Grand Junction Federal Criminal Defense
Driven Grand Junction, Colorado Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Balancing the Scales of Justice
Oberheiden, P.C. has developed a national reputation based on our experience and success in federal court criminal proceedings. We have represented clients in over a thousand federal cases in more than 25 states, including throughout Colorado. Although we have conducted over 500 criminal trials and supervised many more, clients value our focus on avoiding federal charges in the first place. Our law firm has an exemplary record of successfully guiding clients through federal audits and investigations, so they emerge vindicated with their professional and personal reputation intact. While persuading a court to dismiss a case or obtaining an acquittal at trial is a desirable outcome, we recognize that our clients are better served if the scrutiny of their actions never leads to criminal charges.
- Former Justice Department Lawyers Helping You
- Former State & Federal Prosecutors with Government Insights
- Top Federal Litigation Attorneys on Your Team
Most individuals working diligently to build a medical practice or a corporation that provides medical products or services do not anticipate receiving a Federal Grand Jury Subpoena or a target letter. Encounters with any law enforcement officer are upsetting, but a face-to-face interaction with an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) can morph into decades in a federal prison. Although doctors and CEOs might assume they are unlikely to be targeted by the federal government, high profile scandal increasingly have focused on white-collar financial crimes. These widely publicized cases range from SEC violations against celebrities like Martha Stuart to Health Care Fraud allegations against prominent physicians. Federal authorities increasingly are targeting affluent defendants with no criminal history.
Former Federal Prosecutors Providing Defense Against Influence Federal Agencies
Our Grand Junction criminal defense attorneys focus on defending individuals facing criminal charges or civil penalties in federal courts. Our law firm was constructed with this mission in mind. Dr. Nick Oberheiden, our founder and managing partner, regularly appears on television and radio broadcasts. He also has authored widely published articles and books on topics like evidentiary matters, United States constitutional law, international law, civil procedure, and criminal procedure. Nick has effectively resolved criminal and civil cases before all major federal agencies, which include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Justice (DOJ), United State Postal Inspector Service (USPIS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Defense (DOD), Office of Inspector General (OIS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Our Grand Junction federal criminal defense lawyers have over 70 years of collective experience as prosecutors with the federal government. Our attorneys have had long distinguished careers within the DOJ and U.S. Attorney’s Office. During this time, we have acquired a thorough understanding of law enforcement investigations. Since we have attorneys who once stood in the shoes of the prosecutor, our law firm is uniquely positioned to anticipate government litigation strategies and potential law enforcement errors and misconduct during an investigation.
Special Backgrounds Defending Mesa County Health Care Professionals in Federal Court
The Grand Junction federal criminal defense attorneys of Oberheiden, P.C. have developed a preeminent reputation representing individuals and entities in the health care industry. Our clients include doctors, hospitals, urgent care clinics, laboratories, compound pharmacies, skilled nursing facilities, drug treatment centers, pharmacists, and other providers of medical services or products. Because federal authorities are increasingly pursuing white-collar offenses and other financial crimes, a growing number of health care professionals have been held civilly and criminally liable in recent years.
The DOJ recovered more than $3.7 billion in False Claims Act (FCA) settlements and judgments during the 2017 fiscal year. The relatively high risk of being insnared in a fraud investigation is evidenced by the fact that health care fraud cases accounted for $2.4 billion of these recovered funds. These actions often are initiated by self-proclaimed “whistleblowers” motivated by enormous financial rewards in qui tam actions. The DOJ often intervenes in these cases and seeks to recoup funds paid through Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE. These lawsuits frequently brought under the False Claims Act can be an act of retribution by a disgruntled, former employee or manager.
While these statistics hint at the massive scope of health care fraud settlements and judgments, they ignore the recent efforts by federal authorities to increase scrutiny of billing by participants in government health benefit programs. The Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in August 2017 was launched in the wake of the opioid abuse epidemic. This unit like Medicare Strike Force Teams will use sophisticated data analysis to target health care fraud, but the focus will be on schemes involving improper opioid prescription and distribution. The program also included funding for a dozen experienced Assistant United States Attorneys devoted to investigating and prosecuting health care fraud involving prescription opioids on a full-time basis.
This program will use data analytics to flag physicians based on their opioid prescription practices. Data that the analytics will provide includes highlighting physicians prescribing an abnormally high number of opioid prescriptions, as well as pharmacies that dispense a high number of opioid pills. These special prosecutors will work with the HHS, FBI, and DEA, as well as state and local law enforcement.
Our Grand Junction federal criminal defense lawyers in Colorado represent a broad spectrum of parties and businesses dealing with allegations of health care fraud. Forms of alleged conduct that we have been asked to defend include:
- Billing for fictitious medical supplies, products, or services
- Charging for more expensive services than those provided
- Providing prescriptions that are not filled
- Furnishing medical services that are not medically justified
- Billing for services individually that are supposed to be billed in a bundle
- Defrauding Medicare or Medicaid
- Waiving co-payments and deductibles
- Unlawful distribution or prescription of drugs (e.g. Pill Mills)
- Certification of a party as home bound
- Self-referral for medical services by a physician who has an ownership interest in the service provider
- Paying bribes for referral of Medicaid/Medicare patients
Our trial record is virtually unblemished with hundreds of trials, across the country. However, prospective clients especially appreciate that we have a stellar record of ensuring individuals confronted with ZPIC, RAC, and Medicaid audits are not referred for prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Our exceptional skill and background handling cases aimed at health care professionals and others in the medical sector is evidenced by our results. Fewer than two percent of our clients who were under an OIG subpoena, Grand Jury Investigation, or target letter were referred for prosecution after we took over their case. Further, all our clients subject to a False Claims Act investigation were determined not to be criminally or civilly liable. Every one of our clients also kept their professional license, so they could continue to participate in their practice and/or operate their business.
Fierce Defense of Individuals Suspected of Federal Crimes in Mesa County
While our law firm has achieved national acclaim for our representation of individuals and companies accused of health care fraud, we have significant experience defending against a broad spectrum of charges in federal court. Examples of some of the federal crimes we handle include:
- White-Collar Crimes
- Public Corruption
- Mortgage Fraud
- Hijacking Trucks in Interstate Commerce
- Tax Evasion/Tax Fraud
- Insider Trading/Forging Securities
- Importing Narcotics or Moving Scheduled Drugs Across State Lines
- Threats Against a Public Official
- Counterintelligence Offenses
- Immigration Offenses
- Mail Fraud
- Organized Crimes
- Rape/Murder/Kidnapping Across State Lines
- Civil Rights Violations
- Civil Rights Offenses
- Dumping Toxic Substances
- Interstate Drug Trafficking
- Credit Card Fraud
- Public Corruption
- Bank Robbery
- Wire Fraud
Advantages That Our Former Federal Prosecutors Offer to Targets of Powerful Federal Agencies
Many attorneys have experience in federal court, but our law firm offers the exceptional advantage of multiple lawyers who had distinct careers prosecuting federal cases before joining Oberheiden, P.C.. Our law firm brings sophisticated inside knowledge of how various federal agencies investigate all types of federal charges. The following are among the explanations clients give for selecting our law firm to provide a defense to federal audits, investigations, and criminal charges:
- Former Federal Prosecutors: Our law firm includes attorneys with over 70 years of experience as federal prosecutors. These former government attorneys have handled widely disparate cases that range from health care fraud to SEC violations.
- Success in Federal Court: The federal criminal lawyers of our law firm have a proven record of success. More than 98 percent of our clients subject to an investigation by a grand jury, OIG subpoena, or target letter was not referred for prosecution. Further, we have kept every client we have represented from civil or criminal liability in False Claims Act investigations.
- Unsurpassed Experienced in Federal Courts: Our law firm is so widely sought out that we must decline to take 20-30 cases per week. We are committed to limiting our caseload so that we can concentrate our full resources on providing the most effective legal representation in the cases we accept. Even with this policy, our law firm has handled over a thousand cases in federal court and a thousand grand jury proceedings. We also have litigated over 500 trials and supervised many more.
- Safeguarding Careers and Professional Licenses: Given the high profile of our law firm when it comes to representing professionals in health care fraud cases, we often have anxious clients worried that their years of education and training will suddenly become meaningless. We have a record of ensuring that every professional we have represented has maintained his or her license.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Tenacious Defense in Federal Investigations, Grand Jury Proceedings & Actions Pursuing Criminal and Civil Litigation
How will I be notified if I am being scrutinized by federal authorities?
There are several ways you might be contacted if you have drawn the attention of federal authorities. Some people discover they are being investigated merely through rumor, but there are several formal ways this information could be communicated. Federal agents might contact you and attempt to arrange an interview. Even if you are told you are not the target of an investigation, you should never speak with federal agents without legal representation. The agents are looking for evidence supporting a criminal prosecution, and the protection of your legal rights or factual innocence is not a priority. Depending on the circumstances, you also could be notified via a Grand Jury subpoena or a target letter. If you receive either of these forms of notice, you should not speak to anyone until you have obtained legal advice from an experienced federal criminal defense attorney in Grand Junction or the surrounding areas of Mesa County.
Which federal agencies investigate civil and criminal liability of individuals and entities?
Many federal agencies investigate potential legal actions seeking civil or criminal liability. While some agencies investigate many areas of alleged criminal activity like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), other agencies focus on specific kinds of alleged malfeasance like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Some of the other entities that investigate or prosecute federal crimes include:
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service: This agency investigates criminal offenses related to abuse of the federal postal service. These offenses include mail fraud, mail theft, drug distribution, tax evasion, health care fraud, and many other offenses.
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS): While the IRS focuses on federal tax offenses, the agency also investigates money laundering, health care fraud, drug crimes, and more.
- Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), Office of Investigation (OI): The SSA-OI investigates criminal fraud related to the SSA. Examples of these offenses include bank fraud, mail fraud, false claims filed against the federal government, identity theft, and many others.
- Commodities Futures Trading Commission: This agency investigates manipulation and fraud involving derivatives. The agency oversees both futures and swaps markets.
- Securities Exchange Commission (SEC): This agency brings civil enforcement actions against companies and individuals involved in Sarbanes/Oxley (SOX) violations, insider trading, accounting fraud, and other securities offenses.
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives: This agency investigates criminal trafficking or use of firearms, as well as offenses related to bombings and explosives. The agency also enforces laws related to improper diversion of tobacco or alcohol products.
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): ICE is the primary enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While the agency handles many allegations related to homeland security, it also pursues related offenses like narcotics trafficking, white-collar offenses, money laundering, and identity theft.
Contact a Reliable Grand Junction Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have learned that you have attracted the attention of a federal law enforcement agency, we recognize that you will have concerns and questions. Our law firm is committed to answering our clients’ questions and tenaciously fighting for their future. At Oberheiden, P.C., our experienced federal criminal defense trial lawyers are ready to start protecting your rights today. Call us at (214) 692-2171 or request a free case evaluation online now to discuss your options.