Demand an attorney that stands up for you! Someone that puts your trial outcome at the top of his priorities, not someone that looks at the dollar as the bottom line. Don't settle for an attorney that is incapable of getting results. You need J. Clark Baird, a federal criminal defense attorney.
As evidenced by his outstanding track record and his overwhelmingly positive reviews, you know he means business in the courtroom but is also dedicated and concerned with his clients' well-being. No matter what trouble you or a loved one are experiencing, be sure to get in touch so we can help.
Federal White Collar Crimes
Federal white collar crime. The term reportedly coined in 1939 is now synonymous with the full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals. Nick Mudd PLLC represents individuals and corporations, both US and foreign, in grand jury and administrative enforcement proceedings, as well as in trial charged with federal white collar crimes.
Businesses and individuals throughout the world face increasingly aggressive government enforcement via criminal investigations, government audits, regulatory investigations, civil fraud and contract fraud cases. Issues that were once considered civil in nature now lead to criminal litigation.
This increased scrutiny applies not only to the entire corporate entity, but also to the corporate executives as well. Accounting, contracting, sales and other normal business practices can now become the target of a state or federal regulatory investigation that can possibly lead to criminal charges. Additionally companies and executives can face the complicated situation of dual ongoing criminal and civil cases, which can potentially lead to increased liabilities.
Nick Mudd PLLC offers a comprehensive approach to white collar criminal defense: developing corporate protocols to eliminate fraud and criminal activity, evaluating compliance with state and federal regulatory programs, assisting clients in responding to investigations, and of course representing clients in both administrative and judicial proceedings. We understand that the best result for the client is to avoid any prosecution, and our significant government experience helps our clients navigate the difficult and often frightening process of investigation.
In terms of complexity and the stakes involved, the types of criminal allegations that professionals and businesspeople in Louisville and throughout Kentucky can face far exceed typical street crime. Handling serious federal charges is a different kind of criminal defense that requires specific experience, thorough investigatory tactics and a firm grasp of the frequently complex laws that define fraud and other white collar crimes. Finding the best criminal defense lawyer in Kentucky is not an easy task, however, at Nick Mudd PLLC we have dedicated our careers to federal criminal cases because we understand that they demand special attention. In doing so, we have built a strong reputation among the bench and bar of various federal courts in Kentucky and beyond. The professionals and businesspeople who seek us out recognize our tenacity, skill and deep commitment to our clients and, for those reasons, continue to trust our attorneys when their careers and lives are on the line.
We represent clients in a variety of white collar issues, including:
Anti-trust statutes such as the Sherman Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Act were designed to protect consumers and businesses by preventing unfair monopolies and ensuring free trade in the market. Policies or actions which are considered to be anti‑competitive or unfair business practices violate these types of laws, known as antitrust laws.
State and federal agencies, such as the FBI, conduct extensive investigations of alleged anti-trust violations. These investigations are very invasive on corporations and can require production of huge amounts of documents, emails, and other corporate records. Anti-trust violations are a federal offense that can result in serious, including the imposition of huge fines as well as possible imprisonment.
Anti-trust cases are intricate and require both an in‑depth knowledge of the law plus hard‑won experience in using these statutes to the advantage of the defense. Types of antitrust violations involve unfair competition, monopolization, market allocation, price fixing, bid rigging, merchant discrimination, trade restraints and more. During legal proceedings, the prosecution will attempt to prove that a conspiracy existed resulting in an impediment of fair commerce across state lines.
The government commits it s considerable resources to anti-trust prosecutions, using prosecutors and investigators to aggressively pursue convictions. You need a firm who has a proven track record of zealously fighting to protect your rights and obtain the best results possible for their clients.
- Department of Justice: Prosecuting Federal Antitrust Crimes
- U.S. Sentencing Commission Report on Federal Antitrust Sentencing
- The Crime Victims Rights Act: It’s Impact on Plea Negotiations with the Antitrust Division
The authority of Congress to investigate is an implied constitutional power. Congressional investigations date back to 1792 when the House passed a resolution to examine the disastrous St. Clair expedition. Since then Congress has conducted hundreds of investigations.Congress may investigate anything related to the development of public policy. Since its earliest investigations, Congress has availed itself of the power of inquiry in order to inform the public and to write good legislation. Over the past two centuries the Senate has probed issues such as interstate commerce, Ku Klux Klan activities, the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic, Wall Street banking practices, organized crime, antiunion activity, the sale of cotton, and the Vietnam War. Perhaps the Senate s best‑known investigatory committee, the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (commonly known as the Watergate Committee), investigated alleged malfeasance in the executive branch and was instrumental in bringing about the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Each house of Congress governs its committee investigations through authorizing or enabling resolutions which define the scope of the inquiry and identify the anticipated result. Many investigations are performed by select or special committees, established to probe a particular issue, report on it, and make policy recommendations based on that report. Committee members may inquire into those issues that are relevant to the subject under investigation. In the case of temporary committees, members generally set their own procedural rules based on the majority vote of committee members
Congressional investigations can lead to criminal charges or civil/regulatory enforcement proceedings. If you become the subject of a Congressional investigation, you need a white collar defense lawyer who can assist and guide you safely through this process. Do not answer any questions from investigators or agents without counsel.
Data breaches can wreck havoc upon a company, creating significant civil liability while placing the company at risk for regulatory action. Thirty nine (39) states and the District of Columbia have data breach and/or identity theft statutory schemes and recently enacted federal statutes may apply. Companies that operate in these jurisdictions are subject to these data breach laws.
All the statutes have been enacted in the last few years, with little or no case law interpreting them. Interpretations must be based upon good faith and should involve review of legislative history and contain appropriate disclaimers regarding deference to regulatory agencies interpretation
Nick Mudd PLLC will help a client determine the nature of the data breach, the response required by statutes or regulation, and what legal procedures must be in place for dealing with the consequences of the data breach.
- National Conference of State Legislators: Breach of Information Overview
- National Data Breach Notification Standards
Environmental regulatory actions
Advising clients on compliance with environmental laws and regulations requires a unique set of legal and technical abilities. The attorneys at Nick Mudd PLLC have the practical knowledge and technical experience necessary to achieve our clients’ goals within the regulatory process, whether those goals are compliance monitoring and assurance, investigation and reporting of contamination, responding to spills or air releases, monitoring agency investigations, or mitigating penalties and resolving enforcement actions.
Our lawyers are able to help clients proactively avoid environmental issues by evaluating the need for obtaining permits, and where indicated, in securing permit coverage for air emissions and greenhouse gases, water discharges, and waste generation and disposal. Our attorneys have experience in regulatory compliance, reporting and cleanup of contamination, agency inspections and investigations, and similar environmental issues. When technical investigations are needed, we recommend top‑quality environmental professionals, assist in developing the scope of investigation, and facilitate the client’s understanding of the results.
When clients are faced with federal or state corrective action or enforcement matters, our lawyers can assist at technical meetings, penalty conferences and administrative hearings, and in negotiating consent decrees and administrative settlements. By addressing environmental incidents early and aggressively, we seek to limit our clients’ future costs and exposure. In addition, because of our extensive environmental litigation experience, the firm’s attorneys know the issues that can later arise in litigation. With this knowledge, we can help clients avoid potential pitfalls and strategically position themselves during the regulatory process.
Money laundering is a serious federal criminal offense that involves taking money that has been unlawfully obtained and working to integrate it so it may appear to come from a lawful source. Money laundering is a complex process that typically involves a number of different financial transactions and multiple accounts used to launder or make the money appear to be legitimate. With modern technology, paper trails in money laundering cases may not only be more complex; they may also be more difficult to uncover because so many financial transactions are completed entirely over the internet or using computers. Because money laundering is closely tied to modern terrorist groups, the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies have increased money laundering investigations and prosecutions.
Money laundering may also be associated with terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, smuggling, prostitution rings, mail fraud, wire fraud, bribery, gambling operations, counterfeit merchandise, copyright infringement,”structuring” a transaction by carving up cash deposits to avoid currency reporting requirements, and a wide range of other white collar crimes, business crimes, and illegal activities. Any illegal activity that can generate money can also generate charges of money laundering. Nick Mudd PLLC offers aggressive criminal defense representation to individuals facing federal money laundering charges throughout the United States. The firm is based in Louisville, Kentucky, but represents clients nationwide in federal court proceedings.
Our experience also includes advising clients on issues relating to the USA PATRIOT Act, Bank Secrecy Act, Money Laundering Control Act, terrorist financing, U.S. money laundering laws, criminal and civil forfeiture, Office of Foreign Assets Control laws and regulations, and other foreign jurisdictions. In addition, we have experience investigating suspicious activities and assisting clients in the proper methods and means of complying with related laws and regulations, and in assisting clients in developing comprehensive regulatory compliance programs.
- U.S. Treasury Department’s Money Laundering Resource Center
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: Money Laundering Guide
Export and Trade investigations
In an export control case, the government has to prove that a person exported something that shouldn t have been sent outside of the United States, either because it s illegal to send in general, like narcotics, because it requires a license to be sent out of the country, like some weapons, or because something was sent to a country our government does not allow trade with, like North Korea. Export control offenses can be prosecuted and charged in a number of different ways, and people who are convicted can face significant prison time. Each violation of the Export Control Act can result in a sentence of as much as 10 years in prison.
Since 9/11, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has dramatically increased its focus and resources on investigating and prosecuting criminal violations of U.S. export control and sanctions laws and regulations. The U.S. Departments of Treasury and Commerce likewise have aggressively exercised their civil authority to pursue administrative sanctions for noncriminal violations. As a result, more than ever before, companies engaged in international commerce, large and small, as well as individual officers, directors, and employees of these companies, are being targeted for investigation and prosecution, both criminal and civil, by federal law enforcement authorities.
- Overview of U.S. Export Control System
- Export Control Regulations Civil and Criminal Penalties
- U.S. State Department Arms Export Control Act Review
Governmental regulations whether adopted by local towns and cities, state entities, or the United States government can be daunting and present a profound challenge to the way you do business. State and federal laws, statutes, ordinances and regulations change frequently and often with little or no general warning. Regulatory hurdles can be complicated and at times appear to be insurmountable.
The legal team at Nick Mudd PLLC helps both small businesses and large corporations deal with the broad range of issues they face in successfully staying within the regulations set by state and federal authorities. We provide advice to clients on a wide variety of regulatory issues.
We advise and counsel clients in understanding and complying with all state, municipal, and federal regulations, allowing their businesses to move ahead with the confidence that comes with the assurance that their business is in compliance with applicable governmental regulations.
Bankruptcy fraud is a white‑collar crime that has four (4) basic forms. First, debtors conceal assets to avoid having to forfeit them in the bankruptcy process. Second, individuals are accused of intentionally filing false or incomplete forms. Third, individuals may be accused of filing multiple times using either false information or real information in several states. The fourth kind of bankruptcy fraud involves bribing a court‑appointed trustee. Commonly, the U.S. Attorney will bring an additional charge for another crime, such as identity theft, mortgage fraud, money laundering, or public corruption.
The overwhelming majority of bankruptcy fraud involves allegations of the concealment of assets. Creditors can only liquidate those assets listed by the debtor; thus, if the debtor fails to reveal certain assets, the debtor can keep the assets despite having an outstanding debt. To further conceal the assets, businesses or individuals may attempt to transfer these unrevealed assets to friends, relatives, or an associate so that the asset cannot be located. This type of fraud raises the risk and costs associated with lending and becomes passed on to others who wish to borrow money.
Multiple filing fraud consists of filing for bankruptcy in multiple states, using the same name and information, using aliases and fake information, or some combination thereof. Multiple filings slow down the court systems ability to process a bankruptcy filing and liquidate the assets. Often, multiple filings provide more cover for a debtor trying to engage in the concealment of assets.
Bankruptcy fraud is a federal criminal offense. Federal prosecutors indict under 18 U.S.C. 151. Proof of fraud requires showing that the defendant knowingly and fraudulently made a misrepresentation of material fact. Bankruptcy fraud carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, or a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
- F.B.I. Bankruptcy Fraud Website
- U.S. Attorney’s Manual on Bankruptcy Fraud Cases
- IRS Bankruptcy Fraud Investigations
Financial Institutions/Banking fraud/Mortgage fraud
Nick Mudd PLLC have represented numerous individuals and corporations under investigation for bank fraud and mortgage fraud. Federal and state law enforcement agencies are particularly aggressive in these areas because of federal involvement in the banking and mortgage industries through the FDIC and FHA and GSE (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) loan programs.
Bank fraud and mortgage fraud are federal crimes punishable by lengthy prison terms. In many cases, additional charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy or money laundering may be leveled, raising the stakes and providing prosecutors with leverage. Being indicted with these offenses can result in employment termination, professional license sanctions and other consequences. Nick Mudd PLLC has the experience to represent any of the players involved in the banking/real estate game: real estate developers, realtors, mortgage brokers, bank executives, appraisers, residential or commercial property owners, and individuals or business owners seeking real estate loans.
Mortgage fraud cases involves issues such as:
- Appraisal fraud Collusion between lenders and independent appraisers to inflate the market value
- Strawman purchase Using a creditworthy “middleman” to obtain a mortgage on behalf of a buyer who has no intention of paying back the loan
- False statements Providing false or forged documents regarding income, employment or homesteading to qualify for a loan
- Foreclosure fraud Offering to “rescue” a distressed homeowner and absconding with the upfront fees or fraudulently taking title to the home
- Kickbacks Bribes to bank officials or mortgage company in exchanging for approving unsuitable loans
In many cases, homeowners, straw buyers, real estate agents or loan officers who have themselves been duped are caught up in a larger fraud investigation. Whether you are innocent or involved, it is important to talk to an attorney before making any statements to authorities. Your own words or any actions that do not follow the letter of the law will be used against you.
Nick Mudd PLLC can possibly help a client avoid indictment or get unfounded charges dismissed. If you are charged with fraud or other crimes, they will exhaust your defenses and go to trial if necessary to avoid a conviction or mitigate the penalties
Food and Drug Investigations
Nick Mudd PLLC represents businesses and individuals in FDA compliance and enforcement matters, and can deal with FDA headquarters compliance offices and the regional, district, and resident field offices. We can assist you through the FDA inspection process. If you receive a warning letter, we draft responses for the client and assist them in developing and implementing corrective actions and policies. We can determine exactly what corrective measures need to be followed: recall actions, field corrections, product modifications, and supplemental labeling, as needed.
Nick Mudd can also address more complicated FDA regulatory compliance and enforcement matters, such as injunction actions and seizures, and litigation, or negotiation over consent decrees so you can continue or resume product distribution. In addition to addressing FDA compliance emergencies when they arise, Nick Mudd PLLC can help you AVOID enforcement or regulatory problems by reviewing your product labels, marketing, ingredients, or manufacturing processes.
Nick Mudd PLLC has represented clients in regards to issues with GMP (good manufacturing process), Dietary Health Supplement Enforcement Act (DHSEA), Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), Designer Anabolic Steroid Act, exportation and importation laws.
Nick Mudd has represented clients who manufacture, distribute, or sell food products, dietary supplements, drugs, and cosmetics. If your lawyer doesn t understand the difference between a supplement and a drug, you should call us TODAY!!!
The FDA has increased it s criminal enforcement side. The primary criminal charges that are brought by FDA investigations are the introduction into interstate commerce of misbranded or mislabeled drugs. Misbranding occurs when a product’s label is incomplete, false, or misleading. A product’s label includes any written, printed, or graphic matter that appears on the product or its container. It also includes information that accompanies the product, such as advertisements for the product. However, not everything that mentions the product constitutes labeling. Information that is considered a part of a product’s label tends to be information that supplements or explains the product.
The following are examples of misbranding:
- A label that does not contain adequate directions for use or necessary warnings.
- A label that does not contain precautionary statements about preventing deterioration of the product.
- A label that fails to prominently display required information.
- A label that includes instructions related to dosage or frequency or manner of use that if followed would be dangerous to the user’s health.
There are several things to keep in mind concerning misbranding. For example, it is equally important to examine what is written as well as what is not written in a product’s labeling. Affirmative representations and material omissions can result in a misbranding allegation.
Further, whether or not there was intent to misbrand a product does not matter. The fact that the product was misbranded is enough. Lack of intent, conscious or otherwise, while perhaps a mitigating factor, is not a sufficient defense against a misbranding allegation.
Lastly, misbranding can occur even if there is only one misstatement within numerous valid statements. Consequently, you should examine each statement on a product’s label to determine whether it is complete, unambiguous, and true. When doing so, consider what each statement would mean to an average, reasonable user.
- F.B.I. Federal Misbranded Drug Cases
- National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys: Defending A Misbranded Drug Case
- F.D.A. Key Federal Legal Concepts: Interstate Commerce, Adulterated, and Misbranded Drugs
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 78dd‑1, et seq. (“FCPA”), was enacted for the purpose of making it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Specifically, the anti‑bribery provisions of the FCPA prohibit the willful use of the mails or any means of instrumentality of interstate commerce corruptly in furtherance of any offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of money or anything of value to any person, while knowing that all or a portion of such money or thing of value will be offered, given or promised, directly or indirectly, to a foreign official to influence the foreign official in his or her official capacity, induce the foreign official to do or omit to do an act in violation of his or her lawful duty, or to secure any improper advantage in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person.
Since 1977, the anti‑bribery provisions of the FCPA have applied to all U.S. persons and certain foreign issuers of securities. With the enactment of certain amendments in 1998, the anti‑bribery provisions of the FCPA now also apply to foreign firms and persons who cause, directly or through agents, an act in furtherance of such a corrupt payment to take place within the territory of the United States.
The FCPA also requires companies whose securities are listed in the United States to meet its accounting provisions. See 15 U.S.C. 78m. These accounting provisions, which were designed to operate in tandem with the anti‑bribery provisions of the FCPA, require corporations covered by the provisions to (a) make and keep books and records that accurately and fairly reflect the transactions of the corporation and (b) devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls.
FCPA investigations involving listed companies are often handled by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Additionally the FBI and other DOJ agencies can be involved in a FCPA case.
Nick Mudd PLLC can assist clients not only in dealing with a FCPA investigation or litigation, but can also provide legal counsel in setting up and implementing an internal FCPA compliance program, to help your company avoid the pitfalls of corruption investigations and charges.
Public corruption/vote fraud/election fraud/campaign finance
Nick Mudd represents elected and appointed public officials against allegations of official misconduct, abuse of office, and election fraud. Our cases involve defending issues of bribery, kickbacks, sexual harassment, embezzlement, illegal campaign procedures, and other criminal allegations.
If you are a public official or politician who is under investigation for or charged with violations of federal bribery and corruption statutes, including the Hobbs Act, contact Nick Mudd PLLC today! We represent public officials who are charged under the Hobbs Act, which allows the government to prosecute charges under the legal fiction that bribes, kickbacks and gratuities given and received “under color of official right” amount to “extortion” affecting interstate commerce.
Challenging government fraud charges requires swift action to protect clients’ rights against self‑incrimination thorough examination of evidence for indication of procedural violations and solid trial and negotiation skills. We pursue all avenues to dismiss charges, suppress evidence, or obtain alternative and lesser punishments. We are prepared to go to trial in the event that plea negotiations break down or the government refuses to resolve the case in a matter that is acceptable to our client.
The firm also represents law enforcement officers in both administrative investigations and potential criminal proceedings arising out of allegations of misconduct in the course of their official duties.
- F.B.I.: Protecting the Right to Vote and Prosecuting Ballot Fraud
- F.B.I. Public Corruption
- The Truth About Voter Fraud
- U.S. Department of Justice, Public Integrity Section
Grand Jury Investigations
Because of the Fifth Amendment, the federal legal system has to use grand juries to bring charges, at least for certain offenses. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that charges for all capital and “infamous” crimes be brought by an indictment returned by a grand jury. The amendment has been interpreted to require that an indictment be used to charge federal felonies, unless a defendant waives his or her right to be indicted by a grand jury. The Supreme Court has held that this part of the Fifth Amendment is not binding on the states, so they can use grand juries or not, as they wish.
Since most federal prosecutions involve felony charges, grand juries play an important role in enforcing federal criminal law. If you are subpoenaed to testify in front of a federal grand jury, you should contact Nick Mudd PLLC immediately as your own constitutional rights and your very freedom could be at risk. If you are notified by the U.S. Attorney s office that you are under investigation by a grand jury, call our offices as soon as possible. Do not delay in dealing with this type of issue.
The sections below describe the essential aspects of federal grand juries.
Size of the grand jury
Federal grand juries are composed of between 16 and 23 individuals. Sixteen is the minimum and 23 is the maximum number that can constitute a federal grand jury. The size of the federal grand jury is set by Rule 6(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Quorum of jurors needed to conduct business
The quorum is the minimum number of jurors that need to be present for a grand jury to be able to conduct business, such as considering whether charges should be brought against someone or investigating criminal activity. No statute or court rule defines the quorum for federal grand juries, but federal courts have inferred that at least 16 jurors must be present for a grand jury to convene and conduct business. The number 16 comes from Rule 6(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which says that a federal grand jury must consists of between 16 and 23 jurors. If less than 16 jurors appear, the grand jury cannot convene.
Alternate and replacement grand jurors
Under Rule 6(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, a federal court can, but does not have to, choose alternate grand jurors when it impanels a federal grand jury. If a judge has chosen one or more alternates, they replace jurors who are excused (usually for illness or other conditions constituting a hardship). If a court has not chosen alternates, it can replace excused grand jurors by simply choosing other individuals to serve.
Grand juries use subpoenas to gather the evidence they need to use in deciding whether crimes have been committed. They can subpoena documents and physical evidence (including videotapes, guns, etc.) and they can subpoena witnesses to testify. In the picture below, you see a police officer testifying before a state grand jury:
In the federal system, grand juries are more likely to hear testimony from federal agents (FBI, DEA, BATF, IRS) than from police officers, but they do sometimes hear from police officers, as well. They are most likely to hear from police officers when they are investigating, for example, drug trafficking or corruption in local government.
In the federal system, witnesses cannot be accompanied into the grand jury room by their attorney, if they have one. Below, you can see a grand jury witness (the gentleman) consulting, in the hall outside the grand jury room, with his attorney. The witness will then have to go back inside the grand jury room, and if he wants to consult with his attorney again, will have to ask permission to go outside and do so.
Since witnesses have not been indicted, they apparently have no constitutional right to counsel, since the Sixth Amendment right to counsel only applied after someone has been indicted. If a witness cannot afford an attorney, he or she can ask the court that supervises the grand jury to provide them with appointed counsel; in many districts, courts do this, as a matter of general fairness. They may appoint a private attorney or, if the district has a Federal Public Defender’s Office, they will appoint a public defender.
The witness, however, has to know to ask the court for the attorney, since prosecutors are not likely to be particularly sympathetic to such requests.
Grand jury’s term
Federal grand juries are of two types‑‑regular and special. Regular grand juries sit for a basic term of 18 months, but that term can be extended up to another 6 months, which means their total possible term is 24 months. Special grand juries sit for 18 months, but their term can be extended for up to another 18 months; a court can extend a special grand jury’s term for 6 months, and can enter up to three such extensions, totaling 18 months.
How often a grand jury meets
Federal grand juries meet regularly, but the frequency of their meetings varies from one federal judicial district to another. Several grand juries may be meeting at the same time in large urban areas, while grand juries convened in less populous districts may only meet once a week or once a month. Generally, federal grand juries tend to meet when prosecutors need them to consider proposed indictments or to investigate possible criminal activity.
Recording grand jury proceedings
The recording of federal grand jury proceedings was not explicitly authorized until Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure was adopted in 1946. It allowed proceedings to be recorded, but did not require that a record be made. Rule 6 was revised in 1979, and now requires that federal grand jury proceedings be recorded, either stenographically or electronically. In this photograph, you can see a female court reporter (sitting beside a male prosecutor) who is recording a grand jury’s proceedings.
Recording was made mandatory as a check on prosecutorial abuse of the grand jury process; the drafters of the revised rule believed prosecutors would be less likely to engage in misconduct before a grand jury if they knew a record was being kept of their activities.
Grand jury functions
Historically, grand juries have performed two functions. They decided whether someone should be charged‑‑”indicted”‑‑for committing a crime. They also investigated criminal activity and the conduct of public affairs. Before the American Revolution, colonial grand juries essentially ran local government, supervising everything from road‑building and bridge maintenance to the operation of local jails. Over the years, they lost much of their public affairs function, as the operation of local government was taken over by administrative agencies, an institution that did not exist in colonial times.
In the modern federal system, grand juries do not investigate civil matters. In fact, it is an abuse of the grand jury process to use a federal grand jury to gather evidence for use in a civil proceeding. Federal grand juries concentrate on investigating and bringing charges for federal crimes.
There are two kinds of federal grand juries: Regular federal grand juries and special federal grand juries. Regular federal grand juries tend to spend their time hearing evidence and considering indictments submitted to them by a prosecutor. They spend the bulk of their time deciding, therefore, whether probable cause exists to return a set of proposed charges against the defendants names therein. Special federal grand juries were created in 1970 specifically to investigate organized crime. They, too, consider whether indictments should be returned against certain persons, but special grand juries also devote a great deal of their time to investigating possible criminal activity.
- U.S. Attorney’s Manual on Federal Grand Jury Investigations
- Federal Grand Jury Handbook
Healthcare Fraud and Abuse
The Social Security Act, as established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), created the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program, a far‑reaching program to combat fraud and abuse in health care, including both public and private health plans.
Under the joint direction of the Attorney General and the Secretary, the Program s goals are:
(1) to coordinate Federal, state and local law enforcement efforts relating to health care fraud and abuse with respect to health plans;
(2) to conduct investigations, audits, inspections, and evaluations relating to the delivery of and payment for health care in the United States;
(3) to facilitate enforcement of all applicable remedies for such fraud;
(4) to provide education and guidance regarding complying with current health care law; and
(5) to establish a national data bank to receive and report final adverse actions against health care providers and suppliers.
In 2013, the Department of Justice (DOJ) opened 1,013 new criminal health care fraud investigations involving 1,910 potential defendants. Federal prosecutors had 2,041 health care fraud criminal investigations pending, involving 3,535 potential defendants, and filed criminal charges in 480 cases involving 843 defendants. A total of 718 defendants were convicted of health care fraud‑related crimes during the year. Also in 2013, DOJ opened 1,083 new civil health care fraud investigations and had 1,079 civil health care fraud matters pending at the en of the fiscal year. In 2013, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) health care fraud investigations resulted in the operational disruption of 425 criminal fraud organizations and the dismantlement of the criminal hierarchy of more than 115 criminal enterprises engaged in health care fraud.
In 2013, HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS‑OIG) investigations resulted in 849 criminal actions against individuals or entities that engaged in crimes related to Medicare and Medicaid; and 458 civil actions, which include false claims and unjust‑enrichment lawsuits filed in Federal district court, civil monetary penalties (CMP) settlements, and administrative recoveries related to provider self‑disclosure matters. HHS‑OIG also excluded 3,214 individuals and entities. Among these were exclusions based on criminal convictions for crimes related to Medicare and Medicaid (1,132) or to other health care programs (311); for patient abuse or neglect (180); and as a result of licensure revocations (1,324). HHS‑OIG also issued numerous audits and evaluations with recommendations that, when implemented, would correct program vulnerabilities and save program funds
Health care fraud has become a huge law enforcement priority for the federal government. Don’t become the next person caught up in the dragnet. Contact Nick Mudd PLLC today for a health care fraud lawyer to represent you!
DO NOT TALK TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS OR ALLOW THEM TO SEARCH! EXERCISE YOUR SIXTH AMENDMENT RIGHT TO COUNSEL AND DEMAND TO SPEAK TO YOUR LAWYER!! Contact Louisville, Kentucky federal criminal defense attorney Nick Mudd immediately for assistance: (502) 536-8062 or Nick@MuddLegalGroup.com or After Hours 24/7 at (502) 536-8062!