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September 2020


AGG’s Government Investigations Team Insights provides periodic updates covering legal and regulatory topics. Our team, which includes former federal prosecutors, SEC enforcement attorneys, and federal agency attorneys, has successfully represented companies and individuals, including executives of public companies, in numerous civil and criminal investigations, including before the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the SEC, the EPA, the FDA, the FTC, and many other federal and state agencies. We also assist our clients by conducting internal and parallel investigations, and advising them regarding the related issues that often follow government investigations, including civil litigation, media interest, and reputational concerns.


In this edition, we cover the Department of Justice’s first FCPA advisory opinion in six years, the impact of recent worksite employee enforcement cases, and two criminal Anti-Kickback cases assessing the applicability of the “bona fide employee” safe harbor.




DOJ Issues First FCPA Advisory Opinion in Six Years

By: John P. Rowley III and Georgina C. Shepard


On August 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Opinion Procedure Release, which concluded that fees paid to a foreign government-linked investment bank’s affiliate would not trigger an FCPA enforcement action. This is DOJ’s first FCPA advisory opinion since November 2014, and it comes on the heels of the second edition of the FCPA Resource Guide that was jointly published by DOJ and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Read More >


Attempts by Recruiters to Avoid Kickback Prosecutions Using the “Bona Fide Employee” Safe-Harbor Fail

By: Rebekah N. Plowman and Kara G. Silverman


On August 6, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the conviction of a patient recruiter in a Medicare kickback case, finding insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the recruiter was a “bona fide employee” entitled to safe-harbor protection for alleged Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) violations. U.S. v. Eggleston, Case No. 19-1748 (6th Cir. Aug. 6, 2020). On August 20, 2020, a federal grand jury charged a pharmacy marketer, Vinson Woodlee, with conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks in what the Justice Department alleged involved more than $60 million in kickbacks. In both alleged schemes, the recruiters attempted to avail themselves of the bona fide employee safe harbor to the AKS despite being paid on a per-patient/prescription basis. Read More >


Largest Single-State Worksite Enforcement Operation Leads to Indictments Against Managers, Supervisors, and Human Resources Personnel

By: Montserrat C. Miller and Aaron M. Danzig


Federal indictments were unsealed recently against four managers, supervisors, and human resources personnel at Mississippi-based poultry processing plants as a result of an ongoing criminal investigation into company hiring practices and employment of unauthorized workers. To date, the investigation has led to dozens of indictments, criminal arrests, and convictions. Major allegations include individuals falsifying social security information, identity theft, falsifying immigration documents, and falsely claiming to be U.S. citizens—as a means of gaining employment in the United States. The charges here stem from government raids at poultry plants in 2019, which resulted in 680 people being arrested. Read More > 

    Aaron M. Danzig
Partner, Atlanta Office
        Sara M. Lord
Partner, DC Office

The information presented provides a general summary and/or recent legal and regulatory developments. It is not intended to be, and should not be relied upon as legal advice.


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