Constantine Cannon Welcomes Former DOJ Tax Attorney, Expands Its Whistleblower Group

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Constantine Cannon LLP announced today that the firm has expanded its whistleblower practice to better serve prospective whistleblowers reporting tax fraud and tax evasion, with the addition of former Department of Justice trial attorney Michael J. Ronickher, Of Counsel, in the Washington, D.C., office. Professor Diane M. Ring of Boston College Law School will join as Of Counsel in Boston, and Robert Gardner, former manager in the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Office, will also join the firm as Tax Specialist and Fraud Investigator.

With its 22-attorney whistleblower practice group, Constantine Cannon assumes its place as a leading law firm for whistleblowers seeking to bring submissions under the IRS whistleblower program or tax fraud claims under the whistleblower provisions of the New York False Claims Act and other state acts. With the firm's recent London expansion, international whistleblowers now also have the opportunity to be represented by a leading whistleblower law firm, not only before the IRS, but also before the SEC and under other whistleblower programs.

Michael Ronickher represents a broad range of whistleblowers, including applying his tax litigation background to fight on behalf of IRS whistleblowers. During his nine-year tenure in the DOJ's Tax Division, he litigated numerous complex and high-profile cases in federal court on behalf of the U.S. government.

Ronickher has extensive experience successfully challenging intricate tax shelters and other tax avoidance schemes. Notably, he helped fashion the government's case against a company sheltering the income from $870 million in investments, and he served on the trial team that unwound 26 tax shelters known as SILO (Sale-In, Lease-Out) transactions that Wells Fargo had used to claim $115 million in tax deductions. He also worked closely with the IRS Whistleblower Office in John Doe v. United States, which concerned a whistleblower's tip alleging more than $500 million in tax fraud.

Ronickher spearheaded the Tax Division's litigation involving the Section 1603 grant program, which provided a federal subsidy for clean-energy investments, including leading the government's trial team in a $260 million case over the valuation of the largest wind farm in the United States.

Professor Diane Ring will join the firm as Of Counsel, advising on substantive tax issues that arise in IRS and state tax whistleblower matters. She will continue her tenure as Professor of Law and the Dr. Thomas F. Carney Distinguished Scholar at Boston College Law School. As a professor, she focuses on international taxation, corporate taxation, and ethical issues in tax practice.

Professor Ring has also worked as a consultant for the United Nations, most recently in 2014, on a project to help developing countries protect their tax base. In 2013, she consulted on the U.N.'s initiative to support treaty administration for developing countries and served as the U.S. National Reporter for the 2012 International Fiscal Association Conference on the Debt Equity Conundrum.

Prior to Boston College Law School, Professor Ring was an associate professor of law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, and an assistant professor of law at Harvard Law School.

Robert Gardner will join the firm as Tax Specialist and Fraud Investigator, bringing his decades of experience with the IRS to assist Constantine Cannon's clients. Gardner was most recently Senior Program Manager in the IRS Whistleblower Office, where he supervised the intake, monitoring, and disposition of all high-dollar or sensitive cases. Previously, he served as a revenue agent and supervisor for more than thirty years. In those decades of experience, he has helped to investigate some of the most serious federal tax issues, including offshore tax evasion and transfer pricing.

Constantine Cannon Managing Partner Richard Aborn said: "We are pleased to welcome the addition of Michael, Professor Ring, and Robert to our whistleblower practice. The expansion of our firm will help us to continue in the pursuit of fighting for justice on behalf of our whistleblower clients, by bringing together the best lawyers and minds in the field today."

Eric Havian, Partner and Co-founder of the San Francisco office, said: "Tax whistleblowers are sophisticated and look for the type of expertise that Michael, Professor Ring, and Robert bring to our firm. Our tax whistleblower practice is second to none."


Michael J. Ronickher
Ronickher is Of Counsel in Constantine Cannon's Washington, D.C., office. He focuses on qui tam lawsuits brought under the federal False Claims Act, as well as whistleblower submissions to the IRS and SEC. During his time at the Justice Department, Ronickher won the Tax Division Outstanding Attorney Award three times. He was also the recipient of two awards from the IRS: the Mitchell Rogovin Award and the IRS Lucite Award. Ronickher received his J.D. from Stanford Law School with distinction in 2008 and his B.A. summa cum laude in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College in 2002. Click HERE for more on Michael.

Professor Diane M. Ring
Professor Ring will join Constantine Cannon as Of Counsel. She will specialize in advising the whistleblower team on substantive tax matters that arise in IRS and state tax matters. She is Professor of Law and the Dr. Thomas F. Carney Distinguished Scholar at Boston College Law School, where she researches and writes primarily in the fields of international taxation, corporate taxation, and ethical issues in tax practice. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association Tax Section's Teaching Taxation Committee.

Professor Ring has co-authored three casebooks on taxation that feature corporate taxation, international taxation, and ethical problems in federal tax practice. Prior to her academic career, she practiced at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., specializing in international tax and the taxation of financial instruments.

She has clerked for Judge Jon O. Newman of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Professor Ring received both her A.B. and J.D. from Harvard University. Click HERE for more on Diane.

Robert Gardner
Gardner will join the firm's whistleblower practice as Tax Specialist and Fraud Investigator. Gardner worked at the IRS for over three decades and mostly recently supervised the most important cases within the IRS Whistleblower Office. After leaving the agency, Gardner ran his own firm, the Gardner Consulting Firm, working in tandem with the IRS on the IRS Informant Award program for the past four years. He is an IRS enrolled agent.

Gardner received his M.S. in federal and state taxation from the Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration, a B.S. in Accounting from Akron University, and a B.A. in Economics from Hiram College. Click HERE for more on Robert.

Constantine Cannon, with offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and London, has deep expertise in antitrust and complex commercial litigation, whistleblower representation, government relations, securities, e-discovery, and other practice areas. Constantine Cannon's whistleblower practice represents whistleblowers under the False Claims Act; the whistleblower programs of the IRS, SEC (Dodd-Frank Act), CFTC, and DOT; and the various federal and state laws that encourage industry insiders to report evidence of fraud or misconduct. To learn more about Constantine Cannon's whistleblower practice, click here.

The firm's antitrust practice is among the largest and most well recognized in the nation. Constantine Cannon's experience spans multiple industries, including healthcare, banking, electronic payments, insurance, high tech, telecommunications, the Internet, and government contracting. To learn more about the firm generally, click here.

Media Contact:
Andrea M. Garcia
PRCG | Haggerty

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SOURCE Constantine Cannon LLP