Government Investigations & Compliance
Government investigations can be extremely stressful, time-consuming and threatening to executives and companies. Public scrutiny regarding these investigations can have a negative impact on business, especially if the media is involved. Moreover, federal government investigations can be very intimidating given the seemingly endless power and resources available to the government. Businesses and individuals must do something to even the playing field, strategically respond to investigations including Whistle blower claims, and proactively avoid investigations by powerful government agencies like the DEA, FBI, IRS, Homeland Security or the FDIC.
Jason M. Ferguson represents individuals and businesses in a wide range of government investigations and compliance matters. In conjunction with his network of investigators and experts, including former federal agents in all major federal law enforcement agencies, Mr. Ferguson provides strategic, aggressive solutions on behalf of his clients.
In addition to speaking to groups and conferences such as the Medical Association of Georgia, Mr. Ferguson is a frequent contributor to the following blogs:
Grand Jury Representation
Mr. Ferguson assists businesses and executives in responding to administrative and grand jury subpoenas for documents and other evidence. In addition, Mr. Ferguson represents persons who have been subpoenaed to testify before grand juries to ensure that the process is handled properly and not in violation of the constitution or applicable rules.
Representation of Targets/Subjects of Federal Investigations
In some cases, a federal agency will notify a person or business that they are the target of a federal investigation before formal charges are brought. This usually occurs when a federal agent shows up at the persons home or place of business and hands them a letter informing them that they are targets of an investigation. It is extremely important that a person or business who receives do two things. First, do not speak with anyone at all about the matter. Do not interview with law enforcement agents and do not discuss the matter with anyone at all. Secondly, contact Mr. Ferguson immediately. In our experience, people or entities who receive these letters tend to wait too long to seek legal advice. The speed with which you seek legal advice after receiving a target letter will absolutely have an impact on the outcome. If you or your business have received a target letter, please contact Mr. Ferguson immediately for a free consultation.
Government investigations can often be brought to a successful resolution without criminal penalties depending on the circumstances. Mr. Ferguson has assisted clients in federal districts around the country in reaching a successful resolution through:
- Plea negotiations
- Non-prosecution agreements
- Immunity agreements
- Settlement agreements
There are times when a resolution short of an indictment or civil enforcement action by a government agency cannot be avoided through negotiations. Sometimes the federal government will not negotiate. Drawing upon his experience as an ex-federal prosecutor for the United States Department of Justice, Mr. Ferguson believes that effective representation in these cases involves developing a clear strategy early on and assembling a team of experts and investigators around this strategy to level the playing field with the federal government. For more information about Mr. Ferguson’s experience in this area please visit Federal & White Collar Criminal Defense on this page.
In many cases, the right course of action when confronted with a potential federal investigation, such as with Whistle blowers or potential employee wrongdoing, the best course of action is for the company to conduct its own investigation and self-report the violations and corrective steps to the federal agency involved. Drawing upon his experience and extensive contacts in federal law enforcement, Mr. Ferguson has assisted clients in such cases in order to achieve a successful, timely result.
DEA Compliance Programs & Audits
The recent opioid abuse crisis has increased government scrutiny on doctors, pharmacies and companies associated with controlled substances. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has increased its efforts by conducting more audits and strictly enforcing the complex array of regulations regarding the manufacture, prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances. The regulations governing controlled substances are complicated and sometimes easy to violate unintentionally. Failure to strictly follow these regulations and laws may result in:
- Criminal penalties including prison time without parole and criminal forfeiture of assets;
- Civil enforcement penalties including large fines and civil forfeiture of assets, and;
- Loss of a practitioners DEA registration and, ultimately, license to practice medicine or pharmacy.
In addition to the DEA, medical providers in particular are subject to complex regulations enforced by State agencies that may be more burdensome than DEA regulations. In short, medical providers and companies that sell or transact in controlled substances are increasingly becoming targets of the federal and state governments. Mr. Ferguson, as a former federal prosecutor, understands the vast landscape of federal and state regulations relating to controlled substances. In addition, when representing clients across the nation, Mr. Ferguson often relies of his contacts within the federal government and experts, including former DEA agents and DEA Diversion investigators, to assist him in achieving the right results for his clients. For example, Mr. Ferguson has assisted the medical community in the following ways:
- Representation of countless pharmacists and physicians in criminal prosecutions by the federal government both pre-indictment and post-indictment across the nation,
- Representation of companies who receive an Order to Show Cause from the DEA,
- Assistance with obtaining a DEA registration;
- Representation of medical providers and companies who have received grand jury subpoenas or target letters from the federal government or state agency;
- Conducting mock DEA audits on medical providers and pharmacies. Note that Mr. Ferguson and his expert team can conduct a full mock audit of any medical provider or medical facility to identify areas of weakness, improvement or violations of DEA regulations;
- Training of employees of companies and medical providers regarding proper procedures for handling, securing and maintaining controlled substances,
- Addressing requests from the DEA in any form.
Representation of a pharmaceutical representative accused of Tricare/Medicare fraud and alleged violations of the federal Anti-Kickback statute.
Representation of a government contractor being investigated by the Officer of Inspector General for NASA for illegally receiving payments.
Representation of a doctor accused of prescribing millions of Schedule II controlled substances outside the scope of medical practice.
Representation of a business accused by a Whistle blower of improperly receiving payments under a contract with the United States Department of Defense.
Representation of a company accused by the Department of Education of illegally receiving payments under a federal program.
Representation of a pharmaceutical repackaging company in responding to concerns raised by the DEA regarding security protocols for controlled substances.
Representation of a government contractor being investigation by the Department of the United States Air Force for improperly receiving payments for Government work.
Representation of a number of companies accused by a Whistle blower and the United States Department of Justice of improperly claiming Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) status in order to obtain government contracts.
Representation of a Department of the Army employee in an investigation by the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Defense with regard to allegations of illegally providing an advantage to certain contractors for contract food services in exchange for illegal kick-backs and bribes.
Representation of numerous pharmacists throughout the nation accused of illegally diverting controlled substances without a prescription.
Representation of a group of convenience stores accused of violating rules imposed by the Department of Agriculture.
Representation of a company involved in the distribution of controlled substances in response to a DEA Order to Show Cause due to missing controlled substances.
Representation of an insurance agent in an investigation by the Department of Insurance for the states of Florida and Georgia for allegedly engaging in insurance fraud regarding applications for health insurance.
Representation of a medical facility in a mock audit to identify potential violations and areas of improvement regarding compliance with DEA regulations.
Representation of a physicians assistant accused of violating the Anti-Kickback statute in relation to prescribing a pain cremes to Tricare recipients.
Representation of a multi-physician medical practice for alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback statute and Medicare fraud.
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