Sheldon, Sam S.

Sam S. Sheldon

Partner

  Biography

Sam Sheldon is head of the firm’s Health Care Practice Group.  He is a trial lawyer who represents companies and senior executives in litigation before the United States federal government including Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services, and other law enforcement and regulatory agencies.  Mr. Sheldon’s practice focuses on health care fraud whether in the context of civil, criminal or parallel probes including the False Claims Act and the Stark Act.

As former Deputy Chief of the Criminal Fraud Division and head of the Health Care Fraud Unit of United States Department of Justice, Mr. Sheldon was responsible for overseeing the prosecution of health care fraud for the entire United States.  His achievements include managing the largest one-day arrest in US history of 107 people engaged in health care fraud totaling over $450 million, and a record total in 2012 of over $1.5 billion in health care fraud charged.  Mr. Sheldon tried seven health care fraud cases during his three-year tenure with the Criminal Fraud Division.

Mr. Sheldon is also a former Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA), serving the Southern District of Texas. He successfully prosecuted the first agricultural fraud case in the United States (under 7 U.S.C. § 7711), for which he received a special award from the FBI Director commending his prosecution of the case.  Additionally, the Assistant Director of the Department of Homeland Security granted him an International Achievement Award for successfully prosecuting several complex import-export fraud cases.  Mr. Sheldon tried fourteen cases during his three-year tenure as an AUSA.

Before becoming a federal prosecutor, Mr. Sheldon spent approximately ten years in private practice. He was a litigation associate and then litigation partner in the San Diego office of Cozen O’Connor. Mr. Sheldon specialized in commercial, environmental and insurance subrogation litigation. He also managed his own law firm representing small companies and individuals.

Mr. Sheldon’s legal career is further distinguished by his pro bono work where his accomplishments include successfully persuading Presidents Clinton and Bush to grant five of his clients’ federal clemency petitions. Feature stories describing Mr. Sheldon’s legal victories have been written in The American Lawyer, National Law Journal, Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Diego-Union Tribune, San Diego Lawyer, and featured on ABC Nightly News and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

U.S. District Court Judge David Doty called Mr. Sheldon “a great hero” for dedicating himself to pro bono work. Judge Doty has also written an article for the Federal Sentencing Reporter discussing Mr. Sheldon’s legal successes including the case of Serena Nunn. After serving eleven years in federal prison and then having her sentence commuted by President Clinton, Serena Nunn graduated college from Arizona State University and law school from the University of Michigan. She is currently practicing law in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Nunn stated, “Mr. Sheldon inspired me. He is the best person I know.”

  Notable Representations

  • Oversaw the largest one-day arrest in United States history of 107 people engaged in health care fraud totaling over $450 million.
  • Oversaw a record total in 2012 of over $1.5 billion in health care fraud charged.
  • Co-lead prosecutor in the largest health care prosecution against one doctor in the United States (total fraud amount alleged was $374 million).
  • Conducted 25 trials (twenty-one federal criminal trials including seven health care fraud cases, and four civil trials).
  • Prosecuted the first agricultural fraud case in the United States (under 7 U.S.C. § 7711), and received a special award from the FBI Director.
  • Prosecuted the first illegal exportation of goods case in the Southern District of Texas (under 18 U.S.C. § 554), and received an International Achievement Award from the Assistant Director of the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Argued four different cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits.
  • Drafted five different successful petitions for Presidential clemency (four of the five clients were pro bono).

  Practice Areas

  • Health Care Litigation
  • Israel Practice
  • White Collar & Corporate Investigations
  • Litigation Representing Plaintiffs

  Education

  • University of Houston Law Center
    (J.D., 1997)

  • University of Southern California
    (M.A., Political Science, 1994; B.A., Political Science 1992)
    • Student Body President, 1991-1992

  Admissions

The State Bar of California; The District of Columbia Bar; United States Courts of Appeals: Federal Circuit, Fifth Circuit, Eighth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Tenth Circuit; United States District Courts: District of Colorado, Southern District of Texas, Southern District of California, Central District of California, Western District of Michigan

  Prior Associations

  • United States Department of Justice (Criminal Division/Fraud Section):
    • Deputy Chief, 2011-2013
    • Assistant Chief, 2010-2011
    • Trial Attorney, 2010

  • United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas:
    • Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA), 2007-2010

  • Sheldon Law Office, APC:
    • Managing Partner, 2004-2006

  • Cozen O'Connor:
    • Litigation Partner, 2003-2004
    • Litigation Associate, 1997-2003

  Awards

  • 2013 recipient of the Prosecutive Leadership Award presented by the Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
  • 2011 recipient of an Exceptional Service Award presented by the United States Assistant Attorney General.
  • 2010 recipient of a Special Achievement Award presented by the United States Attorney General for Sustained Superior Performance of Duty.
  • 2010 recipient of an International Achievement Award from the Assistant Director of the Department of Homeland Security for prosecuting the first illegal exportation of goods case in the Southern District of Texas (under 18 U.S.C. § 554).
  • 2009 recipient of a Special Award from the FBI Director for prosecuting the first agricultural fraud case in the United States (under 7 U.S.C. § 7711).

Publications and Lectures

  • Lititgating Class Actions/Recent Developments in Qui Tam Litigation and Parallel Government Investigations—featured speaker (Dec. 2013).
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee—presented a one-day seminar on the Strike Force Model of prosecuting health care fraud (March 2013).
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia—presented a one-day seminar on the Strike Force Model of prosecuting health care fraud (Feb. 2013).
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California—presented a one-day seminar on the Strike Force Model of prosecuting health care fraud (Nov. 2012).
  • NHCAA (National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association) Annual Training Conference—featured speaker (Nov. 2012).
  • North Texas Health Care Fraud Working Group (Sponsored by the FBI)—keynote speaker (Oct. 2012).
  • National Health Care Fraud Training conducted by Fraud Section/Criminal Division/USDOJ—keynote speaker (Sept. 2012).
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida—presented a one-day seminar on the Strike Force Model of prosecuting health care fraud (Sept. 2012).
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois—presented a one-day seminar on the Strike Force Model of prosecuting health care fraud (Aug. 2012).
  • ABA Annual Criminal Justice Section Meeting/Health Care Fraud Panel—featured speaker (Aug. 2012).
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi—presented a one-day seminar on the Strike Force Model of prosecuting health care fraud (Aug. 2012).
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico—presented a one-day seminar on the Strike Force Model of prosecuting health care fraud (Aug. 2012).
  • National Health Care Fraud Training at the National Advocacy Center conducted by the Executive Office for United States Attorneys—featured speaker (June 2012).
  • American Health Lawyers Association/Fraud and Abuse Practice Group—featured speaker (June 2012).
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia—presented a one-day seminar on the Strike Force Model of prosecuting health care fraud (May 2012).
  • ABA National Institute on Health Care Fraud—featured speaker (May 2012).
  • National Health Care Fraud Training conducted by the FBI—featured speaker (May 2012).
  • San Diego Public and Private Health Care Fraud Seminar—keynote speaker (Feb. 2012).