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White Collar Defense

Overview

We understand that clients facing an investigation or enforcement action by the government need help quickly. Every step or misstep can have an irreversible impact on the outcome. Whether it’s the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the SEC, the IRS, the DOJ, FINRA, FERC, the Massachusetts Securities Division, or another federal or state agency or a self-regulatory organization, an investigation can be serious, alarming and potentially damaging. Knowing what direction to take, what strategy to pursue, what to communicate when and to whom, is critical.

The Nutter team is a tightly-knit group of dedicated attorneys who work together on strategies to solve clients’ problems. Highly experienced partners share their expertise and insight to optimize each client’s case in a collaborative approach that benefits the client with their combined knowledge and the strength of their collective commitment. We give each client an exceptional degree of direct partner attention, together with the consistent support of talented litigation associates who concentrate in government investigations and white collar defense work.

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Our Team

What matters most is having the right team in your corner – legal counsel who are:

  • Experienced both as prosecutors and trial lawyers
  • Creative and practical at problem-solving
  • Responsive and proactive
  • Committed to understanding your business
  • Dedicated to providing the highest quality of service
  • Cost-sensitive
  • Driven to win

The senior members of our Government Investigations and White Collar Defense team include:

Jonathan L. Kotlier has represented numerous corporations and individuals in government investigations and for his work he has been recognized by Chambers USA as an "outstanding litigator and adviser with excellent insights and judgment." He has represented numerous high level corporate officers in investigations by the SEC and Department of Justice. Prior to joining Nutter, he served for twelve years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, during eight of which he was Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit. He worked closely with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Massachusetts Division of Securities on securities fraud cases.  A seasoned trial lawyer, he has tried over 20 cases to verdict. 

Ian D. Roffman is a former Senior Trial Counsel in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Boston, where he received both the Chairman’s Award for Excellence and the Enforcement Director’s Award.

Who we represent

The Nutter white collar defense team represents companies and institutions, corporate management and employees, and a variety of other individuals who have included board members, chief executives and other top officers. Clients come from a wide range of industries and fields, including:

  • Pharmaceuticals and other life sciences sectors
  • Health insurance companies
  • Banking and other financial services
  • High technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Major educational and medical institutions
  • Energy and Utilities

Our clients range from Fortune 500 companies to world-renowned universities to employee groups to smaller businesses, who have turned to the firm for representation on the full spectrum of criminal and civil matters, regulatory proceedings, compliance efforts, internal investigations and other interactions with the state and/or federal governments.

What we do

The services we provide include:

  • Helping clients avoid running afoul of the government by advising them on corporate compliance and conducting internal investigations and audits as necessary
  • Vigorously defending the rights of clients who are targets, subjects or witnesses in governmental investigations and civil, criminal and regulatory actions
  • Representing clients in False Claims Act cases and qui tam investigations
  • Handling grand jury investigations, subpoena responses, hearings, negotiations, trials, appeals and all other aspects of litigation with the government
  • Drawing on extensive experience and substantive knowledge in a variety of specialty areas that are important to our clients, including:
    • Health care
    • Securities fraud and insider trading
    • Computer fraud and abuse
    • The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
    • Banking issues including suspicious transactions and money laundering
    • Sarbanes–Oxley Act compliance
    • Other issues facing the financial services sector

Some examples of our success

Successes the Nutter team has achieved for clients include:

  • Winning acquittal in a high-profile federal trial for the general counsel of a publicly traded software company charged with securities fraud and false statements
  • Winning acquittal for a pharmaceutical company manager after a nationally watched three-month federal trial on conspiracy and health care fraud charges
  • Representing a multi-national health care provider in a government investigation with potentially extensive criminal exposure which resulted in relatively modest civil fine and closure of the government investigation
  • Representing the target of an IRS criminal enforcement matter involving over $10 million of prime real estate in which the individual was not charged and ultimately received a tax refund
  • Representing a mutual fund company in a Massachusetts Division of Securities investigation; no suit was filed
  • Obtaining a non-prison time sentence after a multi-day sentencing hearing for the chief in-house lawyer of a large construction company; the attorney had been charged in a multi-million dollar workers’ compensation fraud and the government sought a substantial prison term
  • Convincing the government not to bring criminal charges against an officer of a major health care company who had received a target letter from the government; the other officers who received target letters were all criminally charged
  • Representing a financial institution that had failed to file currency transaction reports for over $50 million in cash deposits; the U.S. Treasury Department ultimately took no enforcement action

Our areas of expertise

Health Care Fraud and Abuse
Nutter's government enforcement defense attorneys have been involved in virtually every major health care fraud case in New England over the past decade, including actions brought under the anti-kickback statute and the newest wave of cases challenging the off-label promotion of pharmaceutical products. Our group represents corporations, medical institutions and individuals in federal and state civil and criminal health care enforcement actions.

Securities Enforcement
Our attorneys have extensive experience with all types of federal and state, criminal and civil, SEC, and FINRA investigations and enforcement actions, including those regarding insider trading, accounting issues, and mutual fund late trading and market timing. Our group also conducts internal investigations into corporate governance and breach of fiduciary duty issues. Ian Roffman is a former senior counsel at the SEC, and Jonathan Kotlier worked extensively with the SEC, FINRA, and Massachusetts Division of Securities during his 12 years at the US Attorney’s Office; he also served on the Department of Justice’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group.

False Claims Act and Government Contracts
Nutter has broad experience representing private and non-profit entities, and individuals, who have been sued for submitting allegedly false claims to government agencies. Nutter has also represented individuals whose work on government contracts has led to criminal charges. Our extensive work in the area covers industries ranging from military procurement to import/export firms, hospitals and medical devices.

Internal Investigations
Handling internal investigations is an integral part of the legal services we provide. Our attorneys extend expert legal advice, identify potential exposures at the earliest possible point, and assist clients in developing and adopting a plan to address these issues internally or negotiate a resolution with the regulator involved.

Compliance Programs
Our attorneys evaluate client needs, industry standards, regulatory guidance and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines to develop and implement optimal compliance programs that reflect a client’s unique requirements. In addition, the team conducts "refresher" courses to maintain the client’s awareness of both new and old regulations, as well as to highlight legal developments that may affect a client's business.

Computer Crime
Nutter attorneys have deep expertise in the issues surrounding the investigation, prosecution and defense of complex computer crime and intellectual property offenses, including theft of trade secrets, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other issues related to computer intrusions and the unauthorized use of electronic information. We also advise companies on compliance with state and federal disclosure obligations related to identity theft and the misuse of personal information.

Other Regulatory Enforcement
Nutter attorneys have significant experience representing energy companies and traders in enforcement, audit and compliance matters before FERC, including cases involving alleged market manipulation in the natural gas and wholesale electricity markets. In addition, Nutter has experience defending criminal and civil government enforcement actions in a wide range of areas beyond those described above. Our work, however, is not limited to defense; our attorneys also have extensive experience as special prosecutors and in representing victims of fraud in their efforts to recoup lost assets.

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Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • Represented pathology laboratory in qui tam case

    Represented pathology laboratory in qui tam case alleging fraudulent billing practices. Reached very favorable settlement with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

  • Nutter achieves victory for portfolio manager in SEC investigation

    In a significant victory for a Nutter client -- a star portfolio manager for a large national asset management firm -- the Securities and Exchange Commission closed its investigation of the portfolio manager without recommending any enforcement action. The SEC was investigating the client in connection with several trades made prior to public announcements of secondary offerings.

  • Represented large pharmaceutical company in a federal investigation involving allegations of off-label promotion

    Counsel for one of world's largest healthcare companies in six-year investigation into alleged off-label use of one of its leading products.

  • Won Midtrial Dismissal of all Charges in Major Federal Health Care Fraud Trial

    The biologics division of Stryker Corporation, a large medical device company, and four of its managers were indicted on federal fraud and conspiracy charges. Nutter represented the division's former national sales director in this nationally-watched health care fraud prosecution. Nutter took the lead in several pretrial motions that raised judicial concerns about the government's case and succeeded in having one count severed from the case on the eve of trial. After the first week of what was expected to be a two-month trial, the government settled with the company and dropped certain charges, leaving only Nutter's client and one other defendant on trial. Within three days, after additional legal challenges brought by Nutter and co-defendant counsel, the government dimissed all charges against Nutter's client and the other defendant on trial.

  • Won Acquittal for General Counsel of Public Company in Major Securities Fraud Trial

    After the AOL/Time Warner merger, in which AOL had the upper hand, it became clear that AOL’s revenues had been overstated. Federal authorities focused on PurchasePro, a company that had done extensive business with AOL. Most of PurchasePro’s senior officers were indicted, and several of them incriminated the company’s General Counsel. The General Counsel retained Nutter, insisted he was being falsely accused, and asked for an early trial, waiving his right to a jury. The case required the Nutter team to master an extremely complex set of facts and prove that several witnesses were all lying. Had the judge believed any of three key government witnesses, our client surely would have been convicted. But the Nutter team was able to expose their lies at trial, and The General Counsel was acquitted on all counts. He has returned to the practice of law and is raising a family.

  • Advise clients on issues related to search and seizure of computer and electronic data

    Routinely advise clients and other lawyers on issues related to the search and seizure of computers and other electronic data.

  • Successfully persuaded USAO not to bring action for alleged Stark and anti-kickback violations

    Represented hospital in responding to subpoena by OIG and USAO alleging Stark and anti-kickback violations.

  • Counsel for defendant in 52-day federal criminal trial alleging conspiracy to violate the Medicare anti-kickback statute

    Counsel for one defendant in 52-day federal criminal trial alleging conspiracy to violate the Medicare anti-kickback statute, resulting in acquittal of all defendants on all charges. Co-lead counsel for all defendants before trial in making constitutional and statutory challenges to indictment.

  • Counsel for one of world's largest healthcare companies in five-year investigation

    Counsel for one of world's largest healthcare companies in five-year investigation into alleged off-label use of one of its leading products. Investigation is pending.

  • Represented large regional hospital in Justice Department action to recover amounts allegedly wrongly billed to Medicare

    Represented large regional hospital in Justice Department action to recover amounts allegedly wrongly billed to Medicare for outpatients later admitted to hospital. Matter was resolved without any liability or damages.

  • Represented individuals in many of the region's largest health care fraud cases in the past 15 years

    Represented individuals in many of the region's largest health care fraud cases in the past 15 years. Clients include board chairmen, chief executive and chief financial officers, managers and employees in sales, marketing, clinical affairs and regulatory affairs, physicians, and medical directors. Numerous clients had received "target" letters but subsequently were not charged. Investigations have covered broad range of health care statutes, including anti-kickback statute, off-label promotion laws, "best price" laws, Prescription Drug Marketing Act and various conspiracy and fraud statutes.

  • Represented renowned economist in $100 million False Claims Act case brought by federal government

    Represented renowned economist in $100 million False Claims Act case brought by federal government over alleged conflicts of interest in regard to a $40 million foreign aid grant for work in Russia. The case was settled after five years of litigation for a very small fraction of the government's original claim.

  • Co-lead counsel for over 60 physicians in a False Claims Act case alleging fraudulent receipt of kickbacks and improper off-label promotion

    Co-lead counsel for over 60 physicians in a False Claims Act case alleging fraudulent receipt of kickbacks and improper off-label promotion of a medical device. The federal court granted defendants' dismissal motions and dismissed all claims with prejudice.

  • Represented regional hospital in federal False Claims Act case

    Representing regional hospital in federal False Claims Act case alleging false claims based on inadequate patient/staff ratios. Case is pending.

  • Conducted several internal investigations for one of the nation's largest healthcare companies in connection with government investigations of alleged improper off-label promotion

    Have conducted several internal investigations for one of the nation's largest healthcare companies in connection with government investigations of alleged improper off-label promotion, rebate claims and payouts to physicians.

  • Conducted an internal investigation for Fortune 200 public company

    Conducting an internal investigation for Fortune 200 public company concerning possible fraudulent securities offerings.

  • Conducted an investigation for the special litigation committee of the board of directors of a Fortune 500 company

    Conducting an investigation for the special litigation committee of the board of directors of a Fortune 500 company concerning possible securities law violations.

  • Conducted an internal investigation for audit committee of public biotechnology company

    Conducting an internal investigation for audit committee of public biotechnology company concerning securities law compliance.

  • Represented company charged with multiple environmental offenses

    Representation of company charged with multiple environmental offenses related to alleged illegal discharges at sea. Matter was resolved for small fraction of government's original claim.

  • Represented key employee in federal criminal investigation of alleged false statements to EPA

    Represented key employee in federal criminal investigation of alleged false statements to EPA regarding petroleum testing. No charges were brought.

  • Represented leading non-profit in federal investigation

    Represented leading non-profit in federal investigation for alleged abuse of special mailing rates. No case was brought.

  • Represented project manager for one of the country's largest defense contractors in criminal investigation for alleged unlawful export of communications equipment

    Represented project manager for one of the country's largest defense contractors in criminal investigation for alleged unlawful export of communications equipment to Pakistan. No charges were brought.

  • Represented Chief Financial Officer in federal investigation of alleged overbilling

    Represented Chief Financial Officer in federal investigation of alleged overbilling of U.S. Agency for International Development. No charges were brought.

  • Represented individual charged with felony related to employment of illegal immigrants

    Represented individual charged with felony related to employment of illegal immigrants. Felonies dismissed. Client pled to misdemeanor.

  • Represented employees or company in connection with state and federal public corruption investigation

    Represented employees or company in connection with state and federal public corruption investigation focusing on lobbying activities.

  • Represented numerous engineers and others in major criminal and civil construction litigation

    Represented numerous engineers and others in major criminal and civil construction litigation related to Big Dig project.

  • Successfully persuaded USAO not to bring forfeiture action

    Successfully persuaded USAO not to bring forfeiture action, after arguing merits of innocent owner defense.

  • Represented large supermarket chain in federal investigation nto alleged improper payments for labor piece

    Represented large supermarket chain in federal investigation into alleged improper payments for labor piece. No charges were brought.

  • Represented client in Massachusetts Inspector General investigation

    Sarah Kelly has been part of a team of Nutter attorneys that represented a state university in an internal investigation and a related investigation by the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General. The investigation has involved witness interviews, significant document analysis, and complex legal research. The investigation centers around issues concerning health care law and state government procurement regulations.

  • Represent executive in SEC proceedings

    Sarah Kelly represented an executive of a local technology and market research company in an SEC investigation. The SEC was investigating the company and a number of high-level executives in connection with the company’s practice of dating options. The client testified before the SEC, but after the testimony, the SEC determined not to bring formal charges against the client.

  • Successfully represented former Controller in an SEC investigation alleging backdating of stock options

    Represented former Controller in SEC investigation alleging backdating of stock options. SEC decided not to recommend enforcement action against our client upon completion of its investigation.

  • Convinced Justice Department to Forego Felony Charges and Dramatically Decrease its Monetary Demand in Major Pharmaceutical Investigation

    We represented one of the world's largest and most highly regarded health care companies in a major criminal investigation by the Justice Department over the alleged off-label promotion of one of its largest selling drugs. For several years, the government insisted that the parent company's subsidiary would have to plead guilty to felony charges and pay a criminal fine that would have been among the largest paid in recent years in a health care case. After a lengthy series of written and oral presentations, the government ultimately agreed to allow the subsidiary to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay a fine that was an extremely small percentage of the previous demands. The government privately informed me that our combination of zealous advocacy and credibility made a big difference for the client.

  • Won Acquittal for Manager of Major Pharmaceutical Company After Three-Month Trial

    Our client and 11 other managers and executives of a large pharmaceutical company were indicted on charges of conspiring to bribe doctors. The company had previously paid $875 million in fines and other penalties to the government based on the same alleged conduct. The government had publicized the case as a prime example of widespread corporate misconduct. However, after a three-month trial, our client and the seven other defendants remaining on trial were acquitted on all charges.

  • Recently Convinced Justice Department Not to Charge Senior Executive of Major Pharmaceutical Company

    We represented a senior executives of one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, in an investigation based on alleged adulteration of several products at a large manufacturing plant. After the company paid over $500 million to settle the matter, the Justice Department informed the company that was considering "responsible corporate officer" charges against two executives who had oversight of the factory, including our client. After more than a year of intensive efforts on our part, the government decided to close its investigation.

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