If your business or organization is under investigation or you suspect that illegal conduct has taken place, an internal investigation is often the most important step to take in protecting your interests and complying with your fiduciary duties. An internal investigation allows you to develop a full and complete understanding of the issue while insulating your organization against claims of complicity or a cover-up.
It is essential that an internal investigation be conducted by attorneys to ensure that it is done correctly and in a manner that affords it the protections and confidentiality of the attorney-client privilege. An investigation carried out by experienced, former law enforcement officials enhances the integrity of the review in the eyes of law enforcement. And hiring a team that can move quickly to run down allegations is often critical.
As former federal prosecutors, we have supervised hundreds of law enforcement investigations. And in private practice, we have conducted internal investigations for a very diverse array of companies and organizations.
We have been involved in internal investigations of allegations of:
- Healthcare fraud
- Securities fraud
- Environmental violations
- Misuse of computer equipment
- Drug trafficking
- Employee misconduct
- Theft of company resources/embezzlement
James W. Spertus handled dozens of investigations as an Assistant United States Attorney, and has handled many dozens more since opening the Firm. In 2019, Jim was retained by a large professional society with 92,000 members to conduct an investigation into allegations involving its CEO. Jim also participated in an internal investigation by Facebook into various potential ITAR violations that ultimately led to findings of no wrongdoing. Jim is well-versed in corporate governance issues, and is currently representing third parties involved as witnesses in an FTC action requiring significant internal investigation to inform the client’s response to various issues presented in the FTC’s case.
Matthew Umhofer has over a decade of experience conducting internal investigations into matters like False Claims Act cases, personnel matters and allegations of misconduct at California-based companies, corporate accounting cases, and whistleblower cases, representing both companies and whistleblowers. Matt recently concluded a hard-fought case where a company’s flawed internal investigation and problematic relationships with and supervision of its independent financial advisors was the focus of his trial strategy. He represented victims of a $6M+ financial fraud against the largest broker-dealer in the country and worked closely with accounting experts to thoroughly investigate the facts and present our clients’ story. The case settled mid-trial in our clients’ favor.
Anthony Brown has substantial experience working in internal investigations, where he’s conducted witness interviews, established special investigative committees, presented findings to boards of directors, and acted as a liaison with local and federal law enforcement agencies. For a hospital system, Tony conducted an internal investigation into alleged kickbacks and possible unlicensed practice of medicine occurring at a conglomerate of ambulatory surgical centers purchased by the hospital in the Bay Area. Tony helped negotiate a separation between the hospital system and the surgery centers that were under investigation so that the system did not take on any successor liability after the purchase. Despite keen early law enforcement interest, the hospital hasn’t been charged.