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Press Release

Attorney Pleads Guilty to Contempt for Violating Protective Order

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
David Kenner represented Defendant in Criminal Prosecution

        WASHINGTON – David Kenner, 82, of Encino, California, pleaded guilty today to misdemeanor criminal contempt and was sentenced to one year of probation and a $5,000 fine in connection with his failure to abide by the terms of a protective order in case for which he was counsel of record. 

        Kenner was counsel of record for the defendant in United States v. Prakazrel Michel, Case No. 19-cr-148, a criminal case pending before the Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. On March 3, 2023, the attorneys representing the Government in that matter filed a motion for order to show cause, asking the Court to bring contempt charges. The motion was referred to the Honorable Amit P. Mehta for consideration and granted following an investigation.  Kenner pleaded guilty to one count of contempt before Judge Mehta after entering into a plea agreement with the United States.

        According to Court documents, as counsel of record, Kenner was provided discovery materials by the United States subject to a Protective Order which the limited disclosure and use of the discovery material.  The Order required that, “[b]efore first disclosing discovery material or its contents [to any individual] … the defendant or his attorneys of record must give to the individual… a copy of this Order, and maintain a copy signed and dated by the individual … until such time as all appeals in this matter (if any) are concluded.”  

        In late November 2022, the Defendant was introduced to two members of the news media from Bloomberg Media. In early December 2022, the Defendant agreed to share discovery materials with the two members of the news media and asked them to sign a copy of the Protective Order, which they did.  Shortly thereafter, the members of the news media ripped Protective Order, in the presence of the Defendant, and expressed concerns with having signed it. 

        Contemporaneous with this conversation an individual acting with the Defendant’s authorization arranged for the members of the news media to be given access to the database procured by the defense team to hold the discovery materials.  The Defendant did not take any proactive steps to prevent them from obtaining access or to withdraw his authorization.

            On March 2, 2023, the members of the news media published multiple articles containing information derived from the discovery materials and reflecting the discovery materials’ content.  The next day, the Defendant admitted to the Court in United States v. Prakazrel Michel, 19-cr-148, that information had been shared with the members of the news media, but did not disclose to the Court that the members of the news media had destroyed their copies of the Protective Order before being given access to the discovery materials, in contravention of the Protective Order’s requirements.

        This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Hooks and Elizabeth Aloi of the Fraud, Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section. This case is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Unit. 

Updated January 26, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-64