Federal Criminal Defense

Craig Wilke has been providing legal counsel in federal criminal cases since 1990. Based in Orange County, California, he is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who uses creative strategy, aggressive litigation and principled negotiation to get results for his clients.

Craig Wilke


Craig Wilke provides legal representation in federal criminal cases throughout the United States. He thoroughly counsels his clients about the strengths and weaknesses of their cases, carefully guides them through the process, and respects their ability to make an informed decision based on their individual needs -- whether it be avoiding prison, minimizing the collateral consequences of a conviction such as the loss of a professional license or immigration status, or vindication at trial. Mr. Wilke represents individuals and companies charged with every type of federal crime including:

  • Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud
  • Bank Fraud and Mortgage Fraud
  • Health Care Fraud and Medicare Fraud
  • Securities Fraud and Insider Trading
  • Honest Services Fraud and Bribery
  • Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion
  • Customs Fraud and Smuggling
  • Theft of Government Property
  • Money Laundering and Structuring Financial Transactions
  • Identity Theft and Unauthorized Access Devices
  • Counterfeiting
  • Computer Crimes
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Firearms and Destructive Devices
  • Deprivation of Civil Rights
  • Immigration Crimes and Alien Smuggling
  • Racketeering (RICO) and Violent Crimes


Craig Wilke has been in private practice emphasizing white collar criminal defense since 2008. He was the Directing Attorney of the Federal Public Defender in Orange County, California from 2000 to 2008, where he hired, trained and supervised trial lawyers while personally handling the most difficult and complex cases. He was an Assistant Federal Public Defender from 1993 to 2000. Before joining the Federal Public Defender, he was an associate attorney at a respected white collar criminal defense law firm and a judicial clerk at the United States Court of Appeals.

Mr. Wilke graduated with honors from Loyola Law School in 1990. He was ranked in the top two percent of his class, inducted into the Order of the Coif, served as a law review editor and received the American Jurisprudence Award for legal writing. He is a 1984 graduate of California State University Fullerton.

Mr. Wilke has taught at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and frequently speaks at MCLE and bar association programs. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and the Orange County Criminal Defense Bar Association.

Mr. Wilke has been honored by Orange Coast and Los Angeles magazines for the past eight years as a "Super Lawyer" and has a "Superb 10" rating from Avvo. 


Craig Wilke has a long record of favorable results for his clients that include:

  • No charges filed against target of federal grand jury investigating money laundering (confidential)
  • No charges filed against target of federal grand jury investigating wire fraud (confidential)
  • No charges filed against target of federal grand jury investigating health care fraud (confidential)
  • No charges filed against target of federal grand jury investigating public corruption (confidential)
  • Dismissal of securities fraud and insider trading charges (USA v. FSJ)
  • Dismissal of wire fraud charge (USA v. VK)
  • Dismissal of tax evasion charges (USA v. BS)
  • Dismissal of unlawful wire interception charges (USA v. LR)
  • Dismissal of threatening federal agent charge (USA v. TB)
  • Dismissal of firearms charge (USA v. SH)
  • Dismissal of destructive device charge (USA v. DW)
  • Not guilty verdict on honest services fraud and money laundering charges (USA v. RN)
  • Not guilty verdict on money laundering charges (USA v. JL)
  • Not guilty verdict on deprivation of civil rights and obstruction of justice charges (USA v. JS)
  • Not guilty verdict on racketeering and murder charges (USA v. FR)
  • Not guilty verdict on racketeering and assault charges (USA v. AR)
  • Not guilty verdict on drug trafficking and firearms charges (USA v. IRM)
  • Not guilty verdict on drug trafficking charges (USA v. DLG)
  • Not guilty verdict on drug trafficking charge (USA v. DMR)
  • Not guilty verdict on use of firearm during drug trafficking crime charge (USA v. AW)
  • Not guilty verdict on firearms charges (USA v. JL)
  • Not guilty verdict on threatening federal agent charge (USA v. MP)
  • Probation for $12 million wire fraud conviction (USA v. MM)
  • Probation for bank fraud conviction (USA v. LM)
  • Probation for structuring financial transaction conviction and dismissal of bank fraud charge (USA v. MJ)
  • Probation for destruction of government records conviction (USA v. LS)
  • Probation for drug trafficking conviction (USA v. JL)
  • Time served sentence for destructive device conviction (USA v. HDL)
  • Reversal of drug trafficking and use of firearm during drug trafficking crime convictions (USA v. IRM)
  • Reversal of conspiracy and firearms convictions (USA v. MB)
  • Habeas corpus relief for state prisoner serving life sentence (WL v. RC)
  • Dismissal of foreign extradition warrant (In re RCB)