For more than 10 years, Bethany Biesenthal served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, where she successfully tried more than 20 federal cases to verdict. Bethany led hundreds of investigations in areas including national security, health care fraud, bankruptcy fraud, securities fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, public corruption, and cybercrimes. She also served as point of contact for FBI counter-terrorism squads, charged a complex fraud resulting from a bank failure, defended the constitutionality of a domestic terrorism statute, and served as the point of contact for domestic and sexual abuse.
Bethany served as senior litigation counsel, where she supervised all cases tried in the Criminal Division and counseled attorneys on complex matters of national significance.
Bethany served as coordinator of the Human Trafficking section and was a member of the Cook County Task Force Against Human Trafficking. She frequently speaks on conducting human trafficking and sexual abuse investigations and corporate compliance requirements relating to labor trafficking.
Bethany also has taught classes on trial advocacy, domestic terrorism, cybercrimes, and economic espionage.
Bethany has been twice honored by the Director of the FBI and has been recognized by the Chicago Crime Commission, U.S. Marshals Service, Cook County Crime Stoppers, and the Chicago Police Department.
Before joining the USAO, Bethany worked for a large law firm, where she took and defended dozens of depositions, participated in a securities fraud arbitration, and tried a breach of contract case.
Bethany serves on the board of a local elementary school and is an active member in various bar associations.
Publications Prior to Jones Day
Removing pre-CAFA Cases Under the Act, For the Defense (July 2006)
Positive changes for female attorneys in Illinois, The Catalyst (Sept. 2003)
- June 10, 2019The Judicial Seminar on Human Trafficking, Forced Labor, and Child Exploitation in Thailand
- June 6, 2019Jones Day MCLE University Chicago 2019
- May 7, 2019Working Together to End Human Trafficking -- Jones Day and Rotary
- February 6, 2019Hot Trends in DOJ and SEC Enforcement and Litigation Conference
- January 22, 2019Hyatt Women -- A Conversation in Support of Human Trafficking Awareness Month
- September 26, 2018The 2018 Corporate Risk, Ethics and Compliance Forum At the Crossroads of Risk Management, Data Privacy, and Emerging Technology
- June 7, 2018We're Not in Kansas Anymore: Managing Risks for International Companies, Jones Day University
Speaking Engagements Prior to Jones Day
Chicago Bar Association, Fireside Chat about Human Trafficking in Chicago
Crimes Against Children Conference, A Case Study on Sex Trafficking
Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force Annual Conference, Working with Survivors of Trauma as they Engage with the Criminal Justice System
Federal Bar Association, Human Trafficking Seminar
Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force Annual Conference, Case Study on Violent Traffickers
Domestic Terrorism Conference, National Advocacy Center, Case Study on Domestic Terrorism
Gangsters: America's Most Evil, Reelz TV Channel
NBC News, gun trafficking segment
- The John Marshall Law School, Chicago (J.D. magna cum laude 2004; Distinguished Scholar Award [full-tuition scholarship]; Staff Editor, The John Marshall Law Review; First place team honors and named Best Prosecution Advocate, Georgetown Law Center/American Bar Association National White Collar Crime Mock Trial Invitational; Finalist team honors and named Honorable Mention, Best Oralist, Vienna International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition); University of Wisconsin-Madison (B.A. in Journalism and Political Science 2000)
- Illinois, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Assistant U.S. Attorney, Deputy Chief, and Senior Litigation Counsel, Criminal Division, United States Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois (2007-2018)
Excellence in Law Enforcement, Cook County Crime Commission, September 2013
Joint Operations Award, Chicago Police Department, 2015
Commendation for work in Human Trafficking, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, April 2018
Forward under 40 honoree, University of Wisconsin-Madison, awarded to eight alumni under 40 years old for demonstrating professional achievement
- Extern to Judge Robert W. Gettleman, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (2002)