Government Investigations

We help companies, boards of directors, individual officers and directors navigate complex investigations carried out by a wide range of federal and state government agencies.

Overview

Our Government Investigations attorneys have successfully represented companies and individuals, including public company executives, in civil and criminal investigations before the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and many other federal and state regulatory and enforcement agencies.

We frequently represent clients in parallel civil and criminal investigations and in regulatory proceedings.  We also assist our clients to develop and provide a coordinated response to the internal and public concerns that accompany these matters, including helping them respond to media interest and address reputational concerns.

We understand that a criminal indictment, regardless of the ultimate outcome of the case, can itself be extremely damaging to an organization.  We have succeeded in averting indictments of our clients in a broad array of criminal and regulatory matters, including healthcare fraud and FDA cases, securities and insider trading cases, antitrust matters, criminal environmental investigations, bank fraud cases, and employee embezzlement cases.

Because a thorough and early internal investigation can make the difference between a government investigation and a government prosecution, our team assists clients to conduct the appropriate internal investigations thoroughly and efficiently.  As outside counsel, we work with in-house counsel, senior management, audit committees, and/or special committees formed by boards of directors to develop innovative and creative solutions for problems uncovered during the internal investigation.

SECIL Blog

The SECIL (Securities Enforcement Compliance Investigations & Litigation) blog provides helpful information for clients dealing with SEC issues. We also discuss current and ongoing issues in our blog where we draw on our insights and experience to discuss the latest issues in securities law and SEC enforcement initiatives.

Additional Specialties

Experience

  • Represented a large refrigeration warehouse company in EPA criminal investigation regarding ammonia releases at refrigeration facility. Investigation closed with no charges filed or any adverse action taken by the government against the company.
  • Negotiated with United States Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and other potentially responsible parties in defending client against a cost recovery claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), which resulted in an Administrative Order on Consent.
  • Represented the president of an herbal supplement/nutraceuticals company in U.S. Attorney’s Office criminal investigation regarding potentially adulterated and misbranded nutraceuticals. Investigation closed with no charges filed.
  • Retained by Clayton County Board of Commissioners to conduct internal investigation of county’s Finance Department.
  • Represent Florida Psychiatric hospital in parallel civil and criminal investigations by the Department of Justice related to alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • Represented a large public company in $100+ million False Claims Act investigation related to contracts for the provision of goods to the U.S. Military, obtaining a favorable settlement after internal investigation and presentation to government.
  • Represented one of the largest specialty medical practices in the Southeast in investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleging improper modifier 25 billing. Civil case settled for approximately one-third of the government’s demand.
  • Represented owner of MRI/CT scan centers in parallel civil and criminal investigations alleging improper billing and up-coding. The government declined to file criminal charges. Although the government demanded over $5 million to settle the case, we successfully settled for a nominal sum.
  • Represented former CEO and Treasurer of national, publicly traded nursing home chain in parallel civil and criminal anti-kickback and false claims investigations. No charges or lawsuits were filed against client.
  • Represented owner and senior executive of a refrigeration hardware company in criminal antitrust investigation alleging customer allocation in violation of the Sherman Act. No charges were filed against the firm’s client.
  • Represented a group of employees in criminal antitrust investigation of auto parts suppliers being conducted by the Department of Justice and European Commission.
  • Represented owner and president of a multi-location Georgia bank in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FDIC, and Federal Reserve related to certain loans and use of brokered deposits. No charges were filed.
  • Represented a former chief lending officer for a publicly traded Georgia bank in a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office related to potential bank fraud and insider trading.  Currently representing bank executive in related FDIC civil suit.
  • Represented a large refrigeration warehouse company in EPA criminal investigation regarding ammonia releases at refrigeration facility. Investigation closed with no charges filed or any adverse action taken by the government against the company.
  • Represented a shipping manager at peanut plant in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FDA related to salmonella outbreak. Client was not charged.
  • Represented a cigarette broker in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ATF alleging diversion of millions of dollars of cigarettes to avoid various federal and state taxes. Client was not charged.
  • Represented human resources manager at Georgia poultry company in an investigation into the company’s alleged hiring of hundreds of workers without proper documentation. Client was not charged.
  • Represented a large consumer information company in one of the nation’s first high profile data breaches. In addition to representing the client before the Federal Trade Commission, we also advised the client on consumer breach notification issues, congressional testimony, and enhancements to the client’s internal controls.
  • Successfully represented a consumer reporting agency before the Federal Trade Commission in a nonpublic FTC inquiry into compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Following document productions, responses to interrogatories, and meetings with the FTC staff, the inquiry was closed without further action by the FTC.
  • Represented former AmLaw 100 lawyer charged with embezzling over $500,000 from firm clients.
  • Represented executive of publicly-traded managed care company in internal investigation related to anti-kickback statue violations.  Executive cleared of wrongdoing.
  • Represented a doctor charged with Medicaid fraud and Georgia tax evasion. The Medicaid fraud was alleged to involve over-billing of approximately $840,000 over a number of years. Doctor pleaded guilty, was ordered to pay $140,000 and received probation.

    Recognition

    • Many of our Government Investigations attorneys have been profiled by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, and listed as “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend Magazine.

     

    • Sara Lord is a recipient of the US Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, as well as the US Department of Justice’s John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement in Litigation.

     

    • John Rowley is a recipient of the US Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant US Attorney.

     

    • Both Adriaen Morse and Cory Kirchert have received the SEC’s Director’s Award for outstanding work in enforcement of the securities laws.

     

    News & Insights

    Government Investigations Team Insights

    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.