Ronald A. Sarachan

Partner Philadelphia
Phone: (215) 988-1122 (215) 988-1122
Fax: (215) 988-2757


Ronald A. Sarachan represents clients in white collar litigation, regulatory enforcement and complex civil litigation. Ronald is co-chair of Drinker Biddle’s White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Team. He is a former chief of the environmental crimes section in the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

In criminal litigation, Ronald has successfully defended corporate clients ranging from Fortune 500 multinational corporations to closely-held companies, as well as individual owners, directors, managers, and other employees. At the investigative stage, he has successfully convinced the government not to bring charges against clients in matters involving allegations of defense procurement fraud, financial fraud, environmental crimes, health care fraud, technology export violations, public corruption, and other offenses.

Ronald has conducted internal investigations for securities and financial institutions and for clients in energy, petroleum, chemical, manufacturing and a variety of other fields. He advises corporate clients on compliance and ethics programs, internal investigations, risk assessment and management, disclosure and governance issues and response to grand jury subpoenas and other government investigative and enforcement actions.

Ronald served as a federal prosecutor for more than 12 years. He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he served as senior litigation counsel and chief of the major crimes section. He prosecuted and tried a wide range of criminal cases, including interstate theft rings, official corruption, financial fraud, government procurement fraud and environmental crime. Ronald also supervised all federal prosecutions in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in more than 25 criminal areas, including environmental crimes, money-laundering, arson, counterfeiting, immigration, civil rights, export controls, identity theft, tampering with consumer products, bank robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, and other violent crimes.

He also was appointed chief of the environmental crimes section in the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. where he supervised a staff of 30 federal prosecutors and the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes throughout the United States. He also advised the attorney general of the United States and assistant attorney general in charge of the Environmental Division on policy and legislation related to environmental law enforcement. Ronald worked closely with U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, U.S. EPA-CID, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies on training and program development. He implemented Justice Department-led initiatives against intentional pollution from vessels in waters of the United States and the illegal importation of and black market in chlorofluorocarbons.


Ronald has represented numerous clients on environmental regulatory compliance issues. His matters include:

  • Represented an energy client in connection with a power facility’s violations of its surface water discharge permit, resulting in a major fishkill; after an extensive investigation by the state attorney general's office, criminal prosecution of the company or of any individuals was declined. Also successfully represented the client in a related regulatory investigation, resulting in no adverse licensing action being taken by the government.
  • In a federal environmental crimes case, represented a corporate employee who had instructed subordinates to dispose of toxic chemicals down the drain, resulting in the closure of a local water body to recreational use. Criminal prosecution was declined.
  • In another federal case, represented a utility company being investigated for routinely discharging contaminated wastewater from manholes. Criminal prosecution was declined.
  • Defended a client in the shipbuilding industry against a multimillion-dollar federal False Claims Act lawsuit. The action was resolved during the pretrial stage with a stipulation by the plaintiff that the case was being dismissed because the client committed no fraud.
  • Represented the former CEO of a defense contractor charged with multimillion-dollar defense procurement fraud. On the eve of trial, the government offered a plea deal to a misdemeanor of failing to keep a tax record for R&D performed on behalf of the company, for which the client received a sentence of probation.
  • Represented a number of corporate managers in connection with federal grand jury investigations of alleged health care fraud, including off-label marketing; none of Ronald's clients had been charged.
  • Conducted corporate risk assessments for Fortune 500 companies. A recent risk assessment resulted in a series of specific recommendations to senior management on how to modify its organization and operations to reduce vulnerability to third-party toxic tort actions; all of Ronald's recommendations were accepted and implemented.


Chambers USA, Pennsylvania, Environment (2012–2017)
Who's Who Legal: Investigations (2014)

Awards Methodology (

Ronald Sarachan is highly regarded for his expertise on environmental white collar crime. He is a respected choice to advise on investigations and criminal litigation.

Chambers USA

Recognized as 'the preeminent authority' for environmental white-collar crimes as well as 'very articulate and able to give very practical advice.'

Chambers USA


Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • Pennsylvania


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
  • Brown University, B.S., magna cum laude


  • American Bar Association, White Collar Crime Section, Environmental Crimes Subcommittee, Co-Chair
  • Federal Bar Association, Criminal Law Committee
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association 
  • Practising Law Institute
  • Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Lecturer on Corporate Responsibility and Ethics