Ben Vernia represents whistleblowers, individual and corporate clients in criminal defense cases, litigants in complex civil litigation, and handles internal corporate investigations.
In a career spanning over two decades, he has gained experience in all phases of criminal and civil investigations, discovery, trial, and appeals.
For 11 years, Ben Vernia represented the United States at the Department of Justice. From 1994 to 2002, as a Trial Attorney in the Fraud Section of the Department's Civil Division, he personally directed dozens of fraud investigations. These suits - many brought under the False Claims Act by qui tam whistleblowers - included health care, defense procurement, foreign bribery, energy, and transportation fraud allegations.
From 2002 to 2005, Ben served as a prosecutor in the Department’s Criminal Division, where he investigated, indicted and tried complex Internet crimes involving entities engaging in child exploitation. These cases featured multiple targets, money laundering, RICO and tax fraud charges, as well as the search, seizure, and analysis of Internet and computer-based evidence.
The Department recognized Ben’s ingenuity and experience in these areas by selecting him to teach federal prosecutors and agents at the Department of Justice's National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina. He has also taught cybercrime law and investigations to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Interpol, and the Organization of American States.
In 2005, Ben entered private practice, representing individuals and corporations at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington. While at Covington, he defended dozens of corporations and individuals in government investigations - including the largest False Claims Act case in history - and began an ongoing four-year pro bono battle to free a young Mississippi father from a wrongful homicide conviction.
In 2009, he started the Vernia Law Firm, where he continues to bring his insight and practical experience to use serving clients facing government investigations, and whistleblowers under federal and state qui tam statutes, including the False Claims Act. That same year, Ben launched www.falseclaimscounsel.com, the leading and most timely legal blog covering developments in the False Claims Act and related statutes.