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Government Investigations & White Collar Criminal Defense

The McCarter & English Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group is headed by Robert A. Mintz, a former Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, and includes: Scott S. Christie, a former head of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey; Geoffrey N. Rosamond, a former Assistant Prosecutor in the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office; James Freebery, a former Deputy Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice for the State of Delaware. The Group also includes Daniel Kelly and David Himelfarb whose practices focus on defending government contractors and grant recipients against False Claims Act and other procurement fraud allegations, and Zack Hadzismajlovic, who is experienced in International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance and import/export regulatory investigations.

The Group has extensive experience defending both individuals and corporations in regulatory and criminal investigations throughout the United States; in creating and evaluating corporate compliance programs; and in conducting internal investigations on behalf of Fortune 500 publicly-traded corporations as well as smaller, privately-held companies.

Criminal & Regulatory Investigations & Proceedings

Our Group has broad experience in representing corporations, directors and officers, employees, and individuals in a broad array of State and federal criminal and regulatory investigations and proceedings. Our attorneys, many of whom are former federal and state prosecutors, all have extensive trial experience and are highly skilled in responding to search warrants, subpoenas and requests for information, advising corporate and individual clients through grand jury investigations, and achieving favorable dispositions of regulatory and criminal cases brought by the federal and state governments through negotiations or trial.

The Group has defended corporate and individual clients against criminal allegations including Medicare/Medicaid fraud, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), mail and wire fraud, tax evasion, commercial bribery, criminal copyright infringement, bid rigging, securities fraud, bank and financial services fraud, money laundering, computer hacking and Internet crimes. We have also developed special expertise handling qui tam False Claims Act ("FCA") matters. The FCA continues to be one of the most heavily litigated areas in federal and state courts and requires a high level of sophistication and experience to achieve a successful result. These matters are typically complex and involve specialized industry knowledge. Our attorneys all have the level of experience necessary to deal with government prosecutors and regulators in these high stakes matters. We have experience defending FCA cases pertaining to a wide variety of government contract and health care issues. Our representation encompasses all aspects of the criminal process from grand jury investigations to post-indictment proceedings, including arraignment, trial, sentencing, appeal and post-conviction remedies. Recent matters the Group has handled have involved: (1) the United States Attorney's Offices in New Jersey and Massachusetts, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Northern and Eastern Districts of Virginia, Southern District of Florida, and Districts of Iowa, Louisiana and New Mexico; (2) the Office of the Attorney General in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, North Carolina, California, Indiana, Michigan, Washington, Kansas and Missouri; (3) the Drug Enforcement Administration; (4) the Federal Bureau of Investigation; (5) the Environmental Protection Agency; (6) the Internal Revenue Service; (7) the United States Postal Service; (8) New Jersey's Bureau of Securities; (9) New Jersey's Department of Law and Public Safety; (10) New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs; and (11) various state district attorney's offices and professional licensing Boards of Examiners throughout the United States.

Procurement Fraud Investigations, Litigation & Related Suspension & Debarment Proceedings

Our attorneys have substantial experience advising government contractors and grant recipients in connection with investigations by government audit and investigative agencies and the Department of Justice on matters involving procurement fraud, defective pricing, overbillings, ethics violations and export control violations. In connection with these investigations we regularly work with outside experts, advise on voluntary and mandatory disclosures, and represent companies and individuals in connection with administrative, civil and criminal proceedings. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge of the regulations, guidelines and policies that govern suspension and debarment of federal government contractors and grant recipients by officials within the military and civilian agencies. Our attorneys also regularly counsel clients on ethics and compliance programs and appropriate disclosures which are seen as mitigating factors in suspension and debarment decisions and have appeared before suspension and debarment officials on behalf of clients.

Internal Corporate Investigations

The need for internal corporate investigations can arise in a variety of contexts, including allegations of wrongdoing asserted by investors, employees or board members. The Group has broad, practical experience conducting thorough and effective internal corporate investigations to mitigate the impact of any detected misconduct and minimize the corporation's potential exposure to civil and criminal penalties. As former prosecutors and experienced litigators, our attorneys are well-equipped to develop a detailed investigative methodology appropriate to the nature of the client's business to protect the company's interests and efficiently achieve a favorable resolution. We have conducted many internal corporate investigations, which have included reviewing and analyzing documents, interviewing witnesses, and documenting and providing the results of investigations to upper-level-management and/or the Board of Directors.

Recent examples of internal investigations we have conducted include the following: 

  • allegations of improper transfer of trade secrets and proprietary information on behalf of a computer software company. 
  • allegations of insider trading for a public biopharmaceutical company. 
  • allegations of violations of the FCPA for a provider of international and United States business credit information and credit reports. 
  • allegations of bribery of a public official and corruption for a public national home builder. 
  • allegations of theft on behalf of a public national home builder. 
  • allegations of bid rigging for an international insurance brokerage firm. 
  • allegations of manipulation of test results for a regional petroleum inspection company. 
  • allegations of fraudulent sales and marketing practices for a cemetery management services company. 
  • allegations of health care fraud for a home health care agency. 
  • allegations of improper drug research and development controls for a public biotechnology company. 
  • allegations of improper trading with prohibited countries on behalf of a large electronics manufacturer.

If disclosure of the findings of an internal investigation is deemed warranted, the Group's attorneys are highly skilled in dealing with federal and state law enforcement agencies and regulators throughout the United States. We recently provided a training program for in-house attorneys conducting internal investigations for a large pharmaceutical benefits provider and have used our hands-on experience to counsel many of our clients on issues related to internal investigations.

Compliance & Ethics Programs

Our Group also counsels and assists corporations in implementing effective corporate compliance and ethics programs, and FCPA compliance, to prevent and detect unlawful and/or unethical conduct before it develops into a more serious problem. With over 25 years of combined experience as former prosecutors, our attorneys are familiar with the federal Sentencing Guidelines as they apply to corporations. We also have extensive practical experience in crafting and implementing proactive compliance and ethics training programs; drafting and revising compliance and ethics policies and procedures; Codes of Conduct and training materials consistent with Federal Acquisition Regulation and other regulatory requirements; preparing FCPA compliance and training manuals; and developing a practical and effective compliance infrastructure for corporations in regulated and non-regulated industries. 

Recent examples of our compliance and ethics program experience includes: 

  • reviewing and revising a comprehensive compliance and ethics program and drafting a Code of Conduct for a private, not-for-profit behavioral healthcare organization to dissuade federal regulators from pursuing criminal and civil proceedings.
  • reviewing and revising the design and content of a compliance and ethics program, Code of Conduct and compliance infrastructure for a publicly traded international food supplier and professional services organization.
  • developing a comprehensive compliance and ethics program, compliance infrastructure and Code of Conduct for a regional petroleum inspection company.
  • developing a comprehensive compliance and ethics program, compliance infrastructure and Code of Conduct for a mechanical and electrical contractor.
  • preparing FCPA training materials and presentation for provider of international and United States business credit information and credit reports.
  • preparing Insider Trading training materials for Board of Directors of a public biopharmaceutical company.

Our experience in handling corporate compliance and ethics matters includes a wide variety of industries, including technology, drugs and pharmaceuticals, healthcare, food services, insurance and sales and marketing.

Asset Recovery

Due to the complexity of many of today's major fraud cases, asset recovery can be an especially challenging endeavor. The Group has extensive experience in assisting clients who have been victimized by large-scale embezzlements or other fraudulent schemes. Some of the Group's major asset recovery cases have arisen from tax evasion, Medicare fraud, bank fraud, antitrust and trade regulation, obstruction of justice, customs fraud, RICO, money laundering, and public corruption cases. The Group has been extremely successful in assisting clients in locating, freezing and recovering stolen assets both in the United States and internationally. Our attorneys have a broad network of investigators and law firms in cities around the world to assist them in tracing and freezing assets in foreign jurisdictions. The Group recently completed a matter for one of the world's leading electronic manufacturers in which over $85 million were recovered in multiple foreign jurisdictions including the United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland and Japan.

Speaking

05/19/16
2016 NJSBA Annual Meeting and Convention