Laura represents businesses and individuals responding to government investigations, criminal charges, civil actions and regulatory inquiries in a variety of enforcement areas. She represents clients in matters involving allegations of financial crime; money laundering; health care fraud; and violations of the civil and criminal False Claims Act (FCA). She conducts internal investigations, advises on a range of compliance issues and provides defense representation for multinational and domestic corporations, and also represents corporate officers facing criminal charges and civil enforcement actions.
Prior to joining Hunton & Williams LLP, Laura served for 15 years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. While there, she prosecuted cases involving fraud, corruption, organized crime and health care fraud, and served as lead counsel for numerous federal jury trials. She also successfully argued five cases before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. During her tenure, she was assigned to the Monetary Penalties Unit responsible for criminal and civil asset forfeiture, and preserving assets for restitution in complex fraud cases. She was the lead prosecutor for a Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance task force targeting terrorist financing and money laundering, and previously served as the district Identity Theft Coordinator.
From 1999 to 2007, Laura served as a JAG Officer in the United States Army Reserve where she provided legal assistance to a combat support unit and was also assigned to the Contract Appeals Division for the Army handling procurement fraud matters and debarment proceedings.
- Advised global financial institution on cross-border issues relating to the application of bank secrecy laws in foreign jurisdictions in response to regulatory requests for documents.
- Advised on application of BSA / AML requirements to entities in a number of industries including: investment companies and hedge funds; residential mortgage loan originators (RMLOs); public REITS; and telecommunications company offering prepaid access gift cards in cross border ventures.
- Advised real estate investment firms on targeted AML and sanctions due diligence in the context of joint ventures and mergers and acquisition, including predecessor/successor liability issues under FCPA guidance.
- Conducted privileged vulnerability assessment for AML/OFAC compliance for a financial institution following receipt of a Matters Requiring Attention (MRA) letter; developed and advised on the implementation of recommendations to strengthen overall AML / sanctions compliance program. The representation allowed the bank to pursue a significant growth opportunity within a year of a receiving a regulatory inquiry.
- Represented large internet provider in civil forfeiture investigation based on alleged violations of federal gaming laws.
- Defended interests of an innocent owner in a civil forfeiture action against alleged proceeds of money laundering, resulting in the return of significant portion of assets identified in forfeiture in rem civil complaint.
- Represented health care provider in civil forfeiture action based on alleged dispensing of controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose. The defense of the civil forfeiture resulted in a global resolution conditioned on no imprisonment.
- Defended a health care company in a qui tam action filed under the civil False Claims Act alleging over $300 million in upcoding and violations of the Stark law and anti-kickback statute. The matter was concluded with a zero-liability determination by the government for the company, and nominal settlement for relator on employment claims only.
- Conducted internal investigation and audit for hospital system to address potential liability under the civil FCA based on improper billing practices and lack of documentation. Advised client on a direct disclosure to DOJ to obtain a global resolution of civil and administrative liability associated with the overpayment.
- Conducted internal investigation and audit for hospital system to address potential liability under the civil FCA based on allegations of performed surgical procedures without medical necessity. Advised client on a direct disclosure to DOJ to obtain a global resolution of civil and administrative liability associated with overpayment.
- Represented a health care provider initially identified as a target in an investigation by the FBI involving improper billing practices and violations under the False Claims Act; successfully resolved the matter and no charges were ever filed against the provider.
- Provided FCPA and anti-corruption training for a global company which included risk assessments and targeted training for executive leadership, marketing/sales and operations in Latin America.
- Developed FCPA and anti-corruption training for a global company’s operations in China, to include guidance on risks associated with global security logistics.
- Represented Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of global manufacturing company as individuals in an investigation by the FBI and DCIS involving allegations of bribes and kickbacks to government employees. Following proffer sessions and presentation, the matter was resolved with no action taken against the officers or the company.
- Conducted internal investigation for utility company relating to environmental compliance issues and permit requirements; provided assessment of criminal, civil and administrative liability and response options.
- Conducted internal investigation for government contractor to address whistleblower allegations of change in labor violations and false certifications to the government.
- Conducted internal investigation and liability assessment for government contractor to address allegations of kickbacks and time mischarging associated with direct and indirect contracts with the government. Representation included self-disclosure to the government to the Department of Defense, Inspector General and Department of Justice.