Kansas Federal Criminal Defense
Knowledgeable Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers Protecting Professional Licenses and Freedom in Kansas
If you are a physician, dentist, psychologist, or health care business owner, the prospect of a health care audit, federal investigation, federal grand jury subpoena, or a target letter can cause overwhelming stress. While the specter of any misdemeanor or felony charge is disturbing, federal charges increase the pressure and consequences exponentially. Federal prosecutors will usually be associated with powerful federal agencies (FBI, DEA, OIG) with overwhelming financial resources. The law enforcement agents and prosecutors that handle federal criminal cases are exceptionally skilled and equipped with superior investigatory tools. These law enforcement authorities and prosecutors also are armed with tough federal sentencing guidelines that judges use to impose lengthy draconian prison terms, which frequently include mandatory minimums of incarceration.
Most aspiring doctors and others with health care careers and businesses never expect to be face-to-face with a federal agent or to testify before a federal grand jury. However, the federal government has focused significant litigation resources on cases that deplete public funds, such as fraud and false claims against the government. Whether you are facing allegations of tax evasion, health care fraud, SEC violations, or a qui tam whistleblower action, you might be confronted with severe consequences. Depending on the specific circumstance of your case, you could face a wide range of penalties that include:
- Incarceration in federal prison
- Recoupment orders for massive sums
- Financial fines, penalties, interests, and costs of prosecution
- Felony record
- Loss of your professional license
- Damage to your professional and personal reputation
Federal authorities have adopted a dual focus on drug offenses and white-collar crimes involving public funds.
Renowned Former Federal Prosecutors – Oberheiden, P.C.
If you are facing the imposing power and litigation resources of the federal government, experience and legal acumen could constitute the difference between a lengthy federal prison term and devastating damage to your reputation, career, and financial security. Our law firm has been sought out by individuals and commercial entities throughout the U.S. dealing with Medicaid audits, investigations by the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies, and federal felony charges.
Nick Oberheiden – Attorney & Founding Partner
Our founding partner Nick Oberheiden has expertise in regulatory compliance, federal litigation, health care law, and foreign legal systems. His experience involves handling cases like IRS, DEA, FBI, and IRS investigations, tax fraud, Internet crimes, federal conspiracy, money laundering, public corruption, bribery, tax fraud, public corruption, and mail fraud. Nick devotes a substantial portion of his practice to health care law cases involving the Stark Law, Medicare/Medicaid/Tricare Fraud, False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, Medicare/Medicaid/Tricare Fraud, and Qui Tam Claims. Nick appears frequently as a legal expert on federal law and health care fraud on national TV and radio shows. He also is the author of widely published articles and books on civil and criminal procedure, constitutional law, evidence issues, and international law questions.
While our founding partner has a national reputation, he also is joined by a team of highly skilled and experienced lawyers including several former federal prosecutors. Our record of winning includes 69 of 70 federal jury trials and protecting the professional license of a hundred percent of our clients. When defendants are facing life-altering federal charges or federal investigations, they seek out the insider knowledge that Oberheiden, P.C. can provide.
Our team of more than a dozen attorneys brings exhaustive experience with federal regulatory agencies that conduct investigations and prosecutions. This background allows us to have unique insight into weaknesses in federal prosecutor cases, common federal law enforcement mistakes, subtle aspects of statutory safe harbor provisions, and other factors essential to effective defense. Since our attorneys have investigated similar cases in the past as former prosecutors and defense attorneys, we understand where to concentrate our attention when scrutinizing and attacking forensic tests, law enforcement procedures, search and seizures, and questioning of our clients. This background litigating thousands of cases involving civil or criminal liability in federal court has equipped our Kansas federal defense attorneys with the capacity to dissect the prosecutor’s case to pursue the best possible outcome for our clients.
Reasons Individuals Confronting Criminal and Civil Liability Trust Us
The law firm of Oberheiden, P.C. has crafted a solid record of success while handling over a thousand grand jury matters and more than 500 trials. We have successfully defended people from all walks of life. Some of the factors that motivate people to seek us out include:
National Results: There are many good law firms that handle cases in any of the states where we maintain an office, but a miniscule number of firms have successfully defended cases in over 25 U.S. states.
Skill in Federal Court: Federal courts present special obstacles for the criminally accused seeking a positive outcome. The skill and resources of powerful law enforcement agencies and skilled federal prosecutors work in conjunction with strict federal sentencing guidelines to make the stakes especially high.
Highly Regarded in Health Care Fraud: Our law firm is staffed with attorneys well-versed in health care law. Some of our attorneys are former prosecutors of health care fraud cases. Our law firm devotes a significant portion of its resources and time to defending health care professionals and other medical industry individuals and businesses.
Highly Unprecedented Results: Our law firm has accomplished feats for clients that are virtually unprecedented. We have persuaded the government to dismiss grand jury indictments without pursuing formal criminal charges in litigation. Our law firm has even obtained the dismissal of a federal grand jury indictment though it is extremely rare. A federal grand jury indictment is only returned when at least 16 grand jurors unanimously agree sufficient evidence exists to pursue formal criminal charges.
Passionate Defense Against a Broad Range of Federal Crimes
- Health Care Fraud
- Wire Fraud
- Federal Weapons Charges
- Bank Robbery
- Obstruction of Federal Audits
- Human Trafficking
- Economic Espionage
- Trafficking of Counterfeit Goods
- RICO Crimes
- Domestic Terrorism
- Bribery Offenses
- Sex Trafficking
- Aggravated Identity Theft
- Federal Civil Rights Violations
- Exportation of Drugs
- Credit/Debit Card Fraud
- Harboring Terrorists
- Theft of Trade Secrets
- Environmental Crimes
- False Statements Related to Health Care Matters
- Crimes Involving Bombings
- Fraud Against the Government
- Offense Committed on Federal Property or Across State Lines
- Subornation of Perjury
- Bankruptcy Fraud
- Sexual Conduct with Minors
- Importing Drugs
- Public Corruption Offenses
- Drug Conspiracy and Other Narcotics Offenses
- Illegal Firearms Offenses
- Antitrust Violations
- Money Laundering
- Child Pornography
- Drug Trafficking
- Obstructing Criminal Investigations
- Computer/Internet Crimes
- Mail Fraud
- SEC Violations (e.g. Insider Trading)
- Continuing Criminal Enterprise
- Tampering with Informants, Witnesses, or Victims
- Obstruction of Justice
- Hate Crime Act Violations
- Destruction of Corporate Audit Records
- Criminal Infringement of Copyrights
- Insurance Fraud
Special Expertise in Health Care Law Related Crimes
While the lawyers of Oberheiden, P.C. have the legal knowledge and vast experience to represent parties charged with many federal crimes, our law firm has special skill and acumen in matters related to health care law. While we also defend clients in state courts, our law firm has achieved national acclaim by successfully defending persons and corporations accused of health care fraud and related federal offenses. We also provide tenacious defense before tribunals and administrative agencies in which the United States government defers a federal investigation or prosecution to state administrative authorities to be resolved.
As part of the federal government’s war on health care fraud, federal authorities have become more creative and tenacious in pursuing these prosecutions. This focus by the government has made the defense of health care fraud allegations more specialized and complex. Depending on the allegations and health law statute that is the basis of your charge, you could face civil penalties and/or criminal prosecution. A criminal conviction could also mean suspension or loss of a medical provider’s license.
Our lawyers have comprehensive knowledge and enormous experience handling cases involving allegations of fee splitting, patient brokering, false claims, physicians’ self-referrals, patient brokering, and other forms of health care fraud. Our law firm represents health care providers and suppliers throughout the United States. Our clients include doctors, behavioral health facilities, urgent care centers, pharmacists, nursing homes, compound pharmacies, drug rehabilitation centers, and home health agencies hit with allegations of health care fraud.
Some of the forms of conduct we regularly defend in cases involving medical industry persons and corporations include:
- Overutilization of services
- Prescription drug buy-backs
- Unbundling or upcoding
- False certification that a patient is home bound (home health care fraud)
- Waiving co-payments and/or deductibles
- Unlawfully dispensing or prescribing
- Providing compensation for referral of services or patients (Stark and Anti-Kickback)
- Medicaid Fraud
- Misrepresentation of dates of service
- Billing for prescriptions not filled by a pharmacy
- Inaccurate reporting of procedures and diagnosis
- Provision of medical services or procedures without a medical necessity
- Medicare Fraud
- Unnecessary or false issuance of prescription drugs (e.g. opioids)
- Billing for medical services not provided
Federal Criminal Case Process of Investigations and Litigation
If you are the subject of an audit or investigation or you have received a federal grand jury subpoena, our Kansas federal criminal defense lawyers can investigate the allegations and provide legal advice throughout the process. The best option is to secure legal representation at the pre-charge phase. Our law firm excels at intervening, so our clients avoid a returned indictment or referral to the U.S. attorney for prosecution.
If a grand jury returns with an indictment or a U.S. magistrate issues an arrest warrant, you could be arrested and compelled to make an initial appearance, which must occur within 72 hours of the arrest. During this hearing, the judge will inform you of the charges, notify you of your rights, and set bond if appropriate. The next stage will be an arraignment during which you will be asked to enter a formal plea.
Sometimes a plea agreement will be negotiated between the defendant and the federal prosecutor. Potential resolutions under a plea agreement include:
- Stipulations regarding sentencing factors
- Dismissal of certain charges if you plead guilty to others
- Consent to asset forfeiture
- Agreeing on sentence recommendations
- Agreeing to disregard whether certain sentencing enhancements apply
- Agreeing to recommend a sentence that differs from the federal sentencing guidelines
While any of these dispositions could be part of a plea agreement, the federal sentencing guidelines, mandatory minimum sentences, and the harsh charging and sentencing policies of the government make reaching an attractive plea agreement difficult in federal criminal courts.
The pre-trial process in federal court also tends to be complicated. Discovery is conducted during this phase of the process, which can be extremely extensive if you are involved white collar or other financial crimes. The case could include demands for information and materials that involve the need to gather, review, and analyze thousands of documents.
While most cases resolve before trial, many people decide to retain our firm because we have conducted 500 trials and supervised many more. Our law firm uses all available resources to assert the most effective defense. At Oberheiden, P.C., we often utilize consultants, forensic experts, professional researchers, and highly regarded investigators to defend our clients.
FAQs Regarding Defense Against Federal Crimes and Civil Penalties
How will my sentence be determined if I am convicted of a federal criminal offense?
When a defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty in a federal court, the judge will schedule a sentencing hearing. The Office of U.S. Probation will prepare a presentence report (PSR) that will specify mitigating and aggravating factors. The judge will consider the information in the PSR. The report typically will address the impact on the victim, criminal history, social history, personal characteristics, and other matters. However, the decision typically will be framed by the federal sentencing guidelines, which include tough mandatory minimums.
What statutes and regulations do the federal government use when pursuing health care fraud?
While a range of legal tools could be used by federal prosecutors, the legal grounds for many cases seeking civil and criminal liability include:
- False Claims Act (FCA): The federal government has many statutory tools to target health care fraud and other many other types of conduct that deplete public funds. However, the FCA bans knowingly presenting or causing to be presented fraudulent or false claims for payment by the federal government. The risk of well-meaning health care professionals and medical industry corporations being caught up in an FCA case is magnified because the statute authorizes lucrative rewards to so-called “whistleblowers.” The statute imposes penalties that include treble damages, financial penalties, and even potential criminal liability.
- Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS): This criminal statute forbids giving or offering compensation to attract the referral of Medicare/Medicaid business. Violations are punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000.
- Stark Law: This statute prohibits a doctor from referring a Medicare patient to entities providing certain medical services in which the referring party has a financial relationship. A party found civilly liable under this statute must return any such payments. The law also authorizes civil penalties up to a maximum of $15,000 per service.
- Criminal Health Care Fraud Statute: This law authorizes criminal liability for intentionally defrauding a health care benefit program or making false statements for such a purpose. The sentence for a conviction can include ten years imprisonment and a fine of double the amount at issue or a $500,000 fine.