In a brush-back pitch to DOJ opioid initiatives, the U.S. Supreme Court this past June issued an important decision clarifying the mental state the government must establish to convict a licensed medical professional of illegal drug distribution under the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). No longer can a doctor be convicted of such a crime based on objectively unreasonable prescribing practices alone. The government now must show that the medical professional subjectively, knowingly, and intentionally prescribed a controlled substance with no legitimate medical purpose. While unlikely to materially impact the number of DOJ opioid prosecutions, the case will no doubt inform charging decisions in marginal cases and will support important defense arguments at trial.

Continue Reading Will the Supreme Court’s Latest Decision on Mens Rea Leave Medical Professional Prosecutions Ruan-ing on Empty?

With the release of the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, questions regarding enforcement activity in states that restrict or ban abortion by statute have been raised and have remained mostly hypothetical. The frequency and scope of future enforcement activity remains unknown. Given the variety of laws now in effect in restricted and ban states, and that enforcement of such laws is subject to state prosecutorial discretion as well as the prevailing political climate, enforcement initiatives are expected to vary by state.

Continue Reading Post-Dobbs Abortion Enforcement: Nebraska Uses Facebook Messages as Evidence

On April 20, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a nationwide coordinated law enforcement action to combat health care-related COVID-19 fraud. In line with the announcement, the federal government has continued throughout this year to focus its enforcement on fraud in the COVID-19 space, particularly on misuse of Provider Relief funds and COVID-19 testing fraud.

Continue Reading The Department of Justice Continues to Target COVID-19-Related Fraud

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade—the 1973 landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion. Now, companies that operate in states where abortions are banned or restricted are facing a quagmire of laws and risks regarding enforcement. Additionally, the risk landscape is not static, but rather in flux, as the federal government (agencies such as the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and a myriad of states introduce new legislation and issue guidance on a near-daily basis.

Continue Reading Warning Signs of a Criminal Investigation: Considerations for In-House Counsel and Corporate Executives in a Post-Roe World

Now that the Supreme Court of the United States has declared that authority to regulate abortion rests with the states, organizations operating across state lines face new and some unprecedented challenges created by the civil and criminal legal issues arising from risks of enforcement in any state where abortion is or will be banned (a “ban state”). Health care providers, employers, and other organizations with any nexus to such states will need to conduct careful analyses and may have to accept an unknown level of enforcement risk while various jurisdictions respond to their newfound power and determine if and how to wield it. The risks may extend to providers who deliver abortions, patients seeking abortions, companies who support their employees traveling to non-ban states to receive abortions, and their executives. The outer parameters of who is subject to enforcement risk are presently unknown but are likely to vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Continue Reading The Impact of Dobbs: Enforcement Risks to Expect and Monitor

The Judicial Conference of the United States’ Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure seems poised to advance proposed amendments to Federal Rule of Evidence 702, after the Advisory Committee on Evidence unanimously voted to approve the proposed amendments and recommended that the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure refer the amendments to the Judicial Conference for a full vote.

Continue Reading One Step Closer to a Revised Standard for the Admissibility of Expert Testimony Under Rule 702

Imagine you’re a longtime employee of a company that operates in a highly regulated industry. Your employment has seen its ups and downs throughout the years, and you have witnessed many transitions: new policies and procedures implemented, new leadership appointed, and new rules and regulations with which your company must comply to remain in lawful standing with regulators. Occasionally, you’ve observed activity that might be questionable but you never thought much about it. That is, until you’re called into a meeting with your company’s lawyers who inform you that “the U.S. Attorney’s Office wants to meet with you.” What do you do next?

Continue Reading “Queen for a Day” or Risk of Peril? Considerations for Proffering with the Government

In many cases, the payment of restitution by a party in a lawsuit involving the government or a governmental entity creates a tax-deductible business expense under Title 26, United States Code, Section 162(f) (hereinafter, “Section 162”). When it comes to violations of the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law, or even common law fraud claims and contract disputes, understanding how this statute operates can offer substantial short- and long-term tax-benefits to entities facing stiff financial recoupments.  While it is unlikely that the costs of an investigation or restitution order will ever generate a financial net-gain for the entity footing the bill, it is important to appreciate that restitution and proactive remediation costs are viewed differently by both government enforcers (i.e. prosecutors) and tax-collectors, compared with other types of remuneration. Recognizing that there is a difference can, in some cases, help mitigate significant financial burdens.

Continue Reading Finding the Silver-Lining—Leveraging Government Investigations and Restitution Orders for Long-Term Tax Benefits

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced plans to increase its enforcement of white collar crimes against individuals and corporations. Monaco made the announcement speaking at the American Bar Association’s While Collar Crime Conference. She made clear to “those of you who are counselors and voices in the

On June 30, 2021, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), issued the first government-wide Priorities for anti-money laundering (“AML”) and countering the financing of terrorism (“CFT”) policy (the “Priorities”). In accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (“AMLA 2020”), FinCEN established the Priorities, after consulting with the Attorney General, and various Federal