Jerry A. Behnke

  • In the news

Jerry Behnke is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer. His practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, and complex civil litigation. Jerry represents individuals and companies in a wide range of white collar criminal matters, including allegations of wire and mail fraud, healthcare fraud, procurement fraud, false claims, tax violations, and public corruption. He also conducts internal investigations for corporations. Jerry's civil litigation practice includes breach of contract disputes, civil false claims, breach of fiduciary duties, and environmental matters.   

Prior Experience

Jerry is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) and a former Deputy District Attorney (DDA) with 18 years of experience investigating and prosecuting complex white collar criminal cases. He has extensive experience handling federal and state anti-corruption, fraud, and regulatory matters. Jerry previously served as an AUSA in the Southern District of California where he was a member of the Major Frauds and Special Prosecutions Section and also served as a discovery coordinator. Jerry also previously served as an AUSA in the Central District of California, where he was Deputy Chief in the Riverside branch office. Before his work as a federal prosecutor, Jerry served as a DDA for Riverside County.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained complete acquittal at general court-martial trial of a military officer charged with multiple felony violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
  • Represented a company in a criminal investigation and prosecution for insurance fraud and negotiated a settlement of the matter as a civil compromise, which resulted in dismissal of the criminal charges.
  • Defended a company in a criminal prosecution stemming from the death of one of the company’s employees and negotiated a settlement of the matter as a civil compromise, which resulted in dismissal of the criminal charges.
  • Represented the owner of a chain of furniture stores in a criminal investigation and prosecution for sales tax fraud and negotiated a settlement of the matter as a misdemeanor.
  • Defended a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent in a federal criminal prosecution involving allegations of conspiracy and fraud. All charges were dismissed in the middle of trial.
  • Represented an oil company in a civil suit against a former employee paralegal involving breach of duty of confidentiality, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unlawful business practices.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a company that offered lending and financial advice to determine whether the CEO had engaged in fraud.  
  • Represented a lawyer in an investigation by the State Bar of California. The investigation was closed with no charges filed.
  • Represented an oil company accused of violating the Clean Water Act and other statutes related to releases of oil. Obtained sanctions against the State of California for the spoliation of evidence.

Significant Prior Representations:

  • Served as lead attorney in the investigation and prosecution of a city mayor and others for conspiracy, bribery, and false statements.
  • Served as lead attorney in the investigation and prosecution of a grant writer for mail fraud, false statements, and forging a writing to obtain money from the U.S. in connection with a $35 million education grant for before and after school programs.
  • Served as lead attorney in the investigation and prosecution of a high-profile case under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act involving the death of a U.S. serviceman at a U.S. airbase in Turkey.
  • Served as lead attorney in the investigation and prosecution of several complex cases involving the trafficking of contraband cigarettes and evasion of state tobacco taxes.
  • Tried a jury trial against a medical doctor charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., introducing misbranded drugs into commerce, and smuggling goods into the U.S. in connection with bringing drugs into the country that did not contain labeling as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
  • Tried a jury trial against mortgage brokers charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering in connection with a scheme to defraud banks and other mortgage lenders.


  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Lawyer Representative
  • U.S.D.C. for the Central District of California, Merit Selection Panel Member
Firm News

Larson LLP signs CA Equal Pay Pledge

The firm joins California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls in their campaign, Equal Pay CA, to close the state's pay gap.

Benchmark Litigation

Larson LLP shortlisted for "Firm of the Year"

Larson LLP is one of seven Los Angeles firms recognized as finalists for Benchmark Litigation’s 2021 "Firm of the Year" award.

Los Angeles Business Journal

Larson LLP named among L.A.’s most admired firms

Larson LLP is recognized as one of the “Most Admired Law Firms: L.A.’s Top Firms to Work For” of 2020 for consciously working toward creating a diverse, positive, and supportive environment to help drive the firm’s success.

Larson O'Brien joins Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

The national coalition of law firms aims to create large-scale, coordinated pro bono projects that address systemic racism.

Firm joins L.A. Represents pro bono initiative

Mayor Eric Garcetti's pro bono initiative is composed of top Los Angeles law firms providing free legal services to residents facing hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Eleven lawyers depart Arent Fox to open boutique

Eleven lawyers have jumped ship from Arent Fox to start a litigation boutique in Los Angeles. Larson O'Brien LLP will focus on high stakes matters, including commercial litigation, internal investigations, appellate work and international arbitration.

Larson O'Brien promotes Behnke and Harlan

Larson O'Brien is pleased to announce it has promoted Jerry Behnke to partner and R.C. Harlan to counsel effective January 1, 2018.


    Loyola Law School, J.D., Order of the Coif

    University of Southern California, B.A.


    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    U.S.D.C. Central District California
    U.S.D.C. Eastern District California
    U.S.D.C. Southern District California
    U.S.D.C. District of Columbia