Bill Harrington is a seasoned trial lawyer and appellate advocate who focuses on the financial and healthcare industries. He formerly served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York. He has tried 11 federal criminal trials and argued eight federal criminal appeals.
Criminal and Regulatory Enforcement Matters
Mr. Harrington’s practice focuses on the financial and healthcare industries.
Mr. Harrington's experience in healthcare matters includes federal healthcare fraud, the Anti-Kickback Statute, the False Claims Act, and the Stark Act. He won an acquittal at a jury trial for the former president of Warner Chilcott, a pharmaceutical company investigated for illegal marketing. He has represented private equity companies under investigation for their investments and oversight of healthcare companies. He represented a provider of nursing education services in connection with a kickback case that was dismissed after motion by the DOJ supporting dismissal. He represented pharmaceutical and durable medical equipment companies in non-public DOJ investigations of billing practices, manufacturing processes, and sales strategies. He also won dismissal for a durable medical equipment manufacturer in a False Claims Act suit alleging fraud in its sales distribution model. In private practice, Mr. Harrington has designed compliance materials imposing safeguards around pharmaceutical company-sponsored events for non-U.S. doctors and hospital executives.
Mr. Harrington has extensive experience in both consumer banking and investment banking investigations. He successfully represented Countrywide Home Loans in defeating a FIRREA and False Claims Act case in which the DOJ contended a sales program known as “HSSL” fraudulently generated mortgage loans that were sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Countrywide won the case with no liability. He served as counsel for multiple current and former bank executives in benchmark antitrust and fraud investigations, including those related to the foreign exchange markets, U.S. treasury bonds, LIBOR, precious metals, and ISDAFIX. Mr. Harrington has recently represented broker-dealer executives in FSA, DOJ and SEC trading-fee probes, bank executives in multiple mismarking investigations, and a former state investigator in an investigation related to a New York State anti-corruption commission. He defends companies, senior executives, and hedge fund traders in insider trading investigations and prosecutions. He also represents a credit repair organization and various services providers in connection with deceit and abuse advertising claims brought by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.
Mr. Harrington’s practice frequently involves novel questions of how regulatory and criminal rules apply to new technologies. He represents a bitcoin service provider in a DOJ money-laundering investigation. He represented Symphony Communication Services, a provider of encrypted communications systems, in regulatory matters related to the use of encrypted communications; CloudFlare, a website optimizer, in disputes with copyright holders over the scope of federal injunctive authority; and GoFundMe, a crowdfunding platform, in sanctions compliance matters.
Foreign Bribery and International Money Laundering
Mr. Harrington has extensive experience in foreign bribery allegations and international money laundering matters. He is fluent in Spanish, so many of his matters have involved Spanish-speaking clients. On behalf of a client, he investigated bribery concerns in tax matters for a Mexican subsidiary. He advised senior executives of a South American construction company in an international accounting and bribery investigation related to Brazil’s Operation Car Wash. He represented a Spanish sports team in bribery investigations. He represented an athletic wear company in investigations related to the FIFA-bribery cases of sponsorship and advertising agreements. He also represented a senior human resources executive at an international bank in SEC investigations related to preferential hiring of the relatives of foreign government officials.
Previously, Mr. Harrington has represented consumer product companies, energy company executives, financial institutions, construction company executives, and military contractors in both corporate internal and grand jury Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations. He has also developed anti-corruption training materials, audits and policies for travel companies and consumer product companies. His matters have included those raising allegations of corruption or money laundering in Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, Indonesia, Lebanon, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, and the Ukraine.
False Claims Act
Mr. Harrington regularly litigates federal civil fraud suits under the False Claims Act. Several such matters, including his successful defense of Countrywide Home Loans in the “HSSL” case, involve allegations that fraudulently generated mortgage loans that were certified for F.H.A. insurance or were sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He recently represented two other financial institutions in similar DOJ investigations of mortgage origination practices, one of which resulted in a declination by the Department of Justice. He has also represented services providers, military contractors, owners of electronic health records companies, and pharmaceutical companies in False Claims Act investigations. He writes a regular column in the New York Law Journal on federal affirmative fraud suits.
Mr. Harrington serves as co-chair of Goodwin’s Pro Bono Committee. He represents indigent individuals as a member of the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Southern District of New York since 2013. He served on the Second Circuit’s pro bono panel from 2014 to 2020.