Brandon M. Santos Partner

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

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

A significant portion of Brandon’s practice focuses on corporate compliance programs and conducting internal investigations. He has advised companies on compliance with deferred prosecution agreements and other settlements, 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 criminal and civil forfeiture.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods LLP, Brandon served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond and was cross designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, trying more than twenty jury trials in federal and state 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.


Brandon devotes considerable time to pro bono representation and community involvement and is the immediate past Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Virginia Bar Association.


  • Counsel to The Boeing Company in investigation related to the 737 MAX resulting in a deferred prosecution agreement with DOJ.
  • Represented numerous healthcare professionals in various healthcare fraud, prescribing, anti-kickback and false claims act investigations conducted by the Department of Justice.
  • Obtained a declination from the DOJ Tax Division following a seven-year criminal investigation of a risk management and insurance consultancy.
  • Represented numerous public officials in a grand jury investigation in the WDVA 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 DOJ 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.
  • 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 in response to OCC consent order.
  • 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.