Geoffrey Graber is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and a member of the firm’s Consumer Protection practice, where he specializes in representing consumers in complex class action litigation involving issues of false advertising, fraud, data privacy theft and other forms of unfair business practices at the hands of banks, insurance, health care companies, and other consumer providers.
Mr. Graber also represents whistleblowers in qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act and whistleblower programs under the U.S. Securities Exchange (SEC), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Often these lawsuits involve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act allegations.
Prior to joining Cohen Milstein in 2015, Mr. Graber had a distinguished career at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), serving as Deputy Associate Attorney General and Director of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group at the DOJ, where he oversaw the DOJ’s nationwide investigation into the packaging and sale of mortgage-backed securities (MBS), leading up to the financial crisis. He supervised more than 100 DOJ prosecutors, lawyers, investigators and analysts and worked closely with senior officials from the SEC, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Inspector General’s Office for the Federal Finance Agency and more than 10 state attorneys general offices.
The DOJ investigations overseen by Mr. Graber ultimately recovered more than $36 billion. These recoveries include the record-breaking $16.65 billion settlement reached in August 2014 with Bank of America – the largest settlement with a single entity in U.S. history – as well as settlements with Citigroup ($7 billion) and JP Morgan ($13 billion).
Earlier in his tenure at the DOJ, Mr. Graber served as Counsel in the Civil Division, where he proposed and then led the three-year investigation (2004 – 2007) of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and its ratings of structured finance products. Mr. Graber oversaw the investigation and supervised a team of more than 50 prosecutors, DOJ lawyers, investigators and analysts. The investigation, which made groundbreaking use of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), resulted in the largest enforcement action filed by the United States concerning the financial crisis (United States v. Standard & Poor’s). As a result of his successful work on S&P, Mr. Graber earned the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in 2015.
In 2014, while at the DOJ, Mr. Graber also received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his work relating to the $13 billion settlement with JP Morgan – including, at the time, the largest FIRREA penalty recovered by the DOJ.
Mr. Graber’s distinguished background and experience has proven invaluable to clients. He is currently litigating the following high-profile matters:
- Barnett v. Facebook: Mr. Graber represents a putative class of advertising purchasers, who claim that Facebook breached its implied duty to perform with reasonable care and violated California’s Unfair Competition Law by intentionally miscalculating and inflating metrics related to its video advertisement and monitoring services. If not for these miscalculations, plaintiffs claim, they would not have purchased more video advertisements and at a higher price than they otherwise would have paid.
- Ariza v. Luxottica Retail North America (LensCrafters): Mr. Graber represents a putative class of purchasers of LensCrafters’ Accufit Digital Measurement System (Accufit) services, who allege that LensCrafters used false, misleading advertising and deceptive sales practices about Accufit being “five times more accurate” in measuring pupillary distance than traditional methods, to induce customers to purchase LensCrafter’s higher-priced prescription lens products.
- Democratic National Committee v. The Russian Federation, et al.: On April 20, 2018 Cohen Milstein, on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Russian Federation, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., and others for their attack on the 2016 U.S. elections, by, among other things, hacking DNC servers and disseminating stolen documents. Mr. Graber is one of the principal team leaders in the litigation.
Mr. Graber’s recent successes include:
- In re Anthem, Inc. Data Breach Litigation: Cohen Milstein was co-lead counsel in a certified class action involving the 2015 cyberattack and massive data breach of Anthem, Inc., one of the nation’s largest for-profit managed health care companies, which resulted in the theft of personal identification and health information of 78.8 million insureds. On August 25, 2017 the Court preliminarily approved a $115 million settlement in this class action. The settlement, once approved, will be the largest data breach settlement in history. Mr. Graber was involved in all aspects of the litigation.
Before joining the DOJ, Mr. Graber was an associate at a top-tier defense law firm, where he defended Fortune 500 companies and their officers and directors in securities and derivative suits, consumer class actions and government investigations. Mr. Graber also devoted substantial time to pro bono representation of indigent individuals and families in civil rights actions against local law enforcement.
Mr. Graber received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Vassar College, and earned his law degree from the University of Southern California Law School, where he served as the Managing Articles Editor on Southern California Law Review.