David P. Bancroft Of Counsel

One Embarcadero Center
Twenty-Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111


David Bancroft co-founded Sideman & Bancroft in 1978. He concentrates his practice on complex crime cases including matters involving import-export, securities, antitrust, environmental regulation, banking, health care, government contracts, political contributions, bribery, international money laundering, extraditions, and general fraud and regulatory enforcement. He represents both companies and individuals in investigations, trials and on appeals.  He has represented clients in cases throughout California as well as many other  states.

Mr. Bancroft has defended business crime cases in private practice since 1978. He began his career as a Trial Attorney in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He then was appointed an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Francisco and subsequently was appointed its Chief of Special Projects in charge of fraud against the government and terrorist prosecutions. At the conclusion of government service, he was awarded the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Superior Performance.


Business Crimes Defense Representations

  • Represented a foreign national U.S. resident against allegations by the Swiss government that a bank account contained illegally derived funds subject to forfeiture
  • Represented a member of a Middle East royal family against charges that he allegedly unlawfully  exported munitions, convincing prosecution to file no charges
  • Represented an accountancy firm in defending against money laundering charges, obtaining a court-ordered dismissal of all charges
  • Represented an employee of a major recycler against allegations of fraud, obtaining non-prosecution
  • Represented a major oil tanker company in conducting an internal investigation involving criminal allegations of oil discharges by crew members, obtaining a favorable fine-only disposition
  • Represented an individual accused of insider trading in an SEC investigation, obtaining non-prosecution following a Wells submission
  • Represented a high-ranking executive in a DRAM antitrust investigation in the Northern District of California, eventually securing a favorable plea agreement with the government
  • Obtained the court-ordered return of materials seized from a sports drug testing company; the decision was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, in a seminal decision on the issue of Fourth Amendment search and seizure of computers
  • Represented the president of a computer equipment company investigated for allegedly unlawfully exporting to an embargoed country, avoiding all charges
  • Represented a major technology company in a matter involving allegations of illegal exports of technology to Russia, obtaining a favorable fine-only disposition
  • Represented a major Silicon Valley chip manufacturer in an investigation for alleged government contract fraud, obtaining government declination of all charges

Civil Litigation Representations

  • Secured dismissal of all causes of action brought in an action in the Northern District of California against a Swiss law firm for allegedly assisting in money laundering
  • Represented a bidder on a government contract in a qui tam action, obtaining major restitution from the company that fraudulently procured the contract

General Fraud

  • Represented Cisco Systems, Inc. in connection with a significant embezzlement by one of its executives, resulting in prosecution, conviction and the payment of full restitution, including attorney’s fees, to the corporate client; see United States v. Robert Gordon, 393 F.3d 1044 (9th Cir. 2004)
  • U.S. v. Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc., 621 F.3d 1162 (9th Cir. 2010)
  • U.S. v. Liquid Sugars, Inc., 158 F.R.D. 466 (E.D. Cal. 1994)
  • S.M. Trading, Inc. v. Kono, 198 Cal.App.3d 749 (1988)
  • In re Grand Jury Subpoena Dated June 5, 1985, 825 F.2d 231 (9th Cir. 1987)
  • U.S. v. Cogswell and Schmidt, 637 F.Supp. 295 (N.D. Cal. 1985)
  • United States v. Buck, 548 F.2d 871 (9th Cir. 1977)
  • Weinstein v. Mueller, 563 F.Supp. 923 (N.D. Cal. 1982)
  • U.S. v. Kimak, 624 F.2d 903 (9th Cir. 1980)
  • City and County of San Francisco v. U.S., 615 F.2d 498 (9th Cir. 1980); 443 F.Supp. 1116 (N.D. Cal. 1977)
  • U.S. v. Freeman, 443 F.Supp. 288 (N.D. Cal. 1977)
  • U.S. v. Hearst, 435 F.Supp. 29 (N.D. Cal 1977)
  • U.S. v. Hearst, 424 F.Supp. 307 (N.D. Cal.1976)
  • U.S. v. Hearst, 424 F.Supp. 318 (N.D. Cal 1976)
  • U.S. v. Hobson, 519 F.2d 765 (9th Cir. 1975)
  • U.S. v. Alter, 482 F.2d 1016 (9th Cir. 1973)
  • U.S. v. Youritan Const. Co., 370 F.Supp. 643 (N.D. Cal 1973)
  • U.S. v. Taulbee, 476 F.2d 804 (9th Cir. 1973)
  • U.S. v. Fitch, 472 F.2d 548 (9th Cir. 1973)
  • U.S. v. Lee, 454 F.2d 190 (9th Cir. 1972)
Professional Involvement

Mr. Bancroft has served as co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Litigation (Complex Crimes) Committee (San Francisco Subcommittee), and as President of the Northern District of California Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He has contributed frequently to American Bar Association and Practicing Law Institute professional journals, and has often been invited by American Bar Association conferences and other professional organizations to speak on the defense of white-collar crime cases.

Mr. Bancroft serves on the board of directors of the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the Cow Hollow Neighborhood Association.  He previously served on the board of directors of the Foundation for Cardiac Research (UCSF) and is presently a member of UCSF’s Cardiology Council.

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®: 2010-2019

Listed in Northern California Super Lawyers®: 2004-2018

AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 51
1 CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.