Aidan P. O’Connor is the co-chair of the Firm’s Criminal Defense Practice Group and a member of its Litigation Department, concentrating on criminal defense, internal investigations, and complex civil litigation, including securities fraud matters.
Prior to entering private practice, Aidan was an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of New Jersey for 18 years, serving in the Criminal Division, the Organized Crime Strike Force, and as the chief of the Violent Crimes Unit.
A seasoned trial lawyer, Aidan has extensive courtroom experience as well as negotiation skills that bring resolutions to difficult cases in both civil and criminal contexts. His clients appreciate his creative problem solving, direct approach, and history of many successful settlements and decisions. He appears frequently in federal and state courts in New Jersey and New York.
Aidan has conducted internal investigations for corporate and public organizations and has represented private corporations, public entities nonprofit businesses and individuals in governmental investigations. He has also managed subpoena compliance issues for numerous entities. In addition, he has represented clients on matters involving civil RICO, the False Claims Act, securities fraud, regulatory issues, real estate, contract disputes, civil forfeiture and insurance issues.
Aidan’s experience with criminal matters includes defending individuals against allegations of securities fraud, insurance fraud, health care fraud, tax evasion, bank and mortgage fraud, public corruption, union corruption, kickback schemes, computer intrusions, hacking and other cybercrimes, embezzlement, trade secrets, antitrust matters, and federal grand jury investigations. He has also represented clients accused of assault, kidnapping, extortion, murder, theft, sexual offenses, drug and controlled dangerous substance offenses, and state parole violations in both state and federal courts, as well as municipal court matters. He has also argued cases before the Second and Third Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
During his tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Aidan conducted hundreds of federal prosecutions involving long- and short-term investigations, grand jury presentations, witness interviews, wiretapping, and search warrants for offenses including organized crime, RICO, tax fraud and evasion, money laundering, theft of trade secrets, union corruption, embezzlement, commercial and insurance fraud, large stolen property rings, health care fraud, computer crimes, extortion, murder, robbery, and kidnapping.
Aidan has tried more than 20 federal jury trials, argued hundreds of motions and conducted scores of hearings involving organized crime, tax fraud, money laundering, government program fraud, racketeering, kidnapping, alien smuggling, homicide, bank robbery, narcotics trafficking, civil rights violations and other offenses.
He was a recipient of the Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for his successful prosecution of a RICO case involving hundreds of millions of dollars in excise tax fraud and organized crime. Previously, he was a litigation associate with Thacher Proffitt & Wood in New York City, where he conducted or assisted in civil trials involving banking and international maritime insurance in state and federal courts.
From Chambers USA 2020 Reports:
"Market commentators respect Aidan O'Connor for his 'creative legal mind' and ability to 'separate the important facts from the nonsense,' noting that he is 'an absolute pleasure to work with.' He frequently defends individuals accused of fraud and corruption."
- Conducted an internal investigation for a municipality regarding issues of possible misuses of governmental funds and employment issues in its department of public works.
- Conducted a review of compliance issues relating to state and federal grants for a non-profit organization and a public institution.
- Conducted reviews for several private companies relating to issues of potential embezzlement, defalcation and compliance issues.
- Conducted a review of a charter school with regard to a governmental investigation into the actions of employees.
- Representation of private individual with regard to political corruption investigations by federal and state prosecutors.
- Representation of medical practices and other health care providers with regard to investigations by the New Jersey State Attorney General’s Office and the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller, Medicaid Fraud Division, as well as the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
- Representation of doctors accused of improper billing practices and health care fraud in federal court.
- Representation of an individual in a tele-health company accused of health care fraud and a kickback scheme in federal court.
- Representation of a doctor in a federal health care fraud case related to kickbacks from blood lab.
- Representation of individuals accused of sexual abuse in civil cases in New Jersey and New York.
- Represented a foreign national in a federal prosecution relating to a large multinational hacking and identity theft prosecution
- Obtained a probationary sentence for defendant in a commercial kickback scheme.
- Local counsel for a large shopping mall owner with regard to non-payment by national retailers during COVID pandemic.
- Represented a large international labor union in a civil case involving hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and hundreds of thousands of workers.
- Negotiations for investors in a claw back action relating to a Ponzi scheme.
- Representation of a former CEO of a tech company in an SEC investigation.
- Representation of a defendant in a federal securities fraud and tax evasion case containing allegations of approximately $200 million of loss.
- Representation of an Orthodox rabbi accused of kidnapping husbands to force them to grant a divorce to their estranged wives, involving a federal trial lasting approximately three months and argument before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals relating to the suppression of certain cell site location data.
- Representation and advice to companies on various compliance issues and recovery of seized funds.
- Representation of a defendant in a federal terrorism case.
- Representation of various clients in income tax evasion cases, including an entertainer, a CPA, and a restaurant owner.
- Representation of a former teacher in a case involving allegations of sexual relations with an underaged former student.
- Representation of a defendant in a federal Ponzi scheme fraud case.
Honors & Recognitions
- Best Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2015-2018, 2021-2022
- Best Lawyers, "Hackensack: Lawyer of the Year," Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2021
- Chambers USA, Business Litigation, White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2017-2020
- Chambers USA, “Leaders in their Field”, 2013-2016
- New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2013-2021
The Chambers USA ranking list is published by Chambers & Partners. A description of the selection methodology can be found at https://chambers.com/about-us/methodology.
The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.
The Best Lawyers list is issued by Woodward/White, Inc. A description of the selection methodology can be found at https://www.bestlawyers.com/About/MethodologyBasic.aspx.
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Community & Professional
- President- Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey (ACDL-NJ)
- Member, New Jersey State Legislature’s Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission
- Officer and Member of the Executive Committee of Rutgers Law School ‘s Inn of Court (the Willard Heckel Inn)
- New York
- New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
B.A., Columbia University, 1983
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1986