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Government Investigations & White Collar Defense


Parker Poe’s Government Investigations & White Collar Defense group represents and defends clients (both individuals and entities) facing prosecution or government investigations, both state and federal, in a variety of industries. Our team also assists clients who are themselves the victim of crime, typically from rogue employees, vendors or competitors. We counsel clients in various areas of criminal and regulatory law to identify and avoid risk by designing and implementing compliance and detection policies to avoid scrutiny from regulators or law enforcement in the first place.

Employees and other representatives of an organization can put its reputation and future at risk when an inside whistleblower or far-reaching government agency alleges wrongdoing. Senior executives and board members are left ultimately accountable for the integrity of the organization. That’s why – at the first sign of suspected misconduct – companies increasingly engage counsel to perform thorough investigations of possible criminal or non-compliant behavior. Parker Poe helps companies to understand the foundation of a charge or allegation by building an investigative strategy, conducting an independent investigation and then providing conclusions and recommended courses of action and, if appropriate, dealing with relevant regulators and law enforcement. 

We work quietly on internal matters that never receive public attention and also represent clients in all states of investigations involving grand juries, federal and state court actions, regulatory investigations and audits, congressional inquiries as well as civil disputes. We also help companies to either secure the prosecution of individuals who have committed crimes against the company or seek redress against those individuals through the civil courts.

Our Government Investigations & White Collar Defense attorneys have represented executives and corporations in high-profile cases where their years of investigation and courtroom experience were critical to success. The team includes a deep bench of trial lawyers with a background in bet-the-company cases, Department of Justice alumni, former state prosecutors and members of the American College of Trial Lawyers. When clients are called on to testify before state or federal congressional committees, or other select state agencies, they also have the benefit of our Government Relations attorneys as part of their team working to fully prepare them and utilizing the good-faith working relationships they have built with congressional and executive branch staff.

A Global Focus

Because our clients conduct business around the world, we’ve participated in global investigations of alleged price-fixing, bribery and kickbacks, violations of the False Claims Act violations as well as breaches of corporate compliance programs. When necessary, we’ve represented these clients before international authorities. Additionally, our team has handled multiple export investigations dealing with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the US sanctions and embargoes administered by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). We’ve represented companies in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, HHS-OIG, the International Trade Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, U.S. Senate Committees, state Departments of Justice, the North Carolina Insurance Commission and a variety of other state and federal agencies.

Public Corruption and Legislative Investigations

Parker Poe has also counseled governments and government officials in investigations into alleged corruption and campaign violations. Among these clients are members of the US Congress, the North Carolina Legislature, local governments and witnesses in federal and state legislative hearings.

Our attorneys' range of White Collar Defense and Investigations experience includes the following:

  • Accounting irregularities
  • Agriculture   
  • Anti-Boycott
  • Antitrust and Price Fixing  
  • Aviation   
  • Bribery and kickbacks   
  • Campaign finance   
  • Computer crimes and intrusions      
  • Economic espionage   
  • Electronic surveillance   
  • Environmental crimes   
  • Ethics in Government Act
  • Export law (EAR, ITAR, OFAC)
  • False Claims Act
  • Federal fraud, mail and wire
  • FERC audits and investigations
  • Food and Drug Administration   
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)   
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act   
  • Foreign Bank Account Reporting
  • Government contracting
  • Government corruption
  • Health care fraud (including pharmaceutical and DME companies)
  • Immigration
  • Intellectual property crimes
  • Investigator liability
  • Money laundering
  • National security matters
  • Online gambling
  • Public corruption
  • RICO
  • US Sanctions and Embargoes (OFAC)
  • Securities fraud
  • Security and privacy investigations
  • Tax – state and federal
  • Whistleblower / Qui Tam defense

Representative Matters

  • Representation of senior banking officials during a federal grand jury investigation
  • Representation of officers and directors during SEC investigation of possible securities and accounting violations
  • Major health care fraud investigations and defense involving the U.S. Department of Justice, HHS-OIG, and state Departments of Justice
  • Advised, counseled and assisted in the defense of pharmaceutical and biotech companies in False Claim Act litigation involving off-label usage and PBM/GPO arrangements
  • Federal criminal investigation of a health care products company suspected of improper billing, marketing and sales practices
  • Representation of a major laboratory facing parallel state and federal investigations
  • Represented defense contractor in comprehensive export enforcement action (ITAR and EAR) conducted by multiple federal agencies
  • Representation of a FORTUNE 500 client in a private federal grand jury investigation
  • Counsel in federal court to a court-appointed receiver managing an SEC-related matter
  • Dismissal by the U.S. Attorneys Office of all charges against our executive client concerning allegations of federal criminal fraud
  • Antitrust counsel to a FORTUNE 500 company 
  • Representation of a major manufacturer victimized by a key competitor’s criminal conduct
  • Representation of a hospital and doctors targeted by federal and state agencies for alleged criminal, civil and regulatory violations
  • Defense of a major health care provider facing federal allegations of fraud
  • Conducted an internal review of sensitive allegations of attorney misconduct for a federal district court
  • Defended companies and individuals in antitrust grand jury investigations

Case Briefs

International Intrigue – In a three-year investigation and litigation matter, we assisted the client with issues arising from the conduct of an eastern European CEO of a joint venture with our American client and several other European companies. The complex and high stakes matter ultimately involved state court litigation, administrative hearings before a federal administrative law judge and investigations and related proceedings before federal authorities and the whistle blower arm of OSHA (part of the U.S. Department of Justice).

Acquiring Trouble – We represented a global high-tech company in an action initiated by the Federal Trade Commission under Section 2 of the Sherman Act and arising from the client’s acquisition of a competing company.

Antitrust Issues – Our team has represented companies in a variety of national and international antitrust and price fixing investigations.  As an example, we represented an American subsidiary of a Japanese company in an investigation conducted by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice resulting in a declination of prosecution (no charges filed).

Risky Business Overseas – Our team assisted a defense contractor in a two-year multi-country FCPA investigation regarding allegations in the news media of bribes paid to a foreign government official to obtain an operating license.  Although the government expanded its investigation several times, our team successfully resolved the matter with a “declination letter” from the Department of Justice (no prosecution, no fines, no penalties).

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