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Lee Cortes is an accomplished litigator and trial attorney who brings over a decade of experience from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. Lee’s white collar defense and investigations practice is multi-faceted and includes representing corporate and individual clients in the healthcare space.


Before joining Arnold & Porter, Lee served as a federal prosecutor for 14 years in the District of New Jersey, including serving as the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, the Office’s third highest position. In this role, Lee was a member of the senior leadership team responsible for all criminal, civil, civil rights, and appellate matters. Lee directly oversaw the Office’s most significant healthcare, cybercrime, securities, public corruption, national security, and civil rights enforcement actions. Immediately before being promoted to this executive role, Lee served as the Chief of the Health Care Fraud Unit, where he led investigations and prosecutions of wide-ranging, complicated health care fraud schemes and violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Lee also oversaw the unit’s significant False Claims Act enforcement efforts, directly supervising civil AUSAs working on qui tam suits.

During his time as a federal prosecutor, Lee handled some of the Office’s most significant matters, including serving co-lead trial counsel in the “Bridgegate” matter; prosecuting the former New Jersey Attorney General for bribery; and securing guilty pleas from a former political consultant and two associates for conspiring to commit a murder for hire (for which he received the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Federal Prosecutor Award). Lee led and supervised a broad range of investigations and prosecutions, including those involving healthcare fraud, cybercrime, securities fraud, public corruption, mortgage and bank fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, identity theft, national security, and civil rights violations. With deep experience as a first chair lawyer in complex and high-profile white collar cases, Lee personally tried numerous jury trials, supervised many others, and trained dozens of junior prosecutors.



  • J.D., Fordham University School of Law, 2003
  • B.A., Political Science, King's College, 2000, summa cum laude


  • New Jersey
  • New York

Government & Military Service

  • Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey (2022-2024)
  • Chief, Health Care Fraud Unit, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey (2019-2022)
  • Deputy Chief, Special Prosecutions Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey (2017-2019)
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney, Special Prosecutions Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey (2010-2017)


  • Board of Directors, Fordham Law Alumni Association (2022-present)
  • Advisory Board Member, Qui Tam Section, Federal Bar Association (2020-present)
  • Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey
  • Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey
  • Hispanic National Bar Association