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J. WILLIAM CODINHA

Moving between the public and private sectors, Bill Codinha has led some of the highest profile governmental investigations conducted in the past 20 years and now defends corporations and individuals caught up in similar investigations. Bill brings his unique and effective experience to the defense of all of his clients.

What do you focus on?

I leverage my 30+ years of experience defending individuals and corporations who are the subject of government investigations. As a prosecutor, I tried jury trials in all of the courts in Massachusetts and ran major investigations for the federal government in Washington, DC. Currently, I focus on the defense of investigations and cases brought by myriad federal agencies and United States Attorneys’ offices as well as investigations and cases brought by the various state attorneys general offices.

Federal Investigations

I’ve successfully defended clients against False Claims Act (FCA), civil and criminal securities fraud, RICO as well as numerous other civil and criminal charges. I have defended domestic and international Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases, including foreign companies alleged to have committed U.S. securities fraud violations. I also recently defended a foreign citizen alleged to have committed U.S. Arms Export Control Act violations.

State Investigations

As the federal government has ramped up its investigations, the various state attorneys general offices have also become much more aggressive, routinely issuing Civil Investigative Demands requiring extensive discovery of potential wrongdoing. I recently defended a Fortune 75 company, located in Minnesota, against alleged bid rigging and false claims allegations. The risk assessment of potential damages to this multinational company could have run well into the billions of dollars had a prosecution and debarment occurred. The case was successfully resolved with no admission of liability.

Trials

Fundamentally, I remain a trial lawyer, having tried over 100 jury trials during the course of my career, from organized crime cases as a prosecutor, to civil trials obtaining multi-million dollar verdicts for my clients. I have taught trial tactics and trial strategy locally and at the national level.

What do you see on the horizon?

The world is now a global marketplace and federal and state investigations will continue to proliferate in this new environment. There will be a continuing focus on U.S. companies operating internationally and on foreign companies operating in the U.S. or through their U.S. subsidiaries. Big Pharma, medical device companies and the financial industry will continue to be the targets of choice for federal and state investigations and prosecutions using the U.S. securities, FCA and FCPA laws or their state counterparts.

Appointments

  • Special Assistant Attorney General (MA)—Massachusetts Special Buildings Investigation (Ward Commission)
  • Chief Counsel, U.S. Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs (Kissinger Hearings)
  • Chief Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (Whitewater Investigation)
  • Special Counsel to the Massachusetts Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate a sitting Massachusetts Judge—Appointed by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Commissioner—Massachusetts Judicial Nominating Commission, by appointment of Governor Deval Patrick

Representative Cases

False Claims/Qui Tam
  • Successful defense of target national office supplies corporation of federal False Claims Act, Mass. False Claims Act, NH False Claims Act charges (U.S. attorney criminal/civil-MA.; MA. AG., NH AG.)
  • Defense of target national corporation of False Claims Act, fraud, and RICO violations (U.S. Atty-NH.; Dept of Defense; Department of Homeland Security)
  • Successful defense of target national corporation of False Claims Act, fraud, and money laundering charges (U.S. Atty-CT; CT. AG.).
  • Successful defense of major NYC medical school for qui tam violations (U.S. Atty-SDNY).
  • Successful defense of major national healthcare institution in state and federal qui tam investigations (U.S. Atty.-MA; MA. AG).
  • Defense of national pharmaceutical company during Main Justice qui tam investigation involving AWP charges to Medicaid (DOJ; various states AGs).
Securities Fraud
  • Successful defense of chairman of the audit committee of a Chinese company (SEC, securities class action)
  • Successful defense of target CEO in an insider trading investigation (SEC-MA).
  • Successful defense of target manager at Prudential in the “market timing” investigations (N.Y. AG, MA. AG, SEC, U.S. Atty-MA).
  • Successful defense of target CEO and target CFO in “options timing” investigations in MA and CA. (SEC; U.S. Atty-MA; U.S. Atty-CA.)
  • Successful defense of target analyst at Merrill Lynch in the New York attorney general’s “dot-com” investigation (NY. AG, SEC).
  • Successful defense of major trading companies in CS/First Boston IPO investigation (U.S. Atty.-SDNY, SEC).
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act/Money Laundering
  • Successful defense of international metal refining company for EPA violations and FCPA violations (EPA, U.S. Atty-MA).
  • Successful defense of multi-national metal refining company for money laundering and tax fraud (U.S. Atty-MA; U.S. Atty-FL).
RICO
  • Defense of target national corporation in bribery, bid-rigging, and RICO investigation (U.S. Atty-IL; IL. AG).
  • Successful defense of main target of Teamsters Election fraud investigation—criminal RICO case (U.S. Atty.-SDNY; Congressional hearings).
Fraud
  • Successful defense of National tutoring company in NCLB investigations (NYC, IG; CPS, IG)
  • Successful defense of various syndicators and developers accused of fraud and equity skimming (HUD-OIG and U.S. Atty.-various districts).
  • Successful defense of CEO target of publicly traded company (FDA, FTC, U.S. Atty.-Greenbelt; Congressional Hearings).
  • Defense of CEO in Lacey Act criminal environmental investigation (DOJ criminal environmental division).
Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Investigations
  • Successful defense of a Fortune 75 company in response to confidential CID in a case involving alleged violations of Chapter 93A and the Massachusetts False Claims Act (MFCA) brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office – Public Protection Bureau.
  • Ongoing defense of an Ohio company in response to a confidential CID brought pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 93A by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office – Public Protection Bureau.
  • Ongoing representation of former president of a nonprofit organization for breach of fiduciary duty allegations in response to a confidential CID – MA AG – charitable bureau.
  • HomeServe USA—Successfully defended company in Massachusetts Attorney General’s office – Public Protection Bureau investigation claiming violation of Chapter 93A. Obtained favorable result with no admission of liability and no civil penalty.
  • WB Mason—Defended a state and federal Chapter 93A and False Claims Act matter brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office – Public Protection Bureau for this Massachusetts headquartered office products dealer. Successfully had the case transferred from the criminal to the civil division and resolved it with no FCA finding and no admission of liability.
  • State Farm Insurance—Successfully defended insurance company in two separate Chapter 93A matters using confidential CIDs brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office – Public Protection Bureau. The cases were dropped with no findings of liability.
  • HCA Healthcare—Defended worldwide private operator of healthcare facilities in an MFCA/Medicare/Chapter 93A claim brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. The case was resolved without findings of liability.

Media Clips

  • Patrick appoints Codinha to JNC
    Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | July 25, 2013

    This coverage highlights Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Bill Codinha, who has been appointed to serve as a commissioner on the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) by the governor of Massachusetts.

  • Ex-Chelsea Office McLaughlin's Sentencing Postponed
    Boston Globe | June 15, 2013

    This coverage highlights Nixon Peabody's pro bono representation of the Chelsea Housing Authority as it seeks restitution against its former executive director, who has already pled guilty to fraud charges. Nixon Peabody’s legal team includes Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Bill Codinha and associate Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero, Affordable Housing partner Jeff Sacks, counsel Neil Moynihan, and paralegal Joanne Sylvester.

  • Mind Reading: Judges Can Keep Deliberations to Themselves, Mass. Court Says
    ABA Journal | December 1, 2012

    This article highlights a case of first impression for Massachusetts in which the state Supreme Court recognized an absolute judicial deliberative privilege placing off-limits judges’ mental impressions and thought processes in reaching decisions. Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Bill Codinha is noted as special counsel who is probing the judge in question in this particular case.

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J. William Codinha