Baker Marquart Client Resource Center: COVID-19 Client Advisories

Keri Curtis Axel

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Keri Curtis Axel is a trial and appellate lawyer with extensive experience in federal court. Known for her tenacity and strategic vision, as a federal prosecutor, Keri developed a reputation of successfully taking on the most challenging investigations and finding a way to charge or resolve them. Drawing on her experience in complex civil litigation and as an enforcement attorney at the Securities & Exchange Commission, Keri fearlessly tackled securities, investor, procurement, and immigration benefit fraud as well as federal tax fraud and evasion cases, working in parallel with federal and state criminal and civil agencies to charge and resolve cases.

In the private sector, Keri applies these talents to help clients navigate difficult legal challenges. Whether assisting clients in responding to government subpoenas, bringing a civil case, or defending criminal charges, Keri uses her experience and judgment to help clients resolve matters efficiently and effectively. Keri has always been curious to learn how businesses work, an interest that has motivated her throughout her career. In private practice, Keri uses this natural curiosity to know her clients, their businesses, and their priorities, which helps her provide more strategic and cost-effective legal advice.

In her twenty-year career, Keri has tackled challenging cases and found solutions for intractable problems. As sole or lead counsel, Keri has personally tried nine cases to verdict; she also litigated numerous appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Keri is committed to serving the community and devotes substantial time to pro bono work. She volunteers regularly with Public Counsel and has taken on pro bono cases from family law to immigration to consumer fraud.

Outside of the office, Keri sings in a local community chorale, and enjoys following the various pursuits of her three active school-aged children. She has also served on the Pasadena Historic Preservation Commission, and as a trustee on two community boards.

Representative Engagements

  • At the Securities & Exchange Commission, Keri led the investigation of computer company Gateway, Inc., into allegations of accounting and financial statement fraud. Her efforts resulted in a settlement with Gateway, Inc. and civil charges against three corporate officers.
  • At the United States Attorney’s Office, using her background in accounting and financial investigations, Keri prosecuted the Chief Executive Officer of a broker-dealer for stealing senior citizens’ hard-earned savings, and led the investigation of a hedge fund principal for engaging in a complicated alleged penny stock fraud and international money laundering scheme.
  • Keri served as Immigration Fraud coordinator, championing cases where attorneys and notaries victimized immigrants, stealing their money and jeopardizing their status in the United States. She garnered national recognition for her efforts to combat “notario fraud” – where unscrupulous intermediaries defraud their alien clients and the government by filing false or meritless benefit applications.
  • Keri also served as Procurement Fraud coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, leading teams of federal agents to investigate allegations of fraud in federal programs against the United States. These cases required her to master complex concepts in engineering and technology, as well as federal procurement jargon, to explain the fraud in understandable terms.