Cohen: Incestuous Relationship Between US Attorney's Office and Firm Defending Full Tilt Poker

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Full Tilt Poker

In a riveting report by’s own Thomas Somach, the investigative reporter uncovers how a woman who more than 10 years ago helped prosecute an online gambling operator was recently retained to help defend the world’s second largest online poker firm, Full Tilt Poker.  That company was indicted on April 15, charged with money laundering and bank fraud. 

According to the firm's website (, one of its attorneys is none other than Mary Jo White, Somach noted

In fact, White is the chairman of the firm's litigation department, meaning she has input into every case the firm handles.

If the name sounds unsettingly familiar to those in the online gambling world, it should.

She is the same Mary Jo White who, in 1998, as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, helped prosecute Jay Cohen and 20 others on illegal Internet gambling and other charges.

It gets all the more interesting in that Cohen, who was eventually sentenced to just under two years in a federal penitentiary, has long accused Debevoise & Plimpton of helping to get him prosecuted.   At the time, the law firm represented most of the major sports leagues, including the NFL.

Cohen made this claim in regard to Debevoise & Plimpton’s relationship with the Southern District of New York US Attorney’s Office, which oversaw his case and that of Full Tilt Poker.

"After a little investigation it all became clear to me. You see, there is an incestuous relationship between the Southern District office and the Debevoise firm. Tom Rubin, the assistant US Attorney who brought this case had worked at the Debevoise firm from 1990 to 1994. Lorin Reisner, the Debevoise point person on this case worked in the Southern District office as a assistant US attorney from 1990-1994 (Exhibits 6 and 7, the Martindale-Hubbell on Rubin and Reisner). I found out that the Debevoise firm encourages their attorneys to go work for the Southern District for a few years, come back and still receive credit towards seniority for the time spent with the government. It’s a “revolving door.” So now it all made sense, I was being prosecuted by Debevoise at the request of the NFL, NBA, NHL, and Major League Baseball. "


Full disclosure:  Yours Truly, as the publisher of, once worked at Debevois & Plimpton. 

- Christopher Costigan, Publisher

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