David A. Ross

David Anthony Ross, a Washington, DC attorney and retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve (USAR), of Falls Church, VA, died peacefully on 23 January at age 84 due to natural causes.

David was born on January 20, 1938 in New York City to Nathan Franklin Ross (1889-1947) and Margareta Herdegn Ross (1906-1973) of Scarsdale, NY, where he grew up and graduated from Scarsdale High School (1956). He is a graduate of Yale University (1960) with a degree in Economics and an officer’s commission in the USAR (2 Lt /Infantry) and of Duke University Law School (1963).

His active duty service assignments were at Ft. Benning, GA (1964) and in South Korea (1964-5) where he served as a communications officer with two Infantry Battalions (2/7 Cav and 3/23). His duties also included investigations and special court martial defense work.

After his release from active duty, he worked for a year at a New York City law firm working on corporate and federal tax matters. He then joined the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC, initially in the Corporate Finance Division, and shortly thereafter in a newly-formed Special Proceedings unit in the Enforcement Branch of the Trading and Markets Division to work on a federal grand jury matter in the Southern District of New York involving Fifth Avenue Coach Lines and other public companies and individual affiliates, including the lawyer Roy Cohn, that led to federal securities law indictments alleging the concealment of self-dealing transactions by a director of the company. His work on this case was instrumental in his developing similar federal criminal and civil cases involving atypical, undisclosed self-dealing transactions by corporate officers of public companies, such as Sunshine Mining Company, Rusco Industries, and International Controls, his last case while working for the Commission, that led to a 1976 federal indictment of Robert Vesco and his associates that also involved the fraudulent diversion of funds from Investors Overseas Services (IOS), a Swiss mutual fund company formerly controlled by Bernie Cornfeld. He also developed a major criminal federal securities law case in the Southern District of Florida involving State Fire and Casualty.

By the end of May 1976, David had resigned from the Commission and was in West Germany with a one-year residency visa to meet and live with his late mother’s surviving relatives in Bavaria and travel/hike throughout various regions of Europe, including several Eastern Bloc countries. He has maintained contact with several of these relatives, with his last visit to Bavaria in 2018.

After returning to the United States, he established a solo practice in Washington doing investigative, federal and state securities regulation and criminal defense work that included involvement with a 1780 Kennebunkport, ME farm property to provide temporary shelter for a former government informant and witness protection program participant.

He was also an active member of the Army Reserves and had assignments as an instructor at the Army Signal School at Ft. Gordon, GA before and after his overseas trip. He also participated with the 1st Infantry Division as part of its headquarters group in REFORGER 79, a winter airlift deployment of Army troops to Western Europe in support of NATO war plans. Shortly thereafter he was assigned to the Pentagon as a mobilization staff officer in the Operations and Contingency Plans Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Department of the Army, where he participated for 10-years (1980-90) in the training for and exercising of various war plans under the Joint Exercise System, including membership as the operations representative on the Army Staff Crisis Action Team, for which he received the Meritorious Service Medal. He also received the Army Commendation Medal in 1988 for another Pentagon assignment relating to the complete revision of the Army’s Codeword, Nickname and Exercise Term System (NICKA), which was in response to the Yellow Fruit matter (a code name involved in secret funding of Nicaragua’s rebels) that required all the Services to revise their code word systems.

His subsequent national security defense work included assignments with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and various defense contractors that included revisions of Presidential Emergency Action Documents (PEADs), preparation of executive orders and regulations delegating authorities under the Defense Production Act, and editorial support to FEMA’s Security Practices Board of Review (The 1992 Trefry Report).

More recently, since 2000, he has provided legal support services as a contract attorney to various law firms on anti-trust, grand jury and civil litigation matters.

He is survived by Thomas and Karen Ross, the children of his brother, the late John Michael Ross (1940-2016), and numerous cousins in Bavaria, Germany, where David’s mother was born and from which she emigrated to the United States in 1922 at age 16.

David is also survived by Pamela MacIntyre, his sister-in-law, and her husband Robert Sawrey, and Duncan and Gordon MacIntyre, the sons of his brother-in-law, the late Bruce MacIntyre (1938-2007).

David’s wife of 26 years, Clare Alden MacIntyre-Ross, predeceased him in 2016 at age 73.

A joint burial service for the remains of David and Clare at the Ross family plot in the Union Cemetery in Chatham, MA will be held at a future date to be determined by the Nickerson Funeral Home in Chatham (508-945-1166).