John J. Tollefsen

John J. Tollefsen

International Business Lawyer and Litigator

John is an international lawyer with multiple post graduate degrees from both U.S. and European schools including two master of laws degrees. He is a certified Fraud Examiner and Certified Controls Specialist. John graduated from the University of Washington business school with an emphasis on accounting and finance in 1971. In 1974, he completed his Doctor of Jurisprudence at Willamette University School of Law in Salem, Oregon.  Since then he has completed 5 degrees including two LLMs. He has two degrees from European Schools. Since 1974, he has had extensive business law experience in transactional work as well as litigation in state, federal and bankruptcy courts.

Transactional practice

For the first 20 years after 1974, John concentrated on business and real estate finance, transactional work, and related business litigation. He represented over 1,000 business startups and completed many private and public securities offerings. He is experienced in most forms of business documentation from organizational to merger and acquisition. His focus was securities law and helping entrepreneurs finance their businesses.

Litigation practice

Although John works on most types of complex business and real estate cases including securities fraud litigation, he has developed a passion for victims of financial fraud. John became a Certified Fraud Examiner in 2005 and assisted clients combating fraud. John has pursued financial fraud perpetrators in state and federal courts (including bankruptcy and appellate courts). John has won numerous large judgments and settlements for his clients. Although, he does some work on the defense side, including selected criminal matters, he attempts to only accept cases in which the defendant has due regard for victims and potential victims of any illegal conduct.

Contact John J. Tollefsen

John can be reached at 425-672-3300 extension 604.

John attempts to respond without charge to all short email questions. Please do not send any confidential information unless you have formally established an attorney client relationship with our firm.

Email John J. Tollefsen

John J. Tollefsen is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is rated “10″ by He was named one of the top litigators in Seattle for 2010 by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. For many years he has been selected for inclusion in Marquis’ Who’s Who in American Law and Who’s Who in the World. He received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Board of Regents of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners after nominationby the Pacific Northwest Chapter of Certified Fraud Examiners in 2011. John Received the Client’s Choice badge from in 2012 for 8 client 5 star ratings.

Licenses and Certifications

Attorney at Law, State of Oregon
Attorney at Law, State of Washington
Attorney at Law, State of New York
Certified Fraud Examiner
Certified Controls Specialist

State Court Admissions

New York

Federal Court Admissions

District of Oregon
Western District of Washington
Eastern District of Washington
Southern District of New York
Eastern District of New York
District of Colorado
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court



Doctor of Jurisprudence – 1974 – Willamette University, Salem, Oregon

Certified Fraud Examiner – 2005

Certified Controls Specialist – 2009

Master of Laws (Legum Magister) – U.S. and Global Business Law from Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts. The classroom instruction was at Eötvös Loránd University (Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem) in Budapest, Hungary (established 1635). John received a Certificate in July 2011 and was awarded the LL.M. in January of 2013.

Master of Laws (Legum Magister) – Transnational Commercial Practice from Łazarski University of Warsaw, Poland. Mr. Tollefsen was awarded the LL.M in April of 2013.


Bachelor of Arts – 1971 – Business Administration (quantitative methods, economics, and business finance), University of Washington

Master of Theology – 2008 – Christian Philosophy, Trinity Seminary, Newburg, Indiana

Diploma in Christian Apologetics and Fellow of the Academy – 2007 -International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism & Human Rights, Strasbourg, France. Dissertation: Defending the New Testament Text, An Evidential Apologetic Response to Textual Criticism

Master of Christian Leadership – 2000 – Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon

Professional Memberships

Oregon Bar Association
Washington Bar Association
New York Bar Association
International Bar Association
Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
American Bar Association, International Law, Litigation and Business Law Sections
Institute for Internal Controls

Current Professional Activities

Member of Arbitration Committee, Anti-Corruption Committee and Insolvency, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights Section of the International Bar Association

Member of Securities Litigation Subcommittee, Section of Litigation, American Bar Association

Member of International Litigation Committee of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association

Member numerous committees of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association

Selected Publications and Presentations

John has been published by various sources and is a regular contributor to The Fraud Examiner, published by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. The Examiner was named the best newsletter by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners in 2010.

Sample recent legal articles by John:

Understanding the Role of SIPC in Protecting Investors from Fraud (11/13)

The Importance of Being Earnest: An Environmental Whistleblower’s Guide to Protection Under SOx § 806 and Dodd-Frank (12/12).

How the UK Bribery Act can apply to US Businesses (9/12)

Fraudulent Transfers in Washington State (6/12)

Civil Actions under RICO 4/12)

Four Theories of Recovery for Misrepresentations Causing Pecuniary Harm (2/12)

Overview of U.S. Securities Laws (8/11)

Criminal Profiteering: Washington State’s “Baby” RICO Act (2/11)

“General Solicitation” under Federal Securities Laws (8/10)

Overview of Qui Tam Law (6/10)

Legal Theories Used in Qui Tam Litigation (4/10)

Washington State Securities Law Exemptions for Issuers (2/09)

Negligent Misrepresentation (1/09)


Fraudulent Transfers in Washington State

By John Jacob Tollefsen (6/12) Transfers without adequate consideration or gifts can be overturned as fraudulent in certain circumstances. This article discusses breaking asset protection trusts and other devices to avoid creditors Briefly transferring house to wife...

False Claims Act Whistleblower

The False Claims Act provides that ¨Any employee who is discharged; or demoted; or suspended; or threatened; or harassed; or in any manner discriminated against is entitled to bring an action for reinstatement with same seniority; 2 times back pay with interest;...