Mark represents clients facing civil and criminal fraud investigations, whistleblower complaints, and complex litigation. He has successfully navigated clients through high-stakes, high-profile investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), federal Inspectors General (IGs), Congress, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies. He has a deep knowledge of the False Claims Act (FCA), defending investigations and litigations in industries such as defense, health care, technology, intelligence, insurance, and higher education. He advises small and large businesses on how to respond to subpoenas and civil investigative demands, developing strategies for quick, confidential results. Mark will aggressively defend clients in litigation, and he has a track record of winning cases and securing favorable settlements.
- Leading cases:
- First-chaired a multi-week trial and won all 13 counts for a government contractor in litigation over teaming agreement, employee non-competes, and theft of trade secrets. Futrend Technology, Inc. v. MicroHealth LLC, 2020 WL 4982524 (Va. Cir. Ct.).
- Won multiple sanctions against the DOJ for discovery violations and forced settlement for less than $9 million in FCA suit alleging $400 million of violations by a Coast Guard contractor. United States v. Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., Case No. 2:12-cv-920-SSV-MBN (E.D. La.).
- Navigated the lead developer of Healthcare.gov through congressional and IG investigations about the troubled rollout of the health care exchange system, shifting investigators from blaming the contractor to finding fault with government mismanagement of the project.
- Represented an engineering firm that advised the City of Flint, Michigan, on its water systems in criminal investigations by the State of Michigan Office of Special Counsel.
- Won outright dismissal of all 10 counts in criminal prosecution of 2017 Inauguration Day protester after obtaining sanctions for Brady violations against the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
- FCA investigations resolved without litigation:
- Convinced a U.S. Attorney’s Office not to proceed with an FCA investigation of a software company regarding the use, implementation, and testing of technology supplied to military and intelligence agencies.
- Secured a declination from a U.S. Attorney’s Office in qui tam suit by a former employee alleging misrepresentations of projected costs and profits in proposals for a HUD services contract. U.S. ex rel. Ashmore v. CGI Group, Inc. et al., Case No. 1:15-cv-04277-RA (S.D.N.Y.)
- Negotiated inexpensive settlement, without any discovery, of government investigation and qui tam suit alleging false statements in technology services proposal. U.S. ex. rel. Solicitation Integrity Associates v. Calnet LLC, Case No. 1:16-cv-421 (E.D. Va).
- Secured a declination from the DOJ in a qui tam suit by former employees alleging violations of the FCA by a government contractor, leading to dismissal of the entire suit. U.S. ex rel. Burghard v. AECOM, Case No. 2:08-cv-7389-ODW-CT (C.D. Cal.).
- Represented large technology companies in DOJ investigations and qui tam suits alleging alliance payments and defective pricing. United States ex rel. Rille v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP et al., Case No. 4:04-cv-00988-BRW (E.D. Ark.).
- Currently representing multiple companies responding to DOJ Civil Investigative Demands and Inspector General subpoenas regarding potential violations of the FCA, in industries such as defense, health care, technology, insurance, and education.
- Federal enforcement of small business and set-aside eligibility rules for government contracts and grants:
- Represented multiple companies under investigation for potential violation of rules governing Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Awards and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Awards.
- Conducted several internal investigations of compliance with rules for small business, HUBZone, and other set-aside contracts and grants.
- Regularly advises private equity firms on due diligence concerns arising during sales or acquisitions of government contractors holding SBIR and STTR Awards.
- Navigated government contractors through disclosure and resolution of eligibility issues arising during or after performance of small business and other set-aside contracts.
- FTC and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enforcement matters:
- Negotiated a favorable settlement for a major wireless provider facing an FTC investigation and class action suits over marketing of its data plans.
- Avoided investigation and received commendation from the FCC Enforcement Bureau after working with online payment platform to address concerns about compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
- Secured a consent decree that avoided any admission of liability or forfeiture on behalf of a major wireless provider under investigation by the FCC Enforcement Bureau.
- Civil fraud and commercial litigation:
- Representing international security firms in Anti-Terrorism Act suit based on performance of government contracts in Afghanistan. Cabrera v. Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp., et al. (D.D.C.)
- Won dismissal at a pleadings stage of federal and state lawsuits alleging Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) violations, conspiracy, and other torts related to the collection of personal data by technology company and affiliates. Kimberlin v. Hunton & Williams LLP, Case No. 8:15-cv-00723-GJH (D. Md.); Kimberlin v. Hunton & Williams LLP (Md.).
- Won dismissal of claims against multiple government contractors alleging RICO violations, fraud, and conspiracy. Brink et al. v. Xe Holding, LLC et al. (D.D.C.).
- Represented government contractor in multiple suits with former owner alleging fraud and breach of contract arising from fast-moving sale of company after U.S. Army denied base access due to security concerns about former owner. AAL USA, Inc. v. Black Hall Aerospace, Inc. (N.D. Ala.); AAL Group, Ltd. v. Black Hall Aerospace, Inc. (N.D. Ala.).
- Internal investigations to assess corporate employee misconduct and disclosure obligations:
- Conducted internal investigation of a public technology company’s compliance with small business regulations during channel sales to the federal government.
- Led multiple investigations for an intelligence community contractor regarding concerns about procurement integrity and mischarging on government contracts.
- Led an investigation into a whistleblower’s claims of mischarging and retaliation by a company that provides storage and logistics to the military.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a satellite company into violations of FCC regulations.
Other criminal defense:
- Represented a senior executive of a generic drug manufacturer in a criminal investigation into allegations of insider trading and violations of the good manufacturing practices.
- Part of a trial team that defended a senior government official against allegations of false statements and obstruction of justice during the government’s investigation of illicit acts by a prominent lobbyist.
- Financial Analyst, American Airlines (1998-2000)
- American Bar Association (ABA)
- Co-Chair, Section of Public Contract Law, Procurement Fraud Committee (2018-2020)
- Vice-Chair, Section of Public Contract Law, Procurement Fraud Committee (2013-2018)
- Section of Criminal Justice, White Collar Crime Committee
- Federal Bar Association, Qui Tam Section
- Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA), Enforcement Committee
- William B. Bryant Inn of Court
- Recognized by The Legal 500 US in Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense (2019-2021)
J.D., Duke University School of Law
B.A., with distinction, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Member, Duke Law and Technology Review
Bar and Court Memberships
- District of Columbia Bar
- North Carolina Bar
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Fifth and District of Columbia Circuits
- U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and Northern District of Illinois
Related News & Insights
- ArticleGrassley Amendments Are Not The Way To Reform The FCALaw360Roderick L. Thomas, Mark B. Sweet, Michelle B. BradshawAugust 25, 2021
- AlertNot So Fast Congress: There’s a Better Way to Reform the False Claims ActRoderick L. Thomas, Mark B. Sweet, Michelle B. BradshawAugust 20, 2021
- Press ReleaseLegal 500 US Recognizes 44 Wiley Lawyers Across Seven Practice Areas NationallyJune 11, 2021
- EventABA Public Contract Law Section Procurement Fraud Committee: The False Claims Act in 2021 and BeyondAmerican Bar Association (ABA) Public Contract Law SectionNovember 19, 2020