William Stellmach Featured in BioWorld Article on SEC Enforcement in Health Care Industry

January 7, 2021

Mr. Stellmach addressed the SEC’s enforcement activities in 2020, the growing trend this decade toward more FCPA cases each year and what to expect in 2021.

Willkie partner and co-chair of the firm's White-Collar Defense Group Bill Stellmach was featured in BioWorld for an article examining SEC enforcement of the health care industry. The article covered the recent Food & Drug Law Institute: Enforcement, Litigation and Compliance Conference, examining key trends addressed by Mr. Stellmach and other conference speakers, including the SEC’s enforcement activities in 2020, the growing trend this decade toward more FCPA cases each year and what to expect in 2021.

In the article, Mr. Stellmach discussed prosecutions for FCPA violations in health care as a major driver of collections for both the SEC and the Department of Justice, adding that the SEC and DOJ both continues to invest significant resources in specialized units dedicated to FCPA enforcement. Drawing on his experience as former head of the Fraud Section, which oversees all FCPA criminal enforcement, and as an alum of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, Mr. Stellmach discussing emerging trends that he expected to continue under the next Administration, and offered insight on potential new FCPA priorities.

“The focus on life sciences and pharma hasn’t abated one iota” under the Trump administration, he said, noting that prosecutions for overseas activity will also remain vigorous. “It’s virtually impossible to do business overseas [in that industry sector] … without having multiple touchpoints with a foreign government official,” he said, adding that the problem is magnified by the expansive definition of a government official adopted by U.S. authorities and their aggressive views on extraterritorial jurisdiction.

He also discussed potential US enforcement priorities for the coming year with a new administration in place, noting that industry sweeps might also return despite the criticism they face. “The life science industries in particular remain an attractive target,” he said.

On December 16, Mr. Stellmach was a panelist on “FTC and SEC Litigation, Enforcement and Application to FDA Authorities,” at the Food & Drug Law Institute: Enforcement, Litigation and Compliance Conference.

“Health care ranks second on list of FCPA enforcement actions by SEC” can be found here. (subscription required)