We have significant experience in organizing and leading internal investigations on behalf of their clients. Our team includes litigators and business lawyers with expertise in employment, regulatory, white collar, securities, business law, health law, immigration, and corporate governance.
Dulce Foster and Karen Schanfield are featured in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal article, “Fredrikson & Byron attorneys see workplace misconduct caseload surge in wake of #MeToo movement”
What We Do
Businesses in today’s legal environment must be vigilant to stay ahead of the difficult regulatory and employment challenges that multiply as their organizations grow. Self-audits are becoming increasingly necessary to minimize the risk of potentially crippling litigation down the road, and problems inevitably crop up on their own--even in the most structured and ethical business environments.
We assist some clients with proactive audits of their compliance policies and help others respond to specific allegations of misconduct. We routinely conduct investigations for clients with concerns about their own compliance as well as those who may have been injured by the legal offenses of others.
We help our clients develop investigation plans that are sensitive to their needs and have the resources to carry out efficient and effective investigations, prepare objective reports, and provide advice regarding the difficult questions that might result, including: whether to modify codes of conduct and other compliance initiatives; whether to discipline employees who have engaged in misconduct; whether to voluntarily report possible regulatory violations to government officials; and whether to pursue legal action against culpable individuals. We help our clients identify, evaluate and resolve potential lapses in compliance before they develop into more serious legal concerns.
Our experience is wide-ranging and includes investigations of:
- Bribery and Kickbacks
- Securities Fraud
- Theft of Trade Secrets
- Money Laundering
- Academic Fraud
- Immigration Violations
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance
- Healthcare Fraud
- HIPAA Compliance
- Healthcare Reimbursement
- Employment Discrimination
- Sexual Harassment
- Executive Compensation
- Conflicts of Interest and other Corporate Governance Issues
- Other Violations of Statutes, Regulations or Company Policies
The following is a representative list of our clients:
- A publicly-held corporation investigating potential fraud and accounting irregularities. We advised the corporation’s audit committee regarding communications with the SEC, the DOJ, external auditors and others.
- A Native American tribal authority investigating potential regulatory offenses in its Community Development Department. We furnished a lengthy investigation report to tribal officials and served as primary contact with the United States Attorney and the Department of the Interior.
- The audit committee of a medical device company investigating whether its employees were using trade secrets taken from former employers. We developed an investigation report and recommendations to the audit committee regarding employee training and compliance with policies on confidentiality and trade secrets.
- A medical device company investigating embezzlement by its IT director. We helped the company develop a civil lawsuit against the employee and worked on behalf of company to assist prosecutors in developing a related criminal case.
- A medical device company investigating whether its distributors had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act. We produced a report to the client regarding our investigation findings and recommendations and developed a strategy concerning government disclosures.
- An academic institution investigating various issues, including possible research fraud, construction contract awards and potential environmental violations. We prepared reports for the General Counsel and academic review panels.
- An accounting firm investigating trade secrets theft by former employees. We prepared a report for government officials concerning the theft.
- A publicly-held corporation investigating an employee’s whistle-blower claims related to the security of customer financial data and other compliance issues. We reported our findings to the board chairman and company management.
- A med tech company investigating allegations of sexual harassment by employee against senior leader arising from a personal relationship.
- A national manufacturer managing internal investigation of multiple sexual harassment complaints against a senior leader.
- A national advertising agency directing internal investigation of alleged sexual harassment against an outside vendor with risk assessment and recommendations for remediation.
- A national health care technology company investigating complaints of hostile work place against a senior leader.
- A large, privately-held company investigating age and religious discrimination allegations against a senior executive.
- A publicly-traded company investigating sexual harassment allegations against a senior executive.
- An academic institution addressing allegations of sexual harassment against one of its employees.
- A healthcare company planning an IPO investigating allegations of Medicare fraud.
- A hospital investigating employee concerns about billing Medicare for one-day stays. We evaluated claims under Medicare guidance, determined that for most encounters no refund was necessary, and worked with an accounting firm to determine the refund amount for the few encounters where appropriate.
- A clinic that had submitted a refund to Medicare for services billed “incident to” physician services. After our investigation, we determined that no refund was legally required and prepared a letter to Medicare explaining our analysis. We handled the subsequent litigation instigated by Medicare for additional alleged overpayments, and we obtained a judgment returning to the clinic all amounts it had previously refunded.
- Numerous other clinics and hospitals conducting Medicare Evaluation and Management (E&M) reviews. We helped clients in each case evaluate whether the services were billed appropriately, or whether the services were over-coded, making a refund appropriate.
- The Special Risk Committee of a sharply divided Board of Directors of a Fortune 100 company charged with investigating corporate officers and their handling of its private foundation. We prepared a formal report and recommendations for addressing the investigation findings.
- A publicly-held Silicon Valley tech company investigating stock-option backdating.
- A special board committee for a privately-held company embroiled in shareholder dispute.
- The audit committee of a Fortune 1,000 company investigating allegations of financial misconduct. We reported our results to the board and SEC.
- An acquiring company investigating a target company’s I-9 files, H-1B public access folders and PERM audit files as part of M&A due diligence.
- A company reviewing its I-9 policy and procedures for compliance. We conducted an internal audit of the company’s I-9 files and provided I-9 compliance trainings.
- A Fortune 500 company in an I-9 investigation conducted by Department of Homeland Security involving more than 40,000 employees and offices across the United States.
- A company in a Department of Labor H1B audit and investigation.