Sarah M. Frazier

Background

Sarah M. Frazier has a nationwide practice that includes qui tam suits representing whistleblowers, white collar criminal defense, and commercial law. She is currently pursuing several qui tam suits, many still under seal, on subjects ranging from war profiteering to Medicaid kickbacks to best price violations, pending in jurisdictions across the United States. She lectures frequently on both qui tam and criminal law.

Ms. Frazier has served as a program director for the ABA’s biennial National False Claims and Qui Tam Trial Institute since 2013 and takes a leading role in writing the fact pattern for the program’s mock trial. She lectures frequently on the FCA and white collar crime, including teaching a course on qui tam litigation at the University of Houston Law Center in 2012.

Ms. Frazier’s trial experience includes a health care fraud trial in 2017, and a medical insurance fraud acquittal in 2010. In 2012, she successfully defended John O’Shea of FCPA charges related to a contract by ABB to provide a smart grid to a Mexican utility, winning acquittal on all charges at trial. ABB had previously pled guilty.

Representative Matters

  • Qui tam off-label marketing case against AstraZeneca regarding off-label marketing of Crestor, settlement netted Texas and the whistleblowers about $15.5MM in a $20 million settlement after multi-year intervened litigation in Travis County, Texas.
  • Qui tam fraudulent marketing case against Novo Nordisk concerning the downplaying of cancer risks and other off-label promotion of diabetes drug Victoza. This was an intervened case settled for $58 million in which Ms. Frazier represented the first of seven whistleblowers.
  • “Switching” scheme to offer deep discounts on drugs for nursing home patients in exchange for recommending and steering patients to the discounted drugs. To date, two of the defendants, Organon Pharmaceuticals and pharmacy Omnicare, Inc., have settled for over $40 million, despite government declination to intervene.
  • Successfully settled pair of qui tam lawsuits against construction companies, one partially intervened, one declined, alleging Small Business Association fraud in connection with military construction projects at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and Camp Pendleton in California.
  • Won an acquittal of a U.S. executive accused of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations and payments made to officials of a Mexican state-owned electric utility on January 18, 2012, after a jury trial in Houston federal court.
  • Qui tam lawsuit against Alaska native company settled for $2 million following intervention, based on allegations of fraudulent timekeeping and false invoicing.
  • Four acquittals of a prominent oncologist accused of insurance fraud by four major insurance companies. The trial involved billing for the drug Herceptin.
  • Qui tam action against American Grocers, intervened and settled for approximately $19 million, involving the alteration of expiration dates on food products sent to American troops in Kuwait.
  • Qui tam case involving rampant fraudulent Medicare billing by a supplier of durable medical equipment. $2 million settlement was accomplished without Department of Justice intervention and despite company’s plummeting stock prices.
  • Federal criminal misbranding prosecution relating to unapproved Botox product, representing physician. Tried to jury twice, resulting first in a hung jury, then in a conviction overturned on appeal.
  • Defended Houston business in commercial litigation concerning commissions and proceeds from sale of business, resulting in award of complete summary judgment to defendant, upheld on appeal.
  • Represented individual in pre-indictment federal anti-trust investigation, resulting in Department of Justice decision not to pursue criminal charges against client.
  • Since 2001, Ms. Frazier has represented Texas death row client. Successfully argued to full panel of Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in 2005 for groundbreaking reversal of district court order denying DNA testing.

Education

  • J.D., Vanderbilt University College of Law
  • B.A., Haverford College

Clerkships

Law Clerk to the Honorable Terrence W. Boyle, United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina

Publications

  • Federal Healthcare Fraud Trials at the Crossroads: Do Disparities in Rules of Procedure Favor Criminal Prosecutions at the Expense of Criminal Defendants’ Civil Liberties and Civil Plaintiffs’ Access to the Courts? 30 HEALTH LAW., no. 3, February 2018, at 1.
  • Oral Argument Held in Jackson / Ruehlen Challenge, FCPA Professor (Dec. 10, 2012), http://www.fcpaprofessor.com/oral-argument-held-in-jackson-ruehlen-challenge.
  • Federal Criminal White Collar Appellate Update, The Appellate Advocate, State Bar of Texas Appellate Section Update (2007-2012).
  • Note, Liberty of Expression in Ireland and the Need for a Constitutional Law of Defamation, 32 J. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 391 (March 1999).

Presentations and Seminars

  • Panelist, Declined Cases, Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference, October 3, 2018, Washington, DC
  • Speaker, “Rogues and Rascals, Moles and Snitches – How to Recognize a Potential False Claims Act Problem and the Would-Be Whistleblower Who Wants You to Fix It,” Houston Bar Association Health Law Section, Sept. 24, 2016
  • Program Director, Mock Trial Participant, and Panelist, ABA National False Claims Act and Qui Tam Trial Institute, Washington, D.C., 2013, Denver, CO, 2015, and Washington, DC, 2017.
  • Panelist and Mock Trial Participant, ABA First Annual FCPA Trial Institute, Nov. 16-17, 2016, Houston, Texas
  • Speaker, “Adventures in Fraud—An Introduction to the Fundamentals of Fraud and Abuse Enforcement,” ABA Health Law Section, Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, March 4, 2015.
  • Speaker, “Dealing with Whistleblowers in Internal Investigations and Related Proceedings,” Legal Risks Presented By The Rogue Employee, ABA Commercial and Business Litigation Committee/Regional CLE, Philadelphia, PA, February 7, 2014.
  • Guest Lecturer on Government Procurement Fraud, Course on White Collar Practice, University of Alabama School of Law, 2012-2014.
  • Speaker, “Minimizing Whistleblower Exposure Through Decisive Internal Action: What Companies Can Learn From the Experiences of the Plaintiffs’ Bar,” American Conference Institute, 16th FCPA Boot Camp, San Francisco, CA, October 2, 2012.
  • Speaker, “The Trial of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Case,” Houston Bar Association, Securities Law Section, February 14, 2012.
  • Speaker, “The Greatest Pitfall of All: How to Avoid Subjecting Your Client to Criminal Prosecution,” University of Texas UTCLE, 6th Annual Consumer Bankruptcy Practice, August 13, 2010, Galveston, TX.

Associations and Honors

  • American Bar Association, Health Law Section
    • Interest Group Executive Leadership Team, 2017-19
    • Healthcare Litigation and Risk Management, Chair, 2016-2017; Vice Chair, 2014-2016
    • Vice Chair, Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Planning Committee, 2014-2019
  • Association of Women Attorneys, Judicial Endorsement Committee, 2004 & 2014
  • Member of Texas Pro Bono College, 2016-2018
  • Texas Monthly, “Rising Star,” 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010
  • King & Spalding Pro Bono Service Award, 2002 & 2003

Admissions

  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • U.S. District Court, Southern, Eastern, Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States