal legal issues.

Ben’s previous experience also includes working as an associate for five years at a law firm in Washington, D.C., where he defended financial services companies in nationwide consumer fraud class actions and other complex litigation and regulatory matters, as well as assisted with internal investigations. After law school, he served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Stephen H. Glickman of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

Ben graduated with high honors from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. He was an editor on The George Washington Law Review, a member of the Order of the Coif, and an executive board member of the Trial Court Board. He earned undergraduate degrees in history and political science, cum laude, at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

As a recognized leader in the field, Ben regularly speaks and writes articles on criminal and civil tax issues. His recent publications include:

  • Benjamin Tompkins, Department of Treasury and IRS’s March 5, 2019 Policy Statement: New Policy or More of the Same, Inside Basis (Spring 2019).
  • Benjamin Tompkins, United States v. Coinbase: One Year Later, American Bar Association Criminal Litigation Section (Feb. 6, 2019).
  • Benjamin Tompkins, Amendments Give Incentive to Whistleblowers (2018 TXN 15-7), Tax Notes, 179 (April 9, 2018).
  • Benjamin Tompkins, 18 Things to Know about the New Tax Act for 2018, Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City e-newsletter (March 2018).
  • Benjamin Tompkins and Andrew Alexander with Hon. J. Thomas Marten, Tips from the Bench: Cross-Examination, American Bar Association (Feb. 26, 2018).
  • Benjamin Tompkins, Doing More with Less: 2018 IRS-CI Enforcement Priorities (2018 TXN 8-9), Tax Notes, 1039 (Feb. 19, 2018).
  • Benjamin Tompkins, Coinbase customers could soon find themselves in IRS cross-hairs, Accounting Today (Dec. 8, 2017).

Ben’s recent presentations include:

  • Co-presenter, Intersection of Tax and Other Areas of Law, KCMBA CLE (June 2019).
  • Panelist, Legal Issues Unique to Medical Marijuana, CBD Oil and Cultivation of Cannabis (May 2019).
  • Panelist, Criminal Prosecution of Employment Tax Cases, 35th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and 8th annual National Institute on Tax Controversy (December 2018).
  • Presenter, Nuts & Bolts of a Criminal Tax Case: From Investigation to Sentencing (Oct. 2018 – KCMBA Tax Committee).
  • Panelist, KCMBA’s 45th Annual Bench-Bar & Boardroom Conference, Cryptocurrencies: Evolving IRS, CFTC, SEC and DOJ Legal and Regulatory Issues (2018).
  • Panelist, Johnson County Bench Bar, Bankruptcy and Criminal Law — Strange Bedfellows: An examination of criminal consequences for bankruptcy studying the 2017 U.S. v Lindemuth acquittal (2018).
  • Participant, Criminal Tax Workshop, 34rd Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and 7th Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy (2017).
  • Panelist, USD School of Law – RJS Law Tax Controversy Institute, Criminal Tax Workshop – Negotiating a Plea Agreement, Departures, Adjustments, Sentencing Memoranda, and Strategies at Sentencing (2016).
  • Panelist, Local U.S. Trustee Office Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group, U.S. Attorney Office Bankruptcy Fraud Updates (2016).
  • Instructor, National Advocacy Center, Civil Trial Advocacy Course (2013, 2014 and 2015).
  • Presenter, IRS Employee Webinar, Best Practices for Civil Tax Return Preparer Injunction Referrals (2014).

Ben is a member of the Missouri, Kansas, District of Columbia, Virginia and California bars, as well as the Western District of Missouri, the District of Kansas and the Central District of California. He is an active member of the American Bar Association (Tax and Litigation Sections and various subcommittees including chair of the Cryptocurrency subcommittee for the Criminal Litigation Committee), Federal Bar Association (Tax, Litigation and Criminal Law Sections) and Kansas City Metro Bar Association (various sections, current Vice-Chair of the Tax Committee). He resides in the Kansas City area with his wife and three kids.

We remain on the forefront of government enforcement and regulatory developments that impact our clients to better mitigate the risks they face. We gain additional understanding of clients’ unique needs through the lens of our other related practice areas. Regulatory & Compliance, Intellectual Property, and Cyber-security are a few examples provides additional insights to help us achieve optimal results for our clients.

Our wide ranging expertise allows us to address and defend what are often multi-faceted criminal, civil and/or regulatory matters. In addition to organizations, we represent individuals including C-suite executives, municipal officials, government contractors, physicians and others in the investigation and defense of high-profile cases. These state and federal level cases can frequently prove to be contentious.

We have significant experience handling government subpoenas and jury trials. These factors equip us with the unique qualifications to assess your case in its entirety and outline an intelligent and realistic plan tailored to your case. Our focus is on building the best defense possible while presenting you in the best possible light to the prosecutor.


What exactly is a white collar crime?

White collar crimes are typically nonviolent crimes committed for financial gain. Examples include cyber crimes, embezzlement, forgery, bank fraud, mortgage fraud, mail fraud, health care fraud, identity theft, money laundering and numerous others. Individuals and entities often commit these fraudulent actions to obtain, or avoid loss of, money, property, and services. Motives can also stem from and effort to secure a personal benefit or business advantage, or to escape criminal liability.

Government agencies that investigate white-collar crimes include, among others, the following:

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • U.S. Postal Inspection Service
  • National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
  • United States Attorney’s office
  • State’s Attorney General’s office

What impact can a white collar criminal charge or accusation have?

Individuals and businesses across many industries face increased scrutiny and criminal enforcement addressing business practices amid a constantly evolving set of rules, regulations and restrictions. Being investigated or charged with a white collar crime can have catastrophic impact on individuals and businesses. Conviction of a crime such as tax evasion, internet fraud, securities fraud, computer crimes, or antitrust charges put your reputation, career, and future on the line.

Even with relatively minor charges, issues for those involved in white collar crimes can be extensive, including:

  • banishment from your industry
  • loss of your license to practice
  • lost capital investment in your business
  • prevention of future investor’s contributions to your business
  • forfeiture of your business and personal assets
  • seizure of assets and money derived from or used in a crime
  • jail time

Even with avoidance of jail time, a criminal record could potentially prevent future employment opportunities, damaging future business relationships as employers are often unwilling to hire someone with a criminal conviction upon performing a background check.

What to do when you are charged with a white collar crime

When charged or notified you are under investigation due to fraudulent criminal actions such as insider trading, market manipulation, misstatements to investors, or false claims on financial statements you will likely have concerns regarding potential liabilities. Under these circumstances, it is imperative that you retain experienced legal representation capable of refuting or reducing charges. Your legal team should have extensive knowledge of business regulations and practices as well as legal proceedings often involving investigations by multiple government agencies.

If you are subject to an arrest for a crime, these are things you should know:

  • Always request your criminal defense attorney be present before speaking to the authorities.
  • Never state aloud or sign any sort of confession as this material can and will be used against you by the prosecution.
  • Make sure to contact a white collar criminal attorney immediately up your arrest.

It is imperative you know your rights and have an attorney who can be present to provide consultation from the beginning and through interrogation and questioning. Frequently, authorities gather only the material required to file charges against you, while ignoring evidence and facts potentially beneficial to your defense. Even if you feel your case is indefensible, an evaluation is crucial because investigators, police, and witnesses often make mistakes that can be used to benefit your circumstance.

Are you seeking a top white collar crimes lawyer in Kansas City, Missouri?

White collar crime attorneys focus on clients facing charges generally involving federal prosecution. These cases often entail detailed, complicated fact patterns and sophisticated regulatory framework involving myriad complexities.

The government’s case often rests on the intent of the accused, and it is this intent that must be thoroughly analyzed. Review of items including lengthy financial statements, electronic documents, intricate accounting procedures, and expert testimony in highly specialized fields is required.

If you are seeking legal representation from a Kansas City white collar criminal lawyer please contact us at 816.527.9447


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