Government and Internal Investigations

Our deep bench of exceptionally qualified attorneys vigorously defend clients subject to potential prosecution, enforcement actions, responding to government investigations, or conducting internal investigations.

HSE’s Government and Internal Investigations team draws on the experience of our Manhattan peers but offers clients the attention and prioritization you expect from a smaller firm. 

We are trial and appellate lawyers, but we also have deep, hands-on knowledge about how various types of government investigations are conducted, managed, and resolved.  Our advice starts from the first moment a client learns of a problem—whether that’s the FBI showing up at their door, a subpoena landing on the doorstep, or an employee noticing something amiss in the workplace.  We give immediate, highly strategic advice to assess risks, mitigate them, and put our clients on the path to the best outcomes possible, consistent with their values.

Our team is led by a former Assistant U.S. Attorney from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.  The team includes a deep bench of highly qualified lawyers, many of whom previously practiced at AmLaw 100 firms, gained insights from judicial clerkship, or served elsewhere in the Justice Department or in the U.S. Army JAG Corps.

We serve our clients often in their darkest hours to guide them through not only legal problems, but oftentimes financial, reputational, and ethical quandaries as well.  Our team believes our job is to provide the best advice consistent with our clients’ values, and we do not see legal advice as a one-size-fits-all proposition.  We know that successfully mitigating a government investigation involves not simply responding to government demands but also matching a client’s objectives with the strategies that will serve them best.

We have particular strength advising on:

  • Internal investigations, for organizations and in defense of individuals
  • Health care investigations, for organizations and professionals
  • False Claims Act investigations and related qui tam or whistleblower actions
  • Securities violations, including accounting and disclosure fraud
  • Grant violations, including by nonprofits, colleges, and universities
  • Procurement fraud, including disadvantaged business enterprise fraud
  • Program fraud involving federal and state programs
  • Education sector investigations, both federal and state
  • Embezzlement and other wrongdoing by officers or employees
  • Bank fraud and fraud involving financial institutions
  • Criminal tax matters

We have advised clients in investigations brought by local, state, and federal agencies including:

  • U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), including U.S. Attorney’s Offices throughout the Northeast
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Federal law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI)
  • Office of the New York Attorney General (NYAG), including the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), the Antitrust Bureau, the Charities Bureau, the Bureau of Consumer Frauds & Protection, the Civil Rights Bureau, the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, the Health Care Bureau, the Investor Protection Bureau, the Public Integrity Bureau, and the Taxpayer Protection Bureau
  • Inspectors General, including the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG), the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG), the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD-OIG), the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Education (ED-OIG), and the U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD-OIG)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI)

What We See on the Horizon

Contact our Government and Internal Investigations team for our latest insights about the following:

  • Pandemic and post-pandemic investigations –The federal government and state governments provided billions of dollars in stimulus and other funding to businesses, organizations, and municipalities. We anticipate that, especially after the pandemic ends, pandemic-related investigations will ramp up as government regulators assess whether recipients of funds complied with relevant government requirements.
  • New enforcement priorities – Government and enforcement priorities are shifting – in some areas, significantly – as President Biden appointees come into power. We expect civil rights and consumer protection investigations to resume both at the federal and state level, after a period of relative quiet, and for federal agencies to be more active in supporting government prosecution and False Claims Act efforts.
  • Avoiding pitfalls in government investigations – We regularly offer presentations to management and executive teams to prepare them for the possibility of an investigation and to guide them how to avoid the most common missteps.


This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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