Joseph A. Valenti

Joseph A. Valenti

Partner

Contact Info

Phone: (412) 209-2569
Fax: (412) 209-2570

Primary Office

Pittsburgh
One PPG Place
Suite 3010
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Joseph A. Valenti

Partner

Joe Valenti is a trial and appellate lawyer who represents entities and individuals under investigation or in litigation of white collar criminal and civil matters. Clients ranging from government contractors and non-profit organizations to health care and financial services companies rely on Joe to represent their interests when they are subject to a search warrant, receive a subpoena from the government or face indictment by a grand jury. These cases typically involve government parties scrutinizing compliance with federal and state laws, such as the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the False Claims Act (FCA), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), fraud statutes, anti-money-laundering regulations, consumer protection laws, child protection laws and anti-harassment laws, among many others. Joe defends clients facing criminal and civil charges in both federal and state courts. His experience includes making proffers to the government that have led to declination letters as well as negotiating settlements, non-prosecution agreements and deferred prosecution agreements.

Business clients also turn to Joe to conduct, supervise and audit internal investigations into activities in their workplaces. His experience in this area includes investigating allegations of sexual assault, harassment, financial irregularities, and negligent conduct in charitable, health care and educational institutions. Joe also conducts investigations as part of the potential defense of companies facing government investigations, as well to help clients verify their compliance with government regulations and minimize risks that could lead to non-compliance. This work includes providing regulatory advice and drafting internal policies, procedures, controls and training materials.

Joe also handles matters involving free speech, copyrights, trademarks, advertising, cybersecurity, data privacy, and commercial litigation, particularly involving serious accidents, injury or death, or substantial monetary loss.

Experience

Defense Against Government Investigations and Claims

Select representations include:

A corporate entity and employee facing charges related to negligent maintenance of industrial facilities, resulting in a non-prosecution agreement and dismissal of all then-pending charges
A financial institution defending against federal criminal investigations of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and related anti-money-laundering (AML) violations, resulting in a deferred prosecution agreement and restitution payment below the original government demand
A financial institution defending against federal and state criminal and civil investigations related to its anti-fraud and consumer protection efforts, resulting in a global settlement where penalties were concurrent rather than consecutive
A derivatives trader under criminal and civil investigation in multiple countries for allegedly rigging interest rate submissions, resulting in a plea agreement and sentencing under more lenient foreign law
Numerous financial institutions and accounting firms in responding to third-party subpoenas seeking sensitive information regarding customer accounts
A retail store chain during a civil investigation into its advertising practices, resulting in a declination letter
A state legislator during a grand jury investigation of theft-of-services and conflict-of-interest allegations
The lead defendant in a civil rights case arising from a fatal police shooting during appeal in Zion v. Nassan, 12-3139 (3d Cir.) and at trial level (09-383, W.D. Pa.)
Investigations

Select representations include:

An industrial company during a federal criminal investigation of its employee for alleged theft of trade secrets and economic espionage using sophisticated means, directly engaging in and overseeing an extensive computer forensics investigation to assess the veracity of the allegations
Multiple Fortune 500 companies seeking to identify and criminally and civilly prosecute former employees or customers who made anonymous online threats and otherwise harassed current executives/employees and their families
Multiple charitable, health care and educational institutions in need of legal counsel to conduct, supervise or audit investigations into allegations of sexual assault, workplace harassment or caregiver/educator misconduct. Involved in more than 250 separate investigations.
Company employees in need of counsel during interviews as witnesses in a federal criminal environmental and transportation investigation targeting a company operating in heavy industry. Served as pool counsel.
Assisted Special Counsel to Pennsylvania Senate Special Committee on Senate Address, which investigated ability of then-sitting Pennsylvania Attorney General to perform official duties with suspended law license
Multiple, separate energy clients during government and internal investigations of employee death or injury at various drilling sites
Energy client during government and internal investigations of air pollution emanating from maintenance operations
A client in the investigation of circumstances surrounding decedent’s death after an accident on government property and subsequent intensive medical care.
Compliance and Mitigation

Select representations include:

International clients in the security, financial, health care, technology, energy, chemical, manufacturing and other sectors in need of anti-corruption and/or anti-money laundering (AML) due diligence investigations of current and prospective business partners, distributors, agents, acquisition targets, investors and customers
Financial institutions in need of advice on the effectiveness of various programs and internal controls designed to detect, prevent, and report illegal activity and promote compliance with the BSA, OFAC and FinCEN regulations
Numerous clients in various industries in the drafting, implementation and updating of anti-money laundering and anti-corruption policies
Several clients in the financial services and health care industries in need of counseling regarding federal and state wiretapping/consent laws and record retention requirements related to recording telephonic and computer-based conversations
Multiple financial institutions and health care entities in need of advice regarding data protection and consumer/patient-privacy obligations, including cybersecurity and physical security best practices
Multiple clients in need of counsel on compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, False Claims Act, Trade Agreements Act, BOTS Act, and related federal and state statutes and regulations. Representations included providing assistance in making voluntary disclosures and remediation in certain detected cases of noncompliance.
Gaming entities in need of advice on federal and state licensing and wagering regulations
Government Contractors

Select representations include:

The independent directors on the board of a federal defense contractor after a search warrant was executed at the contractor's headquarters, resulting in an internal investigation, a proffer to the government, and issuance of a declination letter as to all potentially implicated parties
A defense contractor in defending against False Claims Act litigation, resulting in no intervention by the government and a settlement with a private litigant claiming whistleblower retaliation
A state government contractor during an investigation into allegations that its employees provided illegal gratuities and improper gifts to state and local government employees, resulting in declination of prosecution for the contractor, federal charges against implicated government employees, and termination of implicated contractor employees
A foreign-based federal government contractor defending against a sealed False Claims Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act grand jury investigation and advancing novel trial-level and appellate litigation related to quashing subpoenas directed to foreign and domestic entities (including contractor subsidiaries)
A federal government contractor under investigation for paying bribes or improperly giving gifts to American and foreign military personnel connected to defense contracts
Individuals during administrative appeals of security clearance denials
Health Care

Select representations include:

A nonprofit health care entity during an investigation related to alleged patient neglect by an alcoholic employee, resulting in successful termination and criminal prosecution of the employee with no charges brought against the entity
Numerous health care providers in defending against separate federal criminal and civil investigations of allegedly improper billing practices resulting in purported False Claims Act violations
A pharmaceutical manufacturer in defending against civil claims of improper avoidance of FDA user fees
A hospital system during an investigation related to alleged misconduct by a staff doctor indicted for self-prescribing and abusing controlled substances
A nonprofit health care entity in an investigation of a former employee who committed theft from the company and its patients. Representation included seeking restitution.
A health care provider during an internal audit of noncompliance with IRS regulations and cash transaction reporting requirements
Doctors, pharmacists and various other clients in the health care industry in defending against investigations and litigation, including cases involving allegations of: health care fraud; improperly prescribing, importing and dispensing opioids and other prescription medicines; and violating the Controlled Substance Act
Free Speech

Select representations include:

An advanced technology company in a dispute with a high-profile media entity, resulting in the media entity's abandonment of a plan to publish a damaging and misleading feature article about the company
A chief executive officer of a publicly traded company in a successful challenge to overturn an order issued by a state officer banning certain forms and content of speech at polling places
A public authority sued by a nuisance plaintiff, resulting in the dismissal of the initial case and settlement of abuse-of-process counterclaims
A real estate developer suing a local newspaper for defamation and false-light claims, resulting in a favorable monetary settlement and a published correction
Multiple media entities in need of advice on the risks of litigation related to publishing content, including evaluating content for trademark, copyright, defamation, privacy and related issues
Various clients in filing and litigating requests for government records under federal and state freedom of information, open records, and right-to-know laws
Various public and private figures in need of advice on the viability of defamation and invasion of privacy claims arising from actions of various potential defendants, including both media and non-media entities
A global retailer in need of advice on potential trademark infringement and false advertising issues arising from carrying and marketing generic versions of certain high-profile name-brand items
An international entertainment company in its defense against claims of copyright infringement, false advertising, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, tortious interference, invasion of privacy and related civil claims
Various clients in the negotiation of contracts involving the receipt, use, and protection of highly sensitive information, such as government-classified information, Rule 6(e) grand jury information, sealed court documents, trade secrets, protected health information and private financial data
Commercial Litigation

Select representations include:

A client in the international arbitration of claims arising from circumstances surrounding the purchase of an industrial company with undisclosed tax and other liabilities, resulting in the payment of a multimillion-dollar settlement to the client
Various entities in numerous litigations (including class actions) and mediations (including with insurance companies and victims' funds) arising from abuse or workplace harassment within religious institutions
A prospective plaintiff energy client in need of counsel on the criminal ramifications and civil claims for abuse of process, civil conspiracy, commercial disparagement (trade libel), defamation, tortious interference and unfair competition arising from false reports to the government by potential defendants regarding client's business practices and products
An energy client in defending against complex private-party litigation that included claims for false advertising and unfair business practices while also assisting the client during a related parallel government investigation
Two separate energy companies in defending against two separate class-action lawsuits arising from allegedly executed leases that were not honored, resulting in defense victories through motions to dismiss
A manufacturer in defending against allegations of a defective industrial product, resulting in a defense verdict at trial and affirmance on appeal

Thought Leadership

No results.

March 23, 2018
Civil Forfeiture: Can the Government Really Seize and Take Ownership of My Company’s Assets? | U.S. Investigations, Enforcement and White Collar Alert
December 5, 2017
Maximizing Efficiency, Minimizing Risk: Understanding the Common Interest Doctrine | Investigations, Enforcement and White Collar Alert
December 6, 2016
FINRA Imposing Increasingly Major Fines for AML Failures | Government Enforcement Alert
September 30, 2016
12 AML Obligations Every Broker/Dealer Needs to Know | The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation
July 20, 2016
Bridging the Great Divide: Collaboration Considerations for Banks and Marketplace Lenders | Consumer Financial Services Alert

No results.

Speaking Engagement
September 1, 2018
Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania Compliance Committee: Internal and External Healthcare Fraud Investigations
Speaking Engagement
May 1, 2017
Symposium on Cybersecurity Issues: Cybersecurity - Mock Breach Exercise and Dealing With Law Enforcement
Speaking Engagement
April 1, 2017
ACAMS 22: The New Risks in Town - Adapting AML for Crowdfunding and Other Online Lending Risks
Speaking Engagement
January 1, 2017
The Knowledge Group for New York / New Jersey CLE course: Marketplace Lending and Crowdfunding - What to Watch For in 2017
Speaking Engagement
April 1, 2016
LendIt USA: Cybersecurity and Fraud in the Loan Process

Credentials and Accolades

Honors and Awards

Selected as a Rising Star in White Collar Crimes by Pittsburgh Super Lawyers, 2018 to present

Memberships and Affiliations

Allegheny County Inspector of Election

Board of Directors, Center for Hearing and Deaf Services

Duquesne University School of Law

  • Class Ambassador
  • Alumni Mentor
  • Alumni Association Board of Governors

Education

J.D., summa cum laude, Duquesne University School of Law, 2009

  • Editor-in-Chief, Duquesne Law Review, Volume 47

B.A., magna cum laude, Duquesne University, 2005

Bar Admissions

Pennsylvania

Clerkships

Judge Thomas M. Hardiman, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, 2009

Joe Valenti is a trial and appellate lawyer who represents entities and individuals under investigation or in litigation of white collar criminal and civil matters. Clients ranging from government contractors and non-profit organizations to health care and financial services companies rely on Joe to represent their interests when they are subject to a search warrant, receive a subpoena from the government or face indictment by a grand jury. These cases typically involve government parties scrutinizing compliance with federal and state laws, such as the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the False Claims Act (FCA), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), fraud statutes, anti-money-laundering regulations, consumer protection laws, child protection laws and anti-harassment laws, among many others. Joe defends clients facing criminal and civil charges in both federal and state courts. His experience includes making proffers to the government that have led to declination letters as well as negotiating settlements, non-prosecution agreements and deferred prosecution agreements.

Business clients also turn to Joe to conduct, supervise and audit internal investigations into activities in their workplaces. His experience in this area includes investigating allegations of sexual assault, harassment, financial irregularities, and negligent conduct in charitable, health care and educational institutions. Joe also conducts investigations as part of the potential defense of companies facing government investigations, as well to help clients verify their compliance with government regulations and minimize risks that could lead to non-compliance. This work includes providing regulatory advice and drafting internal policies, procedures, controls and training materials.

Joe also handles matters involving free speech, copyrights, trademarks, advertising, cybersecurity, data privacy, and commercial litigation, particularly involving serious accidents, injury or death, or substantial monetary loss.