Photo of Ryan S. Hedges

Mr. Hedges is an experienced trial attorney having successfully tried ten federal criminal cases and argued six federal appeals. Mr. Hedges also has significant experience leading complex investigations of individuals and corporations suspected of white collar crimes such as health care fraud; investment, securities and commodities fraud; mail and wire fraud; money laundering; and tax crimes including violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, the False Claims Act and the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, among other federal statutes.

Prior to joining Vedder Price, Mr. Hedges served for seven years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago investigating and prosecuting a broad array of complex financial crimes, receiving numerous commendations from the Federal Bureau of Investigations and other agencies for his work. During his tenure, Mr. Hedges prosecuted some of the largest and most complex health care fraud cases recently charged in the Northern District of Illinois, including the investigation and indictment of 11 administrators and doctors at the former Sacred Heart Hospital, which culminated in 2015 with a seven-week jury trial and guilty verdicts against the hospital’s owner and CEO and two other top administrators. In 2015, the Sacred Heart Hospital prosecution received the prestigious Investigations Award for Excellence from the Council for the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) after nomination by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG).

As originally published on February 5, 2016 in Law360.

Let’s say you’re the general counsel for a manufacturing company that builds armored transport vehicles for sale to the U.S. military. One of your vehicles recently exploded in use, injuring several military personnel. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the cause of the explosion and believes that your company skipped over certain required steps in product safety testing as part of an effort to meet contractual sales deadlines, and that members of the company’s senior management team may be criminally responsible because they knew about the corner-cutting and condoned it.

You must develop a plan to investigate the potential causes for the explosion, including a thorough review of the company’s product safety testing procedures. Should you task your internal risk management team with learning all the facts? Should you hire outside counsel to conduct the investigation? What information developed in the investigation will you recommend disclosing to the DOJ? What if critical information discovered in the investigation is protected by the attorney-client privilege? Will you recommend withholding the information or waiving the privilege as part of your cooperation with the government?
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