Extensive Government and Internal Investigation Experience. Notable Results.
White collar defense and regulatory issues can arise without warning. Whether it is a search warrant, interrogation, subpoena, grand jury appearance, whistleblower claim, or civil investigative demand, our White Collar & Government Enforcement attorneys are prepared to respond quickly, conduct internal investigations, master the facts, and provide trustworthy and reliable counsel. Many of our attorneys are former federal prosecutors with direct, practical experience. We help our clients enhance their compliance procedures and rigorously defend them against government investigations.
Saul Ewing attorneys are notable trial lawyers with extensive experience representing clients in government enforcement actions. We regularly handle ethics and compliance-related investigations. We counsel clients on a variety of statutes and regulations including: the False Claims Act (FCA), the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FDCA), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data privacy and cybersecurity regulations, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, securities laws, government contracting regulations, and government lobbying activities, among others. Drawing on our experience in these heavily regulated areas, we have successfully represented our clients in matters before agencies and regulators such as:
- Criminal, Civil and Antitrust Divisions of the Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
- Department of Defense (DoD)
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Department of Labor (DOL)
- Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
- Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- Offices of Inspector General at federal, state and local levels
- State attorneys general and various state enforcement agencies
By way of example, Saul Ewing attorneys advised on these select white collar and government enforcement representations:
Financial Services Industry
- A bank in advising on an investigation by the DOJ, SEC, CFTC and U.K. Financial Services Authority into the possible role of the bank’s employees in the improper submission of rates to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) panel.
- An investment services company and its president in a DOJ Antitrust Division investigation of alleged bid rigging in the municipal bond reinvestment market. The DOJ indicted and convicted our client’s principal competitor and former executives from various Wall Street firms and obtained restitution, penalties and disgorgement in excess of $750 million. Yet, we successfully obtained declinations from the DOJ, IRS and SEC.
- A Fortune 50 financial services company as part of a nationwide investigation into fair lending practices.
- Investors in investigating and prosecuting an individual in the financial services industry who solicited and obtained payments exceeding $1.1 million from the investors by falsely representing that their funds would be invested in particular companies and instead misappropriated the funds for personal expenditures.
- A private equity firm in an internal investigation in response to a FINRA inquiry into possible front-running by one of its employees.
- A check cashing agency in an investigation following execution of a state search warrant looking into potential kickbacks and other improper employee conduct.
- Financial institutions in providing advice on the effectiveness of various programs and internal controls designed to detect, prevent, and report illegal activity and promote compliance with BSA, OFAC and FinCEN regulations.
- The Board of Managers of an investment firm in conducting an independent investigation of allegations made against the CEO and Managing Principal related to the misappropriation of funds for personal gain, false representations to investors and other related misconduct.
- A financial institution in defense against federal criminal investigations of BSA and related AML violations, resulting in a deferred prosecution agreement and restitution payment below the original government demand.
Life Sciences & Health Care Industries
- 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.
- A global pharmaceutical company against a whistleblower claim under the FCA. We assessed sales and promotional practices that the whistleblower alleged were violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute. We successfully designed a remedial action plan for the client and received declination from the federal investigation.
- 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.
- Multiple home health care agencies in qui tam actions and investigations alleging violations of the False Claims Act stemming from claims being submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for services performed and billed.
- 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 pharmacist who was under investigation for improperly importing prescription medications and related health-care-fraud and AML violations, resulting in a noncustodial sentence and reinstatement of license.
- A Philadelphia-area physician in convincing the SEC to back off of a threatened insider trading investigation. With the help of the client, we uncovered key documents proving that the doctor had traded based on public information and quickly provided those key documents to the SEC. In response, the SEC issued a letter stating that it was terminating the investigation of our client.
- A chemical manufacturer in the investigation of, and litigation arising from, a plant explosion with multiple fatalities. We have provided counsel to managerial employees in interviews with OSHA and the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, defended litigation initiated by the Illinois and county attorney general’s offices relating to alleged environmental impacts and remedial actions for the facility and surrounding areas, and worked with experts on root cause analysis.
- A Fortune 50 company in a statewide investigation of the oil and gas industry. Convinced the State AG to not charge our client while the grand jury returned charges against our client’s competitors.
- A chemical manufacturer in convincing a U.S. Attorney’s Office to reverse its decision to prosecute after the DOJ had approved an indictment charging criminal violations of the Clean Air Act after a tragic environmental disaster resulting in the death of a bystander.
- A Fortune 50 oil and gas company in a grand jury investigation.
- A publicly traded chemical company regarding the assessment of its U.S. mergers and acquisitions to resolve potential issues related to the FCPA.
Individuals and Additional Industries
- A former deputy chief of staff for education during a federal criminal investigation conducted by the FBI and a U.S. Attorney’s Office in connection with the handling of a no-bid contract awarded to a consulting firm. Our client was a witness in this high-profile investigation and prosecution.
- A former director of state agency during an investigation conducted by the Executive Inspector General for Agencies of Illinois Governor involving allegations of violations of the Illinois “Revolving Door” statute. Following a witness interview and defense presentation to investigators, no finding of wrongdoing was made against our client.
- An organization in an internal investigation into potential exposure under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
- An individual indicted for alleged bank fraud conspiracy stemming from the 2008 sub-prime mortgage lending crisis. The matter went to trial in the United States District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The individual was acquitted by the jury.
- An employee, who performs an internal audit function for an international publicly traded company, in a joint FCPA investigation by the DOJ and SEC, which resulted in the government taking no action against our client.
- A CBD manufacturing company in response to a whistleblower complaint to OSHA regarding certain of its manufacturing processes.
- An industrial company during a federal criminal investigation of its employee for alleged theft of trade secrets and economic espionage using sophisticated means. We directly engaged in and oversaw an extensive computer forensics investigation to assess the veracity of the allegations.
- A utility company in conducting an internal investigation in response to an ethics hotline complaint alleging misconduct by one of the company’s executives.
- A large produce distribution center in recovering lost funds from culpable parties involved in an embezzlement scheme.
- A cattle broker in a state court trial alleging criminal conduct in connection with the cattle brokerage business. We successfully obtained an acquittal at trial on all counts.
- A global dairy company in an investigation by the CFTC of electronic futures trading practices.
- A defense contractor in an investigation conducted by a state task force into possible corruption in state funding allocations.
- 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 federal defense contractor in a qui tam action, in which we filed a successful motion to dismiss and secured a declination to intervene by the U.S. government.
- A foreign-based federal government contractor defending against a sealed FCA and FCPA grand jury investigation and advancing trial-level and appellate litigation related to quashing subpoenas directed to foreign and domestic entities, including contractor subsidiaries.
- The audit committee of the board of directors of a publicly traded defense contractor in conducting an internal investigation to assess allegations by the U.S. Navy that the client had submitted false claims for payment.
- A federal government contractor under investigation for allegedly paying bribes or improperly giving gifts to American and foreign military personnel connected to defense contracts. No charges were filed against the contractor.
- A government contracting consulting company in an investigation by the DOJ and multiple state attorneys general in an alleged FCA case.
- A government contractor in obtaining a declination by a U.S. Attorney of all criminal and civil fraud charges after the FBI executed a search warrant.
- 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 the implicated government employees, and termination of the implicated contractor employees.
- A university in an internal investigation in response to a whistleblower complaint regarding purported academic integrity and disparate treatment issues.
- A public university in an independent investigation involving allegations that a high-level employee accepted kick-backs in exchange for favorable employment decisions, including hiring, promotions and failure-to-discipline decisions. Additional allegations involved the use of improper influence of underlings to impact employment-related decisions.
- A charter school in an investigation conducted by the Chicago Board of Education Office of Inspector General after its former CEO resigned when allegations of improper conduct became known.
- An educational organization in a DOJ investigation related to allegations of mail fraud, theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft.
- A large public university on the creation and implementation of an anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy for purposes of compliance with the FCPA.
- A higher education institute in a six-year investigation as a result of a compliance review issued by the Department of Education.
- A state governor in a DOJ investigation of a pipeline permitting process involving allegations of improper influence that the state governor strongly denies.
- A special counsel to a Pennsylvania Senate committee in assisting on the investigation into the ability of a then-sitting Pennsylvania attorney general to perform official duties with a suspended law license.
- A quasi-public real estate development agency that fell victim to an embezzlement scheme. We assisted the client in referring the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution, pursuing financial recovery options and improving internal controls.
- A city official with respect to a corruption investigation and prosecution conducted by the Department of Justice. The official was not prosecuted.