Our White Collar Criminal Defense Team includes a veteran group of former federal prosecutors with decades of experience representing companies and individuals doing business in some of the most heavily regulated industries.
Our seasoned attorneys have a proven track record of resolving controversies, including regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, favorably and expeditiously. Often these government inquiries are resolved without our clients being charged with criminal or regulatory violations and the existence of the government inquiry never becoming public. In those instances when the government has filed charges or enforcement actions against our clients, our litigators have obtained successful outcomes at trial or on appeal. Our lawyers are also regularly engaged to design, or evaluate and improve, corporate compliance programs that prevent law violations from occurring.
We are frequently retained by corporate stakeholders, including boards of directors, audit committees and general counsel, to conduct internal investigations of suspected employee misconduct and “whistleblower” complaints. The skills and experience of our lawyers enable them to investigate suspected wrongdoing thoroughly and efficiently. We understand our clients’ businesses and can properly scope the investigation, evaluate the potential impact of the investigation results, make decisions about any reporting to government authorities and formulate appropriate corrective measures.
Our clients include Fortune 500 and other publicly traded companies, closely held corporations, nonprofit organizations, corporate directors and executives and public officials. We are available to defend companies, domestic and foreign, in “bet-the-business” litigation or to provide counseling and advice on the narrowest technical matters.
We successfully defend clients in a wide range of criminal investigations and related civil inquiries matters, including alleged violations in the following subject matter areas:
- The False Claims Act
- The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Health Care
- Government Procurement
- Public Corruption
- Securities and Financial Transactions
We defend companies and individuals, domiciled in the U.S. and in other countries, against allegations of bid-rigging, price-fixing, market or customer allocation and other forms of alleged anticompetitive conduct. We have handled all phases of antitrust investigations and prosecutions conducted by authorities in the United States, Canada and the European Union. Representative matters include:
- Represented companies at trial and on successful appeal in which the government alleged bid-rigging on construction projects financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development. United States v. Anderson, et al. (D.D.C.)
- Conducted an internal investigation for a drilling services company suspected of bid-rigging and represented it in a voluntary disclosure to competition authorities in Europe.
- Represented an energy trading fund in a market manipulation investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
- Secured declination of prosecution on behalf of an executive in an Antitrust Division price-fixing investigation of the helicopter transport services industry. (N.D. Tex.)
- Secured declination of prosecution on behalf of the former CEO of a joint venture in an Antitrust Division price-fixing investigation of the elastomers industry. (N.D. Cal.)
- Represented an airline executive in a DOJ investigation of pricing in the air cargo industry. (D.D.C.)
- Obtained declination of prosecution for European sales executives in an investigation of alleged conspiracy to fix prices and allocate customers in the vitamins industry. (N.D. Cal.)
We defend companies and corporate executives in connection with investigations and enforcement actions brought by federal, state and local regulatory agencies under a range of environmental statutes and regulatory schemes. We also conduct internal environmental audits for our clients.
- Represented a major chemical manufacturer in connection with a federal investigation arising from a series of industrial plant accidents that resulted in the release of toxic gases and the death of one worker. We quarterbacked the responses to multiple agency investigations and led a large defense team representing individual employees. The prosecution of the corporation and individuals were declined.
- Represented a major oil company in two environmental crimes investigations related to one of its East Coast oil refineries. The federal investigation arose from an industrial accident that shut down the refinery and caused releases of chemicals into the air and water. An unrelated state investigation arose from alleged longstanding unpermitted air emissions from a storage unit at the refinery. Both prosecutions were declined.
- Conducted an internal investigation of possible RCRA violations, including falsification of records, at a Midwest oil refinery. The investigation uncovered the responsible individuals and scope of the problem. We advised the client on follow-up actions, including voluntary disclosures, revisions of the facility’s compliance programs and other corrective actions. Our strategic approach resulted in building trust with the regulators, an imposition of a very minor civil fine, and no referral.
- Represented an environmental laboratory accused by a whistleblower of widespread falsification of lab results. We presented technical defense rebutting all accusations that lead to the prosecution being declined.
- Represented an oil refinery manager in connection with a refinery explosion that resulted in the death of two contract employees. While the company was prosecuted by both the state Attorney General and the DOJ, no criminal charges were brought against our client.
- Conducted numerous internal investigations resulting from complaints by employees or former employees, including that a chemical plant was allegedly falsifying environmental reports, another chemical plant had failed to report accidental releases of hazardous substances, and numerous wetlands and Endangered Species Act violations had occurred in connection with a multistate linear construction project. We fully developed the facts and counseled clients on personnel, disclosure obligations and other corrective actions.
- Defended a nonprofit organization accused of violating the Marine Mammal Act while creating a documentary film on the West Coast. Although another party was criminally prosecuted for the incidents, prosecution against our client was declined.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Our lawyers have extensive experience assisting clients in matters arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the U.K.'s Bribery Act. We provide advice and, where necessary, legal representation to companies and individuals in a variety of industries in each of the three distinct areas of compliance, investigations and defense. Representative matters include:
- Obtained dismissal of all FCPA and conspiracy charges on behalf of client following a four-month trial in United States v. Goncalves, et al. (D.D.C.)
- Represented a U.S. contractor in a DOJ investigation of contracts performed in Iraq.
- Represented a former executive of a French conglomerate in a DOJ investigation of alleged improper payments in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a U.S. manufacturer in regard to distributor relationships in Serbia and Slovenia.
- Conducted internal investigations for a U.S. manufacturer of alleged improper payments in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a U.S. beverage producer of invoicing and sales agent practices in Syria.
- Obtained declination of prosecution for insurance companies based in a U.S. territory in a DOJ investigation of financial transactions in Nigeria.
Health Care Fraud
We defend medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals and health care systems, home health agencies, physicians and other health care providers in government investigations and civil and criminal litigation, including matters arising under the federal and state False Claims Acts, the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law, the federal health care fraud statute and other criminal fraud statutes. We also assist clients with internal investigations of potential wrongdoing and with appropriate remedial action such as voluntary self-disclosure under the HHS Office of Inspector General Self-Disclosure Protocol.
- Defended a major medical device company in False Claims Act litigation premised on alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
- Defended a New Jersey hospital in False Claims Act litigation alleging numerous Medicare billing irregularities, including billing for medically unnecessary inpatient admissions and extending inpatient hospitalizations to improperly trigger post-discharge Medicare coverage for nursing home care. Obtained dismissal of the lawsuit under the public disclosure bar and for failure to state a claim.
- Defended a Florida hospital in False Claims Act litigation premised on alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law based on physician practice acquisitions and employment arrangements.
- Defended an Arizona hospital in a DOJ investigation of alleged inappropriate Medicare inpatient admissions of patients undergoing certain interventional orthopedic procedures.
- Defended multiple hospitals and health systems in DOJ investigations of the billing of cardiac device implantations that were allegedly not medically necessary and/or not covered by Medicare.
- Defended a Tennessee outpatient dialysis provider in False Claims Act litigation alleging inappropriate coding.
- Defended a Virginia home health agency in False Claims Act litigation premised on alleged Anti-Kickback Statute violations.
- Defended a Nevada physician practice accused of violating the False Claims Act through numerous alleged coding irregularities.
- Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company into alleged improper awarding of honoraria to medical doctors.
- Represented a former Division President of a national pharmacy company in DOJ investigation of alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
- Assisting a 300-physician multi-specialty medical group in responding to a former executive’s allegation of inappropriate E&M coding and unlawful compensation arrangements.
- Conducted multiple internal investigations for pharmaceutical companies involving alleged improper marketing activities under the Anti-Kickback Statute and FDA prohibition against off-label promotion.
- Conducted internal investigations for a pharmaceutical company concerning allegations of improper medical device reporting and misconduct with respect to employee training programs.
- Represented a major pharmaceutical company in a DOJ investigation of alleged improper marketing activities in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and parallel civil investigation of alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
Our lawyers have extensive experience representing government contractors and their employees in criminal investigations and related civil proceedings involving allegations of procurement fraud. Representative matters include:
- Represented a non-U.S. contractor in a DOJ investigation of alleged kickbacks on contracts awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense for reconstruction work in Iraq.
- Obtained declination of prosecution for computer manufacturers in DOJ investigations of procurements by the FBI and the DEA.
- Obtained declination of prosecution for a prime contractor on the construction of federal courthouses in New York and Nevada in connection with the investigation of alleged bribes and kickbacks.
- Represented an individual in a DOJ investigation of alleged false and fraudulent claims made by a foreign food service contractor in Afghanistan.
- Represented an individual owner of a company accused of providing false information in order to obtain Small Disadvantaged Business eligibility under the SBA program.
We represent public officials, as well as organizations and their employees, in connection with matters involving allegations of bribery, the receipt of unlawful gratuities, campaign finance violations and lobbying irregularities.
- Represented a charter school founder at trial on fraud and obstruction of justice charges, obtaining dismissal and acquittals on several counts and a deadlocked jury on the remaining charges. United States v. Brown, et al. (E.D. Pa.)
- Obtained a full acquittal for a Pennsylvania magisterial district judge in U.S.A. v. Sullivan, et al., 2:13-cr-00039 (E.D. Pa.). The indictment came on the heels of a three-year FBI investigation into Philadelphia Traffic Court for alleged ticket-fixing involving judges, administrators and city politicians. After the two-month trial, our client was acquitted of all charges, which included wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud.
- Retained by the City of Chicago to conduct a due diligence review of the activities of its former comptroller Amer Ahmad following his indictment on public corruption charges.
- Obtained declination of prosecution for an executive of a public relations firm in a DOJ and congressional investigation of the lobbying activities of Jack Abramoff.
- Represented U.S. Marshals Service officials in Senate Judiciary Committee and DOJ investigations of alleged perjury and false statements. No criminal charges were brought against our clients.
- Obtained declination of prosecution for an attorney in an investigation of alleged illegal campaign contributions.
Securities and Financial Fraud
We represent the financial industry members in connection with investigations and enforcement actions conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and state attorneys general, as well as in securities fraud investigations conducted by the DOJ, involving allegations of improper revenue recognition, insider trading, stock option backdating, and other types of alleged securities and accounting fraud. We also provide reports, discussions and analyses on regulatory trends on our blog SECurities Law Perspectives.
- Obtained dismissal of a securities fraud indictment for the former CEO of a China-based media company in United States v. Singhal, et al (D.D.C.).
- Obtained declination in a SEC investigation of alleged insider trading in shares of an offshore insurer.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a public company concerning allegations of insider trading by the CEO and General Counsel.
- Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of the audit committee for a publicly traded company in connection with a whistleblower complaint charging improprieties in accounting at one of the company’s subsidiaries.
- Represented an audit committee of a publicly traded financial institution in a SEC investigation of books and records irregularities.
- Represented a former chief financial officer of a publicly traded high-tech company in SEC and DOJ investigations of alleged audit fraud.
- Represented a commodities trader in connection with an investigation by the CFTC involving alleged market manipulation of crude oil prices.
- Represented a publicly traded financial institution in connection with a SEC investigation alleging irregularities in the financial reporting of loan loss reserves and investments.
- Obtained declinations of prosecution for sales and marketing executives in DOJ and SEC investigations of alleged improper revenue recognition by an Internet services company.
We represent clients in connection with investigations conducted by the DOJ and the IRS involving allegations of tax evasion, money laundering and related offenses.
- Represented partners and principals of Big Four accounting firms in connection with a DOJ investigation of the marketing of tax avoidance strategies. No criminal charges were brought against our clients.
- Secured declination of prosecution for a hedge fund executive in connection with DOJ, IRS and SEC investigations of alleged use of offshore trusts to evade income tax and SEC reporting requirements.
- Represented a former executive of a publicly held company in an IRS investigation involving his investments in limited partnerships that the IRS considered sham tax shelters.
- Represented an accounting firm in an investigation of its client’s failure to report offshore income to the IRS.
Visit us at the SECurities Law Perspectives blog, a site designed to provide reports, discussions, and analyses on noteworthy trends in SEC enforcement and regulatory activity from the perspective of a former SEC enforcement attorney, as well as from other attorneys at Drinker Biddle who have significant experience representation individuals and entities in connection with SEC and other regulatory investigations and litigation.
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