Phillip Swann
Phillip Swann
Name Phillip Swann
Affiliation Swann's CO
Occupation Jailhouse lawyer
Wall street trader (former)
Pathology Murderer
Proxy murderer
Con artist
Corrupt jailhouse lawyer
Status Imprisoned for life
Permanently disbarred
Actor Zeljko Ivanek
First Appearance "American Dream"

Phillip "Phil" Swann is a Wall Street trader and the prime suspect in the murder of a real estate mogul and Swann's accomplice in the crime.


In 1973, Swann went to a preparatory school called Penton Academy. While there, he conned several of his classmates into giving him money through selling them $10 shares in a fake gold mine and selling them a fake expensive bottle of champagne. He eventually got work as a Wall Street trader and started stealing from his clients through fake bonds. In 1985, Swann convinced several of his old friends from Penton to invest their money in Swann's pyramid scheme. Swann also got a man named Russell Bobbitt to invest his mother's pension plan with him by promising to make him rich. When some of the investors began to panic on not seeing any returns, they told Swann to invest their money in some land deals set up by Sidney Cohen. After Swann invested $1 million of his stolen profits with Cohen, he realized Cohen's deals were not valuable, and that Cohen was scamming him. He confronted Cohen, who refused to give the money back and later promised his investors that he would get it back.

Swann starting telling everyone that he knew he was going to kill Cohen. Eventually, Swann registered and purchased a gun, which he used to shoot Cohen once in the head in retaliation, killing him. Afterwards, Swann knocked his teeth out, wrapped his body in a rug, and called Russell Bobbitt. After Bobbitt arrived and Swann falsely told him he slit Cohen's throat, Bobbitt helped him put the body in the trunk of Swann's car, and Swann drove to Patterson, New Jersey. After they buried the body and Bobbitt left, Swann dug up the body and buried it in Roosevelt Island, New York, as part of a plan to be acquitted should he be tried for the murder. Afterwards, Swann bragged about the murder to anyone who would listen, thinking he was untouchable. He was arrested for murder, but he continued to think he was safe because there was no body. Unfortunately for Swann, the ADA assigned to his case, Stone, managed to convict him for murder and Swann was sentenced to life in prison. While imprisoned, Swann got a legal degree and started helping inmates in prison, including William Doyle and George Mazlansky, with their legal issues.

American Dream

After the body is discovered, Swann contests his conviction on the grounds of new evidence. Outside the Appellate courtroom, he smugly comments on how he will be representing himself and he makes his arguments to have his conviction overturned and grant him a retrial, citing People v. Rodriguez. Stone tries to argue against Swann's position, but the Appellate Court ultimately grants Swann a new trial. Swann then starts using the connections he made through his clients. He first arranges Doyle to testify for Stone at his new trial, knowing he is a convicted perjurer in Sterling County. Then, he has Mazlansky kill Bobbitt and make it look like he left the country. Swann and Stone argue before a judge and this forces Stone to proceed to trial immediately without Bobbitt or his prior testimony, on the grounds that he has a right to cross-examine any witnesses against him.

At trial, Stone calls Chip Rafferty, his former VP, and Doyle to testify that Swann bragged to Rafferty about killing Cohen. However, Swann uses the fact the Doyle is a known perjurer to discredit him. He then takes the stand and testifies that he didn't kill Cohen. On cross-examination, Stone brings up the New Jersey dirt found in his old car, but Swann claims that it is from a country club he used to go to. After Swann and Stone deliver their closing arguments, the jury returns a verdict of not guilty. After his acquittal, he throws a victory party before filing a lawsuit against the state and Stone personally for $10,000,000.

Swann deposes Stone about his tax returns and implies that his promotion to Executive ADA was because of his case, giving him motive to use perjured testimony. When Stone and the police realize Swann had Bobbitt killed, Detectives Briscoe and Logan arrest him for ordering the murder. Swann meets Stone in his office, and Stone tells him how his two accomplices have turned on him by showing him their confessions. In his anger at Stone for exposing him, Swann inadvertently confesses that he did what he did to avenge the defeat he suffered at his hands eight years ago, when he managed to convict him for the murder of Sid Cohen. Stone then tells Swann he wants a confession for both murders. He refuses and Swann is taken back to prison.