Sharon Frase

Shara is a former federal prosecutor who guides clients through government investigations, trials, and other enforcement proceedings with expertise and empathy.  She has advised individuals and organizations under scrutiny for alleged bank, mail and wire fraud, racketeering, conspiracy, false statements, and trade secrets theft, and violations of the Economic Espionage Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Bank Secrecy Act, False Claims Act, and FIRREA, among others.  Shara also has an evolving aviation practice that includes charter, aircraft management, EVTOL manufacturing and flight center clients who rely on her for advice in myriad employment, business and litigation contexts.   

Shara also leverages her knowledge and experience as a former forfeiture AUSA to help mitigate the impact of this blunt enforcement tool.  She has represented business owners, charities, spouses and others asserting innocent owner claims to property allegedly forfeitable as the proceeds of criminal activity, including tens of millions in assets seized or targeted by the Department of Justice following revelations of fraud by crypto firm FTX Trading Ltd. and its founder Sam Bankman Fried. 

Shara also defends civil litigants in state and federal, class-action, and multi-district litigations involving product liability, false claims, fraud, antitrust, securities, workplace discrimination and harassment, breach of contract, and corporate governance claims.  She has deep experience in civil discovery techniques, motion tactics, settlement strategies, and appeals. 

Before becoming a partner with Illovsky Gates & Calia LLP, Shara was with the international firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.  From 2006 to 2010, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she successfully investigated, prosecuted, and tried white collar cases, including a million-dollar food stamp fraud and threats against an IRS agent.  Shara also helped return assets to victims in the Madoff conspiracy, helped repatriate to Brazil hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of modern artworks purchased with the proceeds of a massive bank fraud, and obtained, after trial, a civil forfeiture judgment leading to the return of a Camille Pissarro lithograph stolen from a French museum many years earlier.

Shara is admitted to practice law in both California and New York.

Representative Client Matters

  • Representation of individual day trader in DOJ and SEC investigation of insider trading that ended without further action by either agency
  • Representation of Trans Island Airways and related entities in innocent ownership challenge to DOJ forfeiture of company assets financed by convicted FTX CEO Sam Bankman Fried
  • Representation of technology company founder in multi-district products liability litigation
  • Member of trial team that obtained a jury verdict acquitting client charged in federal court of stealing trade secrets
  • Representation of streaming media provider in DOJ investigation of allegedly anti-competitive employment practices that ended without further action
  • Representation of social media company in investigation by SEC of investor disclosures that ended without enforcement action
  • Representation of Fortune 50 company in internal investigation of consumer fraud and Bank Secrecy Act allegations
  • Representation of special board committee of an electronics company investigating misconduct of parent company bankruptcy trustee
  • Representation of Fortune 500 company in investigation by SEC of compliance with Bank Secrecy Act reporting requirements
  • Representation of a healthcare company executive in a DOJ investigation of alleged violations of Anti-Kickback Statute
  • Representation of testifying senior officer of Fortune 100 company in DOJ prosecution alleging company assisted shipping of illegal pharmaceuticals by online pharmacies
  • Representation of Fortune 50 company in SEC investigation of retail inventory practices


New York University School of Law, J.D., 2000
Dartmouth College, B.A., 1995


Law Clerk to the Honorable Colleen McMahon
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2000-2001