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False Claims Act
The Federal False Claims Act (FCA) provides for civil sanctions that can be devastating to a company – up to three times the damages as well as fines for individual false claims. Since the 1986 amendments to the FCA, the government has increasingly used the statute to generate billions of dollars in fines and penalties. Since fiscal year 2009, the Department of Justice recovers an average of $4 billion per year and the total recovery between 2009 and 2016 is $31.3 billion.  Additionally, the government often uses a company's FCA violation for the basis of suspension and/or debarment from government contracting. Individual whistleblowers often bring FCA claims on behalf of the government. These suits are called qui tam suits and, if successful, the whistleblower is entitled to up to 30% of the recovery. This provides tremendous incentive for individuals to file their own suits, often without even going through the company's compliance procedures. In addition, whistleblowers often bring retaliation claims with the qui tam suit. As a general compliance tool for companies, the Firm has compiled a Whistleblower Litigation Mitigation Checklist of proactive steps a company can take to avoid becoming subject to a whistleblower complaint. The Firm's government contracts, litigation and white collar attorneys have extensive experience in investigating, defending and negotiating claims under the FCA. These attorneys ensure that the government contractor works proactively with the relevant suspension and debarment people from the outset, to avert early suspension and assure any settlement satisfies their interests and avoids debarment. Moreover, our attorneys have experience in protecting against follow-on claims by state and local governments pursuant to their own false claims statutes and for any shareholder litigation that may result. Representative Experience Led numerous settlements for top aircraft manufacturer in FCA qui tam actions without any suspension or debarment for the company. Convinced the U.S. government in numerous qui tam cases not to intervene, ultimately leading to the dismissal of the cases. Represented large engineering and infrastructure corporation in qui tam and False Claims investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office related to alleged time card fraud at the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Eastern Washington. Obtained a civil settlement and Non-Prosecution Agreement for the company. Represented large engineering and infrastructure corporation in qui tam and False Claims investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office related to liquid petroleum gas installation issued during Hurricane Katrina recovery. The government declined to intervene. Represent regional hospital in qui tam action being investigated by the Nevada Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office relating to alleged False Claims Act violations involving Medicare and Medicaid. The government declined to intervene. Represent Fortune 500 health care provider in federal criminal and civil investigation relating to alleged False Claims, Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law violations. Represented subsidiary of Fortune 500 company in protective equipment industry in civil FCA investigation and negotiated settlement on a non-FCA basis. Represented company in FCA qui tam suit resulting in pre-trial dismissal of the suit. Represented New York City hospital in FCA qui tam suit. Represented medical laboratory in criminal and civil Anti-Kickback Statute investigation conducted by Main DOJ and the EDNY. No criminal charges were brought. Represented company in criminal FCA investigation resulting in no charges being brought against company or individuals. Represented environmental testing company in debarment negotiations with EPA resulting in no debarment for the company. Represent former executive director of hospice company in FCA investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the N.D. Ga. relating to Medicare billing and parallel criminal investigation by the same office of alleged Anti-Kickback Statute violations. Represent employees of hospice company in qui tam action and FCA investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the M.D. Ga and DOJ Civil Division related to Medicare billing. The Government recently declined to intervene. Represent employees of national home health care company in FCA investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the N.D. Ga. and DOJ Civil Division related to Medicare billing. Represented Fortune 50 company in FCA qui tam suit and government investigation. Represented defense contractor in FCA investigation by the Department of Defense-Inspector General, DOJ Civil Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of S.C.. After a lengthy investigation, the Government declined to file suit. Represented defense contractor in qui tam action filed in the S.D. Ga. involving allegations of billing for services not provided. The Government declined to intervene and the case was settled with the relator on favorable terms. Represented radiology practice in FCA investigation and related criminal investigation involving allegations that claims were submitted to Medicare for services that were not provided. Represented eye surgical center in FCA investigation and related criminal investigation.
Practices
Global Anti-Corruption/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Team
As companies expand into new markets in an increasingly global economy, regulators in many countries are vigorously enforcing laws against improper payments to government officials and other corrupt activities.  Bryan Cave has a team of lawyers who are well-versed in this area. Why turn to Bryan Cave for help with global anti-corruption compliance and investigations? We have broad and deep experience, including among our professionals former government officials who know the landscape from all perspectives.  We have a team of multilingual professionals situated around the world. We know the customary practices in emerging markets with which international companies must contend, and we are adept at applying that context to the situation at hand. We understand business and use that knowledge to design workable compliance programs, to conduct efficient and effective internal investigations and to defend governmental investigations with vigor. In the United States, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has invigorated its anti-corruption group.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has established a special unit within its Division of Enforcement to investigate potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  The United Kingdom has implemented a more robust anti-corruption statute, the UK Bribery Act, and is increasing its anti-corruption enforcement.  Other regulatory authorities also have placed higher priority on enforcing anti-corruption statutes.  All of these efforts raise the prospect of significant monetary penalties, prison terms for individuals and extraordinary reputational damage. Bryan Cave is positioned to help with both compliance and investigative aspects of anti-corruption issues.  Bryan Cave’s 25 offices around the world are staffed by professionals with international experience and deep ties to the local and regional business communities.  Our International Trade Group has long counseled clients on compliance with statutes and regulations governing exports, imports, international finance, overseas investments and the general conduct of businesses in foreign jurisdictions, including emerging markets such as China, Brazil, Russia and India.  We understand local custom and practice and the broader context of international anti-corruption laws. Our global footprint allows us to be a true partner to companies as they look to expand in international markets. Bryan Cave also has deep experience assisting companies that become aware of possible violations of anti-corruption laws or that find themselves subject to “whistleblower” complaints or governmental investigations.  Attorneys in our White Collar Defense & Investigations, Securities Litigation & Enforcement and International Trade Groups have conducted and defended numerous internal investigations, have assisted clients in assessing whether to “self-report” the results of those investigations to the authorities and have represented clients vigorously in government investigations. Our teams that advise on the design and implementation of anti-corruption programs are composed of professionals who have held ranking positions at relevant agencies, including former prosecutors who understand how various aspects of an anti-corruption program would be received by the DOJ, SEC, UK Serious Fraud Office and other authorities.  We are able to help implement anti-corruption compliance programs that reflect and incorporate cultural nuances while making business sense for our clients.  Similarly, our teams that conduct and defend internal and governmental investigations include former government officials and other professionals who understand and can explain to prosecutors the complex business issues that provide critical context for the events under review. Examples of our work in this area include: Counseling various multinational companies concerning the new UK Bribery Act and reviewing and revising written anti-corruption materials. Conducting several internal investigations of alleged bribery in connection with activities in China and counseling clients concerning reports to the DOJ and the SEC. Acting as independent monitor for an international financial organization, monitoring and reporting on the adequacy of anti-corruption policies, procedures and compliance measures of a multinational group of companies. Representing an employee of a UK company in an internal investigation relating to a DOJ FCPA investigation of a US subsidiary. Representing a hedge fund on anti-corruption issues arising from investments in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Representing companies with respect to FCPA investigations relating to activities in Latin America. Counseling various multinational companies on anti-corruption issues, including questions concerning travel and gifts presented to foreign governmental officials and the conduct of foreign licensees, agents and vendors. Organizing a coalition of companies to respond to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Conducting an investigation of alleged financial malfeasance and payments to corrupt public officials on behalf of a Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a public company in the automotive industry.  Reported the results to the SEC, which declined to pursue the matter. Conducting internal investigations of proposed consultant and investment relationships for a major U.S. company to determine whether proposed relationships conformed to company policy and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Providing US and EU/UK anti-corruption training for European business managers of a multinational company. Conducting M&A anti-corruption due diligence in connection with cross-border transactions for several multinational companies. Please contact any of the Bryan Cave Global Anti-Corruption professionals for further information.
Practices
Securities Litigation and Enforcement
Bryan Cave’s securities litigation, enforcement and compliance group handles all types of matters arising under the federal securities laws, including investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and other regulatory agencies, class actions and other private civil lawsuits.  We also advise broker-dealers, public companies, investment funds and individuals on compliance matters.   We have experience as well in acting as special or independent counsel, representing Audit or Special Committees or as independent monitor. The group includes lawyers who have held senior positions at the SEC, United States Attorneys’ Offices, and other government agencies, as well as other lawyers with years of experience advising on and litigating securities matters.  Our clients include corporations, officers and directors, broker-dealers, investment advisers, hedge funds, mutual funds, audit firms, registered persons and others involved in the capital markets.  Our team is located throughout the United States. The group regularly represents clients in the following areas: Investigations, enforcement proceedings and disciplinary actions by the SEC, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and state securities commissions.   We handle matters such as insider trading, revenue recognition, capitalizing vs. expensing, valuation of assets including derivatives and swaps, related party disclosures and violations of generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”).  Our matters also involve diverse aspects of broker-dealer regulation, including complex trading, valuation, manipulation, gifts and gratuities, suitability and supervision.  Our white collar lawyers join with us to handle securities related grand jury investigations and matters with potential criminal consequences. Private securities litigation, including class and derivative actions, private equity and hedge fund litigation, institutional and high-net-worth customer arbitrations, and litigation over derivatives and structured financial products, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance.  These cases include class actions under section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 arising out of claims of public company financial misstatements, shareholder actions alleging breach of duty in connection with acquisitions of public companies, disputes between public companies against hedge funds, and disputes among financial firms as investors in subprime-related derivatives. Compliance, including advice on regulatory audits, company policies and codes of ethics.  In all engagements, we bring to bear the experience gained in litigating and defending investigations to help our clients avoid regulatory problems. Internal and independent investigations, directed by in-house counsel, audit committees, or other groups of independent directors, or by independent monitors or trustees, receivers or examiners.  For example, one of our partners was named as the independent monitor to examine financial transactions by AIG under an agreement resolving investigations by the SEC and Department of Justice. Representative Matters Represent municipal bond underwriter and broker in multiple class actions presently consolidated in MDL proceedings, alleging bid-rigging in the municipal derivatives markets.  (S.D.N.Y.)  Represented broker-dealer in class action litigation alleging violations of federal and state securities laws resulting from the collapse of the ARS market. Compensatory damage claim in excess of $225 million.  Obtained dismissal.  (E.D. Mo.) Represented broker-dealer in class action litigation claiming violations of federal and state securities laws resulting from the collapse of the ARS market; case dismissed.  (S.D.Ill.) Represented broker-dealer in software license dispute involving compensatory damage claim of over $15 million.  Jury verdict of $4.1 million vacated on appeal; new trial scheduled.  (Jackson County, Mo. Cir. Ct., Mo. App., W.D. and Mo.) Represented IRA trustees in AAA arbitration involving a $10 million claim to recover losses incurred by a self-directed IRA invested with Bernard Madoff.  Obtained summary judgment; pursuing recovery of fees and costs under the indemnification provisions of the IRA contract. Represent financial services company, serving as IRA trustee, in a class action brought on behalf of IRA account holders who invested in an alleged $55 million Ponzi scheme operated by fraudulent fund manager.  (S.D.N.Y.) Represent financial services company and various other entities in claims brought as a class action arising out of the multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme operated by Bernard Madoff.  (D. Col.) Defend brokerage firm against suitability and misrepresentation claims by five Wisconsin school districts related to alleged fraud in connection with $200 million investment in synthetic CDOs.  (Milwaukee County, Wis. Cir. Ct.) Representing three officers and directors of a major retailer in a lawsuit challenging the company’s decision to acquire a privately-held company owned by Chairman.  (Delaware Ct. Ch.)  Defended company and directors in class action challenging $575 million acquisition of public company by a private equity firm.  (Delaware Ct. Ch.)
Practices