Michael Podberesky, a former federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Fraud Section, is a partner in the firm’s nationally recognized Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Department and co-chair of the False Claims Act Investigations, Litigation and Enforcement team. Employing his extensive experience with False Claims Act cases in the healthcare and defense sectors, Michael represents clients confronting high-stakes government investigations and litigation arising from allegations of healthcare and procurement fraud and also counsels clients regarding compliance issues. Michael is actively involved in diversity and inclusion efforts, including through his work as chair of the firm’s Veteran Lawyers Network.
During his tenure with the U.S. Department of Justice, Michael led teams investigating and litigating complex False Claims Act and kickback cases, primarily in the healthcare sector. Michael leverages his extensive experience in numerous areas of healthcare, including all parts of Medicare, Medicaid, skilled nursing care, home healthcare, hospice, pharmaceuticals, cardiac devices, radiology and managed care on behalf of his clients facing allegations of healthcare fraud.
Prior to his service in government, Michael was a partner in a major international law firm, primarily focused on defending clients in the defense and aerospace sectors. His practice there included a broad range of litigation and investigations involving product liability claims, securities and shareholder claims, white collar defense, false advertising actions, and contract disputes, including extensive class action defense.
Michael also served in the United States Navy as a Naval Flight Officer, accruing over 1,000 hours of operational flight experience including over 400 hours commanding armed combat and surveillance missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). For this service, he was awarded the Global War on Terrorism Medal. Michael draws on his background as an Annapolis graduate and a Naval Flight Officer to assist clients accused of wrongdoing with respect to the sale of complex vehicles, weapons and communications systems and related services provided by defense and aerospace contractors to the federal government. Reflecting his deep knowledge and broad experience as a top legal adviser and advocate in the defense sector, Michael has been named a member of the Law360 aerospace and defense editorial advisory board.
White Collar Defense/Internal Investigations
- Appellate counsel for a dentist convicted of healthcare fraud. Successfully petitioned for certiorari and obtained U.S. Supreme Court reversal of client’s fraud conviction on questions related to calculation of pre-trial time under the Speedy Trial Act of 1974.
- Counsel for a public company subject to an SEC investigation into potential accounting and disclosure violations arising from a restatement of its financial statements and public filings.
- Representation of a board member of a public company subject to an SEC investigation into possible misconduct related to the disclosure of potential conflicts.
- Counsel for a large pharmaceutical manufacturer in connection with the New York Attorney General’s 2012 investigation of their marketing and advertising of nutritional beverages for children that culminated with a 2013 settlement.
- Representation of a large energy company in a joint DOJ/FEC investigation into possible misconduct related to campaign contributions.
- Counsel representing a large defense contractor in connection with the U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina’s 2013 False Claims Act investigation related to allegations of overcharging for repair and overhaul of military helicopters that culminated with no claims being brought against the client.
- Investigation counsel for a general aviation aircraft manufacturer in connection with an internal accounting fraud investigation following a whistle blower call to the audit committee of the company’s board of directors.
- Counsel for one of the world’s largest aviation insurance brokerage firms in connection with the New York Attorney General’s 2005 investigation into the insurance brokerage industry and a multination FCPA investigation that culminated with DOJ and SEC settlements in 2011.
- Lead prosecutor on litigation team that secured a $54 million settlement after extensive litigation from one of the nation’s largest operators of skilled nursing home and rehabilitation facilities accused of billing Medicare for medically unnecessary therapy and hospice services, and grossly substandard nursing care.
- Lead prosecutor on a team that recovered $10 million from a hospital group in Los Angeles and its individual owners accused of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law by providing improper compensation to referring physicians.
- Trial Attorney on litigation team that recovered $75 million after extensive litigation from one of the nation’s largest nursing home providers accused of providing hospice care to patients who were not terminally ill.
- Trial Attorney on litigation team that obtained an $8.5 million settlement after litigation from the nation’s largest provider of mobile X-Ray services accused of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute by providing below cost services to nursing homes in order to attain Medicare business.
- Lead prosecutor on investigation team that secured a $5 million settlement from the largest physicians’ group in California’s inland empire accused of upcoding diagnoses to inflate Medicare Part C payments.
- Lead prosecutor in several cases involving defense contractors alleged to have provided false pricing data and substandard products in violation of FAR and DFARS regulations and the Truth in Negotiations Act that led to settlements totaling millions of dollars.
Aerospace Product Liability Matters
- Litigation counsel for a major aerospace manufacturer in litigation arising out of the April 29, 2013 accident involving one of its aircraft operated by National Airlines, which crashed immediately after takeoff from Bagram Air Force Base near Kabul, Afghanistan.
- Litigation counsel for a major aerospace manufacturer in litigation arising out of the June 3, 2012 accident of Dana Air Flight 992, involving one of its aircraft that crashed on final approach to Lagos, Nigeria.
- Litigation counsel for a major aerospace manufacturer in litigation in Moscow, Russia, arising out of two incidents involving one of its aircraft operated by Orenburg Airlines, both of which returned to the airport following emergency turn-backs. Successfully obtained judgment for the client.
- Litigation counsel for a major aerospace manufacturer in litigation arising out of the February 25, 2009 accident of Turkish Airlines Flight 1951, involving one of its aircraft that crashed on final approach to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
- Litigation counsel for a major aerospace manufacturer in litigation arising out of the December 8, 2008 accident involving one of its aircraft, which crashed into a residential neighborhood near San Diego, California. Successfully obtained dismissal of all claims against client for failure to adequately plead allegations under the standards set forth in the Supreme Court’s Iqbal and Twombly cases; the first aerospace product liability case to prevail on such grounds.
- Litigation counsel for a major aerospace manufacturer in litigation in Moscow, Russia, arising out of the September 14, 2008 accident involving one of its aircraft operated by Aeroflot-Nord, which crashed on final approach to Perm, Russia.
- Litigation counsel for a major aerospace manufacturer in litigation arising out of the July 7, 2008 accident involving one of its aircraft operated by Kalitta Air, which crashed shortly after takeoff from Bogotá, Colombia.
Other Defense/Aerospace Matters
- Litigation counsel for a major aerospace manufacturer in litigation arising out of alleged personal injuries and property damage caused by purported groundwater contamination near an aircraft component fabrication plant in Auburn, Washington.
- Litigation counsel for a major aerospace component manufacturer in a breach of contract and trade secrets case against a former high-level avionics engineer who left the company to work for one of its competitors. Settled on confidential terms after obtaining a temporary restraining order against the former employee.
- Trial counsel for a major defense company in an arbitration matter involving breach of contract claims.
Class Action Litigation
- Litigation counsel for a food manufacture in putative class action alleging a sweetener was falsely advertised as “All Natural.”
- Litigation counsel for a major food and health company in putative class action in California alleging that nutrition bars were falsely advertised as “All Natural.” Successfully opposed and defeated motion for class certification.
- Defense of an energy provider against claims by purported class of securities holders for fraud and liability for alleged errors in registration statement for debentures, in connection with August 2008 disclosure of error in contingent requirements for collateral in the event of downgrade and market drop in September 2008. Secured transfer of cases filed in New York courts for coordination in Maryland. Secured dismissal of fraud claims and limited scope of claims under Section 11 for erroneous statements in registration statement.
- Defense of financial services company in an AAA arbitration matter involving alleged breaches of representations and warranties in an Asset Purchase and Forward Flow Agreement involving portfolios of charged-off credit card accounts.
Pro Bono Matters
- Volunteer General Counsel of Congregation B’nai Tzedek.
- Trial counsel in several child custody disputes in the D.C. Family Court.
- Volunteer judge in Montgomery County, Maryland Teen Court.
- Attorney for several veterans seeking disability benefits.
- Columbia Law SchoolJD2008
United States Naval AcademyBS
Young Lawyers Chair, 2010-2011; Membership Chair, 2012-2015, ABA Air and Space Forum
- Moderator, "Government Investigations, Litigation and Enforcement Update", 16th Annual Healthcare Finance and Growth Conference, September 28, 2023
- Speaker, "FCA Investigation and Litigation Trends and Topics Update", 7th Annual Healthcare Litigation and Compliance Program, September 29, 2022
- Speaker, Data and Digital Health, June 23, 2022
- Speaker, "Data Sharing Opportunities and Risks", Blue Cross Blue Shield 2022 National Summit, May 3, 2022
- Panelist, Government Regulatory and Enforcement Outlook 2022, March 16 & 17, 2022
- Guest Speaker, "Stay Ready: Trends in Healthcare False Claims Act Investigations", Healthcare Headlines Video Series, April 28, 2021
- Speaker, "What to Do When the Government Comes Knocking", Healthcare and Life Sciences Webinar Series, March 18, 2021
- Co-Chair and Litigation Panel Speaker, ABA Air and Space Forum Annual Conference, 2015
- District of Columbia
Selected for inclusion in “Legal 500 United States,” Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2021, 2022, 2023
- Author, Eleventh Circuit Affirms Order for $1.195 Million in Restitution and 48 Month Sentence in Commercial Insurance Healthcare Fraud Case, The FCA Insider, July 25, 2023
- Author, U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies DOJ’s Authority to Dismiss Whistleblowers’ False Claims Act Suits, Questions Constitutionality of Qui Tam Provisions, The FCA Insider, July 24, 2023
- Author, Supreme Court Clarifies the False Claims Act’s Knowledge Requirement, Eliminating a Potential Defense for Government Contractors and Healthcare Providers Accused of Fraud, Subject to Inquiry, June 9, 2023
- Author, 7th Circuit Sides With Insured Party Seeking Coverage for False Claims Act Settlement, The FCA Insider, May 23, 2023
- Author, Ophthalmic Distributor May Face Up to $848M in Penalties for Kickbacks, False Claims Act Violations, The FCA Insider, March 21, 2023
- Author, DOJ’s False Claims Act Statistics Show Declining Recoveries, Increasing Enforcement, Subject to Inquiry, February 23, 2023
- Author, SCOTUS to Decide if False Claims Act Reaches Defendants Offering Reasonable Interpretation of Vague Requirement, Subject to Inquiry, February 17, 2023
- Author, Federal Appeals Court Finds USERRA Requires Paid Military Leave, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, February 8, 2023
- Quoted, "Whistleblowers Eye Clearer Path Following Supreme Court Denials", Bloomberg Law, November 9, 2022
- Author, Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Agrees to $900M False Claims Act Settlement to Resolve Kickback Claims, Subject to Inquiry, August 10, 2022
- Author, Supreme Court Signals Interest in Clarifying Pleading Requirements in False Claims Act Suits, The FCA Insider, June 9, 2022
- Author, Largest-Ever Small-Business Contracting Fraud Settlement Related to Pass-Through Subcontracting, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, March 28, 2022
- Author, DOJ Settles First False Claims Act Enforcement Action Since Launch of Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative, Subject to Inquiry, March 10, 2022
- Author, Analysis of DOJ’s 2021 FCA Statistics and the Trends Therein, Subject to Inquiry, February 9, 2022
- Author, Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes Found Guilty of Making False Representations to Investors, Subject to Inquiry, January 10, 2022
- Author, Another Circuit Weighs in on the Standard for Evaluating Government Motions to Dismiss False Claims Act Actions, The FCA Insider, December 22, 2021
- Author, Department of Justice Announces Increased FCA Enforcement Through New Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative, Subject to Inquiry, October 12, 2021
- Author, Gleanings From DOJ’s 2021 Healthcare Takedown Announcement, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, October 6, 2021
- Co-author, Tide Is Turning Against FCA Case Dismissals, Law360, July 29, 2021
- Co-author, Increasing OIG and DOJ Telehealth Fraud Enforcement Likely on Horizon, Compliance Today, Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA), July 2021
- Author, The Perils of Pleading the Fifth in the Corporate Fraud Context, Subject to Inquiry, April 27, 2021
- Author, U.S. Attorney’s Office Settles False Claims Act Allegations Against Urgent Care Providers, Subject to Inquiry, April 23, 2021
- Interviewee, "What SCOTUS’ decision not to weigh in on False Claims Act case means for contractors", Federal News Network, April 7, 2021
- Author, DOJ Announces Plan for Coordinated Civil Rights Response to COVID-19, Subject to Inquiry, April 6, 2021
- Author, COVID-19 Fraud Surge: Criminal Enforcement Reaches “Unprecedented Pace”, Subject to Inquiry, March 31, 2021
- Author, Eleventh Circuit Affirms 11-year Prison Sentence for Substance Abuse Treatment Center Physician, The FCA Insider, March 29, 2021
- Author, FCA Insider Blog Interview with Michael Podberesky: Part II, The FCA Insider, March 10, 2021
- Author, FCA Insider Blog Interview with Michael Podberesky, The FCA Insider, March 8, 2021
- Author, U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Clarify False Claims Act Falsity Standard, Subject to Inquiry, March 8, 2021
- Author, Analysis of the DOJ’s 2020 FCA Statistics and the Trends Therein, Subject to Inquiry, February 11, 2021