Nexsen Pruet’s Government Investigations and White Collar Defense Group is composed of experienced and knowledgeable attorneys who work closely with other professionals in the firm to handle all types of government investigations and any charges resulting from those investigations. Our interdisciplinary team works closely to create proactive solutions in an effort to convince the government to decline to file charges, dismiss charges, or to decline to intervene in False Claims Act (FCA) cases. We handle all types of complex criminal investigations, including (but not limited to) those targeting alleged:
- Healthcare fraud
- Mail and Wire fraud
- Antitrust violations
- DBE fraud
- COVID-19 and PPP fraud
- Tax fraud
- False Claims Act violations
- Public corruption
- Money laundering
- Environmental violations.
As part of our substantial False Claims Act (FCA) practice, we vigorously defend companies and individuals named in qui tam lawsuits.
Because the investigation and prosecution of federal and state white-collar crime is on the rise, it is not uncommon for even the most well-intentioned executives, professionals, and business owners to be caught up in an investigation. As soon as you learn that regulators have you or your business in their sights, you need experienced counsel to protect you or your company’s rights and deal proactively with the government. Nexsen Pruet’s Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense Group can respond immediately and be on the scene to manage your executive or corporate crisis.
SEASONED, TALENTED, AND EFFECTIVE ATTORNEYS
Nexsen Pruet clients faced with criminal and/or civil government investigations are represented by a strong interdisciplinary team. Former Chief Judge Billy Wilkins established our Government Investigations and White Collar Defense Group in 2008 when he joined Nexsen Pruet after retiring from his position as Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Judge Wilkins works in our Greenville, South Carolina office, but he handles significant white collar matters across the United States. Judge Wilkins also manages the firm’s Appellate Practice.
Under Judge Wilkins’ leadership, the team began expanding and in 2011, Dan Boyce, former Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, joined the firm’s Raleigh office. In 2013, Mark Moore, a former supervisory Assistant United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina, joined the firm’s Columbia office after spending more than 23 years as a federal prosecutor.
Today, Judge Wilkins and Mr. Moore jointly lead an interdisciplinary team of partners, associates, and paralegals who work closely with other attorneys and professionals in the firm (including attorneys in our Health Care Practice Group, our Antitrust Team, our Environmental Team, our e-discovery group Nextra Solutions, and our crisis management team NP Strategies) to handle all types of cases stemming from government investigations.
Our highly experienced attorneys have successfully defended cases across the United States and can handle every stage of defending you or your business. Collectively, our attorneys have tried over 80 cases to verdict in various federal and state courts, and our reputation as aggressive and effective trial attorneys helps us obtain success for our clients at the negotiating table.
Our Government Investigations and White Collar Defense group routinely handles:
- Responses to search warrants, grand jury subpoenas, administrative subpoenas, and Civil Investigative Demands (CIDS)
- Internal investigations
- Public relations and media inquiries
- Negotiations with law enforcement and regulators
- Defense through trial and appeal
- FCA cases
- Parallel criminal and civil proceedings
- Criminal and civil antitrust matters
- Securities Litigation
- Compliance plans
- Crisis management
Our criminal defense strategy is always proactive, with the goal of establishing a firm defense early and convincing the government to decline to bring charges. In corporate matters, we conduct vigorous internal investigations when defending corporations in both civil and criminal cases.
We have successfully negotiated complete declinations, immunity agreements, Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs), corporate pleas (rather than individual pleas), and misdemeanor pleas (rather than felony pleas) in serious cases. When felony charges are unavoidable, we have negotiated favorable plea agreements and have successfully advocated for lenient sentences (including probationary sentences) in cases handled throughout the United States. In criminal federal antitrust cases, we have successfully placed multiple individual and corporate clients in the Antitrust Division’s Leniency Program, allowing them to avoid criminal charges in exchange for cooperation.
We also offer vigorous trial and appellate representation and have obtained acquittals at trial in major fraud cases.
FALSE CLAIMS ACT (FCA)
We specialize in FCA cases, routinely handling those where the government conducts a parallel civil FCA investigation alongside a criminal investigation, often targeting the same conduct. We have successfully persuaded the government to decline to bring criminal charges and also to decline to intervene in meritless qui tam lawsuits brought by purported whistleblowers. We have also persuaded Relators’ counsel to dismiss their qui tam suits following the government’s intervention declination.
In direct false claim cases (where the government initiates its own FCA investigation in the absence if a qui tam suit), we have successfully persuaded civil prosecutors to decline to bring civil charges after prolonged investigations. We have also obtained a complete dismissal of a direct FCA case prior to trial.
Nexsen Pruet attorneys have also successfully negotiated favorable settlements in FCA cases for amounts far less than the damage calculations argued for by the government.
As in criminal cases, when resolution of a case is not in our client’s best interests, we offer vigorous representation at trial.
If you or your business need representation in any of these areas, do not hesitate to contact us. Our primary contacts are listed below.
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