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, which includes former federal prosecutors, former state prosecutors, former capital and state defenders, appointed federal defenders and former state and federal judicial clerks, including a former clerk to a United States Supreme Court justice.
Our work has been honored by numerous publications in this area and our practitioners have been recognized as “Band 1” in white-collar criminal defense by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2009-2021) and “Tier 1” in white-collar litigation by U.S. News & World Report: Best Law Firms (2014-2019).
Our attorneys regularly defend clients facing investigations and prosecutions brought by representatives from the United States Department of Justice, 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
- Public corruption and bribery
- Embezzlement and money laundering
- Unfair and deceptive business practices
- Environmental violations
- Procurement and government contract fraud
- Foreign Corrupt Practice Act matters
The services we routinely provide include:
- Trial and appellate litigation
- 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:
- Defending a prominent political figure 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.
- 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 Division I college coach in the “Operation Varsity Blues” college admissions case.
- 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.
- 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 IRS 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 IRS criminal investigation, resulting in no charges brought.
- 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 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