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Health Care Fraud

CLE Hours: 6 including 6 General, 1 Ethics, 0 Professionalism, 3 Trial Practice

Ethics |  Trial Practice
Original Program Date:
Dec 01, 2022





Joe D. Whitley, Program Co-Chair; Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, Atlanta, GA


Brian F. McEvoy, Program Co-Chair; BakerHostetler LLP, Atlanta, GA










Julia D. Neighbors, ICLE Director, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA






Joe D. Whitley


Brian F. McEvoy




Part I: A Fireside Chat – ­ Health Care Fraud AND Compliance Issues


Moderator: Gabriel L. Imperato, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Atlanta, GA


Brian F. McEvoy




Health Care Fraud: False Claims Act Developments


Moderator: Antonia A. Peck, Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, Durham, NC




Neeli Ben-David, Civil Chief, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta, GA


Sara E. Vann, Assistant Attorney General, Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), Norcross, GA


Grace W. Zoller, BakerHostetler LLP, Atlanta, GA








An Overview of Georgia Federal & State Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Cases: What to Expect in 2022 and Beyond


Moderator: Randy S. Chartash, Chartash Law LLC, Atlanta, GA




Kevin D. Abernethy, Civil Chief, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of GA, Atlanta, GA


Neeli Ben-David


James P. Mooney, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Atlanta, GA


Jonathan A. Porter, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia, Atlanta, GA








Nursing Home Fraud & Abuse: An Update on Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions 


Moderator: Lynsey M. Barron, Barron Law LLC, Atlanta, GA




Stephen H. McClain, Deputy Chief for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta, GA


Gia Compton, Former Director, Office of the Inspector General Legal Unit, Georgia Department of Community Health, Atlanta, GA


James P. Mooney, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Atlanta, GA








Stark and Anti‐Kickback Cases: Criminal, Civil, and Administrative Enforcement   


Moderator: Joe D. Whitley




Daniel P. Griffin, Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson LLC, Atlanta, GA


Aaron M. Danzig, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, Atlanta, GA


Emily C. Ward, Smith Gambrell and Russell, LLP, Atlanta, GA




A General Counsels Roundtable on Health Care Fraud, Qui Tam Complaints and More   


Moderator: Kurt R. Erskine, Polsinelli, Atlanta, GA




Keri Conley, Georgia Hospital Association, Atlanta, GA


Timothy Jefferson, Grady Health System, Atlanta, GA


Elizabeth M. Leddy, Piedmont Healthcare Inc., Atlanta, GA







Hon. Joe D. Whitley's Profile

Hon. Joe D. Whitley Related seminars and products

Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

Joe Whitley represents clients nationally and internationally in a variety of white collar matters including corporate internal investigations, regulatory enforcement, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and export controls compliance, corporate compliance, health care fraud and FDA-related matters, securities fraud, criminal antitrust, financial institution fraud, public corruption and campaign finance, and commercial bribery.

In addition to his years of private practice experience, Joe has served in several high-level roles with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). During the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, he served as Acting Associate Attorney General, the third-ranking position at Main Justice. He was also appointed by Presidents Reagan and Bush, respectively, to serve as the U.S. Attorney in the Middle (Macon) and Northern (Atlanta) Districts of Georgia. Throughout his career, Joe served under five U.S. Attorneys General and four Presidents in a number of key operational and policy positions. Earlier in his career, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit in Columbus, Georgia. Joe maintains strong professional relationships with the state and federal law enforcement community.

In 2003, Joe was appointed by President George W. Bush as the first General Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the highest ranking legal official at DHS. He held that position for two years working for DHS Secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, before returning to private practice. 

Joe's white collar practice focuses on corporate defense and representation of clients in complex civil and criminal enforcement matters brought by the DOJ, other federal agencies, state Attorneys General and local prosecutors. He has represented numerous individuals and corporations in major government investigations throughout the US and internationally. 

Joe’s practice also includes representation of clients before the Antitrust Division of the DOJ together with State Attorneys General and the Federal Trade Commission. He has represented clients in criminal antitrust cases including price fixing and market allocation matters, and he has participated in compliance training programs for clients including sessions devoted to dealing with worldwide dawn raids.

He is a frequent speaker on white collar, compliance, corporate governance and DHS-related issues. 

Homeland Security Experience

  • General Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and responsible for providing legal advice to more than 180,000 employees of the Department. 
  • Responsible for directing and coordinating the creation of a single legal department from the legal departments of the 22 agencies that were combined in the formation of DHS. 
  • Responsible for supervision of a total of 1,800+ lawyers in agencies, directories, and offices, including attorneys in the following components of DHS (as configured in 2006):
    • U.S. Secret Service (USSS);
    • U.S. Coast Guard (USCG);
    • Transportation Security Administration (TSA);
    • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS);
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP);
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA);
    • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC);
    • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE);
    • Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP); and
    • The Offices for Privacy, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
  • Responsible for a budget in excess of $10 million in the front office of General Counsel.
  • Provided legal assistance to Secretary Tom Ridge and Secretary Michael Chertoff on key legal issues, such as:
    • Worked closely with General Counsel counterparts throughout the federal government at the White House, Departments of Justice; State, Treasury, Defense and other agencies to include the coordination of counterterrorism and federal law enforcement initiatives;
    • Responsible for responding to frequent Congressional inquiries, and the timely proposal and adoption of hundreds of regulations;
    • Provided guidance and input to staff attorneys representing the department in litigation on a variety of matters; and
    • Worked closely with the Office of the Inspector General in conducting reviews of various department programs and responding to issues raised by those reviews.

Private Sector Homeland Security Experience

  • Assisted in Homeland Security consultation and internal investigations for major U.S. defense contracting company.
  • Assist companies with government procurement and contracting issues with DHS.
  • Provides counsel to major corporations on public policy and legislative issues, such as:
    • Cyber-security and critical infrastructure protection;
    • Customs and trade compliance;
    • Immigration compliance;
    • Laws and regulations affecting all segments of the transportation industry; 
    • SAFETY Act applications for certification and designation by DHS;
    • Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) implementation;
    • Vulnerability assessments for members of the energy sector to include the broad spectrum of environmental regulations.
    • Disaster recovery and forward-looking mitigation strategies;

Prosecution Experience

  • U.S. Attorney for the Northern (Atlanta) District of Georgia
  • Acting Associate Attorney General
  • Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General
  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General Criminal Division
  • U.S. Attorney for the Middle (Macon) District of Georgia
  • Assistant District Attorney Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit

Mr. Kurt Robert Erskine's Profile

Mr. Kurt Robert Erskine Related seminars and products

Polsinelli PC

Former U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine is an experienced litigator who relies on his decades of experience with the Department of Justice to help health care providers, corporations, organizations and individuals navigate complex government investigations and high-stakes civil and criminal litigation. Kurt has successfully tried dozens of federal jury trials to verdict and handled hundreds of cases during his federal career. 

Kurt focuses his practice on internal and government investigations, white-collar defense and complex litigation with an emphasis on health care litigation and False Claims Act defense.  He represents corporations, organizations and individuals in civil and criminal lawsuits and investigations involving allegations of financial and health care fraud, public corruption, securities fraud, money laundering, the False Claims Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. 

With over 20 years of experience as a federal prosecutor, Kurt served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, overseeing all federal criminal prosecutions and federal government civil litigation in his district.  As the U.S. Attorney, he led a staff of over 100 criminal and civil prosecutors, a professional staff of over 130, partnered with approximately 300 law enforcement agencies, and was responsible for one of the largest districts in the United States.

During his tenure with the Department of Justice, Kurt served in a variety of leadership positions, including as the First Assistant United States Attorney, the Chief of the Public Integrity and Special Matters Section and the Health Care Fraud Coordinator.  In these roles, he prosecuted some of the most sensitive and high-profile matters in the district, including cases involving allegations of complex financial and health care fraud and kickbacks, public corruption, money laundering, controlled substance diversion, and national security. 

Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Kurt was in private practice and focused his work on health care litigation and health care compliance.

Ms. Grace Whitney Zoller's Profile

Ms. Grace Whitney Zoller Related seminars and products

BakerHostetler LLP

Grace Zoller focuses her practice on white-collar criminal defense, government and internal corporate investigations, and complex civil litigation. Grace defends individuals, executives, physicians and companies in high-stakes investigations brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s offices, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, U.S. House of Representatives and other government agencies. She has significant experience in defending matters related to health care fraud, the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), the False Claims Act (FCA), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), public corruption, money laundering, COVID-19 and CARES Act related fraud, telemedicine non-compliance and financial fraud.

Mrs. Lynsey Morris Barron's Profile

Mrs. Lynsey Morris Barron Related seminars and products

Barron Law LLC

Lynsey Barron is criminal defense attorney and principal at Barron Law LLC in Atlanta. From 2015-2019, she was an Assistant United States Attorney, prosecuting complex white-collar crimes and crimes involving public integrity and corruption. Before starting her own law practice in August 2022, she was a partner Miller & Martin, where she led the firm's white collar criminal defense practice. She was in-house counsel for United Parcel Service (UPS), where she managed compliance, investigations, data privacy, and cyber security. She began her law career in Jones Day's Atlanta office practicing white collar criminal defense and commercial litigation. 

Lynsey is also a Visiting Assistant Professor of Practice at Emory University School of Law where she teaches courses on Federal Criminal Practice, Sentencing Law and Policy, and White-Collar Crime. She clerked for Judge Beverly B. Martin on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Before becoming an attorney, Lynsey had a career in politics. She was a Legislative Assistant for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and she also served as the Staff Director for the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. She was a federal lobbyist for several years focusing on education, health care access, and civil rights issues.


Ms. Neeli Ben-David Related seminars and products

US Attorneys Office

Neeli Ben-David currently serves as the Chief of the Civil Division as well as Health Care Fraud Coordinator and eLitigation Coordinator with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.  During her tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she has received the Director’s Award for Contributions that Enhance the Missions of the Executive Office for the United States Attorneys and United States Attorneys’ Offices, and a Special Act Award from the Executive Office for the United States Attorney for work as co-chair of the eLitigation Working Group, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Award in 2011, 2013 and 2017.


Prior to coming to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Neeli was with the firm of Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore and, before then, served as a law clerk to the Honorable John G. Heyburn, II, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.  She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, cum laude.  While there, she served on the Law Review and Moot Court Board.  She received her bachelor’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland with general and departmental honors.

Mr. James Philip Mooney Related seminars and products

Georgia Department of Transportation

Mr. Daniel P. Griffin Related seminars and products

Griffin Durham Tanner & Clarkson LLC

Mr. Aaron Mitchell Danzig's Profile

Mr. Aaron Mitchell Danzig Related seminars and products

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

Aaron M. Danzig is a partner at Arnall Golden Gregory in the Healthcare and Litigation Practices and is chair of the Firm's Government Investigations and Special Matters Practice.  Mr. Danzig began his legal career at AGG and, before returning in 2008, spent five years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.  Before attending law school, Mr. Danzig was a public school history and English teacher in Louisiana, where he also coached a state champion high school wrestling team.

Ms. Elizabeth McFall Leddy's Profile

Ms. Elizabeth McFall Leddy Related seminars and products

Piedmont Healthcare


Elizabeth Leddy joined Piedmont Healthcare as Chief Legal Officer in 2017. She leads the system’s legal, compliance and risk management departments.  Leddy is a member of Piedmont’s senior leadership team, which provides strategic direction and guidance to the organization. She also serves as a senior advisor to the Piedmont Healthcare Board of Directors for all governance related matters.   


Elizabeth’s career includes more than 25 years specializing in healthcare law. She has served as both in-house and outside legal counsel for healthcare entities. Before joining Piedmont, she was Associate General Counsel for Providence St. Joseph Health in Seattle, a nonprofit health system comprised of more than 50 hospitals in five states.


Elizabeth earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. 


Ms. Gia Brown Compton's Profile

Ms. Gia Brown Compton Related seminars and products

Attorney at Law

Gia Compton has focused a significant part of her legal career working in the public interest. The combination of private, local, and state government practice over three decades resulted in inimitable experience in advising clients through the multi-layered laws and structures governing regulatory and compliance enforcement networks across various industries.  She has extensive trial experience, having tried cases for plaintiffs and defendants involving complex criminal, regulatory and civil disputes. She joined state government when she was appointed to be an Administrative Law Judge for the Office of State Administrative Hearings. She went on to serve in various capacities and divisions in state government including attorney for the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS), Program Integrity Director, Deputy Chief of Medicaid, Healthcare Facility Regulation Division Chief, and Director of Legal Unit for the Office of Inspector General. While Deputy Chief of Medicaid she led the certification process of GAMMIS. She has conducted trainings for the National Association of Regulatory Administration. She was a member of the Joint Commission Professional and Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC). Her commitment to improving health outcomes was recognized nationally when her name was submitted for consideration as an HHS Assistant Secretary by the Obama Administration.

While Gia is well respected as an advisor on healthcare, long-term care policy, investigations, and Medicaid, her knowledge and experience extend well beyond the healthcare arena. She is a strategist for artists, musicians, writers, and producers in the entertainment space. She has a string of her own production credits as well.  She is a Public Arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). She is an active member of the board of The Bridge Solution which is developing affordable housing, sustainable food sources and economic opportunity.  Gia is involved in local and national bar associations. She was selected to serve as a mentor to the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative Fellows and continues to be present as a resource to their development as executives in the healthcare systems in Nigeria and Ethiopia respectively.

She received her BA from Mercer University and her JD from Emory University School of Law.

Ms. Keri Fielder Conley's Profile

Ms. Keri Fielder Conley Related seminars and products

Georgia Hospital Association

Keri Conley is General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Healthcare Policy for the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA).  Ms. Conley graduated from the University of Florida in 1997 with a B.S. degree in Exercise and Sport Science. She received a Master in Physical Therapy with Honors from the University of St. Augustine in 2000 and was a practicing physical therapist before returning to the University of Georgia, School of Law where she received her law degree with Honors in 2005.


In her role at GHA, Ms. Conley advocates on behalf of hospital members at all levels and branches of state and federal government, conducts regular meetings of hospital compliance officers and in-house legal counsel, and acts as a resource and liaison for hospital members on state regulatory matters as well as Medicare and Medicaid compliance issues. She is the current chair of the State Bar of Georgia’s Health Law Section and a member of the Georgia Academy of Healthcare Attorneys (GAHA) and the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA).



Mr. Kevin Dean Abernethy's Profile

Mr. Kevin Dean Abernethy Related seminars and products

The University of Georgia

Kevin Abernethy is the Chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO), Middle District of Georgia (MDGA). Kevin co-chairs the legal defense of multi-million-dollar medical malpractice lawsuits directed against the Veterans Administration, represents the Department of Defense, represents the Department of Health and Human Services, and supervises the U.S. Attorney’s False Claims Act practice. He is lead counsel on all USAO-MDGA financial litigation.  

Before serving as an AUSA, Kevin was vice president and general counsel to ABCO, Inc. As corporate counsel, Kevin handled a variety of matters with focus on governance, litigation, and federal regulation compliance. His general counsel work also focused on formation of new, international ventures. Before his corporate work, Kevin was a partner in the Atlanta office of Hall Booth Smith. Kevin has extensive litigation experience handling civil rights claims for the City of Atlanta, large complex environmental lawsuits, corporate suits, and claims involving professional negligence. He also has expertise advising businesses on corporate, ethical, and international transactions. He has litigation experience in both Georgia and Tennessee and is licensed in both these states. His litigation practice concentrates on high exposure cases.  

The University of Georgia Alumni Association named Kevin to its 2013 class of 40 Under 40 most outstanding young alumni. He served as Chair for the 2018 and 2019 UGA 40 Under 40 Giving Challenge Campaign; Kevin is a UGA Mentor. The Fulton County Daily Report recognized Kevin as one of its 2013 40 under 40 Georgia Legal Rising Stars to Watch. Atlanta Magazine selected Kevin a Georgia “Rising Star Super Lawyer” in 2013 and 2014 for his work in professional liability defense. Kevin is a 2016 graduate of the Catholic Charites Atlanta Leadership Class.  

The Georgia State Senate Committee on Assignments appointed Kevin to a four-year term on the State Ethics Commission, a quasi-judicial body with statewide jurisdiction over ethical issues involving public officials, lobbyists, and state vendors. Kevin was elected to serve as Chairman of the Ethics Commission in 2011, and he was twice reelected Chairman. Kevin is one of the youngest Chairman in Georgia’s history. Kevin serves on the Advisory Board to the Vice President of Student Affairs at the University of Georgia. Kevin also presently serves on the Board of Directors for the UGA Alumni Association and UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs.

He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1999 with his B.A. in Political Science. During college, he represented his school as the UGA Student Body President. At UGA, he was selected for membership in the Pi Sigma Alpha National Honorary Society in Political Science and Omicron Delta Kappa. In 1997-98, he was recognized as a Presidential Scholar for perfect 4.0 Grade Point Average. Before entering law school, Kevin served as a legislative aide in the Georgia State Senate to the chairman of the committee on Natural Resources and the chairman of Appropriations.

Gabriel L. Imperato Related seminars and products


Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Mr. Jonathan Alan Porter Related seminars and products

US Attorney's Office Southern District of Georgia

Mr. Stephen Harry McClain's Profile

Mr. Stephen Harry McClain Related seminars and products

US Attorneys Office Northern District of Georgia

Steve McClain is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.  He is the Chief of the Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Section, responsible for supervising other fraud prosecutors and white-collar matters in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Steve serves as the point of contact for the FBI, SEC, United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, and other federal and state agencies on fraud and cyber matters.  As a federal prosecutor, Steve investigates and prosecutes all types of white-collar offenses, including corporate and securities fraud, bank fraud, government program fraud, investment fraud, health care fraud, immigration fraud, tax fraud, public corruption, computer crimes, counterfeiting, environmental crimes, and identity theft.  He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Department of Justice Director’s Award for the prosecution of a defendant who was convicted by a jury for running a Ponzi scheme and sentenced to 27 years in prison.  Before his government service, Steve was a partner in the Los Angeles office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he focused on complex commercial litigation.  He began his career as a law clerk for Judge Kenneth F. Ripple on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Steve graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame Law School, where he was the Managing Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review, and obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Clemson University.

Ms. Emily Cook Ward's Profile

Ms. Emily Cook Ward Related seminars and products

Smith Gambrell & Russell LLP

Emily C. Ward is a Partner in Smith Gambrell & Russell's Atlanta office who’s practice concentrates on white-collar defense, government investigations, and civil litigation including environmental, business, and healthcare litigation, as well as administrative and regulatory matters.


Ms. Ward regularly represents defendants in environmental, cybersecurity, public corruption, and tax fraud investigations, with recent successes resulting in no indictments being filed or substantially reduced penalties being negotiated. She obtained a defense verdict in a multi-day arbitration for healthcare practice that had been charged with violating various contractual provisions regarding medical billing, physician recruitment, and restrictive covenants. Ms. Ward also received a defense verdict for parents who had been placed on the child abuse registry after seeking medical treatment for their accidentally injured child. Ms. Ward often defends medical professionals before state medical, dental, nursing, and health insurance boards to prevent disciplinary actions from being imposed. She also has represented many students accused of academic, behavioral, and other infractions and helped them resolve the situation with the administrative and academic conduct boards.


Ms. Ward is active in multiple bar associations including the American Bar Association, State Bar of Georgia, and Atlanta Bar Association. She currently serves as Secretary and is on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta Bar Association. Ms. Ward also recently served as Chair of the Atlanta Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section in 2021 and Women in the Profession Section in 2019.


Ms. Ward has been recognized in Chambers USA as an Up and Coming attorney in Litigation White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, in multiple categories by Best Lawyers as One to Watch, and Georgia Super Lawyers as a Rising Star, among others. She also was recognized as the University of Georgia’s Young Alumnae of Excellence in 2022 and was the inaugural recipient of the Catherine M. O’Neil Mentoring Award given by the Women’s White Collar Defense Association in recognition of her as an outstanding junior member of the WWCDA.


Ms. Ward received her undergraduate degree from the University of Miami and her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law.


Important Information

Please be advised that your credit will not be reported to the State Bar of Georgia CLE Regulation Department until after you have completed the steps necessary to earn credit for that program. 

Self reporting is required for all other jurisdictions.

The information presented is solely for educational purposes. The opinions expressed by the faculty in their materials and presentations are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the State Bar of Georgia, its officers, directors and/or employees. The faculty is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice and these presentations and publications are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. All publications and presentations were created to serve the continuing legal education needs of practicing attorneys.

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