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Kelton, Erika A.

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2000 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.Suite 100Washington, DC, 20036 -1015
Phones: 202-833-4567
Fax: 202-833-1815
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Lawyer Overview

Erika A. Kelton has substantial experience representing whistleblowers both in the U.S. and abroad in cases involving fraud against the U.S. government and those involving claims brought under whistleblower reward programs with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Internal Revenue Service, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.

Ms. Kelton, who works out of both the Washington, DC, and San...

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Erika A. Kelton has substantial experience representing whistleblowers both in the U.S. and abroad in cases involving fraud against the U.S. government and those involving claims brought under whistleblower reward programs with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Internal Revenue Service, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.

Ms. Kelton, who works out of both the Washington, DC, and San Francisco offices, represented whistleblowers in the two biggest healthcare fraud settlements ever:

  • A record-setting settlement by GlaxoSmithKline for $3 billion in 2012. Phillips & Cohen’s qui tam lawsuit against Glaxo filed on behalf of two whistleblower clients and a separate whistleblower lawsuit settled for a combined $1.017 billion plus a related criminal fine of $554 million for a criminal charge based on Phillips & Cohen’s case. Phillips & Cohen’s whistleblower case alleged Glaxo engaged in nationwide improper marketing practices, including the use of financial inducements to doctors to prescribe Glaxo’s drugs and the promotion of  Advair, Wellbutrin, Imitrex, Lamictal, Zofran and Valtrex for off-label, unapproved uses.
  • A whistleblower case against Pfizer Inc. for illegally marketing the painkiller, Bextra. Pfizer paid $1.8 billion in 2009 to settle that case and a related criminal fine. The settlement was the biggest piece of a global settlement of several whistleblower cases by Pfizer for $2.3 billion – which was at the time the largest healthcare fraud settlement ever in the U.S. and now is second largest after the Glaxo settlement.

Ms. Kelton was selected “Whistleblower Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 by Taxpayers Against Fraud, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of whistleblowers, in recognition of her work on the Glaxo case and other advocacy work for whistleblowers. This year, Lawdragon selected her for its "500 Leading Lawyers in America" list.

Her other successful whistleblower cases include:

  • The IRS whistleblower claim of a confidential tax informant, known as “Mr. ABC,” who provided the Internal Revenue Service with important information about fraudulent tax shelters set up by Wall Street investment firms and who testified on the matter before the Senate Finance Committee. The complex tax schemes cost the U.S. Treasury hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • A whistleblower case brought on behalf of a former investment banker against numerous Wall Street banks involving IRS prohibitions against tax-exempt municipal bond arbitrage and violations of securities laws. The case, which exposed the widespread practice of “yield-burning” on Wall Street, returned more than $200 million to the U.S. Treasury.

As an expert in whistleblower enforcement approaches, Ms. Kelton has consulted with the U.S. Congress, the Securities Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Internal Revenue Service on the establishment and workings of the agencies’ whistleblower programs. She also has consulted on whistleblower programs with policymakers and legislators in Europe and Asia.

Ms. Kelton is frequently interviewed by journalists for her expertise in whistleblower matters involving the False Claims Act, the IRS whistleblower program and the Dodd-Frank whistleblower reward programs at the SEC and the CFTC. She often has been quoted by U.S. media – including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal – and by media in other countries, such as Valor Economico (Brazil), the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), the BBC, The Financial Times and Australian Public Radio.

Ms. Kelton has published several articles and op-eds about whistleblower laws and programs. She also is a regular contributor to Forbes.com, where she has a blog, "Fraud Matters."

Ms. Kelton graduated in 1987 from the University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she was articles editor of the California Law Review. From 1987 to 1994 she was associated with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Ms. Kelton is on the Board of Directors and the President's Council for Taxpayers Against Fraud, a nonprofit, public interest organization that supports and advocates on behalf of whistleblowers.

Recently she co-taught a course on whistleblower law at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law with fellow Phillips & Cohen partner Claire M. Sylvia. It was one of the first courses on the False Claims Act taught at a major law school.

Ms. Kelton is admitted to the bar in Washington, DC and California.

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Current Employment Position(s)
Partner
Practice Areas
Whistleblower/Qui TamGovernment Agencies & ProgramsGovernment ContractsHealth & Health Care LawWhistleblower -- EmployeeTax LawSecurities Law
Qualifications
Honors
Washington’s Best Lawyers , 2013“500 Leading Lawyers”, 2013Whistleblower Lawyer of the Year, Taxpayers Against Fraud, 2012
Classes and Seminars
Speaker, False Claims Act and Qui Tam Lawsuits
Past Positions
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Washington D.C., Associate, 1987 - 1994
Education
University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California, 1987
Law Review: California Law Review, Articles Editor
Articles
Published Works
"Whistle Stop", Erika A. Kelton and Eric R. Havian, New York Post, Feb. 26, 2011"SEC Whistleblower Program Worth Protecting", Erika A. Kelton and Eric R. Havian, The Washington Post, "Capital Business", Dec. 13, 2010"To Catch a Tax Cheat", Erika A. Kelton, International Herald Tribune, Aug. 7, 2008"Mind the (Tax) Gap" , Erika A. Kelton, Pharmaceutical Executive, April 1, 2008"Qui Tam suits and You" , Erika A. Kelton, Drug Topics, March 20, 2006"Qui Tam lawsuits Blow the Whistle on PBMs" , Erika A. Kelton, Pharmacy Times, January , 2006"The False Claims Act and Wall Street: How a qui tam case reformed the municipal bond market", Erika Kelton, False Claims Act and Qui Tam Quarterly Review, July, 2000"Privatizing Customs Fraud Enforcement Under the False Claims Act,", Journal of Commerce and International Trade Reporter, May, 1999"Blowing the Whistle on Customs Fraud,", Journal of Commerce and International Trade Reporter, March, 1999
Office Information
Address
2000 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Suite 100
Washington, DC 20036-1015
Phone
202-833-4567
Fax
202-833-1815
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