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 – even in the most structured and ethical business environments.
We assist our clients both with proactive audits of their compliance policies and responses to specific allegations of past misconduct. We routinely conduct investigations for business organizations with concerns about their own compliance as well as those who may have been injured by the legal offenses of others.
Our philosophy on investigations, whether big or small, is that good communication is the key to success. We help our clients develop investigation plans that are sensitive to their needs and appropriately scaled to the degree of risk involved. We proactively communicate throughout the process to avoid “scope creep” and ensure we remain on track with our clients’ goals. We have the resources and experience to carry out efficient and effective investigations, prepare objective reports and provide advice regarding the difficult questions: whether to modify compliance programs; whether to discipline employees; whether to pursue legal action; and whether to voluntarily report potential violations to government officials.
We handle dozens of investigations each year in a wide variety of industries and practice areas. Investigations we’ve handled have included the following:
- Corruption: We represented a global industrial equipment manufacturer in an internal investigation arising from alleged accounting irregularities and bribery reported by a Financial Manager at its manufacturing facility in China.
- Securities & Accounting Fraud: We represented a publicly-held corporation investigating potential fraud and accounting irregularities, and advised the corporation’s audit committee regarding communications with the SEC, the DOJ, external auditors and others.
- Criminal Sexual Misconduct: We represented a national hospital system in an internal investigation arising from allegations brought by a former patient claiming she had been drugged and raped by a doctor at one of its clinics during an outpatient visit.
- Embezzlement: We investigated a $1 million plus embezzlement scheme against a country club client carried out by its controller and assisted the company in cooperating with prosecutors, resulting in her indictment and conviction.
- Sexual Harassment: We investigated #MeToo claims brought by a Fortune 500 technology company employee against a co-worker, claiming he had sexually harassed her on a business trip.
- Employment Discrimination: We represented a large, privately-held company investigating age and religious discrimination allegations against a senior executive.
- Regulatory Violations: We represented a large, publicly-traded medical device company in a complex internal investigation involving 68 separate alleged violations of FDA regulations and company policies related to product quality and human resources at a manufacturing facility in California.
- Healthcare Fraud: We investigated allegations at a large healthcare system that physicians were receiving kickbacks for medically unnecessary use of a medical device and submitting false claims for reimbursement from government health care programs.
- Immigration: We represented a Fortune 500 company in an investigation conducted by the Department of Homeland Security involving more than 40,000 employees and offices across the United States.
- Trade Secrets Theft: On behalf of a large accounting firm, we investigated trade secrets theft by a group of its former employees and prepared a report for government officials concerning the theft.
- Corporate Governance: We represented the Special Risk Committee of the Board of a Fortune 500 agricultural business in an investigation of its officers and their handling of its private foundation.
- Data Privacy: We investigated whistleblower claims at a publicly-held corporation related to the security of its customer financial data and other compliance issues.
- Academic Misconduct: We represented a large academic institution in a formal inquiry involving possible fabrication of results in research covered under a contract with the National Institutes of Health.