White Collar Criminal Defense

In our white collar criminal defense practice, we have represented firms and individuals in the areas of alleged health care fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, bid rigging, bribery and perjury in the federal court system.

Our white collar criminal defense experience is enhanced by our extensive antitrust defense experience, because, as we often see in our antitrust practice, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice will typically not only bring criminal antitrust charges against a defendant, but it will also attempt to assert other felony charges under Title 18 including, in addition to the charges mentioned above, mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery, obstruction of justice and related crimes, including racketeering charges.

As with most other engagements in the criminal area, we are typically engaged in the early stages of a proceeding where a client has either been paid a visit by an agent of the FBI or other government agency, has received a subpoena to produce documents and things to the government or has been the subject of a search warrant.  For background and context regarding the procedures that the government follows in cases of this type, please refer to our description of our Federal Grand Jury Practice.

The enforcement arsenal available to the government prosecutors is well stocked. We have the experience to identify the needs for each particular case regardless of the industry on which the investigation is focused. We also feel that over more than 37 years, we have compiled the skills and knowledge necessary to provide the high level of legal defense necessary to serve a client who has been identified as the target of the government’s investigation or is facing an indictment.

Here are some specific examples of areas in which we have been able to use our white collar defense experience to help clients:

Health Care Fraud: We have been involved in cases that involve questionable conduct in medical practices such as overbilling, improper CPT coding, use of medical procedures that lack efficacy, excessive treatment, Stark Act and prescription drug abuse. We feel that it is imperative that medical professionals become proactive regarding any conduct that could be questioned by the government in those areas. The government has been active in investigating and prosecuting health care fraud cases that involve Medicare and Medicaid fraud and, more recently, fraud committed on private insurance companies under its broad statutory mandate. The government does not hesitate to investigate, pursue and prosecute medical doctors and other medical professionals if it feels that a fraud has been committed.

Expert consultants exist – especially in the CPT coding area – who can perform periodic reviews of a medical professional’s practice to assure strict compliance with all laws and regulations. It is well worth the expense to engage these experts, because the legal fees typically expended in convincing an investigating agent or prosecutor of the correctness of a practice or the efficacy of a procedure far exceed the cost of proactively having that practice or procedure vetted by an expert.

If a federal agent or prosecutor discovers alleged wrongdoing committed by a medical professional, we, as that professional’s lawyers, still have the ability to attempt either to convince the government that prosecution is inappropriate or to suggest a resolution. We have enjoyed success in convincing the government that even though a particular practice could lie in a “gray area,” it still does not constitute a violation of federal law. This is especially true in the areas of alleged overtreatment, excessive billing and medical efficacy. In circumstances involving these issues, we work with our medical professional clients in identifying the best and most appropriate experts who can provide objective expert opinions to the government in order to establish either that the particular practice is not fraudulent or that the medical professional had no intent to violate the law.

Securities Fraud: We have also represented parties in securities fraud investigations, an area that could be seeing renewed government attention due to the present economic times. In this area of practice, too, it is important to retain the appropriate expert witness for assistance in fashioning an appropriate defense to the issues raised by the government’s investigation.

Tax Fraud: As mentioned above, we sometimes find ourselves defending clients who are facing federal tax charges under Title 26. While we do not consider ourselves to be tax experts, one of our most significant successes was the complete acquittal on nine counts of tax fraud and filing fraudulent returns of the former president of a large trucking company in Calhoun, Georgia. Again, in cases such as those that allege tax fraud, we consult with tax professionals in order to prepare an appropriate defense and – in the event it is necessary – prepare expert testimony to be presented to the jury.

What we don’t handle: Because we lack sufficient experience handling criminal cases in the Georgia court system, we do not accept cases such as those involving possession or sale of drugs or narcotics, assault, battery, robbery or homicide. We are happy to refer these cases to members of the Georgia bar whom we consider to be experts in handling state court criminal defense. We would only stay involved in such a case for the limited purpose of assisting an existing client and, only then, we would sit second chair behind the lawyer better qualified to handle defense of such serious criminal cases.


Office Address:

690 S. Ponce Ct., NE
Atlanta, GA 30307-1667
Phone: 404-667-0714
Fax: 404-529-4193
  
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