Few things can derail the success of a health care career or business as quickly as a criminal investigation. The prospect of prison time (and other serious criminal penalties) is daunting enough. Add to that the financial ramifications of steep fines, the impact on your reputation and goodwill, the ensuing licensure and DEA revocation proceedings, and exclusion from government health care programs such as Medicare, and the stakes are exceedingly high.

At Marcilliat & Mills PLLC, our lawyers have spent most of their careers living in the realm of high-stakes criminal proceedings. We have a wealth of experience protecting the rights of individuals and businesses that are facing criminal investigations for serious crimes. Enlisting our help is the first step toward taking control and addressing the investigation head-on rather than waiting for prosecutors to throw the book at you.

Defending Against State Or Federal Agency Investigations

Given the tightly regulated nature of the health care industry, criminal investigations might involve numerous state or federal agencies, including:

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • The Food and Drug Administration
  • The Drug Enforcement Agency
  • The U.S. Department of Justice
  • The North Carolina Department of Justice
  • The North Carolina Division of Medical Assistance (Medicaid Investigations Division)

The underlying allegations might involve fraudulent billing, falsifying records, submitting false claims to the federal government, receiving or soliciting illegal kickbacks or mishandling controlled substances. We handle all of them.

These cases may also involve civil investigations for regulatory violations of HIPAA privacy rules, the Stark Law, EMTALA or Medicare/ Medicaid provisions. Adverse findings in these investigations can lead to steep civil monetary penalties. We can represent you against these enforcement actions as well.

How These Investigations Unfold

Depending on the nature of the government investigation, it might begin in a relatively benign manner, such as a Medicare/Medicaid audit, a written request for information or a formal subpoena. Or it might begin in dramatic fashion when federal agents come pounding on your door, search warrant in hand. This latter scenario is best avoided by promptly dealing with potential violations and conducting an internal investigation when warranted. Getting ahead of the charges is critical for protecting your rights and avoiding career-ending (or business-ending) consequences.

A mishandled response to law enforcement can make matters worse. Investigators have a way of widening their net to lay the groundwork for sweeping felony charges. What started as a billing issue or HIPAA violation may, through a bungled attempt at saving face, soon lead to charges of conspiracy, racketeering, fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, or even witness tampering.

The sooner you get our attorneys involved, the better. If you’re facing an audit or compliance review, seek our guidance in advance. If the authorities execute a search warrant, get us involved immediately. Never talk to law enforcement (and certainly don’t sit down for an interview) until you have sought our guidance. These simple steps can go a long way toward avoiding a nightmarish escalation of charges.

Options For Avoiding Or Challenging Charges

When we get involved at the investigation (or pre-investigation) stage, we can help you take advantage of the best options available. Perhaps it makes sense to cooperate with authorities. If so, our lawyers can help you negotiate a favorable deal, ensuring that you don’t give up important rights. Perhaps we can secure a deferred prosecution agreement. Or perhaps we can identify key weaknesses in the investigation, resulting in reduced charges (or avoiding them entirely). Early intervention is your best shot at success.

Should you end up facing charges at the state or federal level, you can rest assured that your rights are in capable hands. Our legal team is made up of seasoned defense attorneys with vast trial experience and in-depth understanding of white-collar criminal cases. We can hone in on issues such as intent, insufficient evidence, witness credibility and any other opportunities to challenge the prosecution.

Get Started – Partner With A Strong Legal Team Today

Facing a fraud investigation or enforcement proceedings? Need help conducting an internal investigation? Discuss your situation with our defense lawyers and learn how we can fight for you. Call 919-838-6643 or complete our online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation. For your convenience, we offer appointments at our offices throughout North Carolina, and we represent health care providers across the state.