Jason S.Varnado


Houston + 1.832.239.3694

Jason Varnado is an experienced trial lawyer and the head of litigation for the Houston Office. His practice involves representing businesses and individuals during investigations by federal and state governmental authorities for potential criminal charges; actively litigating criminal and civil actions on behalf of clients facing allegations of fraud, false claims, and other business-related wrongdoing; and advising corporate clients regarding compliance issues to avoid governmental sanctions.

Since joining Jones Day, Jason has served as lead investigative and defense counsel in numerous high-profile criminal and civil matters involving alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the False Claims Act (FCA), the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), and the Clean Air Act (CAA). He has also represented business and individuals accused of federal campaign contribution violations, economic espionage, and federal income tax offenses.

Before joining Jones Day, Jason served with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for 10 years in several top-level positions. He tried 15 federal criminal cases to verdict, including one of the few cases under the FCPA ever to be tried to a jury, and was awarded U.S. Attorney General's "John Marshall Award" for Outstanding Achievement in Litigation, the Department's highest award for legal performance in a specialized area.

Jason has been recognized by numerous publications, including Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, and Houstonia magazine.


  • Pharmaceutical manufacturer successfully defends False Claims Act caseJones Day represented a pharmaceutical manufacturer as a defendant in a False Claims Act case alleging off-label marketing, among other things.
  • Robert Brockman defends $2 billion tax fraud case brought by DOJJones Day represents Robert Brockman, former CEO of a software company, in what the DOJ has described as the largest tax fraud case ever charged against an individual.
  • alliantgroup LP obtains dismissal of Universities' RICO claimsOn behalf of alliantgroup LP, Jones Day obtained the dismissal of all claims brought in the second amended complaint in The University of Texas System, et. al. v. alliantgroup LP, et. al., No. 4:17-cv-02588 (S.D. Texas).
  • Flowchem acquired by KMG for $495 millionJones Day advised Flowchem LLC, a portfolio company of Arsenal Capital Partners, in its $495 million acquisition by KMG Chemicals, a leading global provider of specialty chemicals.
    • May 12, 2017
      Client Confidentiality in the Digital Age, Texas District & County Attorneys Association
    • January 12, 2017
      Client Confidentiality in the Digital Age: Cybersecurity Ethics and Risk Mitigation for Lawyers, Houston Bar Association
    • October 18, 2016
      FCPA Investigations and the New National Anticorruption System in Mexico, speaker
    • May 11, 2016
      Accounting and Enforcement Update for Energy Companies
    • February 2016
      North Texas Ethics and Compliance Council, "The Yates Memo: What it Really Means for Compliance Officers and Corporate Counsel"

    September, 2015

    Momentum's 3rd Annual Oil & Gas Anti-Corruption & Compliance Exchange, Keynote Address, "Instituting an Effective Compliance Program:  Views from the United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas"

    Houston, Texas

    September, 2015

    5th Annual Gulf Coast Anti-Money Laundering Forum, Keynote Address, "Prosecution of White Collar Crime Post-Financial Crisis"

    Houston, Texas

    August 2015

    FBI Compliance Round Table, "Federal Prosecution of Corporate Espionage and Data Breach Cases"

    Houston, TX

    May, 2015

    2015 University of Texas School of Law’s Government Enforcement Institute, Panelist, “Accounting and Securities Fraud”

    Dallas, Texas

    March, 2015

    21st FBI Financial Institution Crime Day Houston, “Bank Fraud Update from the U.S. Department of Justice”

    Houston, Texas

    February, 2015

    Houston Director's Roundtable, Panelist, “Key Issues Facing Boards of Directors: New Enforcement Initiatives and Corporate Governance Rules” 

    Houston, Texas

    January, 2015

    American Conference Institute’s 9th FCPA Boot Camp, “What the Government Expects to See in Your Anti-Corruption Compliance Program”

    Houston, Texas

    September, 2014

    Momentum’s 2nd Annual Oil & Gas Anti-Corruption Compliance Exchange, “Compliance Perspective from the U.S. Department of Justice”

    Houston, Texas

    June, 2014

    FBI Financial Institution Fraud Unit, Advanced Mortgage Fraud Conference, Mortgage Fraud, “A Prosecutorial Perspective Five Years After the Financial Crisis” 

    Washington, DC

    March, 2014

    BITS Financial Services Roundtable, “Current Bank Fraud and Mortgage Fraud Perspective from the U.S. Department of Justice”

    Washington, DC

    November, 2013

    American Bar Association Litigation Section, “Corporate Counsel Committee, Economic Espionage Act: Interfacing With a U.S. Attorney's Office From Theft of Trade Secret Through Sentencing”

    Washington, DC