We resolve high-stakes disputes of all varieties, in all venues, and in all stages of litigation.
We protect our clients at every step of the investigation.
Our roster includes former Assistant United States Attorneys and Deputy Federal Public Defenders with firsthand experience guiding clients through grand jury investigations, jury trials, appeals, sentencing, and parallel civil and administrative litigation. We have persuaded prosecutors to abandon investigations, secured favorable pretrial settlements and dismissals, and won jury trials and appeals.
Fraud and Conspiracy
We specialize in representing businesses and individuals under investigation for fraud and conspiracy offenses, including mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, securities fraud, and honest services fraud.
Defending fraud charges requires a deep understanding of federal fraud statutes and the judicial decisions interpreting them. We approach each case with intellectual curiosity, and we have successfully challenged vague and arbitrary fraud charges, both at the pretrial motions stage and at trial. Having represented clients in some of the most high-profile and complicated fraud cases in the country, we know how to quickly spot the weaknesses in an indictment or an investigation and use them to our advantage.
Health Care Fraud and Kickbacks
Law enforcement agencies have become more aggressive in investigating and prosecuting alleged health care fraud, increasingly resorting to more aggressive tactics including search warrants and arrests.
Our attorneys have considerable experience handling health care fraud investigations, including allegations involving the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Stark law, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, upcoding, making false representations on applications or contracts to participate in Medicare or Medicaid programs, and overutilization of certain medical procedures and services.
We have represented medical practices, laboratories, health care providers, administrators, and investors at all stages of health care investigations, from grand jury proceedings through trial and appeal. We understand the disruption and anxiety that these investigations cause and seek to resolve them quickly and efficiently, preserving our clients medical licenses, reputations, and livelihoods in the process.
National Security and Export Crimes
National security investigations and prosecutions have become a top priority for the Department of Justice (DOJ). In order to counter threats from both within the United States and abroad, the government carefully regulates manufacturing and exportation of sensitive technology running the gamut from semiconductors to weapons of war. Export controls and sanctions programs can be complicated and counterintuitive, and violations carry serious consequences, including exorbitant fines and imprisonment.
We have extensive experience representing defense contractors, electrical engineers, chemists, and other individuals under investigation for national security offenses and export crimes. We proudly represented several academic researchers who were unfairly targeted by the DOJ's since-discontinued "China Initiative." None of our clients were charged with a criminal offense.
Cyber Crimes and Hacking
Computer crimes can take many forms, but they are generally acts performed by individuals or companies who commit illegal acts using computers, information services, or networks. Types of computer crimes include hacking, cyberstalking, computer intrusions, identify theft, phishing scams, credit card fraud, denial of service attacks, theft of private information, and violation of child pornography laws.
These offenses are often prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA"), a federal statute that we have litigated extensively on behalf of our clients. Our in-house digital forensic examiner gives us an edge in cyber crime investigations, helping us quickly assess the strength of government's evidence, preserve defense evidence, and craft an informed defense strategy.
Securities Violations and Insider Trading
Securities fraud encompasses various offenses related to the purchase of sale of a security, such as insider trading, ponzi schemes, pump-and-dump schemes, embezzlement, accounting fraud, and presenting misleading or false information to investors. These offenses are governed by the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, among other laws and regulations. The primary investigative agencies are the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The primary targets are stockbrokers, analysts, brokerage firms, corporations, financial institutions, and private investors. These investigations have increasingly focused on digital currencies and trading platforms, with both private stakeholders and government entities debating whether cryptocurrency is a security or a commodity.
Having represented many clients in civil and criminal investigations and actions filed by the SEC and DOJ, we have an in-depth understanding of state and federal securities laws.
Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture
In theory, money laundering crimes consist of financial transactions used to promote or conceal the proceeds of other illicit activity, such as fraud, drug trafficking, or corruption. In practice, money laundering charges are an increasingly common device used by prosecutors to justify arbitrary asset forfeitures and get easy convictions against defendants deprived of the means to pay for counsel.
We have extensive experience defending corporations, executives, and professionals under investigation for money laundering and related offenses. We have resisted the DOJ's aggressive efforts to seize our clients' assets through administrative forfeiture, both at the outset of investigations and at trial.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as “RICO,” was created by the government to eradicate organized crime. Today, RICO is applied much more broadly than initially envisioned. Many different state and federal crimes can qualify as RICO crimes when they are committed on behalf of a criminal enterprise, including money laundering, extortion, theft, fraud, wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy, embezzlement, bribery, and drug trafficking. Like other complex criminal statutes, RICO is both difficult to understand and difficult to prove. Our extensive experience defending both civil and criminal RICO cases gives us a unique perspective on how to successfully successfully defend them, resulting in landmark victories for our clients.
Tax Fraud and Evasion
An IRS audit may result in the government collecting the taxes owed, penalties, and interest. In extreme cases, the IRS refers cases to its criminal division for federal prosecution. Some of the most commonly charged tax offenses include preparing and filing a false tax return, willfully failing to file a tax return, evading the payment of taxes, overstating the amount of tax deductions, and obstruction.
We have successfully defended our clients indicted for tax fraud in several jurisdictions, resulting in dramatic wins for our clients that were facing otherwise dire circumstances. But more often than that, we have been able to successfully negotiate with government decision-makers and convince them to quietly decline prosecution or settle for civil penalties, allowing our clients to move on with their lives.
Public Corruption and Bribery
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has sharpened its focus on election integrity, campaign finance, and public corruption and bribery investigations, resulting in many high-profile prosecutions of public officials, fundraisers, lobbyists, and other participants in the electoral process. These investigations, led by DOJ's Public integrity Section, can be disruptive and potentially devastating to candidates and office holders.
Successfully navigating a public integrity investigation requires a deep understanding of campaign finance rules, the federal fraud and false statements statutes, crisis management, and communications strategy. These are all core strengths for BKLW. We have represented candidates, donors, and elected officials in connection with some of Southern California's most high-profile public integrity investigations.
Additional Practice Areas
Complex Civil Litigation
We prosecute and defend virtually every type of issue that may arise during a bankruptcy case or adversary proceeding.
We defend businesses and individuals in whistleblower investigations. We also advocate for whistleblowers.
We conduct expedient, discreet, and comprehensive internal investigations to help companies address potential problems.
Reassuring, articulate, knowledgeable, and effective. They made the process so much easier and gave me peace of mind in a stressful but successful outcome.