J. Whitfield Larrabee uses his knowledge, skills and intelligence to help people get a fair shake when they have been harmed by a business or by the government.
Mr. Larrabee represents tenants, consumers, patients, employees, political groups and ordinary citizens in cases that benefit society. He has handled cases involving wrongful death, childhood lead poisoning, defective products, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, unfair or deceptive business practices, fraud and civil rights violations.
Mr. Larrabee represents clients in cases at the intersection of law and politics. Where government officials engage in criminal or unethical acts, he initiates lawsuits in court and files complaints with regulatory agencies. In cases where officials have violated the Constitution or laws of the United States, Mr. Larrabee takes legal action to hold officials accountable and to force them to comply with the law.
On August 1, 2015, Mr. Larrabee filed a complaint with the Florida State Attorney in Tampa against Donald Trump and Pamela Bondi, the Attorney General of Florida. The complaint alleged that Trump and Attorney General Bondi committed bribery. While Attorney General Bondi's office was investigating Trump for fraud related to Trump University, she solicited a campaign contribution from him. Trump then made a $25,000 payment to Attorney General Bondi's campaign fund from The Donald Trump Foundation. It is illegal for a charitable foundation to make make a campaign contribution under both Florida and U.S. law. Shortly, after receiving the illegal payment, Attorney General Bondi's office halted the investigation. (after Trump was elected in 2016, he paid $25 million to settle fraud cases against Trump University). Soon after Mr. Larrabee made his complaint against Trump and Attorney General Bondi, Florida Governor Rick Scott assigned Republican State Attorney Stephen Russell as a special prosecutor to investigate the matter. Trump ultimately avoided bribery charges because State Attorney Russell refused to investigate or prosecute the case. He allowed the statute of limitations to run and he protected Trump. State Attorney Russell showed a lack of courage and integrity in failing to promptly investigate and prosecute Trump. This case is one of many instances where public officials failed to hold Trump accountable for his crimes and other violations of the law.
On August 16, 2015, Mr. Larrabee filed a complaint against Paul Manafort, Jr., Donald Trump's campaign manager, with the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Larrabee accused Mr. Manafort of engaging in tax evasion. After Donald Trump was inaugurated in January of 2016, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Donald Trump, Mr. Manafort and others in the so-called "Russia Investigation." The Special Counsel's office obtained indictments against Mr. Manafort and he was subsequently convicted of eight federal crimes, including tax fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy against the United States. Mr. Manafort was sentenced to federal prison for a total of 7.5 years in early 2019. After Mr. Manafort served part of his sentence, Trump pardoned him of these crimes on December 23, 2020.
Beginning in 2016, Mr. Larrabee pursued complaints against Mr. Manafort requesting that that he be disbarred. See, J. Whitfield Larrabee v. Paul John Manafort, Jr., Grievance Complaint No. 18-0380. In response to Mr. Larrabee's complaints, the Connecticut Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel initiated proceedings to disbar Mr. Manafort. On January 10, 2019, citing Mr. Larrabee's third complaint, Mr. Manafort permanently surrendered his law license, resigned from the bar, and waived all his rights to apply for readmission. Trump's pardon had no effect on this case and Mr. Manafort remains permanently disbarred.
On August 10, 2017, Mr. Larrabee, representing a group of concerned citizens, filed a complaint against Paul Manafort, Jr., Viktor Yanukovcyh, Representative Dana T. Rohrabacher, Representative Edward R. Royce, Senator James E. Risch and others with the Federal Elections Commission. (Viktor Yanukovcyh is the former President of Ukraine). The Federal Election Commission deadlocked on this case in a partisan vote. The Chair of the Federal Elections Commission, Ellen Weintraub, said in a statement: "This matter merited investigation. The FEC had before it a credible allegation indicating that pro-Russian Ukrainian leaders were indirectly making campaign contributions to Members of Congress. The credibility of this allegation is further enhanced now that Manafort is known to have illegally concealed his foreign clients and the foreign sources of money that financed his other illegal activities. It’s sometimes said that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In this case, it would be more accurate to say that where there’s fire, there’s fire. If Manafort and his foreign clients obeyed campaign finance law here, it was just about the only law they did obey. The Commission should not have given a convicted criminal and fraudster the benefit of the doubt." Thomas Giles, Stephanie Bernard, et. al. v. Viktor Yanukovych, Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Representative Edward Royce, Senator James Risch, Paul Manafort, Jr., et. al., Federal Elections Commission, MUR # 7272.
As with all of the case that he handles, Mr. Larrabee strives to help his clients get the best possible outcome in cases that also benefit society.