Rachel May Zysk is an accomplished lawyer and nationally published author with a wealth of experience in complex criminal and civil litigation. Ms. Zysk has represented defendants in several high profile criminal trials and civil matters. She has defended her clients against qui tam “whistleblower” suits and alleged False Claims Act violations; criminal fraud charges and other white collar crimes; and a gamut of traditional crimes including murder, sex, drug, terrorism, firearms, and computer offenses. She has tried federal cases to verdict, argued before the Eleventh Circuit, and successfully obtained both jury acquittals and bench-issued judgments of acquittal.
Ms. Zysk began her career at the Office of the Federal Defender for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa, where she interned her final semester in law school. Ms. Zysk was immediately assigned to a trial team that successfully defended a client in a highly publicized six-month terrorism trial. Ms. Zysk defended indigent individuals charged with federal crimes, both at the trial level and on appeal, until entering private practice with a national law firm. There, she began specializing in complex civil and criminal litigation, with a focus on highly regulated industries such as health care, banking, government contracting, environmental protections, employee identification theft, international business transactions, and anti-money laundering compliance. She represents individuals and businesses facing government investigations or charged with crimes; defends qui tam relator suits and False Claims Act violations; advises on compliance with federal and state regulations; conducts corporate internal investigations; and presents matters to prosecuting authorities on behalf of individual and corporate clients for the purpose of possible criminal prosecution. Ms. Zysk also defends the interests of corporations and individuals, including innocent third parties such as spouses, against government restitution and forfeiture actions.
Born and raised in the Thousand Islands region of New York, Ms. Zysk attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., graduating cum laude in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. She attended Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, FL where she was a member of the law review. In 2004, she graduated from Stetson Law a semester early and third in her class, receiving her Juris Doctorate cum laude with a Certificate of Concentration in International Law.
|05.2017||Co-Author, “Proving Money Laundering Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The Problem of Commingled Property Under 18 U.S.C. § 1957,”
The Champion (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 34 (May 2017).
|10.2016||Co-Author, “Immunity from Criminal Prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground,”
HCACDL Newsletter (Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 4 (Fall 2016).
|08.2010||Co-Author, "Let the Seller Beware: Sentencing Entrapment and Manipulation in Federal Court,"
The Champion (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 42 (August 2010).
|06.2010||Featured, Aimee Groth, "Ahead of the Curve: How Rachel May Zysk landed a major terrorism case before even landing her J.D.,"
Florida Super Lawyers Magazine (Thomson Reuters) (June 2010).
|01.2010||Commented, Sherry L. Talton, "Eleventh Circuit Excludes Attorney Fees from Money Laundering Statute,"
Litigation News (American Bar Association)(January 2010).
|11.2009||Author, "Thanksgiving, After All, Is a Word of Action,"
The Lawyer (Hillsborough County Bar Association) at 20 (November 2009).
|10.2008||Author, "Recent Florida Supreme Court Jurisprudence, Crawford v. Washington,"
The Lawyer (Hillsborough County Bar Association) at 24 (October 2008).
|10.2008||Co-Author, "United States v. Santos: Deciphering the Majority and Taking Lessons from the Plurality,”
Corporate Integrity: the Newsletter of the Corporate Integrity and White Collar Crime Committee
(DRI: The Voice of the Defense Bar (October 2008).
|10.2008||Author, “Review: Raising the Bar,” The Champion (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 55 (October 2008).|
|09.2008||Featured, Amanda A. Sansone, "YLD Board Gives Awards to Deserving Recipients,"
The Lawyer(Hillsborough County Bar Association) at 8 (September 2008).
|07.2007||Co-Author, "Substantial Assistance - The Key to Freedom: Representing a Cooperating Defendant in Federal Court,"
The Champion (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 12 (July 2007).
|09/10.2006||Co-Author, "Traps for the Unwary: Cross References and Guideline Sentencing,”
The Champion (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 42 (September/October 2006).