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J. Scott Newton

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As a member of the Government Enforcement and Investigations Group, Scott Newton concentrates his practice on government investigations and litigation – primarily including financial and health care fraud, monitorships, and internal investigations – and commercial litigation matters.

Featured Experience


Served as the IRO for the ninth largest public health system in the country, arising from the second largest non-litigated Stark settlement with OIG monitored corporate integrity agreement (CIA). Work included entity corporate integrity monitoring, arrangements systems and transactions reviews, oversight of governor-appointed board of commissioners, and corporate/hospital management. Presented 12 substantive reports to hospital system, the OIG and/or DOJ.

Defended a public pharmacy in litigation filed by the Mississippi Attorney General alleging $25.4 billion on overbilling of Medicaid reimbursed prescriptions and won venue oral argument before the Mississippi Supreme Court. More than five years later, the case was dismissed by the attorney general without damages being paid.

Led numerous complex internal investigations for one of the largest global defense contractors regarding $19 billion and $2.2 billion contracts with the U.S. Navy.

Professional Biography


Mr. Newton has 30 years of experience investigating, prosecuting, litigating, and monitoring criminal, civil, and parallel financial and health care fraud allegations and addressing collateral compliance consequences nationally as a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent, Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA), independent corporate monitor, and as an attorney in private practice.

Litigation, Monitoring and Investigations

Mr. Newton's national defense practice focuses on government investigations and prosecutions, parallel criminal and civil health care fraud cases, independent monitorships, complex internal investigations, and "bet the company" commercial litigation. He represents global, public, and large private companies, including the leading global public financial services company and several subsidiaries; the oldest and largest health care company in the U.S.; the largest global health carrier (by revenue) and its global subsidiary; the largest military shipbuilding company in the U.S.; the largest physician-owned Medicare Advantage health maintenance organization (HMO) in the U.S.; a public pharmacy; and numerous others. He also served as the Independent Review Organization (IRO) monitor for the ninth largest public health system in the country.

Mr. Newton has 25 years of experience prosecuting and defending virtually every type of provider, including pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, hospital systems, managed care organizations (MCOs), HMOs, physician practices, and others in parallel criminal/civil/administrative False Claims Act (FCA) and qui tams, Stark and Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS)/FCA bootstrapped cases, which are considered the most complex of litigation matters. He also defended white collar crime cases involving the FBI, Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and Office of Inspectors General (OIG).

Mr. Newton provides guidance to boards of directors, audit committees, and C-suite management about the impact of fraud allegations on enterprise governance, compliance, and risk management. He regularly responds to grand jury investigations, including leading responsive internal investigations, addressing search warrants, subpoenas, seizure of assets, preparing witness testimony, production of records, leading litigation, negotiating settlements and/or pleas, trying cases, preparing and negotiating compliance programs, and other remedial administrative measures. Mr. Newton has extensive entity corporate integrity monitoring and systems review experience. He assists with managing risk in mergers and acquisitions by offering due diligence support, evaluation, and advice. Mr. Newton also assists with compliance issues, enforcement trends, regulatory issues, voluntary disclosures, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, and medical staff issues. 

Mr. Newton is a frequent speaker regarding responding to government investigations and prosecutions.

Disaster Recovery and Government Services

Following Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Newton was appointed by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour as Special Counsel to the Governor's Commission for Recovery to continue serving the impacted communities. He conceived, developed, and helped implement the $5.5 billion financial management oversight processes used by the state in its recovery, and initiated and led Baker Donelson's Disaster Recovery and Government Services Team. By including strategic partners, the Firm gained a national reputation as one of the only law firms in the country serving public clients in substantive project management and disaster recovery legal guidance.

Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of Mississippi and Western District of Louisiana (1997 – 2003)

As an AUSA, Mr. Newton prosecuted violations of federal laws and led felony trials in narcotics trafficking and white collar crime cases, as well as misdemeanor trials in environmental and other cases. He tried and convicted Fidel Ayala, a Los Angeles County methamphetamine trafficker with a national network, which included Mississippi co-conspirators, obtaining the first life sentence in a narcotics case in the Southern District of Mississippi. Mississippi and California co-conspirators were also convicted. The case was the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics "2001 Case of the Year." Federal agencies involved included the DEA, United States Customs and Border Protection, and FBI in Mississippi and California.

Mr. Newton also initiated and, for more than a year, led a high-profile judicial bribery investigation that resulted in the convictions of two state trial court judges and nationally prominent plaintiff's attorneys.

As the AUSA for Health Care Fraud Enforcement, Mr. Newton successfully prosecuted more than 200 health care fraud cases, recovering more than $25 million for the Medicare Trust Fund. As part of a national Department of Justice (DOJ)/HHS Medicare initiative, he prosecuted 121 hospitals, including a national hospital chain, recovering more than $10 million. The settlement with the national hospital chain resulted in the largest health care fraud recovery in Mississippi's history. He is a two-time recipient of the HHS Inspector General's "Integrity Award," the highest honor bestowed on individuals outside the agency.

Mr. Newton has experience in civil trials defending Federal Torts Claims Act cases and was appointed as representative to the DOJ's Health Care Fraud Working Group. He has successfully defended numerous federal agencies in litigation.

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Salt Lake City Division (1991 – 1997)

Mr. Newton led Bonneville Pacific Corporation investigation, which was called "America's first corporate scandal case" by former DOJ senior officials – a successful, high profile case with estimated $1 billion in securities fraud, international money laundering (offshore bank accounts in Switzerland, Isle of Mann, and the Bahamas), tax evasion, and bank fraud investigation of a publicly traded alternative energy company and its nationally known accounting, investment banking, and law firms. The chairman of the board, CEO, and three managing directors, who inflated stock prices and diverted millions offshore, were convicted. The case was the lead story in The Wall Street Journal and Barron's due to its significance, complexity, novelty, and involvement of the then-mayor of Salt Lake City and two former Utah governors.

Mr. Newton was appointed as FBI representative to the U.S. Securities and Commodities Task Force. He initiated and directed the successful undercover case "Stamp Out," the first FBI effort aimed at electronic benefit card and food stamp fraud. He directed the successful "Fast Track" program, significantly deterring bank fraud in Salt Lake City. He also worked on the FBI's largest national undercover telemarketing case in a supporting undercover role, the Montana Freemen Standoff, and the Unabomber case. Mr. Newton made numerous arrests, executed search warrants, and worked on Title IIIs supporting the Violent Crimes Task Force. During his tenure with the FBI, he served as a Relief Supervisory Special Agent for two years.

  • Health Care

  • Served as the IRO for the ninth largest public health system in the country, arising from the second largest non-litigated Stark settlement with OIG monitored corporate integrity agreement (CIA). Work included entity corporate integrity monitoring, arrangements systems and transactions reviews, oversight of governor-appointed board of commissioners, and corporate/hospital management. Presented 12 substantive reports to hospital system, the OIG and/or DOJ.

  • Member of the trial team that defended a health care provider where the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi found the DOJ failed to carry its burden of proof in a $895 million suit. The DOJ alleged that one of the country's largest skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and an affiliate entered an AKS/FCA scheme with a pharmaceutical company. The case was significant because it was a rare FCA defense trial verdict and for the amount alleged.

  • Defended the largest health carrier and largest health care company (by revenue) in the world and its global subsidiary, which serves 80 percent of the Fortune 100, in a qui tam alleging multi-million-dollar fraud associated with failure to provide adequate care. Plaintiff counsel asserted national pattern of conduct. Case was dismissed without damages being paid after successful appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

  • Defended the largest physician-owned (1,300+) Medicare Advantage HMO in the country in parallel criminal and civil investigations alleging failure to provide member care. After a multi-year investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the parallel criminal and civil cases were declined without action.

  • Defended a hospital in four-year parallel criminal and civil FCA/AKS investigation in which USAO for the Eastern District of Louisiana alleged kickbacks were made to a medical doctor resulting in approximately $550 million in alleged damages. Criminal cases against the hospital and management were declined without action, and a successful $1.75 million civil settlement with no remedial measures was achieved. Non-client medical doctor was sentenced to seven and a half years.

  • Defended a regional cardiology practice in qui tam alleging more than $10 million in unnecessary procedures. Motion to dismiss was granted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals after oral argument. Case has significant precedential and procedural value in defense of providers operating under a CIA with a monitor and by limiting parasitic lawsuits. Named among the 2020 Westlaw "Top Ten" nationally most important FCA cases.

  • Defended an orthopedic distributor in USAO for the District of New Jersey investigation resulting in the case being declined.

  • Defended neurosurgeons in USAO for the District of Massachusetts investigation resulting in the case being declined.

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Defended a public pharmacy in litigation filed by the Mississippi Attorney General alleging $25.4 billion on overbilling of Medicaid reimbursed prescriptions and won venue oral argument before the Mississippi Supreme Court. More than five years later, the case was dismissed by the attorney general without damages being paid.

  • Defended the largest distributor of pharmaceuticals and oldest and largest health care company in the country in litigation brought by the Mississippi Attorney General alleging more than $10 million in fraudulent Medicaid pricing. Won venue appeal by attorney general before the Mississippi Supreme Court. Case was successfully settled.

  • Defended a specialty pharmacy in parallel action by USAO for the Southern District of New York resulting in the case being declined.

  • Represented a specialty pharmacy in commercial litigation action, which included significant U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) lobbying. Case was dismissed with advantageous business model and allowed the continuation of operations.

  • Defense Contractors

  • Led numerous complex internal investigations for one of the largest global defense contractors regarding $19 billion and $2.2 billion contracts with the U.S. Navy.

  • Conducted an internal investigation and defended U.S. Air Force (USAF) contractor's parts delivery and repair processes under a $50 million contract. USAF closed the matter without action or referral.

  • Financial Institutions

  • Defended a municipal advisor in a high-profile SEC-Chicago investigation into alleged pricing of bonds and breach of fiduciary duty. After extensive work, SEC did not allege fraud charges.

  • Conducted an internal investigation of an estimated $300 million insider mortgage fraud for a global public financial services company and its subsidiaries, resulting in suspicious activity report filings, federal referral, and terminations.

  • Elected Officials

  • Defended a public company accused of making illegal political action committee (PAC) contributions by Travis County, Texas district attorney to then Congressman and Speaker of the House Tom DeLay. Case was declined without government action.

  • Represented two Mississippi governors in their personal capacities and won multiple actions before the Mississippi Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit threatening the constitutionality of Mississippi's tort damage caps.

  • Pro Bono

  • Served as court-appointed Hinds County Special Prosecutor Pro Tempore (2008 – 2015) when the district attorney had a conflict. Pro bono prosecutor of violent crime cases, including murder/manslaughter, extortion, and others, resulting in multiple convictions.

  • Successful pro bono litigation and counsel to former Mississippi Presbyterian Church (USA) churches, which left their national denomination over property ownership, doctrinal, and theological issues.

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Government Relations Law (2011 – 2023); Health Care Law (2013 – 2023); Antitrust Litigation (2015 – 2023); Qui Tam Law (2018 – 2023); Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2021 – 2023)
  • Named The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 Jackson-MS Criminal Defense: White-Collar "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Named The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 Jackson-MS Government Relations Practice "Lawyer of the Year"
  • 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 – 2019)
  • Mississippi Business Journal's "Top 10 Mississippi Leading Attorneys" (2018)
  • Fellow – American Bar Foundation
  • Member – American Health Law Association
  • Adjunct Professor of Health Care Fraud – Mississippi College School of Law (2012 – 2017)
  • Adjunct Professor of White Collar Crime – Mississippi College School of Law (2009 – 2017)
  • 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 – 2017)
  • 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 – U.S. Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission "Commissioner's Award" (1995)
  • Assistant Commissioners Award for Distinguished Support of IRS-CID (1995)
  • Appointed to U.S. Department of Justice Health Care Fraud Working Group
  • Recipient – Baker Donelson Jackson Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for Hurricane Katrina work (2007)

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