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Joshua C. Sharp



Josh Sharp is a Boston-based partner in Nixon Peabody’s Government Investigations & White Collar Defense practice group. He represents corporations and individuals in government investigations, regulatory inquiries, and complex civil and criminal litigation. Josh’s recent work includes obtaining dismissal of a $3 billion RICO lawsuit filed in the District of Massachusetts and defending a parent in a month-long federal trial arising from the Varsity Blues investigation.

What do you focus on?

I assist clients with internal investigations, regulatory inquiries, grand jury matters, and criminal defense. I also litigate civil matters in state and federal courts.

Financial Institutions Investigations

I represent banks and broker-dealers in investigations by the Department of Justice, the SEC, FinCEN, and FINRA. I have substantial experience with the Bank Secrecy Act and FinCEN’s anti-money laundering regulations.

Health Care, Life Sciences and False Claims Act Litigation

I represent life sciences companies and health care providers in both internal matters and Department of Justice investigations. I have significant experience with the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback statute and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. 

Corporate Immigration Investigations

I represent clients in corporate immigration investigations by the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and State. I have been involved in some of the most significant investigations in this space.

Civil Litigation

In addition to my investigations work, I regularly represent clients in state and federal courts in business litigation matters. I recently obtained dismissal with prejudice of a $3 billion RICO lawsuit filed in the District of Massachusetts.

What do you see on the horizon?

For many years, whistleblowers have been the driving force behind corporate criminal enforcement, both through the False Claims Act and the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions. In January 2021, the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 became law, providing for whistleblower rewards of up to 30% of monetary sanctions imposed for successful Bank Secrecy Act enforcement actions. The enhanced incentives to report anti-money laundering violations are likely to trigger further government scrutiny in this space.

Representative Experience

  • Secured dismissal with prejudice of $3 billion civil RICO lawsuit filed in District of Massachusetts
  • Defended parent in month-long federal trial arising from the Varsity Blues investigation
  • Currently defending the City of Boston in litigation matters
  • Represented major energy company in litigation under the Massachusetts False Claims Act
  • Conducted internal investigations of FCPA bribery allegations in Asia and Mexico
  • Represented global financial institutions in tax evasion and anti-money laundering investigations
  • Represented diagnostics manufacturer in investigation of alleged cGMP violations
  • Represented global technology companies in investigations of alleged immigration fraud
  • Obtained complete defense verdict in defamation jury trial in Massachusetts Superior Court

Judge tosses 11 of 14 counts in Dennis White suit against Boston, Kim Janey

Boston Herald | July 13, 2022

This article covers a federal judge’s dismissal of the vast majority of claims in the lawsuit filed by former Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White against the city and former acting mayor Kim Janey. The article quotes Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly, who is representing the city and former acting mayor. The NP team also includes Boston partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard, both of the GIWC group.

Varsity Blues dads can remain free while appealing convictions

Bloomberg Law | May 19, 2022

The following article covers a federal judge granting bail to a parent while he appeals his conviction in the college admissions case, and quote Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly. In addition to Brian, the parent’s defense team includes Boston GIWC partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard.

Parents convicted in college scam remain free during appeal

Associated Press | May 19, 2022

The following article covers a federal judge granting bail to a parent while he appeals his conviction in the college admissions case, and quote Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly. In addition to Brian, the parent’s defense team includes Boston GIWC partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard.

Varsity Blues feds relent on bail amid First Circuit appeal

Law360 | May 11, 2022

This article covers a decision by federal prosecutors to no longer oppose bail for a parent appealing his conviction in the college admissions case. The article quotes a letter that Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly sent to Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Frank, and it also mentions Boston GIWC partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing the parent.

Varsity Blues dad says feds misled judge in fighting bail

Law360 | May 02, 2022

This article on a parent appealing his conviction in the college admissions case covers an argument that the government misled the court when opposing bail pending appeal. This article quotes Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly from a letter sent to the Assistant U.S. Attorney, and Boston GIWC partner Josh Sharp from comments Monday. Boston GIWC associate Lauren Maynard is also mentioned as part of the team representing the parent.

Flawed "Varsity Blues" theory skewed trial, First Circuit told

Law360 | April 25, 2022

The following articles cover an appeal by a parent in the college admissions case to have his conviction overturned by the First Circuit. The coverage mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing the parent.

Two parents appeal their convictions in Varsity Blues scandal

The New York Times | April 25, 2022

The following article coversan appeal by a parent in the college admissions case to have his conviction overturned by the First Circuit. The coverage mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing the parent.

Federal judge tosses parts of Dennis White lawsuit against Boston

Boston Herald | March 30, 2022

This article covers a judge’s decision to throw out two of the three federal counts made by former Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White against the city in his wrongful termination lawsuit. The story quotes Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly, who is representing the City of Boston and the former acting mayor, on this positive development. In addition to Brian, the NP team includes Boston GIWC partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard.

Fired Boston top cop may lose federal claims, judge hints

Law360 | March 21, 2022

This article covers a judge’s suggestion that he might cut federal claims from former Boston Police Commissioner Dennis White’s wrongful termination lawsuit against the city and former acting Mayor Kim Janey, leaving only state law claims. The article mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing the City of Boston and the former acting mayor.

Pair of recent victories hearten counsel for MassHealth providers

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | December 29, 2021

Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Josh Sharp is quoted extensively in this article covering the potential implications of two recent court decisions involving providers and payments in Massachusetts’ MassHealth Medicaid program. Josh, Boston GIWC partner Brian Kelly, and associate Lauren Maynard successfully represented Suburban Home Health Care in one of these notable cases, which established a statute of limitations for MassHealth’s pursuit of overpayments.

Feds rest Varsity Blues case as focus shifts to defense

Law360 | September 29, 2021

This article, covering a range of items as the prosecution rested their case in the first college admissions trial, quotes Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly from his questioning of a government auditor. In addition to Brian, the article mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of two parents on trial.

Jury told Varsity Blues honcho claimed Steve Jobs as client

Law360 | September 28, 2021

This article covers a letter the NP team sent to the United States Attorney, which called the trial team’s hearsay objections to evidence admissibility baseless, resulting in the government withdrawing its objections. In addition to quoting from the letter, the article mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of two parents on trial.

Tearful coach tells ‘Varsity Blues’ jury of Loughlin fakery

Law360 | September 27, 2021

This article on the college admissions trial quotes Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly from questioning of a former University of Southern California soccer coach. In addition to Brian, the article mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of two parents on trial.

Jury hears USC coach never heard of Varsity Blues recruit

Law360 | September 24, 2021

This article on the college admissions trial quotes Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly from questioning of a former University of Southern California women’s basketball coach. Of note from the questioning, Brian asked the coach whether Larry Bird or Magic Johnson was the better player in her opinion. In addition to Brian, the article mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of two parents on trial.

'Varsity Blues' kids' choice of sport didn't matter jury hears

Law360 | September 23, 2021

This article, covering the latest developments in the college admissions trial, quotes Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly from cross-examination of an FBI special agent. In addition to Brian, the article mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of two parents on trial.

Varsity Blues jury hears BigLaw attorneys deal with mastermind

Law360 | September 14, 2021

The following article highlights Tuesday’s media coverage of the college admissions trial, in which Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard are defending one of two parents on trial. The articles quote Brian from the first full day of testimony. Additional coverage available upon request.

Prosecutors play secret recording of ex-Willkie co-chairman Gordon Caplan in college admission bribery trial

The American Lawyer | September 14, 2021

The following article highlights Tuesday’s media coverage of the college admissions trial, in which Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard are defending one of two parents on trial. The articles quote Brian from the first full day of testimony. Additional coverage available upon request.

College admissions bribery scheme mastermind boasts of concierge service

The Boston Globe | September 14, 2021

The following article highlights Tuesday’s media coverage of the college admissions trial, in which Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard are defending one of two parents on trial. The articles quote Brian from the first full day of testimony. Additional coverage available upon request.

Defense attorneys say Varsity Blues parents were victims of a fraudster

The American Lawyer | September 13, 2021

The following articles highlight media coverage from Monday’s start of the first college admissions trial, in which Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard are defending one of two parents on trial. The articles quote Brian from opening statements. Additional coverage available upon request.

Parents were duped, their lawyers say in start of college admissions trial

The New York Times | September 13, 2021

The following article highlights media coverage from Monday’s start of the first college admissions trial, in which Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard are defending one of two parents on trial. The articles quote Brian from opening statements. Additional coverage available upon request.

First trial in Varsity Blues scandal begins

The Boston Globe | September 13, 2021

The following article highlights media coverage from Monday’s start of the first college admissions trial, in which Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard are defending one of two parents on trial. The articles quote Brian from opening statements. Additional coverage available upon request.

Varsity Blues college-admissions trial opens with competing claims about parents intent

The Wall Street Journal | September 13, 2021

The following article highlights media coverage from Monday’s start of the first college admissions trial, in which Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard are defending one of two parents on trial. The articles quote Brian from opening statements. Additional coverage available upon request.

MassHealth recoupment action deemed untimely

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | September 13, 2021

This article covers a significant litigation win on behalf of home health care agency Suburban Home Health Care, a decision that will have wide-ranging implications for health care providers doing business in Massachusetts. Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard represented Suburban Home Health Care in the case.

First trial in US college admission scandal to begin

Reuters | September 13, 2021

The following article covers Monday’s start of the first college admissions trial, mentioning Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard, who are defending one of two parents on trial.

Varsity Blues mastermind not expected to testify at trial

Law360 | September 10, 2021

The following article covers Monday’s start of the first college admissions trial, mentioning Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard, who are defending one of two parents on trial.

What to watch for as 'Varsity Blues' gets jury trial debut

Law360 | September 09, 2021

This article provides an overview of the first college admissions trial set to begin Monday and mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard for defending one of two parents set for trial.

Prosecution may not call star witness in 1st trial in U.S. college admissions scandal

Reuters | September 08, 2021

The following article covers the latest developments leading up to the first college admissions trial and profile the NP team defending one of two parents set for trial: Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard. Of note, the NLJ article provides background on the three attorneys, including a recent win for Suburban Home Health Care, which will effectively set a limit by which MassHealth can seek to recoup alleged overpayments from providers across the state.

SJC rules MassHealth can't collect on decade-old overcharges

Boston Business Journal | September 08, 2021

This article covers a significant litigation win on behalf of home health care agency Suburban Home Health Care, a decision that will have wide-ranging implications for health care providers doing business in Massachusetts. The article quotes Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly, while the NP team also included Boston partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard, both of the Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense practice.

Varsity Blues parents say feds tried to bully witnesses

Law360 | September 07, 2021

The following article covers the latest developments leading up to the first college admissions trial and profile the NP team defending one of two parents set for trial: Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard. Of note, the NLJ article provides background on the three attorneys, including a recent win for Suburban Home Health Care, which will effectively set a limit by which MassHealth can seek to recoup alleged overpayments from providers across the state.

Who's representing ‘Varsity Blues’ parents in the first admissions scandal trial?

National Law Journal | September 07, 2021

The following article covers the latest developments leading up to the first college admissions trial and profile the NP team defending one of two parents set for trial: Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard. Of note, the NLJ article provides background on the three attorneys, including a recent win for Suburban Home Health Care, which will effectively set a limit by which MassHealth can seek to recoup alleged overpayments from providers across the state.

‘Varsity Blues’ parents say Zoom trial will stir ‘media frenzy’

Law360 | August 31, 2021

This article covers a motion by parents in next month’s college admissions trial not to livestream the proceedings, arguing it would harm their shot at a fair trial. The story mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of the parents scheduled for trial.

Meet the key players in the first Varsity Blues trial

Law360 | August 30, 2021

This article highlighting key people involved in next month’s college admissions trial mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of the parents scheduled for trial, and provides background on some of the team’s notable cases.

First Varsity Blues trial to forge ahead despite virus surge

Law360 | August 18, 2021

This article on the September college admissions trial moving forward mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of the parents scheduled for trial. The article also quotes Brian on whether the prosecution will call its star witness to testify.

‘Varsity Blues’ Feds blast ‘absurd’ bid to shave evidence

Law360 | August 06, 2021

This article, covering the latest developments in the college admissions case, mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of the parents scheduled for trial later this year.

Varsity Blues parents want no talk of their wealth at trial

Law360 | August 02, 2021

This article covers a request by parents in the college admissions case to exclude evidence at trial about their wealth, income, spending, or lifestyles, with the motion stating such evidence could unfairly prejudice the jury. The story mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of the parents who filed the motion.

Varsity Blues parents say feds muzzling key witnesses

Law360 | July 28, 2021

This article covers a motion by four parents in the college admissions case to grant immunity to key witnesses or otherwise dismiss the case. The story mentions Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard, all of the Boston office, for representing one of the parents who filed the motion.

Feds can't merge ‘Varsity Blues’ trials, judge says

Law360 | July 15, 2021

This article covers a judge’s ruling that will keep two trials in the college admissions case, denying a request from prosecutors to combine the trials. The story mentions Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard, all of the Boston office, for representing one of the remaining defendants.

Feds renew push for single ‘Varsity Blues’ parents trial

Law360 | July 06, 2021

This article on whether there will be one or two trials in the college admissions case mentions Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard, all of the Boston office, for representing one of the remaining eight defendants.

First Varsity Blues trial to premiere in Boston in September

Law360 | June 15, 2021

Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly is quoted in this article on the college admissions case, after a federal judge on Tuesday affirmed the September trial date for five of the eight parents who are still fighting charges. Along with Brian, the story mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Josh Sharp and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of the defendants scheduled for trial in September.

Excellence in the Law

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | May 10, 2021

Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Josh Sharp, who will be honored this evening as an “Up & Coming Lawyer” for 2021, is featured in this special section profiling MLW's Excellence in the Law honorees.

Racetrack loses bid in 1st Circuit to revive Wynn RICO suit

Law360 | March 03, 2021

This article covers an appellate win in the Wynn/Suffolk Downs casino case, where the First Circuit decided not to revive Sterling Suffolk Racecourse’s lawsuit that claims it was injured when Wynn Resorts Ltd. was awarded the casino license for Everett, Massachusetts. The article mentions Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partners Brian Kelly and Joshua Sharp for representing former Wynn Resorts CEO Stephen Wynn, and quotes Brian on the decision.

Promotions

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly | February 11, 2021

This roundup of recent executive announcements includes Steve Zubiago’s appointment as Managing Partner and CEO of the firm, as well as the partner promotions of Boston’s Stephanie Bruno, of the Private Clients group, and Josh Sharp, of the Government Investigations & White Collar Defense group.

Billion-dollar lawsuit over Boston casino a dubious bet in 1st circuit

Courthouse News Service | February 01, 2021

The following article covers oral arguments in the Wynn/Suffolk Downs casino case before the First Circuit. The stories quote Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Joshua Sharp, and mention both Josh and Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly for representing former Wynn Resorts CEO Stephen Wynn.

1st Circ. wary of racetrack's injury in Wynn RICO case

Law360 | February 01, 2021

The following article covers oral arguments in the Wynn/Suffolk Downs casino case before the First Circuit. The stories quote Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Joshua Sharp, and mention both Josh and Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly for representing former Wynn Resorts CEO Stephen Wynn.

Pandemic Delays "Varsity Blues" Trial Until September

Law360 | December 21, 2020

This article covers a judge’ s decision to delay the February college admissions trial until September 2021, following concerns raised by attorneys on both sides about health risks and logistical hurdles during the COVID-19 pandemic. The story quotes Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly and mentions Brian, Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner-elect Joshua Sharp, and associate Lauren Maynard for representing one of the defendants.

Racetrack Tells 1st Circ. Wynn RICO Scam Had No Finish Line

Law360 | August 14, 2020

This article—covering a Boston racetrack’s attempt to reinstate a racketeering lawsuit that claims Wynn Resorts cheated it out of a casino license—quotes Boston Government Investigations & White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly. The story mentions Brian and Boston GIWC associate Josh Sharp for representing former Wynn Resorts chairman Stephen Wynn.

Start Date For First 'Varsity Blues' Trial Delayed Until February

Law360 | August 06, 2020

This article, covering a judge’s order to delay the first college admissions trial until February due to the coronavirus pandemic, mentions Boston Government Investigations and White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly and associates Lauren Maynard and Joshua Sharp for representing one of the defendants in the first trial.

Feds, 'Varsity Blues' Parents Agree Virus Should Delay Trial

Law360 | July 16, 2020

This article covers a request by prosecutors in the college admissions case to delay the first trial until late February due to COVID-19 challenges and safety concerns. Counsel for several defendants assented to the request, and the story mentions Boston Government Investigations and White-Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly and associates Joshua Sharp and Lauren Maynard for representing one of the defendants.

1st 'Varsity Blues' Trial Date Remains Firm Despite Pandemic

Law360 | May 29, 2020

This article detailing the latest developments in the college admissions case mentions Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly and associates Joshua Sharp and Lauren Maynard, all of Boston, as co-counsel to a defendant in the case.

Loughlin says "Varsity Blues" charges not tied to Mass.

Law360 | April 01, 2020

This article on the latest developments in the college admissions scandal highlights jurisdictional arguments from a brief written by Boston Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly and associates Josh Sharp and Lauren Maynard. The NP attorneys are co-counsel to defendant Gamal Abdelaziz.

Loughlin, "Varsity" Blues-parents want "sham" case tossed

Law360 | March 25, 2020

This story on the latest developments in the college admissions matter mentions Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly and associates Josh Sharp and Lauren Maynard for their representation of Gamal Abdelaziz.

Casino Exec Says 'Varsity Blues' Call Could Clear His Name

Law360 | February 28, 2020

This article quotes Boston Government Investigations & White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly related to a motion asking prosecutors to turn over records of a phone call that could potentially clear his client’s name. The article notes both Brian and associate Joshua Sharp as counsel to Gamal Abdelaziz in the college admissions case.

'Varsity Blues' Dad Accuses Feds Of Holding Back Evidence

Law 360 | December 05, 2019

This article notes Boston Government Investigations and White Collar Defense partner Brian Kelly and associate Joshua Sharp for representing former casino executive Gamal Abdelaziz in a case related to the college admissions scandal.

Contact

Joshua C. Sharp

Partner

Boston

Phone: 617-345-1135


Fax: 844-854-0306

Harvard Law School, J.D., magna cum laude

Harvard College, A.B., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Massachusetts

  • Boston Magazine Top Lawyers, Criminal Defense-White Collar (2021)
  • Named to the 2022 list of “Ones to Watch” by The Best Lawyers in America© for Commercial Litigation and Criminal Defense: White-Collar in Boston, MA
  • New England Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2015–2020
  • Named as “Up & Coming Lawyer” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly 2021
  • American Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Boston’s Future Leaders, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce (2019)
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