Brandon M. Santos Partner

Brandon advises and defends corporations, corporate executives and other public figures in serious criminal, regulatory, and administrative investigations conducted by the US Department of Justice, state attorneys general and local prosecutors.

He provides strategic counsel to clients across a variety of industries including, financial services, healthcare and life sciences, food manufacturing,  energy and technology.  His recent matters have involved investigations of financial fraud, public corruption, immigration violations, import and customs issues, healthcare fraud, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

A significant portion of Brandon’s practice focuses on corporate compliance and conducting internal investigations. He has advised companies on FCPA and anti-corruption compliance and has conducted significant due diligence for major financial institutions related to oversight by financial regulators, including the OCC, CFPB and state attorneys general. His work in these areas has sent him to four continents, seven countries and throughout the United States.

Brandon regularly navigates clients on matters of federal and state criminal procedure, including grand jury subpoenas and testimony, search and seizure, restitution and civil and criminal asset forfeiture.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods LLP, Brandon served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, trying more than twenty jury trials in state and federal court. He worked closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute criminal offenses and led federal, state, and multi-jurisdictional grand jury investigations.

PRO BONO

Brandon devotes considerable time to pro bono representation and community involvement and currently serves as the Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Virginia Bar Association.

Experience

Represented numerous healthcare professionals in various healthcare fraud, anti-kickback and false claims act investigations conducted by the Department of Justice.

Represented numerous public officials in a grand jury investigation related to allegations of bribery and conflict of interest.

Successfully defended an elected Sheriff in a federal grand jury investigation concerning civil rights violations and perjury.

Represented an elected Mayor in a joint state and federal investigation related to alleged conflicts of interest violations.

Represented former executives of a mortgage originator in a mortgage backed securities fraud investigation conducted by the DOJ.

Represented a life sciences consultancy in parallel FTC and federal criminal investigations related to pharmaceutical “product hopping.” 

Represented a leading produce grower in a federal immigration prosecution in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Successfully defended numerous NFL players charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses in Virginia and negotiated with the NFL to mitigate sanctions.

Successfully defended a client in an immigration fraud investigation related to the H-2B Visa program.

Conducted pre-merger FCPA and anticorruption review of a leading global medical device manufacturer, focusing on the company’s operations in Brazil, China, Columbia and South Korea.

Conducted an FCPA and anticorruption audit of a global food processor’s operations in the United States, Mexico, Poland and Romania.

Led a nation-wide internal review of debt collection practices and compliance with consumer financial regulations for a major financial services institution.

Pro bono representation of a prisoner in a federal civil rights complaint against state correctional officers in a jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

  • University of Richmond School of Law, JD, cum laude, Order of the Barristers, Member, University of Richmond Law Review, 2007
  • University of Virginia, BA, American Politics, 2004

Named to "Legal Elite," Criminal Law, Virginia Business, 2016, 2017

  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • Moderator, "Federal and State Responses to the Opioid Crisis," White Collar Criminal Law Forum, Virginia Bar Association, October 16, 2018
  • Speaker, "Internal Investigations & Employees," Association of Legal Administrators, October 18, 2017
  • Moderator, "Public Corruption Today…How Do You Define Corruption?," White Collar Criminal Law Forum, Virginia Bar Association, October 17, 2017
  • Panelist, "Efforts by the State and the Feds to Curb the Lucrative Crime of Cigarette Trafficking," Virginia Bar Association, Summer Meeting, July 21, 2017
  • Presenter, "The New Frontier of I-9 and E-Verify Compliance and Its Widespread Impact on Firm Clients," McGuireWoods LLP, December 13, 2016
  • Moderator, "Federal and State White Collar Enforcement," White Collar Criminal Law Forum, Virginia Bar Association, October 13, 2016
  • Speaker, "Internet Gambling: New Technologies & New Risks," Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) chapter meeting, October 6, 2016
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