White Collar Defense

The true value of a white collar defense attorney is best measured in indictments avoided and cases settled on favorable terms. Ben Vernia has not only zealously defended criminal cases, he has years of experience in the diplomacy needed to keep a client off of an indictment and out of the courtroom.

For eight years, Ben worked in the Fraud Section of the Department's Civil Division, personally directing dozens of fraud investigations. These suits - many brought under the False Claims Act by qui tam relators - were in the areas of health care, defense procurement, foreign bribery, energy, and transportation.

He then worked in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. As a prosecutor, he investigated, indicted and tried complex Internet crimes featuring multiple targets, money laundering, RICO and tax fraud charges, as well as the search, seizure, and analysis of Internet and computer-based evidence.

Because of his extensive experience in these areas, the Department of Justice selected Ben to instruct federal prosecutors and agents at the Department of Justice's National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina. He has also made presentations on cybercrime law and investigations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Interpol, and the Organization of American States.

After serving at the Department of Justice, Ben entered private practice, where for eight years he has put his insights and practical experience to use serving clients facing government investigations.

Whether representing a company or its individual employees, Ben works closely with all parties to achieve the optimal result.

Noteworthy Representations

  • A former employee of a software company in a grand jury investigation for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
  • The CEO of one of the world's largest banks, in testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
  • A construction executive who testified in an extortion trial in the successful defense of a suspension and proposed debarment by the Department of Transportation.
  • A corporate vice president of a pharmaceutical company under investigation for selling and unapproved drug.
  • A private university under investigation for alleged violations of federal anticorruption laws.
  • An internal investigation of allegations of customs document falsification for a major American importer.
  • Attorneys under investigation for alleged insurance fraud and conspiracy.

Speeches and Publications

  • "Whistleblowers face tough legal hurdles, but US Supreme Court may offer relief, says False Claims Act expert," Association of Certified Financial Crimes Specialists (podcast)
  • "Negotiating Corporate Integrity Agreements in Case Settlements," Symposium on Health Care Fraud Investigations, American Conference Institute, Washington, DC (3/31/2008)
  • "Here's Your Story, and You're Sticking to It," Legal Times (8/21/2006)
  • "Right of Attorney to Conduct Ex Parte Interviews with Former Corporate Employees," 57 A.L.R.5th 633 (1998)
  • "Criminal Law and the Internet," Pike & Fischer Internet Law & Regulation, Co-Author (with Mali Friedman and Ryan Calo) (2009)
  • "The Burden of Proving Incompetency to Stand Trial: Due Process at the Limits of Adversarial Justice (Note)," 45 Vand. L. Rev. 199 (1992)