"The choice to use [William] Michael…is, from where we sit, beyond reproach."Cited by the Utah Supreme Court in Strohm v. ClearOne Commc'ns, Inc.
William (Bill) Michael is a partner and co-chair of the White Collar Defense & Compliance practice, a co-chair of the Global Anti-Corruption & FCPA practice, and a member of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. He is a former federal prosecutor and experienced trial lawyer, having served as lead counsel in more than 100 jury trials in state and federal courts across the country. In recognition of his national trial reputation, Bill was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an invite-only organization that represents the top 1% of trial lawyers in the United States.
Bill represents individuals and corporations in complex federal white collar and regulatory defense and internal investigations, in matters involving health care fraud, criminal antitrust, securities fraud, criminal tax, qui tams, money laundering, conspiracy, environmental matters and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In the health care sector, Bill has handled complex civil and criminal fraud matters and investigations for providers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and DME, as well as hospitals, insurers and skilled nursing facilities, including more than two dozen False Claims Act matters. He also represents numerous boards of directors in highly sensitive matters that have significant legal risk to multinational corporations, including allegations of securities fraud, sexual discrimination, financial mismanagement, FCPA violations and data breaches.
Bill’s extensive trial background encompasses more than 70 federal jury trials in United States District Courts around the country. Significant trial representations include the defense of a former CFO in a four-week securities fraud trial (client acquitted on all securities fraud counts); a corporate client in a one-week trial involving alleged environmental offenses (client acquitted of all offenses); a national sales director of a medical device company in a seven-week healthcare fraud trial (government voluntarily dismissed all charges after 7 weeks in trial); and a Company President in a two-week trial involving allegations of millions of dollars of fraud and money laundering (client was acquitted of all offenses).
Bill has led numerous high-profile internal investigations and cross-border matters. He oversaw an internal investigation for an oil and gas company that was the topic of Wall Street Journal articles and that ultimately led to the termination of the CEO. Bill led an internal investigation into bribery allegations in Morocco by a UK-based construction company involving the construction of a $100 million hospital, which resulted in the first Section 7 enforcement action ever by the SFO under the UK Bribery Act. Bill also was retained by a hotel management company while terrorists were still in a hotel in Africa killing guests to assist in crisis management, and later involved in conducting an internal investigation and security analysis, as well as coordinating with numerous countries’ law enforcement and intelligence agencies into the incident. In addition, Bill has conducted FCPA investigations involving China, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, Ecuador, Morocco and Dubai.
Bill has 10 years of experience with the US Department of Justice. He served as an Assistant US Attorney and Deputy Chief as well as head of a branch office in the Southern District of Florida. Also during this time, in the District of Minnesota, he served as Terrorism Coordinator, National and International Security Coordinator and Health Care Fraud Coordinator.
Representative Trial Experience
Select matters include:
- Embezzlement from union funds, bank fraud and tax evasion (client was the president of one of the largest unions in the country).
- Insider trading (client was a CEO of a computer software charged with selling $16 million of stock in a six-week period).
- Revenue recognition securities fraud (client was a former CFO and acquitted of all securities fraud counts after a four-week trial).
- Money laundering and wire fraud (client was a former CEO and was acquitted of all charges after a three-week trial).
- Environmental offenses (corporate client was acquitted of environmental offenses after a one-week trial).
- Health care fraud (client was the national sales director of a medical device company. After seven weeks of trial and 60 government witnesses testified, the government voluntarily dismissed all charges).
- Money laundering and gambling (client received probation at sentencing).
- Additional federal court trial experience includes matters relating to the Arms Export Control Act, health care fraud, financial institution fraud, bankruptcy fraud, tax evasion and Klein Conspiracy, wire taps in drug conspiracies, armed bank robberies, mail and wire fraud, firearm offenses and narcotics offenses.
- Also, numerous trials in both state and military courts.
Additionally, Bill was an instructor in trial advocacy skills to Department of Justice lawyers at the National Advocacy Center.
Selected Recent Representations
Health Care Fraud and False Claims Act
- Led a team that secured the dismissal of a False Claims Act lawsuit for a multinational manufacturer. After a six-year investigation, the Department of Justice declined to intervene, and the relator dismissed their complaint upon the filing of our motion to dismiss.
- Represented a medical device company in a DOJ parallel investigation involving off-label use.
- Represented a hospital in an investigation into alleged false submissions in their cost report.
- Represented a DME company in a DOJ parallel investigation involving improper reimbursement of power wheelchairs. Achieved a declination in the criminal matter after a four-year investigation by DOJ and settled the potential $500 million liability under the False Claims Action for $7 million.
- Represented a multinational company in a civil False Claims Act matter involving hearing protection and related debarment proceedings by the Department of the Army. Resolved the False Claims Act matter for a nominal settlement and resolved the debarment proceeding in favor of the client.
- Represented a national bank in a False Claims Act matter involving HUD-related mortgages.
- Represented a public company that operated 84 skilled nursing facilities in a DOJ health care fraud investigation, which included the execution of seven simultaneous search warrants at various facilities.
- Represented a health care insurer in an internal investigation involving $50 million billing fraud by providers.
- Represented a medical device company conducting due diligence on an acquisition of another company which was under DOJ investigation.
- Represented a defense contractor in civil False Claims Act matter, which was dismissed on our motion.
- Represented three pharmacies in civil False Claims Act matter, which were all dismissed on our motion.
- Represented a government contractor in civil False Claims Act matter, which was settled favorably on a common law claim.
- Represented a hospital in civil False Claims Act matter, which was settled favorably on a common law claim.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Cross-Border
- Currently representing a multinational company in an FCPA investigation in China involving the health care business. This investigation includes working with local Chinese counsel on the interaction of various Chinese laws, including their recently enacted blocking statute, as well as Chinese employment and state secret laws.
- Represented one of the world's largest hotel groups in the commission of a terrorist attack at one of the hotels it manages in Africa. The terrorist attack was conducted by two terrorists associated with an offshoot of Al Qaeda wherein they attacked the hotel with automatic weapons and hand grenades and took hostages, killing 20 guests and employees from numerous countries before themselves dying during the rescue attempt by local military forces. Bill advised the hotel group during the crisis itself, as well as coordinated the law enforcement and intelligence agency investigations, while also conducting an internal investigation, including the interviews of more than 20 individuals in Africa, and conducting a security assessment for our client.
- Conducted the internal investigation of a publicly traded UK construction company into allegations of bribery involved with the building of a $100 million hospital in Morocco. As a result of the internal investigation, the company self-disclosed to the UK Serious Fraud Office and became the first company in history to resolve a bribery matter under Section 7 of the UK Bribery Act.
- Represented a company conducting a FCPA investigation as a result of an acquisition of a foreign company in the insurance industry.
- Represents a company conducting a FCPA investigation as a result of an acquisition of a foreign company in the oil and gas industry.
- Represented a financial institution in regards to investigations by several state Attorneys General and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This included managing more than 80 timekeepers during the course of the investigation.
- Represented a hedge fund investigated by the SEC and involved in various litigation involving a $3.4 billion Ponzi scheme.
- Represented a former union official in a DOJ criminal case involving embezzlement, tax and bank fraud.
- Represented an individual in $41 million bankruptcy matter involving allegations of fraud.
- Represented a life insurance company in an investigation into a $183 million STOLI fraud scheme.
- Represented an owner and sole proprietorship company charged with E-rate fraud. The company pled guilty and immediately closed business, and the owner had all charges dismissed.
- Conducted an internal investigation for the audit committee of a national bank.
- Represented a former CEO of a pharmaceutical company on channel stuffing and $300 million securities fraud charges. The CEO cooperated with DOJ and SEC and received a sentence of six months’ home confinement and settled civil charges with the SEC.
- Represented a sales manager of a public company charged with securities fraud. The sales manager cooperated with DOJ and SEC and received a sentence of six months’ home confinement.
- Represented at trial a CEO of a computer software company charged with insider trading for selling $16 million of stock in a six-week period.
- Represented at trial a former CFO accused of revenue recognition fraud who was acquitted of all securities fraud counts after a four-week trial.
- Represented the audit committee of a public company during an SEC-DOJ investigation.
- Conducted an internal investigation for the audit committee of a major oil and gas company into allegations that its CEO was front-running business opportunities and usurping corporate opportunities. As a result of the internal investigation, the CEO was terminated. This matter was highly publicized in the Wall Street Journal and led to shareholder action, after the company paid the CEO $95 million in severance.
- Represented an officer of a company in a bid-rigging anti-trust investigation. Received a declination of prosecution.
- Represented the senior American officer of a Canadian packaged ice company in a DOJ antitrust investigation. The officer pled guilty to market allocation violations and received a sentence of six months’ home confinement.
- Represented an agricultural company under DOJ/EPA criminal investigation involving environmental offenses.
- Represent a multi-national chemical manufacturing company in various investigations into releases of various chemicals into the air and water.
- Represented a metal finishing company in a criminal trial for Clean Water Act and official false statement violations. The company was acquitted of all offenses.
- Represented the CEO of a metal finishing company charged with violations of the Clean Water Act and RCRA. The client received probation.
- Represented a school board member under investigation for corruption.
- Represented a former bank vice president in five state court civil fraud lawsuits involving allegations of $35 million fraud and related federal criminal case.
- Represented several defendants in court-appointed matters involving electronic surveillance, RICO, conspiracy and mail & wire fraud.
Prior Military Experience
- Served with the 82nd Airborne Division as a judge advocate.
- Became the second Army lawyer to ever graduate from Special Forces Officer Qualification Course (earning a Green Beret).
- Served as a judge advocate with 7th Special Forces Group advising on law of war issues and counter-narcotics missions.
- Served in the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Office conducting oversight on Special Access Programs (“black ops”) and resolved a classified investigation into all Army Special Access Programs.
- Served as a Detachment Commander of a Special Forces “A” Team with 11th Special Forces Group conducting counter-narcotics missions.
NOVA University, JD
Gustavus Adolphus College
- American College of Trial Lawyers
- Partner of the Year, former law firm, 2010
- Distinguished Alumni, Gustavus Adolphus College, 2019
- Minnesota State Bar Association, Elmer H. Walshauser Author's Award
- Department of Justice Director's Award for Outstanding Performance, 1996