White collar

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Dell Salter’s team of business litigators represent clients in the expanding area of white collar law. The term “white collar” denotes, usually, financial cases involving business and public entities and individuals, including professionals. Our white collar group, led by Robert S. Griscti, works closely with our clients to respond to regulatory or investigative inquiries, conduct necessary internal investigations, advise management regarding effective compliance programs, and communicate with government authorities. The white collar group, including Jennifer Cates Lester and associate Jake D. Huxtable, has experience in large documentation matters, including electronic document retrieval, review, and responses to subpoenas or other formal requests for production of information. The goal of such white collar legal assistance is to favorably resolve regulatory inquiries or formal government investigations and, if necessary, efficiently and effectively defend civil or criminal enforcement or trial proceedings.

White collar law also involves representation of clients who are the victims of criminal acts. Examples include victims of embezzlement and other financial crimes. The goal of this advocacy is to obtain remedies through the civil court system, as well as through financial restitution judgments in criminal cases. These matters require experienced white collar and business counsel. Ms. Lester, who’s board certified in civil trial law by the Florida Board of Legal Specialization, has litigated such civil cases successfully statewide and locally. Mr. Griscti has worked with law enforcement authorities to accomplish similar remedies in the state and federal criminal justice system.

Our white collar group is available to represent individuals and businesses in the following areas of law:

Antitrust — Criminal and civil antitrust investigations, including the shipping and transportation industries;

Appellate — Mr. Griscti has practiced before national and Florida appeals courts, including the Florida Supreme Court, the Eleventh and Fifth United States Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the Florida Courts of Appeal. He is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court. Appellate experience can be important to the successful outcome of white collar cases;

Asset forfeiture and other financial penalties — Asset forfeiture and seizure, and the imposition of substantial restitution, fine and other financial penalties, have become a primary tool of investigators and prosecutors in criminal, civil and administrative cases. Our firm represents individuals and companies in federal and Florida courts in asset forfeiture and financial penalty proceedings. We also assist claimants whose assets are seized because of others’ misconduct. Experienced advocacy is required to obtain the return of real and personal properties from the government;

Bribery, conflicts of interest — These typically federal matters include representation of public and private individuals and entities in a variety of federal and state investigations;

Compliance — Compliance and integrity programs are required of many businesses and professionals by federal and state law. Such programs can help deter and, if necessary, timely report misconduct to appropriate law enforcement or regulatory officials. By doing so, a company and individuals often can also avoid investigative scrutiny and liability;

Controlled substances laws — Extensive and ever-changing laws regarding controlled substances have long been a primary arena of federal and state law enforcement and regulatory officials, including regulatory, civil or criminal investigations regarding the prescription or distribution of pharmaceuticals in the health care industry;

Conspiracy — This widely used theory of investigation and prosecution requires trial expertise. White collar counsel in our group has litigated complex conspiracy cases to favorable settlement or, if necessary, trial and jury verdict;

Consumer Protection — Our firm’s attorneys help consumers that have suffered significant financial losses against merchants who have conducted business through deception, false statements, or other misrepresentation;

Elections and public officials — Our representation has included elected officials and constituent witnesses in campaign contribution and other public official investigations;

Environmental Enforcement — Criminal, civil and administrative investigations and proceedings are more commonplace today under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), and Environmental Protection Act (EPA), as well as state law counterparts. Clients have included private and also public employees, entities and agencies;

Export Control laws (EAR, ITAR & AEA) — Entities with international operations and/or sales, and the companies that work with them, operate in a regulatory environment that is largely self-regulated with regard to export controls, yet subject to stiff penalties when violations go unreported. The number of export investigations and prosecutions has grown nationwide and affects many domestic businesses, including local business and academic entities;

False statement and perjury — Government or private funding requires an application, usually made under penalty of perjury, that subjects the applicant to scrutiny by federal or state authorities for false statements. The conduct of a business or individual under investigation may be closely examined by authorities for accuracy. Our white collar attorneys consult with and, if necessary, represent individuals and entities to help avoid liability or even the appearance of misconduct;

False Claim Act and related “whistleblower” laws — Known as the “Lincoln Law” because of its original passage by the Lincoln Administration during the Civil War period, this federal criminal and civil statute has been re-deployed in recent years by the federal government in often complex fraud cases. Florida and other jurisdictions have followed suit and use these powerful laws in criminal, civil and administrative proceedings alleging false claims. False claims investigations often are initiated by employees or third parties with knowledge of questionable practices of a business entity or professional. Potential civil financial and criminal penalties are very serious. The white collar group has worked extensively with these laws. See Enforcement and Defense of False Claims Act and Similar Whistleblower Actions;

Financial Services Regulation and Litigation — The collapse of the credit markets and the mortgage foreclosure crisis created unprecedented challenges for banks and other financial services institutions, not the least of which has been an increase in government investigations and private lawsuits attacking business practices. We assist banking and financial services clients by offering white collar and business litigation experience;

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) — While also an international client practice area, “FCPA” issues more often arise for domestic entities and individuals that conduct commerce overseas. Effective programs should be implemented by clients to help ensure compliance with these laws;
Fraud — Generally, fraud-based investigations are the staple of federal and state criminal law enforcement of corporate entities and their principals in recent decades. Mr. Griscti and his white collar colleagues have defended fraud allegations in a broad variety of industries and cases, including banking; numerous businesses and individuals in the financial industry sector; the agricultural industry; commercial and residential contracting; real estate transactions; and others;

Healthcare fraud — This fast-growing sector of Government investigation and enforcement, federal and state, includes Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare investigations and cases involving private and public sector hospitals and physician practices; direct and ancillary healthcare services, such as durable medical goods; pharmaceutical services; the nursing home industry; and other healthcare entities and professionals;

Money laundering, structuring and related financial offenses — “Money laundering,” once reserved for specific categories of criminal investigations, now is broadly defined in both the federal and Florida courts. Our firm has experience in these investigations and cases, as well with financial “structuring,” currency and suspicious activity reporting, and other criminal, civil and regulatory investigations of financial activities;

Professional Licensing and Career — Professional and business licenses, livelihoods and careers are often affected by government investigations and enforcement actions. We have assisted clients in licensing and disciplinary proceedings, including before the Florida Bar, the Florida Boards of Medicine, Nursing, Accountancy, Veterinary Medicine, and other professional and business licensing agencies in Florida. If a client requires assistance from other professionals, such as financial, healthcare or other disciplines, we assist to identify and implement appropriate and effective referrals. We consider and advise individual and corporate clients with strategies, including corporate compliance programs and enhanced business and professional support measures, to meet the individual needs of the client with the matter at hand and for the future;

Records Expungement, Sealing and “Collateral Consequences” — Our representation includes detailed records expungement and sealing; collection of criminal financial penalties; licensing consequences; employment complications; and other “collateral” consequences of criminal, civil and regulatory investigation and enforcement actions;

“RICO” and schemes to defraud — These kinds of investigations also are commonly used action in federal and state criminal and civil cases. Our litigators have successfully handled such matters at both the investigative and litigation stages of enforcement;
Tax — We practice in criminal tax litigation, as well as in other sectors of tax law;

Victim’s Rights — Often, clients are the victims of criminal conduct, most often of financial crimes. Dell Salter’s white collar lawyers provide professional representation in navigating the rights of victims in both the federal and state civil and criminal courts. The goal of this representation is to aid law enforcement in proving not only the extent of financial harm to the client, but in recovering those losses through judicial imposition of criminal financial penalties, such as restitution.

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