White Collar Defense & Investigations

Overview

“They provide thorough answers to any question, whether small or large. In particular, their briefs and all written materials are superior to any other firm I have ever worked with. They are also a pleasure to spend time with."

— Client feedback, Chambers USA

Businesses and individuals are subject to increased scrutiny by government and regulatory agencies. Issues can arise in the normal course of operations that lead to fraud and abuse allegations and require experienced counsel who understand the implications and can seek resolutions consistent with clients’ business objectives. 

Our team of white collar defense and investigations attorneys has broad experience advising companies, boards of directors, senior executives, and individuals facing criminal investigations, government investigations, congressional inquiries, whistleblower accusations, or self-discovered misconduct. We know the best defense for our clients requires skilled investigative tactics, top-notch litigation skills, savvy media relations, and effective negotiating strategies to mitigate damage to your reputation. 

Our litigation team includes 18 former federal and state prosecutors and former U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) attorneys, former state and federal judges, including a number of U.S. District Court judges, and former appellate judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals. 

Our white collar defense and investigations team also helps our corporate clients design and implement effective corporate compliance programs. As part of the design process, we frequently conduct internal investigations, compliance checks, and internal-controls reviews and audits carefully tailored to your business and industry. For more information on the latest trends go to our White Collar Watch. 

How We Can Help

  • bank, mortgage, and other financial institution fraud
  • securities and accounting fraud
  • government contracts fraud
  • healthcare fraud
  • mail and wire fraud
  • antitrust
  • anti-bribery and anti-corruption, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • political corruption
  • tax controversies
  • anti-money laundering
  • data privacy and cyber crimes
  • theft of trade secrets
  • civil and criminal forfeiture
  • organized crime and RICO
  • environmental violations

We assist our clients in all stages of criminal and administrative enforcement proceedings, including:

  • grand jury investigations and subpoenas
  • U.S. federal and state trials
  • criminal appeals
  • U.S. congressional oversight hearings and investigations
  • state and federal regulatory agency investigations enforcement actions
  • whistleblower internal investigations
  • parallel proceedings

Criminal Antitrust Investigations

Our team assists clients during all phases of antitrust-related internal investigations, criminal investigations, grand jury matters, trials, sentencing, and appeals. We work daily with corporations and individuals confronted with allegations of price fixing, bid rigging, market allocation, monopoly, and other anticompetitive conduct. We represent them before various government agencies, including the DOJ Antitrust Division, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and the FTC, regarding alleged violations of the Sherman and Clayton antitrust acts and Section 5 of the FTC Act.

Internal Investigations

We’ve conducted hundreds of internal investigations for both public and private companies and are recognized for our ability to handle these matters with impartiality, credibility, efficiency, and discretion. We’re surgical in strategy and scope, keeping investigations focused, ensuring minimal disruption to business operations, while being both cost and time efficient. 

We counsel boards of directors and special committees as independent advisers involving a wide array of corporate compliance and governance issues related to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Dodd Frank Act, Sherman Antitrust Act, False Claims Act, SEC regulations, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).

Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”)

We handle highly sensitive FCPA investigations in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East, and defend corporations and senior executives before the DOJ and the SEC. We have decades of collective experience conducting FCPA grand jury and internal investigations; reviewing gift and hospitality proposals to government officials; handling due diligence for third-party agents and consultants , including sales representatives and distributors outside the United States; and assessing potential joint ventures. 

We also assist our clients in negotiating and discharging foreign offset requirements, such as compliance with the Feingold Amendment and U.S. embargo and trade matters, including OFAC regulations and ITAR. We handle both compliance and enforcement issues. 

Tax and Money Laundering

Our group defends financial institutions in Bank Secrecy Act/AML compliance actions, including money laundering, asset forfeiture, and economic sanctions compliance issues. We advise our clients in civil tax litigation in tax courts, district courts, and claims courts, including defending accountants in criminal tax investigations, and accountants and attorneys in tax malpractice litigation.

To avoid potential exposure under the DOJ’s offshore tax enforcement programs, we have an offshore tax compliance team with significant experience advising foreign financial institutions and individuals as to their obligations under U.S. tax law and resolving potential risks. 

Environmental Crimes

Our team has extensive experience in environmental matters, including violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and other environmental criminal statutes before federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. We’re part of the Firm’s Maritime Emergency Response Team handling U.S. Coast Guard investigations of vessel owners and managers for environmental violations and casualties from marine pollution. We provide compliance counseling, and defend refineries, chemical facilities, and manufacturers in administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement actions at the federal and state levels. We’re pro-active, frequently guiding clients to civil and administrative dispositions before they become the subject of criminal investigations. 

Securities Fraud

We defend companies, directors, and officers regarding claims of securities fraud under various federal and state laws, as well as claims under RICO. Moreover, we defend clients in criminal and regulatory proceedings involving alleged insider trading, front running, and other securities fraud matters. We frequently help defend companion civil lawsuits for state statutory or common law business tort claims against officers and directors for breaches of fiduciary duties, fraud, mismanagement, negligence, and waste of corporate assets. Should a parallel enforcement action arise before the SEC and FINRA, we’ll take that on as well. Our goal is to help our clients address, limit, or avoid the huge financial exposure, time commitment, and operational distractions these proceedings generate.

Political Corruption 

We represent individuals throughout the United States in high-profile, multi-defendant federal public corruption cases alleging honest-services fraud, bribery, conspiracy, and related tax charges.

Healthcare

Our team and healthcare attorneys assist healthcare providers and companies in criminal, civil, regulatory, administrative, and investigative matters, including defending them in criminal and civil False Claims Act (including qui tam) investigations and lawsuits. We counsel those undergoing government audits by various entities, including the DOJ, Office of the Inspector General, Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor, Zone Program Integrity Contractor, and Medicare Administrative Contractor.

We represent providers and companies in Medicare and Medicaid exclusion and administrative cases, and counsel clients facing allegations of off-label marketing, kickbacks, Controlled Substances Act violations, and Stark Law violations. Moreover, we defend providers in professional licensing matters and cases of alleged healthcare fraud and abuse, and in HIPAA audits brought by the Office of Civil Rights. 

Congressional Oversight and Investigations

We guide individuals through the politically charged congressional investigation. Our oversight and investigations team includes individuals who have held high-level positions with both Senate and House investigative committees, and have personally conducted congressional investigations and managed congressional oversight hearings.

We develop overall strategies for our clients responding to congressional investigations, including responses to large-scale document requests, requests for information, and preparation of senior executives for interviews by House and Senate Committees, as well as hearing testimony.

What Sets Us Apart

  • Law360 named Blank Rome a 2017 “Pennsylvania Powerhouse” and recognized “its prolific national litigation practice and deep bench strength.”
  • 2018 U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers (Woodward/White Inc.) national ranks: 
    • Tier 1: Commercial Litigation, Banking and Finance, Bankruptcy, Tax Law, and Labor and Employment
    • Tier 2: Intellectual Property, Patent, Real Estate, Securities, White Collar Litigation, and Environmental
  • Chambers USA editors state Blank Rome has a:

    • “Significant commercial litigation practice, offering sought-after representation across a range of cases including securities, antitrust, environmental, construction and cybersecurity disputes. Further highlighted for its federal appellate work and for its experience in class action defense.”
  • Chambers USA editors further remark:
    • “The litigation team was excellent. Each of the lawyers brought a very interesting element to the team and they blended together well. They were great and I would highly recommend them!"

Experience

  • Conducted internal investigations for Fortune 100 company into allegations involving trade sanctions violations
  • Conducted internal investigations of employee conduct and potential insider trading on behalf of a number of clients throughout the world. 
  • Conducted internal investigation and represented financing company victim in $500 million scheme to defraud 
  • Representation of CFO in an ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice and Securities Exchange Commission regarding allegations of FCPA and trade sanctions violations.
  • Conducted multiple internal investigations for multinational companies involving allegations of FCPA, procurement fraud, and Anti-Kickback issues. 
  • Representation of healthcare organizations in Department of Justice investigations involving anti-kickback and off-label issues.
  • Representation of 501 (c)(6) and 501 (c)(3) organizations on a variety of matters, including third party due diligence, corporate governance, compliance and review of financial internal controls.
  • Representation in an internal investigation and related civil lawsuits involving allegations of fraud concerning a worldwide corporate and consumer finance company.
  • Representation in an internal investigation of a bank into the legitimacy of a Delaware holding company affiliate used to invest funds so as to avoid state taxes.
  • Acquittal after 11-month trial of high-level Marsh executive in criminal antitrust prosecution brought by New York State Attorney General 
  • Trial of public official in federal public corruption case in Las Vegas 
  • Representation of securities firm and principals in U.S. Attorney's Office and SEC investigation and prosecution of front-running by firm's traders 
  • Trial of bank president in federal criminal bank fraud case
  • Representation of individual in U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation of insider trading
  • Secured probationary sentence for individual charged with federal tax violations
  • Representation of former CEO of public company charged with securities/insider trading/tax fraud in nine-month federal court jury trial
  • Individuals and corporations in civil audits and criminal investigations arising out of tax-sheltered investments
  • Resolved governmental investigations on behalf of a controversial video game publisher and distributor relating to securities fraud, stock options backdating, breaches of fiduciary duty and improper business practices 
  • Represented the director of a digital printing company in connection with a securities fraud matter before the SEC 
  • Representations of audit committees, independent directors and special committees of boards of directors in conducting investigations relating to corporate securities and advertising disclosures, accounting issues, stock options backdating, and shareholder demand letters 
  • Representations of officers and directors in connection with possible violations of the securities laws and accounting fraud matters before the SEC and U.S. Attorney's Office 
  • Representation of individuals and corporations in accounting disputes 
  • Representation of nonprofit corporation in ongoing political corruption grand jury investigation 
  • Representation of corporate executive charged with federal securities violations   
  • Represented automobile dealership in investigation of state ethics law violations  
  • Represented accountant witnesses in a tax fraud grand jury investigation and trial 
  • Secured probationary sentence for individual charged with federal bribery violation  
  • Represented individual and corporate victims of employee fraud 
  • Successfully represented individual granted immunity in federal bank fraud grand jury investigation 

Team

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