Joseph A. Rillotta


Joseph A. Rillotta assists clients at all stages of various government investigations, with a particular emphasis on tax controversies. He has significant experience in both prosecution and defense, having served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, and as counsel to professionals and corporate officers on IRS and grand jury investigations.

Joe joined the firm from the Internal Revenue Service where he was Counselor to the Commissioner. In this capacity, he advised the IRS Commissioner and Chief Counsel on allegations of misconduct by IRS personnel and oversaw agency responses to Congressional and Inspector General inquiries. Prior to his time at the IRS, Joe was counsel at a leading Washington, D.C., litigation firm, where he advised clients facing government investigations, conducted internal investigations, and represented clients in criminal and civil litigation. Prior to that, he spent six years in the Tax Division at the U.S. Department of Justice where he investigated and prosecuted tax and financial crimes in matters ranging from large-scale grand jury investigations to jury trials, bench trials and appellate proceedings.


Joe has worked on a number of criminal defense and internal investigations matters, including:

  • Counseling professionals, small business owners, and corporate officers in connection with IRS and grand jury investigations concerning alleged tax and currency crimes.
  • Advocating for the abatement or reduction of civil tax and Title 31 penalties.
  • Working with accountants to reconstruct income and expense items.
  • Preparing and delivering presentations to IRS-Criminal Investigation agents and federal prosecutors.
  • Working with foreign co-counsel to advise bank officers in civil and criminal fraud cases, including in connection with the DOJ Tax Division’s Swiss Bank Program.

Joe has worked with clients on a variety of internal investigations, including:

  • Representing a professional services firm in connection with a grand jury investigation into tax shelters.
  • Conducting a due diligence investigation concerning the potential FCPA and UK Bribery Act implications of a proposed acquisition by US investors of a foreign telecom company, and recommending remediation and risk mitigation measures regarding the transaction.

Joe’s civil litigation experience includes:

  • Defending auditors, accountants, attorneys, and other professionals against allegations of malpractice.


Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland


  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 2003, cum laude
  • Harvard College, A.B., 1999, magna cum laude

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. Tax Court


  • American Bar Association, Section on Taxation
  • American Bar Association, Section on Litigation