Internal Investigations and Corporate Compliance

Overview

Robinson+Cole’s Internal Investigations Team is routinely called upon by businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions, and other entities to investigate concerns of organizational, employee, and third-party misconduct. While these investigations must be comprehensive and complete so that the full range of appropriate remedial actions can be considered, we understand that they must also be conducted in a discreet, expeditious, minimally disruptive, and cost-efficient manner that takes into account our clients’ particular business objectives and, in many instances, the regulatory landscape in which they operate. 

Our Team and Our Services

Our team comprises lawyers across the firm’s practices, including litigation, employment, corporate, and environmental, who have worked for the government and the private sector. We have conducted internal investigations in myriad industries, such as manufacturing, health care, financial services, education, construction, insurance, aerospace and technology. Our investigations have involved all manner of allegations that include the following issues:

  • government contracting fraud
  • executive and employee misconduct, including embezzlement and harassment
  • data breaches and cybersecurity
  • product safety
  • misappropriation of trade secrets
  • corporate governance
  • business judgment rule analyses
  • trade compliance, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and export
  • antitrust
  • health care fraud and abuse
  • sales practices
  • waste
  • whistle-blowers
  • workplace safety and environmental violations

Our team is frequently contacted as soon as an internal concern arises. We collaborate with the entity’s board, executives, and/or general counsel to develop the appropriate investigation structure, timeline, and goals. Our work often involves the audit committee or special litigation committee of the entity’s board of directors. Additionally, we routinely engage outside forensic experts, in areas such as accounting, technology, and scientific testing, to best understand and interpret the facts. 

We recognize that an internal investigation may be conducted in advance or parallel to a government investigation and that in some instances the findings may result in a voluntary disclosure to law enforcement or regulatory authorities. In addition to guiding clients through such parallel government investigations and self-disclosures, our team members have negotiated favorable resolutions in disputes with the government where the amounts at issue have reached into the nine-figure range.

As a result of our team's experience in these matters, our understanding of the regulatory landscape in our clients’ industries, and our credibility with government personnel overseeing enforcement actions, we are frequently engaged to advise our clients on compliance practices and programs.

    • Experience
      • Conducted internal investigations for manufacturing, health care, financial services, and educational organizations arising from concerns about misuse of the entities' technology by employees, including attempts to access potentially illegal or contraband content, or to misappropriate confidential, proprietary information or trade secrets. In some instances, those investigations have required coordination with law enforcement agencies to demonstrate that the client entity itself had not engaged in wrongful conduct.

      • Conducted internal investigations for multiple Connecticut nonprofit educational institutions regarding allegations of historical sexual misconduct by former faculty members.

      • Conducted internal investigation for Massachusetts health care organization arising from concerns about potential violations of federal and state antikickback statutes. Following completion of the investigation, we represented the organization in a voluntary self-disclosure to federal and state law enforcement authorities arising from the investigation, which resulted in a favorable financial resolution and no prosecution of criminal or civil claim against individuals associated with the organization. 

      • Conducted internal investigation for New York, Connecticut, and Delaware nonprofit foundations in connection with a seven-figure embezzlement by an employee of the foundations' management company. Following the investigation, we brought the findings to the U.S. Department of Justice for successful prosecution and criminal conviction of the former employee. The firm thereafter obtained a recovery of nearly all of the foundations' losses from various sources. 

      • Conducted internal investigation for health care organization arising from embezzlement of several hundred thousand dollars by its chief financial officer. Ultimately, through the investigation, we obtained a full confession from the former CFO and then coordinated with the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, and the IRS for a successful criminal conviction of him. Thereafter, we assisted the client organization in obtaining a full recovery of its losses.

      • Represented Rhode Island construction company in connection with claims that the company was defrauding the federal government in connection with an ongoing project. After conducting an internal investigation for the company, we worked with the company to prepare a self-disclosure to the federal government demonstrating the isolated nature of the issue and the company's remedial action. In response, the federal government decided to take no action whatsoever against our client. 

      • Counseled Rhode Island medical practice in connection with a government investigation related to alleged fraudulent billing. As a result of our prompt and targeted internal investigation, which was conducted contemporaneously with the government's investigation, we were able to identify the source of the incorrect allegations and shared that with law enforcement, leading to the closure of the investigation of our client with no adverse action against it.

      • Conducted internal investigation for a religious organization regarding concerns about the embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars of church funds by a parish official. The investigation required sensitivity, given that the person allegedly responsible had taken his own life. Following the investigation, we successfully assisted in the full recovery of all losses from the embezzlement.

Our Team

Chair

Members