White Collar Defense & Investigations
Aggressive Advocacy for the Defense
Criminal prosecutions and regulatory investigations – sometimes proceeding in parallel – have become more frequent and more complex, with increasing risk to companies and individuals.
Brooks Pierce has a strong team of experienced white-collar criminal defense trial attorneys, including former federal and state prosecutors, a former public defender, appointed federal and state defenders, and former federal and state judicial clerks, including a former clerk to a United States Supreme Court justice.
U.S. News & World Report: Best Law Firms recognizes Brooks Pierce as a “Tier 1” firm for Criminal Defense: White Collar (Greensboro region 2014-19, 2022-23), and our attorneys perennially receive honors including “Band 1” White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2009-2023), “Legal Elite” in Criminal Defense by Business North Carolina, and North Carolina Super Lawyers in White-Collar Crime.
Our attorneys regularly defend clients facing investigations and prosecutions brought by prosecutors and agents of the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Securities and Exchange Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, state attorneys general, and many other regulatory bodies.
Key areas of focus for our white-collar criminal defense practice include allegations of:
- Bank and mortgage fraud
- Tax offenses
- Securities fraud
- Accounting fraud
- Healthcare fraud and False Claims Act matters
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud
- Public corruption and bribery
- Embezzlement and money laundering
- Unfair and deceptive business practices
- Environmental violations
- Procurement and government contract fraud
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters
- Federal and state felonies
The services we routinely provide include:
- Defense against felony indictments
- Grand jury practice and subpoena response
- Pre-indictment negotiation with regulators
- Civil enforcement investigations
- Internal investigations
- Professional licensing defense
- Strategic planning and crisis response
- Compliance and corporate governance support
Representative experience includes:
- Not guilty verdict on all counts in United States District Court for a business executive investigated and prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Department of Labor offenses including mail fraud, money laundering, theft of government property, and obstruction of a federal proceeding. Mail fraud and theft counts were dismissed before trial, and jury ruled in our client’s favor on remaining issues.
- Defense of a former member of Congress and sitting state party Chair prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice Public Integrity Section for alleged bribery, conspiracy, and false statements, resulting in the dismissal of the bribery, conspiracy, and two false statement counts and a probationary sentence for the remaining count, which was terminated early by a presidential pardon.
- Defense of a Division I college coach in the “Operation Varsity Blues” college admissions cases in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Out of the 50+ defendants charged, we secured the only agreement by the United States Attorney to dismiss all charges against our client.
- Representing a senior bank executive in Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission investigations into accounting fraud based on alleged mismarking of illiquid positions, resulting in no charges brought.
- Defending a senior bank executive in Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and state attorneys general investigations into alleged fraud in the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities, resulting in no charges brought.
- On behalf of an accounting firm, investigating alleged fabrication of foreign accounting files, resulting in a favorable resolution with local regulators.
- On behalf of a global agricultural company, investigating alleged money laundering and export/import violations by a customer, resulting in no adverse action against the agricultural company.
- Representing a health care professional in a Department of Justice investigation concerning alleged kickbacks paid for unnecessary drug testing, resulting in no charges brought.
- Defending a publicly traded specialty finance corporation in a Department of Justice investigation into alleged violations of stranger-originated life insurance restrictions, resulting in a non-prosecution agreement.
- Defense of a former candidate for Congress in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against a felony campaign-finance charge.
- Trial defense of a manufacturing company prosecuted by the Department of Justice Environmental Crimes Section for alleged criminal violations of the Clean Water Act, resulting in acquittal of the client’s plant manager on all charges and acquittal of the client company on most corporate charges.
- Representing a company and its owner in an Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation into suspected evasion of taxes on millions of dollars in income, resulting in no charges brought.
- Representing a corporate chief executive in response to an investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation into alleged fraud against investors, resulting in no charges brought.
- Representing a real estate broker in response to an FBI investigation into suspected fraud, resulting in no charges brought.
- Defending a company executive against felony charges of attempted extortion of the executive’s former employer, resulting in dismissal of charges and expunction of arrest record.
- Representing a bank in response to a federal criminal investigation into suspected Bank Secrecy Act violations, resulting in no charges brought.
- Representing an attorney in response to an Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation, resulting in no charges brought.
- Representation on appeal of a defendant convicted at trial of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. The United States Supreme Court granted our petition for certiorari and, without argument, vacated the judgment against our client and remanded the case to the lower courts, where it ultimately was dismissed.
- Representing an agribusiness executive in a Department of Justice antitrust investigation concerning alleged bid rigging and price fixing of food products, resulting in no charges brought.
- Representing a dental practice in a North Carolina Department of Justice Medicaid fraud investigation, resulting in no charges brought, the state abandoning its primary theory of liability, and a favorable resolution of civil allegations concerning an ancillary issue.
- Speaking Engagement09.13.2023
- Press Release04.12.2023
- Press Release10.07.2022
- Speaking EngagementKearns Davis to Present Federal Criminal Case Law Update at North Carolina Bar Association Annual Review09.27.2022
- Media MentionBusiness North Carolina Publishes Article on Brooks Pierce’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice09.07.2022
- Press ReleaseTanisha Palvia Named CLE Co-Chair for North Carolina Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Council08.16.2022
- Press ReleaseTanisha Palvia Elected Board of Directors Officer for the Charlotte Asian Pacific American Bar Association05.24.2022
- RecognitionNorth Carolina Super Lawyers, 01.13.2022
- Media MentionLaw360, 01.12.2022
- RecognitionU.S. News – Best Lawyers ® “Best Law Firms”, 11.04.2021
- Press Release09.23.2021
- Press Release08.30.2021
- RecognitionThe Best Lawyers in America®, 08.19.2021
- Press Release09.22.2020
- Press Release07.29.2020
- Speaking Engagements02.04.2020
- Press Release10.23.2019
- Press Release09.05.2019
- RecognitionTwenty-Five Brooks Pierce Attorneys Recognized in Business North Carolina’s 2019 “Legal Elite” and “Hall of Fame”Business North Carolina, 01.02.2019
- Media MentionAttorney at Law, 03.27.2017
- Media Mention11.07.2016
- Media Mention10.27.2016
- Press Release09.06.2016
- Speaking Engagements03.08.2022
- Speaking Engagements11.30.2021
- Speaking Engagements10.07.2021
- Speaking Engagements05.12.2021
- Speaking Engagements05.10.2021
- Speaking Engagements01.29.2021
- Speaking EngagementsKearns Davis Presents at Mecklenburg County Bar’s All-Star Trial Advocacy Continuing Legal Education Event04.09.2020
- Speaking Engagements12.06.2019
- PublicationNorth Carolina Business Court Ruling Could Impact the Ability of Businesses to Assert Attorney-Client Privilege Over Communications During Internal Investigations12.10.2020
- PublicationTop Officials at Massachusetts Veterans' Home Face Significant Prison Time Based on COVID-19 Outbreak that Occurred on their Watch09.30.2020