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Michael Yaeger's practice focuses on government investigations, white collar defense, cybersecurity, and related compliance. His combination of government and private sector experience has given him deep experience managing risks that cross the boundaries between criminal, regulatory, and civil litigation, including appeals.

Michael's experience includes matters involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, securities fraud, cybercrime, accounting fraud, tax fraud, investment adviser fraud, money laundering, health care fraud, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the False Claims Act. Michael also advises clients on cybersecurity compliance (including data incident response, policy drafting, and commercial advice), OFAC compliance, FCPA compliance, and general subpoena and law enforcement compliance, and has assisted blockchain-based businesses in obtaining bit licenses from the New York DFS. His clients have mostly been institutions and individuals in heavily regulated sectors such as financial services and health care, but have ranged from banks, well-established private investment funds, broker-dealers, and academic medical centers, to fintech and blockchain related startups and entrepreneurs. A number of his matters have involved representing clients simultaneously in investigations by the Department of Justice or a state attorney general, the SEC, CFTC, or another civil regulator, and a private class action.

Michael also has considerable federal appellate experience, especially on white-collar, cybersecurity, and constitutional issues, and is available not only to argue cases but also to write amicus briefs.

Before joining the firm, Michael was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where he investigated and prosecuted cases in the Business and Securities Fraud Section of the Criminal Division. He also served as his office's co-coordinator for Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property crimes.

Michael clerked for the Honorable Samuel A. Alito Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (now a U.S. Supreme Court Justice), and the Honorable Milton Pollack of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from Yale University.


White Collar Crime

  • Obtained unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning client’s conviction for honest-services fraud for actions taken when he was a private citizen serving as a campaign manager, not a public official. The Supreme Court rejected the theory that all private citizens with mere influence or de facto control over government decisions owe a fiduciary duty to the public. It held that such a rule was too vague and could encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. Percoco v. United States, 143 S. Ct. 1130 (2023).
  • Representing individuals in investigations by various U.S. attorney’s offices (S.D.N.Y., E.D.N.Y., D.N.J., and D. Mass.), including fraud, FCPA, cyber, and AML investigations.
  • Representing financial services companies and individuals in multiple SEC investigations, including blockchain-related investigations.
  • Representing individuals in investigations by New York attorney general, including “dark pools” securities trading and public corruption.
  • Representing health care companies and entities in regulatory investigations.
  • Representing investment advisers in SEC exams.
  • Representing companies in DFS investigations, including academic medical centers.
  • Advising on sentencing issues as outside consultant.
  • Shadow counsel work on appeal for counsel of record (including sentencing consulting on appeal).

Cybersecurity and Privacy

  • Leading legal team’s response to dozens of data breaches at different companies and institutions (e.g., investment advisers, broker-dealers, private schools, and academic medical centers).
  • Drafting and reviewing written information security plans, incident response plans, and other cyber policies (e.g., “bring your own device” policies) for investment advisers, broker-dealers, banks, payments companies, and academic medical centers.
  • Representing investment advisers in SEC cyber exams.
  • M&A due diligence of payments companies and cyber surveillance companies.
  • Assisting blockchain company with application for BitLicense from New York State Department of Financial Services.
  • Representing insurance companies in OFAC analysis related to ransomware.
  • Drafting regulatory comment letters for financial services companies in response to proposed state regulations.

Civil Litigation

  • Representation of individual executive in class action and related USAO and SEC investigations.
  • Representation of digital wholesaler in contract dispute with manufacturer.
  • Representation of individual in MDL and related USAO investigation.
  • Representation of individual against multinational corporation’s motion to compel discovery from third-party SDNY litigation, resulting in denial of opponent’s motion and award of attorneys’ fees and expert fees for defense of motion.
  • Representation of exercise tech startup in dispute regarding privacy and data usage issues with rival.
  • Representation of education company in real estate dispute in NYS Commercial Division.
  • Representations of construction company in nonsolicitation dispute with competitor, and of health food manufacturer in federal class action.




  • The Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2023–2024)
  • The Legal 500 US

Professional & Community Involvement

  • New York Counsel of Defense Lawyers
  • New York City Bar Association
    • Health Law Committee
  • Eastern District Association (U.S. Attorney’s Office alumni organization)
  • Federalist Society
    • New York City Lawyers Chapter, Steering Committee

Speaking Engagements

  • "Federal Sentencing Guidelines/DOJ Guidance," 2023 ACLI Compliance & Legal Sections Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV (July 18, 2023)
  • "Cybersecurity Fraud Threats: Attacks Against Insurers, Contract Owners, and Retirement Account Holders," 2022 ALIC Regional Insurance Counsel Roundtable (October 25, 2022)
  • "Short Circuit 240 | Live at Columbia Law," Institute for Justice (October 7, 2022)
  • Speech to New York City Bar’s Criminal Advocacy Committee (October 20, 2021)
  • Keynote Speech to Federal Bar Association, Tampa Bay Chapter, 30th Annual National Seminar on Federal Sentencing (September 3, 2021)
  • "The Future of Sentencing: A Look at the Federal Sentencing Guidelines," American Constitution Society, Florida Chapter (June 28, 2021)
  • Speech to American Bar Association’s Commercial Section on Statistics in Sentencing (Spring 2021)
  • "The California Consumer Privacy Act: Are You Ready?," Carlton Fields (August 25, 2020)
  • "The California Consumer Privacy Act: Getting Up to Speed With the Looming Enforcement Deadline," Carlton Fields (May 21, 2020)
  • "Back to School: Distance Learning, Contracts, and Other Pandemic Challenges," (April 22, 2020)
  • "Investigations and Attorney-Client Privilege," Carlton Fields (February 7, 2020)
  • "An Update Regarding Data Breach Litigation & Regulations for Financial Services Companies," Carlton Fields Client Presentation, Tampa, FL (November 2019)
  • SRZ Investing in Digital Assets and Blockchain Technology Webinar (August 2017)
  • "Cybersecurity and What Is Happening Now That Puts You and Your Firm at Risk," Deutsche Bank (July 2017)
  • SRZ Employment & Employee Benefits Luncheon for Investment Managers (May 2017)
  • SRZ Insider's Guide to Government Investigations: Winning Strategies for Investment Funds (April 2017)
  • "Regulatory Focus: AML, Cybersecurity, and FCPA," SRZ 26th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar (January 2017)
  • "Interactive Panel Discussion From the Leading Global Cyber Experts on Methods Used to Perpetuate Cyber Crime and the Best and Most Current Methods of Defense for Your Fund Business," Deutsche Bank Alternative Fund Services Forum (October 2016)
  • "The Bangladesh Bank Hack and Insider Threat Legal Issues," SIFMA Insider Threat Roundtable (June 2016)
  • "Treatises and Complex Litigation," annual guest lecture at legal research class at Yale Law School (2008–2016)
  • "Surveillance and Privacy," Fordham Law School (2016)
  • "Data Protection and Collection: Cybersecurity, Insurance, and Data Scraping," SRZ 25th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar (January 2016)
  • "Cybersecurity and Data Protection," Financial Markets Association Legal and Legislative Issues Conference (October 2015)
  • KPMG General Counsel Peer Exchange (October 2015)
  • "Convergence of Information and Physical Security," 11th AMC Conference on Securely Connecting Communities for Improved Health, North Carolina Healthcare Information & Communications Alliance (June 2015)
  • "Cyber Readiness for Financial Institutions: Are You Prepared for Your Eventual Cyber Breach," Willis of New York Webinar (April 2015)
  • "Information Security and IT Business Architecture — Managing a Rapidly Evolving Area," Bank of America Merrill Lynch COO/CFO Hedge Fund Symposium (March 2015)
  • "Information Security: Obligations and Expectations," SRZ 24th Annual Private Investment Funds Seminar (January 2015)
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch Hedge Fund Technology, Cybersecurity and Due Diligence Teach-In (September 2014)
  • SRZ Cybersecurity: Obligations and Expectations for Investment Fund Managers Breakfast (May 2014)



  • Yale Law School (J.D.)
  • Yale University (B.A.)

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions



  • Special Counsel, Litigation, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, New York, NY (2014–2018)
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (2008–2014)
  • Associate, Cahill Gordon & Reindel (2005–2008)
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Samuel A. Alito Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2004–2005)
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Milton Pollack, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (2003–2004)


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