Photo of Mark B. Sweet

Education

J.D., Duke University School of Law

B.A., with distinction, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Law Journals

Member, Duke Law and Technology Review

Bar and Court Admissions

District of Columbia Bar

North Carolina Bar

U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth and District of Columbia Circuits

U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and Northern District of Illinois

Mark represents clients facing civil and criminal fraud investigations and whistleblower complaints. He has successfully navigated clients through high-stakes, high-profile investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), state Attorneys General, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), federal Inspectors General (IGs), and Congress. He has handled numerous False Claims Act (FCA) cases from investigation to litigation in industries such as defense, health care, technology, intelligence, insurance, and education. He can efficiently manage responses 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 securing dismissals or extremely favorable settlements.  

Representative Experience

  • Leading cases:
    • 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.
    • Currently representing 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. United States v. Litchfield, Case No. 2017 CF2 001235 (D.C.).
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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. FTC v. TracFone Wireless, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-392-EMC (N.D. Cal.).
    • 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. In the Matter of TracFone Wireless, Inc., File No. EB-IHD-15-00018098.
  • Fraud and commercial litigation:
    • 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, Case No. 420644-V (Mont. Cty.).
    • Won dismissal of claims against multiple government contractors alleging RICO violations, fraud, and conspiracy. Brink et al. v. Xe Holding, LLC et al., Case No. 1:11-cv-1733-EGS (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., Case No. 2:16-CV-2090-KOB; AAL Group, Ltd. v. Black Hall Aerospace, Inc., Case No. 2:17-CV-0399-KOB.
  • 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.
    • Navigated investment bank through grand jury investigation of its customer for tax and government contracts improprieties.
    • 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.

Professional Experience

  • Financial Analyst, American Airlines (1998-2000)

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (ABA)
    • Co-Chair, Section of Public Contract Law, Procurement Fraud Committee (2018-2019) 
    • Vice-Chair, Section of Public Contract Law, Procurement Fraud Committee (2013-2018)
    • Section of Criminal Justice, White Collar Crime Committee
  • Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA), Enforcement Committee
  • William B. Bryant Inn of Court

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