Dulce defends, investigates and advises clients in criminal and civil matters involving financial fraud, healthcare fraud, corruption, FCPA, trade secrets theft, illegal immigration, False Claims Act and other regulatory concerns.
Her practice includes guiding individuals and business organizations through all stages of their involvement in criminal and civil regulatory and compliance matters: from responding to government subpoenas and search warrants, to conducting internal investigations, negotiating with government officials, and litigating any resulting criminal, civil or administrative cases through trials and appeals. She also works with clients to help them avoid future problems, by developing prospective and remedial compliance plans, conducting employee training programs and conducting acquisition due diligence in global transactions with potential corruption risks.
Dulce has represented financial institutions, accounting firms, medical device companies, healthcare providers, academic institutions, construction companies, manufacturers, franchisors, and other closely held and publicly owned businesses, as well as business owners, board members, executives, politicians, compliance officers, lawyers, physicians and other individuals.
White Collar & Regulatory Defense
- Represented a medical device company CEO and obtained complete acquittal in month long federal jury trial based on alleged off-label promotion and conspiracy. Read more here.
- Represented a nonprofit foundation executive in a six-week federal trial involving alleged participation in a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.
- Represented a mortgage brokerage executive in a felony mortgage fraud prosecution.
- Represented a candidate for Minnesota Senate in an election fraud prosecution.
- Represented a restaurant owner in a prosecution for alleged hiring of illegal aliens.
- Represented a landscape business in a prosecution for alleged labor law violations.
- Represented a biofuels business in a criminal EPA investigation.
- Represented a business executive on appeal in a federal income tax evasion prosecution.
- Represented a physician on appeal in a federal consumer products tampering prosecution.
- Worked with the Special Risk Committee of a sharply divided Board of Directors of a Fortune 100 company to investigate a former employee’s allegations regarding officers of the company and their handling of its private foundation. Prepared a formal investigation report and recommendations to the Risk Committee.
- Worked with the audit committee of a company to investigate whether its employees may be using trade secrets taken from former employers. Developed an investigation report and recommendations to the audit committee.
- Assisted a company with investigating embezzlement against the company by an IT employee. Helped the company develop a civil lawsuit against the employee and worked on behalf of the company to assist prosecutors in developing a related criminal case.
- Conducted an investigation for a for-profit school to assess whether an employee had encouraged student applicants to engage in financial aid fraud
- Conducted investigations on behalf of a university to evaluate claims against employees concerning possible research fraud, and developed reports for its academic review panel regarding the findings.
- Assisted an accounting firm in developing a report to government officials concerning trade secrets theft against the company by former employees.
False Claims Act Defense
- Represented over 80 orthopedic and neurosurgeons in a qui tam False Claims Act case alleging receipt of illegal kickbacks and off-label marketing of a medical device.
- Represented a large general contractor in a False Claims Act investigation under the disadvantaged business enterprise regulations.
- Represented a small subcontractor in a False Claims Act investigation under the disadvantaged business enterprise regulations.
- Represented a large healthcare provider in False Claims Act litigation alleging Medicare billing violations.
- Represented a Fortune 500 company in a False Claims Act case involving sales to government agencies under the Trade Agreements Act.
- Represented a physicians group in a qui tam False Claims Act Medicare fraud case.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
- Conducted an investigation into allegations that a medical device company gave kickbacks to physicians in China, and advised the company about disclosures to the Department of Justice
- Represented a large public company in a Department of Justice investigation into its acquisition of a military products business involved in a major government sting operation
- Conducted an internal investigation for an agricultural products business into a distributor’s payments related to exports to China
- Represented a small Minnesota business in its investigation of employee expenses in the Middle East
- Conducted anti-corruption acquisition due diligence for a Fortune 500 company in connection with numerous acquisitions involving global businesses
- Conducted anti-corruption acquisition due diligence for a Minnesota 100 biotechnologies company
- Advised a small medical device company in responding to FCPA-related due diligence requests from an acquirer
- Advised companies on developing anti-corruption compliance programs and policies in a variety of industries including: telecommunications, medical device, restaurant franchising, industrial equipment manufacturing, mining, construction, agricultural products and others
- Conducted numerous anti-corruption trainings for small to very large companies throughout the United States and globally
Healthcare Fraud & Compliance
- Represented a medical device company CEO in a seven-week Medicare fraud trial.
- Represented a home healthcare agency and its owner in a Medicaid fraud prosecution.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a small medical device company into potential FDA off-label violations by a company officer.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a large medical device company into Medicare anti-kickback claims alleged by a disgruntled employee.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a large medical device company into reports raising FDA regulatory concerns.
- Represented a small medical device business in litigation involving a civil consent decree with the FDA.
- Represented physicians in proceedings before the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.
- Represented physicians in Medicare exclusion and debarment proceedings.
- Represented healthcare providers in Medicare reimbursement Appeals.
Articles & Presentations
August 9, 2016
Global companies in the United States have an uneasy relationship with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Most recognize that corruption can be damaging to business, but decry the statute as unfair: Because the United States is more aggressive about enforcing its anti-corruption laws than other countries, U.S. companies are more likely to be prosecuted for bribing foreign officials. The FCPA effectively tilts the playing field against us in foreign business transactions. But the global landscape gradually may be changing. Corruption prosecutions outside the U.S. are becoming more common, and many foreign governments have signaled a change in perspective by enacting new and stricter anti-corruption laws.Read More
July 28, 2016
On July 20, a jury in Massachusetts convicted former Acclarent executives William Facteau and Patrick Fabian of 10 misdemeanor counts of misbranding and adulteration based on alleged off-label promotion of the Stratus sinus spacing device. They were acquitted of 14 related felony charges, but they have vowed to fight the misdemeanor convictions in future motions and appeals. The Facteau verdict contrasts with the clean sweep obtained by Vascular Solutions and its CEO, Howard Root, last February, when a Texas jury acquitted them of all counts of misbranding and conspiracy for allegedly promoting the Vari-Lase varicose vein device off-label. The two cases are different in significant respects, which may account for the disparate results. But they also bear many similarities, which provide a road map for medical device and pharma manufacturers to future off-label prosecutions in the wake of recent First Amendment precedents.Read More
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Presenter, “Collaboration in Embezzlement Investigations,” Fredrikson & Byron Event, May 2, 2017
- “Recent Off-Label Device Cases Are A Road Map For The Future,” Law360, July 26, 2016
- Presenter, “Death of an FDA Prosecution: Post-Mortem on the U.S. v. Howard Root Acquittal,” Fredrikson & Byron Event, March 29, 2016
- Author, “Medical device CEO’s acquittal has big implications,” Minnesota Lawyer, March 17, 2016
- Presenter, “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: What You May Not Know (But Should),” 20th Annual MNCPA Management & Business Advisor’s Conference, June 17, 2014
- Panelist, “Med Device and Pharma: Lessons from the Latest in Fraud and Abuse Enforcement,” 2014 Health Law Institute, June 5, 2014
- Presenter, “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance: Fighting Corruption Without Breaking the Bank,” Center for Ethical Business Cultures Members Roundtable, January 17, 2014
Honors & Education
- University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 1998, magna cum laude
- Macalester College, B.A., Psychology, magna cum laude
- Minnesota, 1998
- U.S. Dist. Court for the Dist. of Minnesota, 2000
- Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
- U.S. Dist. Court for the Central Dist. of Illinois, 2002
- U.S. Dist. Court for the Western Dist. of Wisconsin, 2006
- First Circuit Court of Appeals, 2009
- The Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2016-present
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, Super Lawyer
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, Top 50 Women, 2013-2014
- Minnesota State Bar Association, North Star Lawyer, 2013-2014
- Advocates for Human Rights, Special Recognition Award, 2009
- Minnesota State Bar Association Publications Committee, Elmer H. Wiblishauser Author’s Award, 2008
- Order of the Coif, Member
- Minnesota Law Review
- Phi Beta Kappa, Member
- Judicial Clerkship: Honorable John R. Tunheim, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, 1998-2000
- Federal Bar Association Minnesota Chapter, Executive Board Member
- American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section
- American Bar Association Business Law Section/White Collar Crime Committee
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- Eighth Circuit Bar Association
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Foundation Board of Directors, Member
- Loan Repayment Assistance Program Board Member
- Eighth Circuit History Committee, District of Minnesota, Treasurer