Procurement Fraud

White Collar & Investigations
Regulatory & Compliance

With the U.S. government relying more and more on contractors to provide services for defense and health care programs, the government has devoted greater resources to investigating and prosecuting procurement fraud. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), military investigative agencies, and other federal agencies have stepped up enforcement against both individuals and companies. Zuckerman Spaeder LLP has decades of experience helping our clients navigate the complex web of criminal, civil, administrative, and business considerations that characterize procurement fraud investigations and prosecutions. We zealously protect our clients’ legal interests even as we work to minimize business disruption, safeguard reputations, and preserve good will.

With the recent wars in Iraq and ongoing military action in Afghanistan, the U.S. government has turned more and more to outside contractors to fulfill services in support of these efforts overseas. At home, there has also been a precipitous rise in the use of government contractors to provide a variety of services to federal agencies and programs. Contracting with government agencies presents special problems that require innovative and sensible counsel. Government contractors, their officers, directors, and personnel face an increased risk of criminal investigations as a consequence of the establishment of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force, whose mandate is to prevent, detect, and prosecute procurement fraud.

Experience Highlights

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP has extensive experience assisting clients involved in procurement fraud investigations. Our attorneys have advised and advocated on behalf of clients facing allegations of defective pricing, product substitution, labor mischarging, false claims, grant fraud, fraud involving foreign military sales, ethics and conflicts of interest violations, misuse of classified information, public corruption, and other variants of procurement fraud.

We recognize that government investigations interfere with normal routines and create uncertainty and stress; threaten the reputations of companies and those associated with them, even if they are eventually fully absolved of wrongdoing; carry the risk of administrative sanctions with severe financial consequences, including suspension and debarment from government contracting; and may jeopardize the liberty of senior executives, directors, and other company personnel.

The interplay between an investigation by the executive branch—whether criminal, civil or administrative—and a simultaneous congressional investigation that may have very different goals poses special challenges. Our attorneys have assisted many clients in fashioning creative responses to these challenges, with due consideration of the political consequences, the effect on the client’s reputation, and the legal ramifications of alternative approaches to parallel congressional and DOJ investigations. We have represented current and former public officials, including members of both houses of Congress and cabinet-level officials, as well as individuals in the private sector, in parallel congressional and DOJ investigations.


In addition to advising contractors facing government investigations, Zuckerman Spaeder also conducts internal investigations to advise clients about their risks and potential exposure. We have extensive experience developing and implementing corporate compliance programs in diverse industries, including the defense, health care, and pharmaceutical industries among others. Our attorneys’ seasoned judgment has enabled our clients to avoid criminal investigations by minimizing the risk of wrongdoing in the first instance and developing and executing effective strategies when they discover it.