White Collar Criminal Defense & Government Investigations
White Collar Criminal Defense matters require trial lawyers who are unafraid to fight for their clients in conference rooms or courtrooms. This is the cornerstone on which our reputation is built.
With an unmatched depth of experience in handling complex white collar criminal cases from investigation through trial and appeal, we regularly represent corporate and individual clients in inquiries and investigations by federal authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice, state attorneys general, local prosecutors, and in all stages of white collar criminal litigation in federal, state, and local courts. Our services range from advising targets of grand jury investigations and witnesses who must appear before them, to guiding clients through the indictment, pretrial, and negotiation phases and representing our clients at trial and on appeal. We also frequently handle matters for individual and corporate clients in parallel investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, self-regulatory Organizations, congressional committees, and state and federal agencies.
Our firm has a long history of dealing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the U.S. Department of Justice, state regulatory agencies, and state law enforcement officials, and many of our Partners have served as prosecutors and senior government advisors. Whether or not a case goes to trial, our lawyers understand that every step of a case requires their full attention and effort, and that pretrial preparation and strategy are as important to a successful defense as masterful courtroom representation.
Over the past several years, Morvillo Abramowitz has been heavily involved in investigations and litigation relating to insider trading, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement, options backdating, revenue recognition and accounting restatements, the Madoff scandal, the sale of CDOs and other structured products impacted by the global financial crisis, commodities-related trading, auction rate securities, tax shelters, unreported foreign banking activity, and alleged abuses by market participants at the New York Stock Exchange and other national exchanges. Our cases frequently focus on economic crime, but we also are experienced in handling complex matters concerning allegations of environmental offenses; customs, insurance, and health care fraud; violations of the False Claims Act and federal and state antitrust laws; and theft of intellectual property, bribery, and political corruption.
Our expertise extends to every substantive area of white collar criminal work affecting domestic and foreign institutions and individuals, including:
Accounting Fraud: We represent companies and individuals under investigation or accused of accounting fraud in cases involving breach of fiduciary duty; misuse or misdirection of funds; overstatements of revenues or the value of corporate assets; understatements of expenses or underreporting the existence of liabilities; tax evasion and tax fraud; accounting malpractice and or negligence; payroll fraud; and false estate and trust accounting. Our experience includes representing clients in internal investigations and government investigations in connection with civil and criminal accounting fraud issues and securities-related litigation.
Antitrust: We have represented individuals, corporations, and associations in all phases of criminal antitrust investigations, trials, and appeals involving claims of bid-rigging, price fixing, price discrimination, actual or alleged monopolization, market allocation, or other alleged antitrust violations. We routinely represent clients in connection with investigations by the Department of Justice, state attorneys general, and the Federal Trade Commission.
Business Fraud, Securities Fraud & Market Manipulation: Our lawyers have successfully handled a wide range of cases involving allegations of business or securities fraud, including insider trading, stock market manipulation, “pump and dump” schemes, fraudulent or negligent misrepresentations, and ponzi schemes. In particular, we have substantial experience in cases and investigations involving sophisticated financial products or market-related behavior, including claims involving equities, fixed income products, mortgage-backed securities, and CDOs. We also have the trial experience needed to defend a business fraud lawsuit.
Commodities Fraud: Morvillo Abramowitz lawyers represent institutional and individual clients in all aspects of commodities fraud investigations by federal and state regulators and prosecutors, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Department of Justice, state attorneys general, and local prosecutors, including the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
Defense Contractor Fraud and the False Claims Act: We defend private companies, federal contractors, and individuals involved in government and defense fraud investigations and lawsuits alleging fraud on the federal government. We have handled internal investigations and litigation arising out of the pricing and/or performance of government contracts, bid-rigging, and misrepresentation of qualifications, and have the ability to take “whistleblower” or other claims under the False Claims Act (FCA) to trial. Our experience spans a wide variety of industries, including defense, healthcare, pharmaceutical, information technology, energy, accounting firms, and educational institutions.
Export Controls: We provide assistance to clients in export and re-export controls, customs, economic sanctions law, and government contracts matters in multiple regulatory jurisdictions. We routinely handle cases involving all aspects of U.S. export controls, including programs intended to monitor and regulate the transfer of goods, technology, software, services, and information to foreign nationals and foreign destinations administered under the Commerce Department, the State Department, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and other economic sanctions regimes, as well as cases involving commercial firms and defense contractors under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
Our firm’s lawyers have served in government-appointed positions at the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security managing many of the Agency's largest export control settlements and indictments, including criminal investigations related to Chinese exports and the freight-forwarding industry, and as federal prosecutors working on cases involving terrorism, wire and mail fraud, economic espionage, and export control violations, among many other matters.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Morvillo Abramowitz is experienced in handling government inquiries, investigations, and enforcement actions for clients arising from alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
We routinely counsel individuals, U.S. companies and their foreign subsidiaries, and non-U.S. companies in government investigations involving allegations of corruption and bribery under the FCPA, the UK anti-bribery statute, anti-money laundering laws, and the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions.
Our experience also includes conducting internal investigations for companies with respect to potential FCPA violations and representing Boards and senior management in such investigations. We advise companies and senior officers on the administration of consent decrees, monitorships, and other post-settlement agreements, as well as local law issues, disciplinary and remedial measures, and voluntary disclosure to federal authorities, including the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission. We also advise clients on FCPA compliance programs and due diligence issues.
Government Fraud: We represent clients facing allegations of defective pricing, false statements, or overbilling involving government contracts that have led the government to initiate either civil or criminal fraud proceedings. We have advised clients involved in bribery allegations, Federal False Claims Act lawsuits, and violations of export control laws. We have provided fraud defense services for government contractors in administrative hearings and suspension or debarment hearings.
Healthcare Fraud: We represent directors, officers, employees, physicians and others in the health care industry who find themselves involved in criminal investigations and proceedings. Our lawyers have defended clients against allegations of billing fraud, false claims, kickbacks, off-label promotion, and other claims involving health care fraud. We also have conducted significant internal investigations for health care providers, and have undertaken voluntary self disclosures on behalf of health care professionals. Among our Partners is a former Chief of Health Care Fraud Prosecutions in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York
Insider Trading: We often represent clients in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), state attorneys general, and local prosecutors concerning allegations of insider trading.
Political Corruption: We have represented public officials, including elected officials, executive officers, law enforcement and public safety personnel, and other government figures accused of the misuse of governmental power for private benefit or personal gain. We have also represented public officials charged with misappropriation of public funds. Our lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the complex federal and state laws that govern claims of public corruption. In addition to defending our clients against criminal charges and/or civil claims, we frequently help manage the media coverage that frequently accompanies these types of accusations in order to protect the client’s public image and reputation. Recent successful representations have included those for a Congressman, state political officials, police officers, state and federal Judges, and the head of a self-regulatory organization
Tax Fraud: The firm has particular expertise representing individuals, corporations, and other business entities in federal and state criminal tax matters, including individuals and corporations with tax compliance issues and the professionals who advise such taxpayers. In recent years, we have represented targets, subjects, and witnesses in large-scale investigations conducted by the Department of Justice into tax shelters marketed by major accounting firms and financial institutions. We have also counseled numerous clients in connection with matters arising out of federal and state authorities’ pursuit of offshore bank accounts, and we have helped dozens of individuals bring themselves into compliance by disclosing accounts through the Internal Revenue Service's Voluntary Disclosure Practice and corresponding state voluntary disclosure programs.
Our criminal tax practice includes representing clients in administrative investigations conducted by the IRS, grand jury investigations conducted by the Department of Justice or state prosecutors, at trial, in sentencing proceedings, and on appeals. We also counsel clients confronting “egg shell” audits involving sensitive issues and the potential for a criminal investigation.