Procurement Fraud and Grant Fraud enforcement programs are likely to be revitalized by the Trump Administration.

It’s no shock that a political change in the Executive Branch leads to an increase in grant fraud and procurement fraud enforcement. The reason? There is low risk in scrutinizing grants and contracts awarded by the outgoing administration. Whatever shenanigans are discovered by a new Administration will have occurred during the term of the previous administration and any negative economic impacts from pulling a grant or imposing a fine, will only impact the grant recipient and, potentially, its subcontractors, who are often presumed by an incoming Administration to have stronger ties to its predecessor.

Imagine you are a high-level Department of Justice official in a new administration positioned to deploy resources toward matters you believe most merit investigation and possible prosecution.  You will need to work on accomplishing the new Administrations mission as well as continue to satisfy your existing management chain with positive results.  What is the best way to move forward in this environment.

The most obvious way is to go after the low-hanging fruit: to aim the enforcement initiative at situations in which there is a high risk/reward ratio. Nowhere in white collar enforcement, is this ratio more favorable than in the realm of grant fraud and procurement fraud enforcement (GFPFE). Contributing to the richness of this area from an enforcement standpoint is that since 2009 the enforcement apparatus adopted a rigid prevention model, decreased the number of federal agents developing cases, increased barriers between the investigations and audit components of the Office of Inspector Generals (OIG’s) and made it more difficult to engage in aggressive or effective GFPFE.[1] This shift away from effective GFPFE in 2009 coincided with the largest spending increase in government history so it stands to reason there will be plenty of cases worth developing.

* * * Click Here for the Rest of the #GFPFE Analysis * * *


Antitrust Division Increasing Procurement Fraud Footprint Once Again

The Antitrust Division announced that a former owner and operator of a Florida-based airline fuel supply service company was sentenced today to serve 50 months in prison for participating in a scheme to defraud Illinois-based Ryan International Airlines, the Department of Justice announced.

This is a legacy case reassigned from the shuttered Atlanta Field Office suggesting a successful and a smooth transition of its assignment to the Washington 1 Criminal Office (formerly the National Criminal Enforcement Section).    For any tea leaf readers, AAG Bill Baer’s comments in this press release (reprinted below) suggest renewed focus by the Antitrust Division into procurement fraud and an increasing willingness to open, investigate and charge matters that involve non Title 15 U.S.C Section 1 offenses in all types of procurements.  The “tell” here is subtle, but it is very significant.

 Baer’s quote today:

 “Awarding government contracts in exchange for payoffs is a crime the Antitrust Division takes seriously,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “Today’s sentence reaffirms the division’s commitment to vigorously prosecute individuals who engage in this behavior.”

If you know the history of Title 18 procurement prosecutions, Baer’s commitment to bringing future procurement fraud cases is significant.  The Antitrust Division was a significant player during the Bush years’ National Procurement Fraud Task Force.  Besides domestic kickback and other Title 18 cases, the Division brought many overseas contingency operations (then “WarZone”) prosecutions for bidding corruption and grant fraud.  In fact, the Division had wide berth to investigate and prosecute cases that involved “corruption of the bidding or award process.”  This was a wider mandate than simply bringing cases of horizontal collusion among competitors.  The National Procurement Fraud Task Force was incorporated into the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force early in the Obama administration and resources were reallocated to new enforcement priorities in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008.  As everyone viewed their new enforcement mission through a financial crimes prism, the focus of the Antitrust Division returned to a more restrictive view of its mission, i.e., bringing Sherman Act cases under 15 U.S.C. Section 1.  At the height of this limitation, for an investigation to receive authority to be opened, it had to include evidence that on its face could be construed classic horizontal bid rigging conduct. 

It is beyond the scope of this blog entry, but there is much that goes into the press release process that provides insights into enforcement agency gestalt, resource allocation, drive to open cases, and willingness to keep cases open and to charge cases, particularly marginal ones.  A press release also can provide insight into the AAG’s mindset and, sometimes, even more importantly from an agency effectiveness perspective, what people reporting to the AAG think his mindset is.

Today’s quote from AAG Baer is instructive.  It is in an active, broad and forceful voice. In a sweeping statement it links “kickbacks” and “the Antitrust Division” in the same sentence and suggests direct Antitrust Division intervention.  Most importantly, it suggests an interest in crimes involving the payment of kickbacks to award contracts (a Title 18 offense where a Section 1 agreement between competitors is usually not present).  It then states that when offenses like these are committed they will be “tak[en] seriously…[and will be vigorously prosecut[ed]” by the Antitrust Division.

Contrast this with Baer’s statement in September 2013 regarding another case on the same investigation:

“Today’s sentence should serve as a stiff deterrent to executives who might be tempted to solicit a kickback from their supplies in exchange for their honest services,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division. “The Antitrust Division is committed to ensuring that contracts are won based on competition and not collusion.”

The 2013 AAG quote literally suggests that deterrence is provided by the length of this sentence rather than by any threat of immediate action by the Antitrust Division.  It then links to a general principle that references the blanket requirement imposed earlier in the Administration that a horizontal agreement between competitors had to be present to justify resources.  It also should be recognized that “collusion” is a primarily a term of art within the Antitrust Division directed at collusion among competitors rather than collusion with a contract officer. 

Baer’s current statement is forward-looking and reaffirms that procurement fraud as a Division priority.   For all intents and purposes, AAG Baer has indicated to line attorneys and the outside world (most importantly, investigative agencies) that the Antitrust Division is again open for cases of “corruption of the bidding or award process.”   This strongly suggests a move away from an exclusive focus on Invitation for Bids (IFB) contracting to the massively larger pie of “everything else” including cost plus contracts, prime vendor contracts, sole source contracts and even the issuance of grants.

To advise clients regarding risk analysis, GeyerGorey LLP has been tracking this progression because in many hidden, but key areas, the Antitrust Division provides disproportionate value to the government’s procurement fraud mission by supporting the agency mission, helping resource investigations and by providing continuity to long investigations and program management.  This message has been received loud and clear by Antitrust Division rank and file and it is in the process of being received by the FBI, IRS-CID and 38 Inspectors General who immediately recognize that they can bring cases to Antitrust that require extensive resourcing or which have been declined.   With history as a guide, we expect procurement fraud investigation openings to increase substantially and we expect current investigations to be prolonged or rekindled as resources are reallocated with Antitrust Division resources.  



Former airline fuel owner sentenced in fraud scheme

Executive Sentenced to Serve 50 Months in Prison

A former owner and operator of a Florida-based airline fuel supply service company was sentenced today to serve 50 months in prison for participating in a scheme to defraud Illinois-based Ryan International Airlines, the Department of Justice announced.

Sean E. Wagner, the former owner and operator of Aviation Fuel International Inc. (AFI), was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach to serve 50 months in prison and to pay $202,856 in restitution.  On Aug. 13, 2013, a grand jury returned an indictment against Wagner and AFI, charging them for their roles in a conspiracy to defraud Ryan. On March 6, 2014, Wagner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.   According to court documents, from at least as early as December 2005 through at least August 2009, Wagner and others at AFI made kickback payments to Wayne Kepple, a former vice president of ground operations for Ryan, totaling more than $200,000 in the form of checks, wire transfers, cash and gift cards in exchange for awarding business to AFI.  The charges against AFI were dismissed on Feb. 21, 2014.

Ryan provided air passenger and cargo services for corporations, private individuals and the U.S. government – including the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“Awarding government contracts in exchange for payoffs is a crime the Antitrust Division takes seriously,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “Today’s sentence reaffirms the division’s commitment to vigorously prosecute individuals who engage in this behavior.”

“This sentencing highlights the continuing commitment of the DCIS to thoroughly investigate and bring to justice any companies or individuals who engage in fraudulent and corrupt practices that undermine the integrity of Department of Defense procurement programs,” said John F. Khin, Special Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service Southeast Field Office.

As a result of the ongoing investigation, five individuals, including Wagner, have pleaded guilty and have been ordered to serve sentences ranging from 16 to 87 months in prison and to pay more than $780,000 in restitution.  An additional individual has pleaded guilty to obstructing the investigation and is currently awaiting sentencing.

The investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I office and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

Former Employee of Navy Contractor Pleads Guilty in International Navy Bribery Scandal

Alex Wisidagama, a citizen of Singapore formerly employed by Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States for his role in a scheme to overbill the U.S. Navy for ship husbanding services.   Wisidagama’s plea is the second in an expanding investigation into acts of alleged fraud and bribery committed by GDMA and several United States Navy officers and personnel.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California, Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Deputy Inspector General for Investigations James B. Burch of the U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jan M. Adler of the Southern District of California.   The plea is subject to acceptance by U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino.   Sentencing is set for June 13, 2014, before Judge Sammartino.
Wisidagama, who was arrested in San Diego, Calif., on Sept. 16, 2013, served as the general manager of global government contracts for GDMA, which was owned and operated by his cousin, Leonard Glenn Francis .   GDMA was a multi-national corporation with headquarters in Singapore and operating locations in other countries, including Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and the United States.   GDMA provided the U.S. Navy with hundreds of millions of dollars in husbanding services, which involve the coordinating, scheduling and procurement of items and services required by ships and submarines when they arrive at port.   These services included providing tugboats; paying port authority and customs fees; furnishing security and transportation; supplying provisions, fuel and water; and removing trash and collecting liquid waste.
In his plea agreement, Wisidagama admitted to conspiring to defraud the U.S. Navy in different ways.   Wisidagama and other GDMA employees generated bills charging the U.S. Navy for port tariffs that were far greater than the tariffs that GDMA actually paid.   In some cases, Wisidagama and others created fictitious port authorities for ports visited by U.S. Navy ships, and in other cases, Wisidagama and GDMA created fake invoices from legitimate port authorities purporting to bill the U.S. Navy at inflated tariff rates.   Wisidagama and GDMA also overbilled the U.S. Navy for fuel by creating fraudulent invoices which represented that GDMA acquired fuel at the same cost that it charged the U.S. Navy when in fact GDMA sold the fuel to the U.S. Navy for far more than it actually paid.   Wisidagama and GDMA also defrauded the U.S. Navy on the provision of incidental items by creating fake price quotes purportedly from other vendors to make it appear that the other vendors’ offering prices were greater than GDMA’s prices.
Wisidagama is the second defendant to plead guilty as part of this investigation.   On Dec. 17, 2013, former NCIS Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery after admitting to providing Francis with sensitive law enforcement information in exchange for things of value such as cash, travel accommodations, lavish dinners, and prostitutes.   In addition to Beliveau and Wisidagama, Francis and U.S. Navy Commanders Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and Jose Luis Sanchez have been charged as part of a bribery and fraud scheme designed to defraud the U.S. Navy.   The charges against Misiewicz, Sanchez and Francis are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by NCIS, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.   Significant assistance was provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Royal Thai Police and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau in Singapore.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Pletcher and Robert Huie of the Southern District of California, Director of Procurement Fraud Catherine Votaw and Trial Attorney Brian Young of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and Trial Attorney Wade Weems, on detail to the Fraud Section from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction.

MainJustice.Com: “Former Civil Division Fraud Leader Joins White Collar Firm”

MainJustice.Com: “Former Civil Division Fraud Leader Joins White Collar Firm”

Patricia Davis, former Assistant Director, Fraud Section, Civil Division, joins GeyerGorey LLP

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Patricia Davis, a twenty-year veteran of the Department of Justice, has joined GeyerGorey LLP as of counsel.  She previously served as Assistant Director, Fraud Section, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, where she was responsible for investigating and prosecuting hundreds of cases involving fraud on government healthcare, procurement and grant/loan programs.  Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Davis was Deputy Counsel to the Inspector General at the General Services Administration.  She is the eleventh former DOJ prosecutor to join the boutique law firm in less than a year.

(See the firm’s Representative Matters by clicking here [this is not a comprehensive list and does not yet incorporate any of Ms. Davis’s experience])

 “The scope and breadth of Pat’s experience is unparalleled.  Much of the Civil Division’s enforcement program focusing on Defense Department contracts and pharmaceuticals rested squarely on her shoulders,” said Brad Geyer, one of the firm’s founding partners.  “We are delighted that Pat has decided to join us.”

Robert Zastrow, who was Verizon’s Assistant General Counsel for 15 years before co-founding the firm in October 2012, added,“ Pat Davis is an excellent addition to our corporate compliance and white collar practice.”

 “I believe that Pat brings our firm to a new level in terms of our ability to get cases placed appropriately and to enhance the chances that our qui tam (False Claims Act) cases will be adopted by the government,” said Hays Gorey, a firm co-founder.  “With Pat’s terrific background and deep legal knowledge, we are uniquely positioned to develop cases so that they are ready, when filed, to be transitioned immediately to the appropriate U.S. Attorney’s Office or the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.”

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Dallas, GeyerGorey LLP specializes in white collar criminal defense, particularly investigations and cases involving allegations of economic crimes, including violations of the federal antitrust laws (price fixing, bid rigging, territorial and customer allocation agreements), the procurement and grant fraud statutes, the securities laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act and other whistleblower actions.  The firm also conducts internal investigations of possible criminal conduct and provides advice regarding compliance with antitrust, anti-bribery and other laws and regulations, in addition to advising on voluntary and mandatory disclosure issues. For further information, please call Patricia Davis at (202) 559-1456 or email

GeyerGorey LLP Issues Updated Representative Matters List; Experience is Wide and Deep

Representative Matters

Our attorneys have led and participated in some of the highest profile matters in the past decade, both while in the government and in private practice. We have been involved in the most significant criminal cartel cases, the most important mergers, the most notable civil antitrust investigations, the largest procurement fraud cases, and game-changing antitrust cases that reached the United States Supreme Court. Our collective experience stands as a testament to our work ethic, our drive for excellence, and the trust and responsibility we have been given by our clients and the government.

International Cartels:

  • Led investigation and prosecution of marine contractors engaged in conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition to install deep sea oil platforms
  • Led investigation and prosecution of international freight forwarders engaged in conspiracy to fix prices on international air cargo shipments
  • Led investigation and prosecution of household-goods moving contractors engaged in conspiracy to fix prices for international moving services provided to Department of Defense
  • Investigation and prosecution of graphite electrodes manufacturers
  • Investigation and prosecution of ocean shipping companies
  • Investigation and prosecution of a FTSE 250 engineering company that resulted in the indictment, extradition and conviction of its former chief executive
  • Defended foreign construction company in investigation and prosecution of alleged billion-dollar bid rigging scheme, in related qui tam litigation, and in other related matters
  • Defended foreign vitamin manufacturers in investigations and prosecutions of alleged international price-fixing agreements
  • Defended foreign specialty chemical manufacturers in investigations and prosecutions of alleged international price-fixing agreements
  • Defended U.S.-based executive of foreign company in criminal and civil litigation related to his alleged role in an international cartel to fix prices in the marine supply industry
  • Defended foreign executive of foreign company in criminal and civil litigation related to his alleged role in the conspiracy to fix air cargo rates around the world
  • Defended international freight forwarder in criminal litigation related to its alleged role in an international conspiracy to rig bids on U.S. military shipping contracts
  • Investigation and subsequent prosecution of foreign vitamin manufacturers for price fixing conspiracy

Domestic Price Fixing and Bid Rigging:

  • Defended electrical products manufacturer in first felony prosecution under the Sherman Act and in civil treble damage litigation
  • Represented a class of nurses in litigation against a hospital association and a number of Arizona hospitals
  • Represented the State of Ohio against a number of dairies for allegedly rigging bids of school milk
  • Investigation and prosecution of highway paving contractors in multiple districts for bid rigging
  • Investigation and prosecution of military insignia providers supplying the Army Air Force Exchange System with over 4,000 items of insignia
  • Represented metal drum manufacturer in prosecution for price fixing
  • Investigation of polypropylene bag manufacturers and that resulted in the prosecution of a manufacturer for Buy American Act violations and conspiracy to defraud
  • Investigation and prosecution of nearly 40 cases against paving contractors for conspiring to rig bids in connection with federal and state highway and airport contracts
  • Investigation and prosecution of an auction rigging conspiracy involving auto parts to by the Department of Defense at Defense Reutilization Marketing Offices (DRMO)
  • Investigation and prosecution of multiple electrical construction contractors for conspiring to rig bids for major power wiring contracts associated with steel mills and waste water treatment plants
  • Investigation and prosecution of multiple wholesale grocery companies and bid managers for rigging bids to school districts, hospitals and jails in southern Texas
  • Investigation and prosecution of multiple dairies for rigging bids for school milk sold to districts in Louisiana
  • Investigation and prosecution of crawfish processors for fixing prices paid to crawfish farmers and fishermen
  • Investigation and prosecution of bribery conspiracy involving the reconstruction of the New Orleans levee system after Hurricane Katrina
  • Investigation and prosecution of fire protective services company and its president
  • Investigation and prosecution of an Iraq-based general construction bid rigging scheme
  • Investigation and prosecution of conspiracy to solicit kickback scheme involving security services on a US Agency for International Development contract
  • Investigation and prosecution of fuel theft from an overseas United States military facility
  • Investigation and prosecution of a Europe-based scheme to defraud the Iraqi government by facilitating the fraudulent claim for payment of armored vehicles that were never delivered
  • Represented individual accused of defrauding government defense agency out of hundreds of thousands of dollars of grant money
  • Represented company accused of defrauding government by failing to supply vitamin-enriched food products with the proper level of enrichment
  • Represented large computer software company in internal investigation of improper influence on government contracting process

General Criminal:

  • Defended CEO and three closely-held companies in a multi-state racketeering and tax fraud prosecution
  • Investigation and prosecution of multiple labor racketeering cases ranging from prosecutions of United Mine Worker Union officials for theft of union funds used to pay for the murder of a political opponent of the union president to the prosecution of two Boston-based racketeers for actions associated with their travel to California in connection with a union organizing effort at a San Rafael newspaper
  • Investigation and prosecution of the mayor of a New Jersey town for taking bribes in connection with the permitting of a tank farm at the terminus point of a major Gulf Coast to East Coast pipeline
  • Investigation and prosecution of the most prolific serial bank robber in United States history
  • Investigation and prosecution of the murder for hire of a government witness and one of the largest cocaine importation conspiracies East of the Mississippi River
  • Investigation and prosecution of numerous gun, drug and false identity cases
  • Investigation and prosecution of multiple obstructions of justice, contempt, false statement, witness tampering and perjury cases arising out of grand jury investigations
  • Investigation and prosecution of bank fraud cases
  • Represented individuals before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in appeals from criminal convictions (more than a dozen cases)
  • Defended individual in intelligence community in investigation by DCIS for alleged violations of public corruption statutes (18 U.S.C §§ 207 & 208)
  • Defended individual in criminal investigation by Inspector General of NASA
  • Defended individual in federal bribery investigation
  • Defended government contractor in investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture
  • Defended several regional hospitals in various unrelated federal investigations of allegedly fraudulent billing practices, Stark violations
  • Represented hospital CEO in investigation of alleged Stark violations
  • Represented pathology laboratory in healthcare fraud investigation
  • Represented national healthcare company in investigation of allegedly criminal off-label marketing
  • Represented various individuals in applications for presidential pardons

Mergers and Acquisitions:

  • Represented Warner Music in connection with the proposed acquisition of EMI by Universal Music
  • Represented DISH Network in opposition to the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T
  • Represented Merck in connection with its acquisition of Schering Plough
  • Represented Simon Properties in connection with its acquisition of Prime Outlets
  • Obtained antitrust clearance in the acquisition of Liquid Container by Graham Packaging
  • Obtained consent decree against nuclear engineering firm which had acquired another firm with the same engineering specialty
  • Represented major home healthcare provider in acquisition valued in excess of $500 million
  • Represented pathology laboratory in merger valued in excess of $100 million
  • Represented foreign mining company in acquisition of US coal mines valued over $1 billion
  • Represented hospital management company in acquisition valued in excess of $500 million
  • Represented individual in several acquisitions of stock each valued in excess of $100 million
  • Represented major over-the-counter pharmaceutical company in four different acquisitions over several years whose values ranged from over $100 million to over $500 million
  • Represented national restaurant chain in acquisition valued at about $1 billion
  • Represented regional hospital chain in acquisition of a hospital valued above $50 million
  • Represented hospital valued in excess of $100 million in sale to state hospital system

Civil Antitrust Matters:.

  • Defended large telecommunications provider in three week trial for alleged exclusionary conduct directed towards telecom services resellers.
  • Represented large telecommunications provider as plaintiff in case alleging monopolization of market for telecom switch software.
  • Represented leading music copyright licensing organization in a decade-long investigation by the Department of Justice
  • Led the investigation of Ticketmaster at the Department of Justice
  • Led major, successful prosecution by United States Department of Justice of conspiracy among twenty-four leading market-makers in NASDAQ stocks, including Goldman, Sachs & Co. and J. P. Morgan Securities,  Inc. who had conspired to maintain spreads between buying and selling prices of NASDAQ stocks
  • Defended large telecommunications provider in multi-year litigation brought by competitive telecom carrier alleging monopolization of market for high speed data services
  • Led successful investigation and prosecution of Salomon Bros Inc. and two hedge funds, Caxton Corporation and Steinhardt Partners, LP, to limit the supply of two-year Treasury notes to the “repo,” or “repurchase agreement,” market
  • Successfully brought the Reagan Administrations ‘s first challenge to a merger (brewing industry)
  • Successfully represented the United States in a litigated matter challenging field of use restrictions in patent licensing agreement in specialty chemicals
  • Successfully represented the United States in challenge to professional rules of conduct limiting competition among accountants in Texas
  • Successfully represented the United States in challenge to acquisition by Texaco, Inc. of an independent oil refining company
  • Represented high-tech electronic service provider with respect to antitrust issues in a bet-the-company patent infringement case
  • Represented sporting goods manufacturer in vacating a consent decree
  • Represented leading music copyright pool in civil antitrust investigation leading to vacating of an earlier consent decree and modification of another consent decree
  • Represented hospital CEO in litigation arising from denial of physician staff privileges

Antitrust Compliance Counseling:

  • Advised large telecommunications provider on its price and product bundling
  • Advised large telecom provider in connection with a joint venture of three carriers to entire the mobile payments market with mobile phones
  • Advised major manufacturer of household appliances on antitrust compliance
  • Advised major manufacturer of high-end kitchen appliances on antitrust compliance
  • Advised major manufacturer of over-the-counter pharmaceutical on antitrust compliance
  • Advised regional airport on state action doctrine and compliance with antitrust laws
  • Advised national trade association on antitrust compliance and Noerr-Pennington doctrine
  • Advised international shipping company on compliance regarding competition, fraud, and foreign corrupt practices
  • Advised African government on contracting and anti-fraud and anti-corruption best practices

Other Civil Litigation:

  • Represented Haiti in multinational investigation and litigation leading to the recovery of money stolen by its former president Jean-Claude Duvalier
  • Represented developers in multiple appeals involving alleged illegal cooperative conversion terms
  • Defended law firm in $10 million professional malpractice action
  • Defended various healthcare providers in numerous different federal investigations of alleged fraud, related qui tam cases, and related whistleblower termination actions
  • Defended CMS contractor in qui tam case
  • Represented regional Medicare Advantage organization in suit against the U.S. Government
  • Defended book distributor and publisher in defamation case
  • Defended author in defamation case
  • Represented gaming company in civil rights action relating to state gaming regulations
  • Defended copyright and trademark owner in intellectual property litigation
  • Defended local retailer of gray market goods in trademark infringement litigation
  • Represented major multinational corporation in suit seeking refund of local corporate franchise tax
  • Represented government contractor in appeal of denial of security clearance
  • Defended employers in cases alleging violation of wage-and-hour statute
  • Represented developers in multiple appeals involving alleged illegal cooperative conversion terms
  • Defended employer in case alleging employment discrimination
  • Defended employer in case alleging sexual harassment
  • Defended employers in cases alleging unlawful discharge

Experience by Industry:

  • Air Cargo
  • Aircraft Parts (Domestic)
  • Airlines
  • Airport Contracts
  • Automobile Dealers (Domestic)
  • Airlines
  • Asset Forfeiture
  • Auction Rigging (Multiple Industries)
  • Banking (International)
  • Baked Goods (Domestic)
  • Baking Soda
  • Book Publishing
  • Bridge Construction
  • Carbon Products
  • Caustic Soda
  • Cell Towers (Domestic)
  • Chemicals (Multiple Products, Domestic and International)
  • Clothing and Textiles (Multiple Products, Domestic and International)
  • Computer Software
  • Construction (Domestic and International)
  • Copyright and Trademark
  • Dairy Products
  • Deep sea Oil Platforms
  • Democratization Programs
  • Electrical Products
  • Embassy Construction
  • Engineering
  • Export-Import Bank Clients (Multiple Industries, International)
  • Food Service Contracts (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Financial Institutions (Domestic and International)
  • Fire Protection Services
  • Freight Forwarding (Domestic and International)
  • Fuel Supply (Domestic and International)
  • General Construction (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Government Contracts (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Graphite Electrodes
  • Highway Construction
  • Hospitals
  • Housing Foreclosure Auctions (Domestic)
  • Information Technology (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Industrial Gases (Domestic and Multiple Products)
  • Marine Contractors
  • Medical Products (Multiple Products, Domestic and International)
  • Metal Drums
  • Military Insignia (International)
  • Military Moving and Storage
  • Mining and Related Products (Multiple Industries, Domestic)
  • Motor Vehicles (Domestic)
  • Municipal Bonds (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Nursing
  • Ocean Shipping (International)
  • Oilfield Supplies
  • Pharmaceuticals (Multiple Products, Domestic and International)
  • Polypropylene bags
  • Rock Salt
  • Seafood
  • Security Contracts
  • School District Contracts (Multiple Industries)
  • Soda Ash
  • Shipping (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Slag Removal
  • Telecommunications
  • Tobacco
  • Translation Services
  • Trucking
  • US Agency for International Development Contractors and Grant Recipients
  • Vitamins
  • Warzone
  • Waste Hauling
  • Wholesale Groceries
  • Wireless
  • World Bank Contractors and Grant Recipients (International)
  • Vitamins


Experience by Subject Matter:

  • Antitrust (Civil and Criminal)
  • Auction Rigging
  • Bank Robberies (Domestic)
  • Bank Fraud
  • Bid-Rigging
  • Bribery
  • Buy American Act Violations
  • Capital Crimes
  • Cartels (Multiple Products, Domestic and International)
  • Cash Smuggling (International, multiple procurements by multiple governments)
  • Civil Merger and Non-Merger Cases (Multiple Products, Multiple Industries Domestic and International)
  • Civil Rights Actions
  • Competition Advocacy
  • Contempt
  • Contracting Fraud
  • Corporate Defense (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Criminal Conspiracies
  • Defamation
  • Disaster Fraud
  • Drug Cartels and Trafficking
  • Embezzlement
  • Employment Law
  • False Claims
  • False Statements
  • Federal Trade Commission Matters
  • Firearms and Weapons Offenses (Domestic and International)
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) (Multiple Industries)
  • Forgery
  • Fuel Theft
  • Grant Fraud (Multiple Industries, Multiple Agencies, Domestic and International)
  • Hart-Scott-Rodino Pre-Merger Notification
  • Health Care Fraud (Compliance, Organizational Defense, Whistleblowers)
  • Kickbacks
  • Identity Theft
  • Intellectual Property
  • Mail Fraud
  • Market Allocation
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Money Laundering (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Monopolies (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Murder for Hire
  • Non-governmental Organizations (International)
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • Overseas Contingency Operations
  • Perjury
  • Presidential Pardons
  • Price Fixing
  • Procurement Fraud (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Professional Malpractice Defense
  • Public Corruption
  • Qui Tam Matters
  • Racketeering
  • Securities Fraud
  • Stark Violations
  • Tax Fraud (International, Domestic and State)
  • Territorial Allocation
  • Webb-Pomerene Organizations (International)
  • Weapons Offenses (Domestic and International)
  • Whistleblowers (Multiple Industries, Domestic and International)
  • Wire Fraud
  • Witness Tampering

“Upstart Start-Up” GeyerGorey LLP Opens Dallas Office

“Rocketing from two to eleven attorneys in eight months, GeyerGorey LLP sports over 200 years of cross-disciplinary prosecutorial experience involving a host of domestic and international industries where each of its attorneys has worked on internal investigations and high stakes cases for an average of more than 20 years.”

For more, click the link below:


Law360: GeyerGorey Opens In Dallas With Former DOJ Antitrust Ace

Law360: GeyerGorey Opens In Dallas With Former DOJ Antitrust Ace

By Alex Lawson

Law360, New York (August 07, 2013, 3:34 PM ET) — GeyerGorey LLP established its presence in Texas with a splash this week, securing the services of a former U.S. Department of Justice antitrust prosecutor to open its Dallas office, the firm announced Tuesday.
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Marshall added that the firm has a strong Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance program that she hopes to be heavily involved in.

While Marshall carries experience across a wide variety of industry sectors, senior partner Hays Gorey Jr. said her work in the energy sector will be of critical importance to the firm’s Texas operations.

“We are thrilled that Joan has decided to join us,” Gorey said. “She adds deep experience with numerous enforcement agencies and complements our experience in key industries like oil and gas exploration, not to mention the fraud piece.”

At DOJ, Marshall gained notoriety for her work in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when she led the Antitrust Division’s bribery prosecutions centering on the construction of the levees surrounding New Orleans. She also served on the agency’s Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force, which was eventually rolled into the broader-reaching Disaster Fraud Task Force.

Firm co-founder Brad Geyer said Marshall’s work in the disaster fraud arena would dovetail nicely with the firm’s existing portfolio.

“We are very involved in servicing the government contractor and the nonprofit and nongovernmental organization community and we are excited to roll in Joan’s disaster fraud experience into our overall product offerings,” Geyer said. “It is also unusual to have career prosecutors in one firm that worked on the highest profile matters on both the criminal and civil worlds.”

Marshall received her law degree from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of North Texas.

–Editing by Katherine Rautenberg.

Two Mayors and Two Lobbyists Charged in Separate Corruption Investigations Mayor of Sweetwater Received More Than $40,000 in Bribes; Mayor of Miami Lakes Received $6,750 in Bribes

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that four individuals have been charged in two separate complaints involving public corruption allegations. The first complaint charges Manuel L. Maroño, 41, the mayor of Sweetwater, and two lobbyists, Jorge L. Forte, 41, and Richard F. Candia, 49, all of Miami, for their alleged participation in a kickback and bribery scheme (the Maroño complaint) in connection with purported federal grants for the city of Sweetwater. The second complaint charges Michael A. Pizzi, 51, the mayor of Miami Lakes and town attorney for the town of Medley, and Richard F. Candia, in a separate kickback and bribery scheme in connection with purported federal grants for both Miami Lakes and Medley (the Pizzi complaint). Both complaints charge the defendants with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a).

U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer stated, “Our democracy suffers when, as in these cases, elected officials use their power and political influence for personal gain instead of for the public good. Public corruption, at any level of government, corrodes and undermines the public’s confidence in our system of government. We are committed to stopping this corrosion and to help restore transparency to local government.”

“For the public to have confidence in their government, they must be certain that their elected officials will not use their position for personal gain,” said Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “We encourage anyone who may have information about corruption to come forward and report it. This information is critical to our work. The South Florida community can be assured that public corruption will remain a top priority for the FBI.”

The defendants made their initial appearances in federal court today at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrea Simonton. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Investigation Background

The investigation began in approximately June 2011, when Candia began dealing with an FBI confidential source and two undercover FBI agents posing as the owners of a Chicago-based grant administration business. During meetings, the undercover agents represented to Candia that, with the aid of corrupt local public officials, they could obtain federal grant moneys, which they would then keep and distribute among themselves. After listening to the undercover agents’ proposal, Candia identified Maroño and Pizzi as potential participants in the scheme.

The Sweetwater Deal—Manuel Maroño

According to the Maroño complaint affidavit, after identifying Maroño as a potential participant in the proposed scheme, Candia introduced Maroño to the undercover agents. Maroño caused the passage of a resolution in Sweetwater that authorized the undercover agents’ company to apply for federal grant moneys on behalf of the city of Sweetwater. After the resolution was passed, Maroño and Forte personally met and negotiated with the undercover agents and accepted a series of cash payments in exchange for Maroño’s official action in support of the grant scheme. During these negotiations and meetings, Forte acted as the front man for Maroño.

To further the scheme and avoid detection, Maroño also participated in what he believed to be audit telephone calls from a federal grant auditor to confirm the grantee’s performance on the grant. During two separate audit calls, both of which were recorded, Maroño lied to and misled the auditor, who was in fact an undercover FBI agent, about the actual use of the grant money and the grantee’s performance. For their actions, Maroño and Forte received $40,000 and Candia received at least $5,000 in kickbacks in connection with the Sweetwater deal.

Lastly, Maroño, Forte, and Candia received additional payments for their assistance in identifying other public officials whom they claimed might also be interested in participating in similar grant schemes in their cities. To this end, Maroño, Forte, and Candia used Maroño’s position as President of the Florida League of Cities to introduce the scheme to other officials. Maroño and Forte received an additional $20,000 in cash for these introductions, but no other public officials ultimately participated in the scheme.

The Miami Lakes/Medley Deals—Michael Pizzi

The second complaint charges Michael Pizzi and Candia with engaging in a similar grant scheme in Miami Lakes and Medley. As more fully explained in the affidavit filed in support of the Pizzi complaint, Candia introduced Pizzi to the undercover FBI agents to help implement the grant scheme in Medley, where Pizzi was the town attorney. After a series of meetings with Candia and the undercover agents, Pizzi initially agreed to participate in the scheme in exchange for $750 in campaign contributions, which he received in three separate checks delivered to his office by the FBI confidential source.

Thereafter, to aid in the grant scheme’s success, Pizzi backdated a document that endorsed the undercover agents’ company. Pizzi also handled what he believed to be an audit telephone call from a federal grant auditor to confirm the grantee’s performance on the grant. During that call, which was recorded, Pizzi lied to and misled the auditor, who was in fact an undercover FBI agent, about the actual use of the grant money and the grantee’s performance. In return for Pizzi’s help in Medley, Pizzi received a $1,000 cash kickback and other things of value.

Later, with the intent of expanding the grant scheme to Miami Lakes, Pizzi worked to get a resolution passed in Miami Lakes that would authorize the undercover FBI agents’ company to seek additional grant funds for the city of Miami Lakes. In exchange for his work in Miami Lakes, Pizzi received additional $2,000 and $3,000 cash pay-offs.

These cases were investigated by the FBI Miami Area Public Corruption Task Force with assistance from the City of Miami Police Department, Hialeah Police Department, Miami Beach Police Department, Miami Dade Police Department, and Customs and Border Protection-Internal Affairs. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared E. Dwyer.

A complaint is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven

MainJustice.Com “Former Prosecutor from Shuttered Antitrust Division Office Joins White Collar Firm”

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Former Prosecutor from Shuttered Antitrust Division Office Joins White Collar Firm