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J. Scott Newton

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Scott Newton has more than 25 years of experience investigating, prosecuting or defending federal criminal and civil allegations and violations as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an Assistant United States Attorney and private practice attorney.

Featured Experience

Conducted complex internal investigations for one of the largest defense contractors in the world under $19 billion and $2.2 billion contracts.
Conducted an estimated $260 million internal investigation regarding mortgage fraud for a global publicly-held financial services company and its subsidiaries, resulting in the filing of a Suspicious Activity Report and employee terminations.

Defended the largest distributor of pharmaceuticals and oldest and largest health care company in the country in litigation brought by the Mississippi Attorney General and its associated plaintiff's counsel alleging a complex fraudulent Medicaid pricing scheme.

Professional Biography

Overview

Mr. Newton concentrates his practice on government investigations and litigation, primarily focusing on health care fraud, white collar crime, internal corporate investigations, and working as an Independent Review Organization. He has extensive jury and bench trial experience in cases including the prosecution of white collar crime, murder/manslaughter and other criminal and civil matters.

Government and Internal Investigations

Publically-traded companies, those with global operations, and companies ranked in the Fortune 1000 rely on Mr. Newton's wealth of experience navigating complex defense proceedings involving white collar crime, internal corporate investigations, and parallel criminal/civil health care fraud cases. Mr. Newton defended or is defending the world's leading financial services company, the oldest and largest health care company in the country, the largest American managed care company, the world's leading health care IT company, the largest military shipbuilding company in the country, a 1,300 physician-owned Medicare Advantage HMO, and a publicly-traded pharmacy chain among others.

Mr. Newton currently serves as the Independent Review Organization (similar to a monitor) for the ninth largest public health system in the country. He regularly conducts complex internal corporate investigations, sometimes making referrals of employee misconduct for federal prosecution. Mr. Newton has represented clients across the spectrum of health care providers against False Claims Act (FCA) and its qui tam provisions, Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), Stark and other allegations, including hospital systems, health maintenance organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, physician practices, nursing homes, and pharmacies.

Mr. Newton has two decades of experience handling what is considered to be the most complex of litigation matters, parallel criminal-civil FCA prosecutions. He regularly responds to grand jury investigations, including leading responsive internal investigations, addressing search warrants, subpoenas, seizure of assets, preparing witness testimony, the production of records, leading litigation, trying cases, negotiating settlements and/or pleas. He also prepares and negotiates compliance programs, addresses other remedial administrative measures and has experience assisting with transactional due diligence.

Mr. Newton serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching White Collar Crime and Health Care Fraud classes. He has spoken across the country about conducting, prosecuting, responding to and/or defending government investigations and has served as an expert witness in health care fraud litigation.

Disaster Recovery and Government Services

Mr. Newton was appointed by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour as Special Counsel to the Governor's Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal after Hurricane Katrina. With a commitment to continue serving the impacted communities, he was integrally involved in the development and implementation of Baker Donelson's disaster recovery offerings and served as the chair of the Disaster Recovery and Government Services Group. Through strategic partnerships, the Firm gained a national reputation as one of the only law firms in the country with the capability to serve public clients in substantive project management and provide disaster recovery legal guidance. Baker Donelson provided financial management oversight, grant administration and compliance, legal guidance, fraud prevention, regulatory and policy advice, appeals and arbitrations of grant determinations to state agencies involving more than $5.5 billion in program funding from FEMA and HUD for more than 800 represented entities involving more than 11,000 Hurricane Katrina projects closeouts, and under FEMA's $3.2 billion Public Assistance Program (recognized as a leading practice by the United States Government Accountability Office), $425 million Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, and $200 million Emergency Management Assistance Compact as well as HUD's $2 billion Project Management Office and $250 million Small Rental Program.

The Firm's HUD program funding work has expanded to Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee and Texas.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Experience

Prior to joining Baker Donelson, Mr. Newton served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for Health Care Fraud Enforcement in Louisiana and Mississippi, where he prosecuted more than 200 complex health care fraud cases, resulting in the recovery of more than $25 million for the Medicare Trust Fund. He also prosecuted one of the largest narcotics traffickers in the country, obtaining the first life sentence in a drug case in the Southern District of Mississippi. He has experience in prosecuting public corruption cases and has tried white collar and narcotics cases. Mr. Newton is a two-time recipient of the prestigious "Integrity Award," the highest honor bestowed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General on individuals outside HHS-OIG.

Mr. Newton also served as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) where he led one of the first high-profile corporate scandal investigations, which involved a $520 million international tax evasion, securities and bank fraud case with a public company and its nationally known accounting, investment banking and law firms. Mr. Newton's work helped secure convictions of the company's Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, General Counsel, and three managing directors, for inflating stock prices and diverting millions of dollars offshore. The case was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Barrons and numerous other publications. He initiated and directed "Stamp Out," the first FBI effort aimed at electronic benefit card and food stamp fraud, worked on the FBI's largest national undercover telemarketing case, the "Montana Freemen" Standoff, and the "Unabomber" case.

Representative Matters
  • Currently serves as the Independent Review Organization for one of the ten largest health systems in the country, following its entering into the largest non-litigated Stark Law settlement in history and the undertaking Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) mandated compliance measures. The hospital system includes four hospitals with more than 1,500 beds, more than 9,000 employees and nearly 1,900 credentialed physicians, dozens of ancillary and community health service lines. The work has included an Arrangements Systems and Transactions Reviews, reviewing the work of the Governor-appointed Board of Commissioners, every member of the corporate office and hospital-based senior management, and every department involved in the contracts process. Our team conducted compliance testing, remuneration tracking and other work to ensure compliance with federal laws, regulations and the CIA, presenting public reports since early 2016.

  • Defended a 1,300 physician-owned Medicare Advantage HMO in parallel criminal and civil investigations in which the United States alleged a significant failure to provide care to Medicare members. After a several year investigation, the criminal and civil matters against the client were closed without action.

  • Defended a health care provider, as a member of the trial team, where it was found that the federal government failed to carry its burden of proof in a $895 million suit. The government alleged that one of the country's largest skilled nursing facilities and an affiliate entered into a kickback arrangement with a pharmaceutical company resulting in a violation of the FCA and AKS. The case is significant because of the amount of the allegation and as one of the rare defense trial verdicts in a federal FCA action.

  • Conducted complex internal investigations for one of the largest defense contractors in the world under $19 billion and $2.2 billion contracts.
  • Conducted an estimated $260 million internal investigation regarding mortgage fraud for a global publicly-held financial services company and its subsidiaries, resulting in the filing of a Suspicious Activity Report and employee terminations.
  • Conducted a complex internal investigation of and defended a large defense contractor's parts delivery, storage and repair processes under a $50 million government contract.
  • Defended the largest distributor of pharmaceuticals and oldest and largest health care company in the country in litigation brought by the Mississippi Attorney General and its associated plaintiff's counsel alleging a complex fraudulent Medicaid pricing scheme.

  • Defended a hospital in parallel criminal and civil FCA and AKS investigations in which the federal government alleged payments were made to a physician for nearly $45 million in referrals (not including FCA or AKS penalties, which would have resulted in several hundred million being alleged). After the criminal case against the hospital was closed without action, a $1.75 million civil settlement was eventually reached. The non-client physician was convicted at trial and received a 7 1/2 year sentence.

  • Successfully defended a publicly-held company accused of making illegal PAC contributions to United States Congressman and Speaker of the House Tom DeLay.

  • Defended publicly-traded pharmacy chains against civil allegations of overbilling Medicaid for prescriptions.

  • Represented two Mississippi Governors in their personal capacities in three actions before the Mississippi Supreme Court and/or the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit threatening the constitutionality of Mississippi's tort damage caps.

  • Special Prosecutor Pro Tempore, Hinds County District Attorney's (DA) Office (Court-appointed, 2008 – present) pro bono prosecutor of violent crime cases when the DA has a conflict. Tried murder/manslaughter case five years after the event upon learning the DA had a conflict, after meeting the victim's family, and addressing serious factual problems. Cases resulted in two convictions.

  • Successful pro bono litigation and counsel to a former Presbyterian church, which left their national denomination over conservative doctrinal, theological and property ownership issues.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Government Relations Law (2011 – 2020); Health Care Law (2013 – 2020); Antitrust Litigation (2015 – 2020); Qui Tam Law (2018 – 2020)
  • Named The Best Lawyers in America® 2020, 2018 and 2016 Jackson-MS Antitrust Litigation "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers in Government/Cities/Municipalities and Civil Litigation Defense (2006, 2013 – 2018)
  • Adjunct Professor of Health Care Fraud – Mississippi College School of Law (2012 – present)
  • Adjunct Professor of White Collar Crime – Mississippi College School of Law (2009 – present)
  • 2003 Republican nominee for Mississippi Attorney General
  • Special Prosecutor Pro Tempore – Hinds County District Attorney's Office (2008 – present)
  • Association of Certified Fraud Examiners – Regent Emeritus, Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents (2003 – 2004), Member since 1994
  • Judicial Advisory Study Committee (appointed and reappointed by Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice William L. Waller, Jr.) (2009 – 2018)
  • Special Counsel to the Governor's Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal Following Hurricane Katrina (appointed by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour) (2005)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General's "Integrity Awards" (2000, 2002)
  • Special Agent – Federal Bureau of Investigation, Salt Lake City Division (March 1991 – May 1997)
    • Received Commendations, Cash Incentive and Time Off Awards from FBI Director Louis J. Freeh (1995, 1996)
  • FBI Representative – United States Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force
  • Assistant Commissioners Award for Distinguished Support of IRS-CID (1995)
  • Appointed to U.S. Department of Justice Health Care Fraud Working Group
  • Member – American Health Lawyers Association
  • Recipient – Baker Donelson Jackson Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for Hurricane Katrina work (2007)
Publications
Speaking Engagements
  • "What To Do When The Fraud Investigator Shows Up At The Door: From Start to Finish," Health Care Law Update, University of Mississippi CLE, Ridgeland, Mississippi (May 2015)
  • "Internal Investigations: Fraud Prevention, Detection, and Compliance," Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi (March 2014)
  • "The Increasing Importance of Corporate Internal Investigations," Mississippi Corporate Counsel Association (September 2013)
  • "Legal Careers in Health Care," Health Law Society, Mississippi College School of Law (April 2012)
  • "Bringing the DME Heat: The Investigation, Prosecution and Effective Compliance," U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Tennessee Health Care Fraud Task Force, Memphis, Tennessee (July 2011)

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