White Collar Criminal Defense
Today’s business environment is marked by ever-changing regulation and increasingly aggressive governmental pursuit of corporate wrongdoing. At a moment’s notice, a corporation or individual can become entangled in a criminal investigation. In these high-pressure environments, a single mistake or missed opportunity by a person or company can result not only in losing money but in substantial damage to business’ integrity and personal reputations and, ultimately, to the deprivation of freedom.
Who We Are & What We Do
Lewis Brisbois’ White Collar Criminal Defense Practice is led by former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas and FBI agent, Donald DeGabrielle, who has extensive experience in guiding individuals and corporations through government investigations and prosecutions.
We represent individuals, public and private corporations, and other entities in high-stakes government investigations by federal authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice, and state attorney general’s offices, in all stages of government investigations and white collar criminal litigation. Importantly, we recognize the sensitivity of these matters and implement the right response to any client crisis. We are a cohesive team equipped to immediately respond in an organized and strategic manner on multiple fronts, before issues become completely inflexible in governmental officials’ minds and their later decisions. We employ a triage approach, whereby we interact immediately and simultaneously with federal and local prosecutors, regulatory agencies, concerned directors, and related parties. We do all we can to extinguish our clients’ exposure or liabilities.
What Makes Us Unique?
Our white collar criminal defense attorneys pride themselves on their unyielding commitment to our clients and to resolving the challenges and exposure confronting them. We appreciate the impact that a government investigation can have on our clients’ professional, financial, and personal lives. Our goal is to quickly resolve our clients’ problems without indictment or agency action. We know what is at stake; the consequences of criminal investigations and prosecutions can run the spectrum, from financial ruin to incarceration. Our attorneys are dogged in our attempts to persuade government officials to forgo prosecution and decline to charge our clients. We do this by mitigating our clients’ exposure through negotiations with government agencies. Our attorneys are relentless in unearthing key facts that weaken the government’s position(s) and that establish a greater understanding of the government’s theory of their case to position our clients for possible early resolution. When that is impossible, our attorneys are fully prepared to zealously represent our clients at the trial stage and, if necessary, beyond.
We represent clients in all stages of investigations involving grand juries, federal and state court actions, regulatory investigations and audits, and governmental inquiries. We strive to practice under the guiding principle, “no matter where another’s problem ranks in your life, it’s likely the biggest problem in their life”. That is exactly how we work and conduct ourselves.
Our substantive experience extends to an array of white collar criminal work affecting domestic and foreign institutions and individuals, including:
- Criminal Defense
We defend individuals and companies in criminal trials at the state and federal level involving a wide range of allegations, including price fixing, securities fraud, fraud, corruption, conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, corporate misconduct, and foreign corrupt practices.
- Healthcare Fraud
We regularly defend individual and corporate medical providers in connection with federal and state civil, criminal, and regulatory investigations and litigation, including whistleblower and qui tam actions, involving alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, the False Claims Act, and similar violations, including allegations of Medicare/Medicaid fraud, upcoding, billing fraud, false certification, and unlawful kickbacks.
- Environmental & OSHA Crimes
We regularly defend corporations and individuals against allegations of violating environmental and safety laws, including the Clean Air/Water Acts at the federal, state, and local levels.
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) & Anti-Corruption Laws
We assist domestic and international clients with compliance and enforcement under the FCPA, UK’s Bribery Act, and other countries’ anti-corruption laws. We also assist companies in reviewing their internal policies and procedures to avert corruptive business practices.
- Corporate Counseling
We assist corporate clients with general regulatory compliance, including the implementation of training programs, codes of ethics (and procedural reviews), and investigations following criminal acts committed against the company. We are able to assist our clients if the government comes knocking at their door, as well as provide counsel on how to keep them from knocking in the first place.
- Whistleblower Lawsuits & Qui Tam Cases
We defend companies against whistleblower and qui tam claims brought under the False Claims Act (FCA), Environmental Protection Acts, and related state laws.
- Representing Clients & Their Interests Before Governmental Agencies
Our attorneys have experience representing clients in investigations conducted by federal agencies, including the U. S. Department of Justice, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Trade Commission, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and state and local authorities.
We have represented companies and individuals in all phases of criminal antitrust investigations, trials, and appeals involving claims of bid rigging, price fixing, price discrimination, actual or alleged monopolization, and related antitrust violations.
- Tax Controversy
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients who are under investigation by the IRS for criminal tax violations. We understand the methods employed by the IRS and the proactive steps that must be undertaken to deter the IRS from referring a case to the DOJ for prosecution.
Serving as a Government Liaison with Law Enforcement for Companies
Our attorneys also assist corporate clients who are themselves the victim of crime, typically from rogue employees, vendors, or competitors. We help companies to either secure the prosecution of individuals who have committed crimes against the company, or seek redress against those individuals in litigation, including through restitution and forfeiture proceedings.
In addition, 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.
We Have the Requisite Resources to Defend our Clients on Multiple Fronts
Our attorneys know that initiating a government investigation can lead to legal challenges for our clients on multiple fronts, including criminal, regulatory, and civil exposure. We approach the difficulties that arise from these parallel proceedings with a strategic perspective and systematic approach, pooling our firm’s vast resources to ensure each proceeding is conducted in a manner that considers its impact on the others.