Experience

Registered Mid-Size Investment Advisor

Conducted an internal investigation for a local Investment Advising company into hacking incident which caused nearly a million dollars in loss for a sizable client of the advisory.  Investigation dealt with company controls and procedures for managing funds and for handling cybersecurity issues

U.S. Defense Contractor False Claims Act Criminal Investigation

Represented individual executive of large scale defense contractor in U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation regarding potential false claims act violations in payment submissions.

Wine Company Representation

Represented privately held Napa wine company in parallel investigations by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and the Department of Justice.

Certification Testing Investigation

Counsel software engineer witnesses in parallel civil and criminal investigations into an electronic health record company’s certification testing; obtained full fee coverage for representation.

Fraud Investigation

Represented former medical insurance reimbursement director and chief medical officer of a molecular diagnostic test company in fraud investigation, avoiding both criminal and civil federal liability for clients in proceeding involving the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, and California Department of Insurance. 

Wrongful Termination Litigation

Obtained complete dismissal with prejudice of claims against national sales director in False Claims Act and wrongful termination litigation regarding diagnostic test product efficacy, test data, marketing, and reimbursement.

USA v. Aston et al.

Represented UK national indicted for U.S. antitrust Sherman Act Section 1 violations and sentenced to just ten days supervised release. This case involved international extradition and INTERPOL issues. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco Division); Case No. 3:15-cr-00419-WHO.

U.S. v. Hogan

Represented former eBay affiliate marketer accused of defrauding eBay of more than thirty million dollars. Sentenced to five months custody at Taft prison camp and restitution. USA v. Hogan, Northern District of California, 5:10-cr-00495-EJD

United States v. Mogal, Zhang, et al.

This trade-secret-theft case was indicted in June 2018 against five former and one current Fitbit employees alleging that each defendant unlawfully possessed trade secrets of their former employer Jawbone, Inc.  We are counsel for the one current Fitbit employee, Ms. Zhang, in a high profile and closely watched federal criminal case pending in the Bay Area.  No trial date has been set.  U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose Division), Case No. CR 18-00259BLF

United States v. Burrill, Berger

Acted as counsel for key defense witness who testified in July 2018 in a tax-fraud jury trial against a senior partner of a Bay Area accounting firm. U.S. District Court for the N.D. of Calif. (San Francisco Division), Case No. CR 17-00491 RS. 

DEA Licensing Lapse

Represented a Northern California multi-facility medical center by conducting an internal investigation related to an inadvertent lapse in DEA licensing and thereafter negotiated a favorable civil settlement with the relevant US Attorney’s Office. 

Formal Disciplinary Hearing

Counseled pharmaceutical benefits aggregator company in formal disciplinary proceedings regarding union contracts and health insurance. Represented company president and employees in adversarial hearing, and ultimately negotiated settlement favorable for all clients.

Ripple v. Bitstamp

Counsel for Bitstamp in the cutting edge crypto-currency litigation in federal court in the Northern District of California.  Bitstamp at the time (2015 and 2016) was the world’s largest crypto-currency exchange.  The litigation involved a federal court interpleader action regarding transactions by several crypto-currency founders including Jed McCaleb of Mt. Gox fame. (Ripple v. Bitstamp) This highly complex civil litigation on cutting edge crypto-currency issues also overlapped with white collar issues as some of the parties to the case were concurrently under federal criminal investigation for their activities in the crypto-currency industry.  This litigation involved the first time in history that an amount of crypto-currency was submitted to the possession of the federal court.  The case was settled favorably to Farella’s client.

John Goodman / Goodman Real Estate

Represented board member and co-owner of entity contracted to provide privatized housing for military personnel and their families as a defendant in two suits for fraud (in California and Georgia) and a federal grand jury investigation out of Virginia. Issues include breaking into federal facilities, insurance fraud, and other frauds. Monterey Bay Military Housing v. Pinnacle Monterey, et al. and Fort Benning Family Communities, et al.

Hitachi America Auto Parts Investigation

Counsel for a Hitachi Automotive Systems executive in this high-profile antitrust cartel investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division.  Based on the Farella team’s efforts, the client has not been charged in the case and his identity remains confidential.

United Commercial Bank

Defended a former officer of failed bank in defense of securities class action, bankruptcy trustee action, FDIC enforcement and administrative actions and related government investigations.

U.S.A. v. Abrams; SEC v. Abrams

Represented former CFO in U.S. DOJ prosecution and parallel SEC case relating to alleged backdating of stock option grants and tax evasion counts. Though she faced a potential sentence of up to six years, Ms. Abrams ultimately received a much more favorable sentence of only four months in custody.

Former Secretary of State George Shultz

Counsel for former Secretary of State George Shultz as non-party trial witness in two separate cases, one in federal district court in California and one in the Delaware Chancery Court. Colman v. Theranos, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. N.D. CA and Partner Investments v. Theranos, et al., Delaware Chancery Court

U.S. v. Moynihan

Representing defendant in mortgage fraud and money laundering prosecution by U.S. Attorneys' Office in Northern District of California. Negotiated a favorable sentence.

National Public Entity Investigation

Conducted internal investigation into materials security and property theft allegations for large-scale national public entity. Conducted dozens of employee interviews and navigated complex legal and union requirements for public entity.

Federal and State Criminal Investigations of Alleged Misconduct and Public Corruption

In USA v Pacific Gas & Electric Company, represented former vice-president at the public utility company who is target of federal and state criminal investigations into two matters: (1) a gas pipeline explosion; and (2) alleged public corruption issues involving utility and regulator.

Auto Parts Investigation

Representing several individuals in the ongoing antitrust investigations into alleged collusion in the auto parts industry.

Medicare Fraud

Represent medical facility employees in investigations of Medicare Fraud.

  • Successfully represented former CEO of a university hospital in connection with a Medicare fraud investigation in the Central District of California (Orange County).
  • Represented hospital-employee witnesses in the Eastern District of California (Sacramento) in a federal grand jury investigation of Medicare fraud.
  • Successfully represented county health care executive in Medicare fraud investigation by DOJ, the FBI, and the HHS Office of Inspector General. No criminal charges were filed.

FDA Investigation

Represented a former senior executive of a U.S.-based drug company in off-label marketing investigations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Attorneys’ Office.

Brocade Derivative Litigation

Represented public-company board member in federal derivative action by corporate litigation committee.

U.S. v. Yang

Represented Korean national, Woo Jin Yang of HLDS in U.S. DOJ antitrust price-fixing investigation and prosecution in the Optical Disk Drives industry. Mr. Yang was recently sentenced to six months imprisonment, the lowest sentence of any alleged cartel participant in the investigation.

SEC v. Leslie

We represented a former software company CEO in defense of a civil enforcement action brought by the SEC alleging accounting improprieties. After obtaining a ruling on summary judgment that significantly narrowed the claims against our client, we negotiated a favorable settlement with the SEC.

U.S. v. Graham

In this high profile criminal case, we were appointed by Northern District of California’s Criminal Justice Act Panel to represent world-class track coach Trevor Graham, who was tried in connection with a drug scandal. The jury convicted Graham on one count but deadlocked on the other two. Graham was sentenced to 5 years probation and 12 months home confinement. (Pro bono)

People v. Broderick Boys

We worked with the ACLU to set aside a sweeping permanent injunction issued against alleged members of West Sacramento's 'Broderick Boys' gang. The permanent injunction covers 80% of the city, imposes a lifetime 10 p.m. curfew and affects over 350 individuals, most of whom were never provided notice of the injunction or an opportunity to oppose its imposition. (Pro bono)

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Represent individuals and corporations in various FCPA issues.

  • Represented executive of international software corporation in investigation of Foreign Corrupt Practices issues arising out of activities in Brazil.
  • Represented a former Chief Technology Officer of a publicly traded health care company in federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation regarding business of China subsidiary.
  • Represented Silicon Valley private software company in federal investigation regarding alleged H-1 visa fraud.
  • Conducted two-month internal investigation into Foreign Corrupt Practices Act-related issues involving China for the Audit Committee at a NASDAQ-traded Silicon Valley computer hardware company.