Laura Perkins

Laura Norrett Perkins was an assistant chief in the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act unit of the Justice Department criminal division's fraud section. She left in June 2017 to become a partner with Hughes Hubbard & Reed.

Perkins joined the fraud section in 2006 and received a promotion to senior trial attorney in the FCPA unit before going on detail to the policy-making "front office" as senior counsel to Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, the head of the criminal division.

By January 2015, she had returned to the FCPA unit as one of three new assistant chiefs who help supervise foreign bribery cases; there are five in total.

After joining the fraud section in the mid-2000s, she prosecuted in 2008 a Miami physician and nurse on Medicare fraud charges with fellow prosecutor Charles Duross, who would go on to become head of the FCPA unit for four years until he departed for Morrison & Foerster in 2014. The doctor was sentenced to 30 years in prison and the nurse to seven years.

In that same year, Perkins also prosecuted former executives at oil contractor Willbros International who were accused of paying around US$6 million in bribes to government officials in Nigeria and Ecuador in exchange for pipeline construction business. She handled that case with then-fraud section acting deputy chief Hank Bond Walther. Two defendants were sentenced to between one and two years in prison and were ordered to pay fines too.

In addition to healthcare fraud and foreign bribery prosecutions, Perkins also has handled financial fraud cases. In 2009 she prosecuted a Minnesota man for running a Ponzi scheme involving commodity pools. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay US$21.8 million in restitution.

Perkins was the only prosecutor to work on both the first and second rounds of the FCPA "Africa Sting" case against executives and employees in the military products industry. In 2010, 22 defendants were charged with agreeing to pay bribes to the minister of defence of Gabon in exchange for a contract to equip the West African country's presidential guard. In reality, the representative of the official in question was an undercover FBI agent, and no Gabonese officials were involved.

The Justice Department withdrew the charges against the defendants after a disappointing string of trial defeats. The four defendants in the first round were given a mistrial by US District Judge Richard Leon after the jury failed to reach a verdict. In the second, three defendants were acquitted - two by the jury and one when Leon dismissed a conspiracy charge - and the remaining three received a mistrial due to a hung jury. Prosecutors then dropped all charges in March 2012.

Perkins also worked on the Armor Holdings case, a law enforcement equipment manufacturer that employed Richard Bistrong, who was the government's cooperating witness in the sting case. Armor Holdings reached a non-prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice and agreed to pay a US$10.3 million penalty. The company reached a civil settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and agreed to pay US$5.7 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and penalties.

Perkins was a prosecutor on the FCPA case against Avon Products, which, along with its China subsidiary, agreed to pay US$135 million in criminal and regulatory penalties to resolve allegations it gave US$8 million in gifts, cash and non-business meals, travel and entertainment to Chinese officials for business advantage.

She also worked on FCPA settlements with medical device company Orthofix and German engineering business Bilfinger.

Perkins earned her bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary in 1997, and her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2001. She spent a few years after law school as an associate at Latham & Watkins.

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