Michael Cornacchia
Attorney at Law

260 Madison Avenue
22nd Floor New York, NY 10016
(Located on Madison
Avenue between 38th and
39th Streets)

Phone: (646) 278-4297
Mobile: (917) 747-8950
Fax: (646) 839-2538


Michael Cornacchia focuses his practice in criminal defense, in federal, state and local courts, and representation in grand jury, law enforcement and regulatory investigations. Michael also represents executives in employment disputes, entry and exit negotiations, internal investigations and civil lawsuits and regulatory hearings related to their employment.

The experience Michael gained, as a federal, state and UN prosecutor, proves invaluable in ensuring knowledgeable, effective and superior representation of his clients, both inside and outside the courtroom.

Since he has tried to verdict over 100 cases, Michael is always prepared to seek vindication of his clients in a courtroom, whether in a criminal or civil matter. However, it is always Michael’s goal to prevent his clients from being charged with an offense, or, if charged, ensure the best negotiated outcome possible for them, short of trial. Similarly in civil cases and disputes, Michael always ensures a strong trial posture to obtain favorable pre-trial negotiated settlements.

Michael has been chosen as a New York Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense for 2016-19 as well as a Top-Rated Criminal Defense Attorney in New York for 2019.



As Chief Investigative Counsel for the Volcker Commission, led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker, Michael investigated corruption in the Oil-for-Food Program in which the United Nations supervised the sale of oil by Saddam Hussein in order for food and humanitarian goods to be purchased for citizens of Iraq, then under an international embargo. Michael and his Commission staff developed evidence that Hussein skimmed billions of dollars from oil sales in collusion with UN officials and assisted in their prosecution and conviction for receipt of kickbacks and bribes.

Michael served in the United States Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As Deputy Chief in the Criminal Division, he supervised investigations and trials in the Office’s Long Island Section while personally trying primarily white collar crime cases. While serving as Senior Litigation Counsel for the Business and Securities Fraud Section, Michael investigated and prosecuted cases involving mail, securities and wire fraud, tax evasion, insider trading and money-laundering.

As Principal Assistant District Attorney and Unit Chief in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, while in the Major Offense Bureau and Special Investigations Unit, Michael investigated and tried cases involving homicide, sex crimes, fraud and public corruption.

Michael is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service from which he received a B.S.F.S. in International Affairs, cum laude, and the Fordham University School of Law where he was a member of the Urban Law Journal.

Michael is admitted to practice law before all New York courts, the U. S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and U.S. Tax Court. He has practiced in other states, e.g., New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and Arkansas, with the permission of their respective courts. 

Past Clients

(Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome)

Detective indicted for murder in the ” Maryland Road-Rage Shooting Case.” Michael’s defense team obtained an acquittal of all charges for their client after a jury trial. The State’s Attorney who authorized the prosecution was voted out of office and the trial prosecutor fired.

College athlete indicted for rape in the “Duke Lacrosse Case.” Michael’s defense team obtained dismissal of all charges, without a trial, and their efforts led to the North Carolina State Attorney General’s declaration that their client was “innocent” and “a crime had not occurred.” Thereafter, Michael and his team presented evidence against the Durham District Attorney to the North Carolina authorities, who disbarred and jailed him for withholding evidence.

Investor in start-up companies in investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the SEC into allegations of stock market manipulation. While his client’s partner was prosecuted, Michael’s advocacy resulted in no charges, civil or criminal, being brought against his client.

CEO of pharmaceutical company indicted by the Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Department of Justice for importation of misbranded and counterfeit drugs and money-laundering and facing imprisonment under the federal sentencing guidelines. Michael’s defense team persuaded the presiding  judge to sentence their client to probation rather than jail.

Writer charged by the Manhattan District Attorney with cyber-stalking and harassment. Michael obtained a non-criminal disposition after a period of interim probation with counseling for his client.

Doctor under grand jury investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and the DEA for the issuance of patient prescriptions for opiate drugs.  Michael presented extensive evidence to prosecutors, including an expert’s report, that proved his client had prescribed controlled substances for medical necessity and in accordance with accepted medical protocols. Thereafter, the investigation was closed without the filing of any criminal charges against his client.

Teacher charged by the Suffolk District Attorney with driving while under the influence of drugs and drug possession, stemming out of an auto accident. Michael negotiated a disposition whereby his client pled guilty to non-criminal offenses, leaving him with no criminal record and enabling him to resume his teaching career.

Attorney at Wall Street firm charged by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the SEC for involvement in a multi-million dollar insider trading scheme. A negotiated plea resulted in a sentence of home detention without imprisonment.

Chiropractor charged with sexual abuse of patient by the Suffolk District Attorney. Michael obtained an acquittal at trial by producing taped conversations that proved the accusations against his client were part of an extortion scheme.

Student charged with assault by the Manhattan District Attorney. With intensive investigation into the accuser’s background and the circumstances of the alleged assault, Michael obtained a dismissal.

High ranking New York Police Department official in grand jury investigation into allegations of corruption by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  The investigation was closed with no charges filed against Michael’s client.

Current Clients

CEO in grand jury investigation by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York into allegations of fraud in federal government contracts.

Public official charged with alleged workplace sexual harassment  by the New York State Division of Human Rights

CEO in grand jury investigation by U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and the SEC into allegations of securities fraud. 

CPA in grand jury investigation by the Nassau County District Attorney into allegations of financial improprieties by insurance company CEO.

Physician in dispute with the U.S. Department of Justice Forfeiture Section over repayment of defaulted loans.

CEO in grand jury investigation into allegations of aiding a bail-jumping fugitive by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Executive in grand jury investigation into allegations of securities fraud by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

CEO in investigation into allegations of fraud in direct mailing by the Consumer Protection Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice.