Tom Clarkson is a former federal prosecutor who represents businesses and individuals in government investigations, False Claims Act (“FCA”) litigation, complex civil litigation, and white collar criminal defense. He has been recognized by Chambers USA as a “one to watch” in White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations. Tom leads the firm’s health care fraud and False Claims Act practices.
Since leaving government service, Tom has defended and advised c-suite executives, business owners, marketers, laboratory owners, durable medical equipment company owners, and physicians in Department of Justice investigations involving health care fraud, tax fraud, Small Business Association (“SBA”) fraud, securities fraud, wire/mail fraud, immigration fraud and money laundering.
Before founding Griffin Durham Tanner and Clarkson, Tom led a nationally recognized Department of Justice unit responsible for prosecuting complex civil and criminal fraud out of the Southern District of Georgia. In addition to his supervisory responsibilities, he led some of the office’s most complex and significant criminal cases in the office. During his tenure with the Department of Justice, he tried cases involving public corruption, health care fraud, pill mills, wire/mail fraud, and violent crime — all resulting in guilty verdicts. Tom led investigations resulting in numerous plea agreements involving over $1.5 billion dollars, including prosecutions of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, marketers, and executives. In FY 2019, he led his unit to become the third most productive criminal health care fraud unit in the entire Department of Justice. Tom also prosecuted some of the first COVID-19 fraud cases in the district, including cases involving the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
Tom also maintains a broad civil practice. During his government service, he led and supervised False Claims Act investigations that have resulted in numerous seven- and eight-figure settlements. Tom supervised and led civil Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) investigations that resulted in record-setting settlements and judgments. Tom’s civil CSA experience includes litigating cases from complaint, through the penalty hearing phase, and ultimately to judgment. He has significant experience with the False Claims Act (including qui tam whistleblower actions), Stark Law, and Anti-Kickback Statute.
In private practice, Tom has served as lead counsel defending FCA investigations involving health care fraud, as well as COVID-19 related investigations. He also has experience in Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”) parallel criminal and civil investigations and criminal tax investigations involving the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the Tax Division. Tom has also served as lead counsel for businesses, owners, and individuals pursuing contract- and tort-based claims involving millions of dollars in business litigation matters both in Georgia, as well as in other states.
Tom has served as defense counsel in numerous high-dollar matters, including tort suits seeking hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2015, he defended a civil rights case resulting in a complete jury verdict for his clients in less than 30 minutes. Since leaving the DOJ, Tom has defended businesses and executives in civil also represented businesses, owners, directors, and officers in business litigation — defending claims involving breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, civil conspiracy, conversion, and other tort theories.
For his efforts at DOJ, Tom has been recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Health and Human Services, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of the Army, and Legal Services Corporation.
After graduating from law school with highest honors, Tom clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and worked for a prestigious firm in Charlotte.
Tom is frequently invited to speak and teach in the areas of health care fraud, parallel proceedings, the False Claims Act, and white collar crime. He has also been invited to teach classes at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
- Defended “target” employee in health care fraud investigation. No charges filed.
- Defended “target” and board member in fraud investigation. No charges filed.
- Represented business owner and “target” of health care fraud investigation. No charges filed.
- Defended Fortune 500 company in False Claims Act litigation. Favorable result obtained.
- Defended “target” business owner in health care fraud investigation. No charges filed.
- Represented individual in DOJ criminal health care fraud investigation; no charges filed and matter closed.
- Obtained complete defense verdict for five professionals less than 30 minutes following trial in a civil case where plaintiff sought millions in damages.
- Represented business in civil cases involving millions of dollars in dispute by filing fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, and civil conspiracy claims.
- Defended business owners, officers, and executives in tort, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty civil litigation.
- Represented officer in parallel criminal and civil DOJ investigation involving U.S. Attorney’s Office and Main Justice, Civil (Frauds) Division.
- Represented physician group in DOJ criminal investigation.
- Represented marketer in DOJ criminal health care fraud investigation.
- Represented officer in DOJ criminal wire/mail fraud investigation.
- Represented business owner in joint Tax Division/U.S. Attorney’s office criminal tax prosecution.
- Represented executive in Securities & Exchange Commission investigation.
- Represented durable medical equipment company owner in DOJ criminal health care fraud investigation.
- Represented physician in False Claims Act action.
- Represented laboratory in False Claims Act action.
- Represented Chief Executive Officer in federal criminal Tax Division investigation.
- Represented executive in federal DOJ Main Justice criminal immigration investigation.
- Represent marketing executive in DOJ Strike Force health care fraud investigation.
- Prosecuted notorious pill mill doctor who was ranked #1 in the country for prescribing a combination of controlled to Medicare patients. Obtained guilty verdict at trial on both health care fraud and drug charges.
- Prosecuted former chief executive officer and owner of a company in public corruption case. Obtained guilty verdict at trial on wire fraud, mail fraud, and bribery counts.
- Prosecuted chief executive officer and owner of durable medical equipment company. Obtained guilty verdict at trial on health care fraud and aggravated identity theft.
- Obtained conviction and jail sentence of durable medical equipment owner in multi-million dollar Medicare health care fraud investigation who had eluded prosecution for over a decade.
- Defended individual in violent crime investigation and prosecution. Obtained not guilty verdict at trial.
- Prosecuted the largest fraud case in the history of the Southern District of Georgia involving a series of medical professionals, chief executive officers, marketers, and a compliance officer in health care fraud and kickback investigation that led to a cumulative $1.5 billion in loss to Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care programs.
- Prosecuted durable medical equipment owner for false statements in relation to health care.
- Obtained conviction of physician — following his attempted escape to South America and arrest at Miami International Airport — for illegal drug diversion in pill mill investigation.
- Prosecuted pharmacist for multi-million dollar health care fraud and illegal diversion scheme.
- Prosecuted pharmacist for false statements in pill mill investigation.
- Prosecuted former Georgia Legal Services for theft from a program receiving federal funds.
- Prosecuted marketer for violating the anti-kickback statute (“AKS”).
- Prosecuted employee at Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (“FLETC”) for false statement for use in determining a federal health care benefit.
- Prosecuted medical professional for identity theft in connection with wire fraud.
- Prosecuted former servicemember for health care fraud and making a false statement for use in determining Social Security Administration disability benefits involving approximately $1.5 million loss to Tricare.
- Prosecuted medical professional for false statements.
- Led civil False Claims Act investigation of major hospital system resulting in largest FCA settlement in history of Southern District of Georgia.
- Served as lead counsel in civil False Claims investigation of furniture company in largest customs investigation in history of Southern District of Georgia.
- Led civil False Claims Act investigation of major Savannah hospital system resulting in multi-million dollar recovery.
- Led civil False Claims act investigation of major Augusta hospital system, obtaining multi-million dollar recovery.
- Participated in civil Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) penalty case resulting in then-largest penalty of a hospital in the United States.
- Led civil CSA penalty case against physician resulting in largest penalty of a medical professional in the Southern District of Georgia.
- Led civil FCA investigation of defense contractor resulting in largest FCA recovery under the SBA set-aside program in history of the Southern District of Georgia.
- Led civil FCA investigation of defense contractor resulting in multi-million recovery.
- Led civil FCA investigation of defense contractor who submitted defective parts resulting in significant monetary recovery.
- Led civil FCA investigation of farmers resulting in largest FCA crop insurance settlement in Southern District of Georgia.
- Led civil FCA investigation of pharmacist resulting in multi-million dollar recovery.
- Led civil Clean Water Act (“CWA”) investigation resulting in largest CWA recovery in history of district.
- Prosecuted man for attempting to sell 50 million fake N-95 masks to a foreign government for $317 million.
- Prosecuted company and owner for misbranding COVID-19 treatment.
- Prosecuted individuals for SBA COVID-19 relief program wire fraud.
- Deputy Chief (2017-2021)
- Criminal Health Care Fraud Coordinator (2017-2021)
- Civil Health Care Fraud Coordinator (2016-2021)
- Affirmative Civil Enforcement Coordinator (2016-2017)
- Assistant United States Attorney (2014-2016)
Awards, Recognition, and Memberships
- Chambers and Partners, Up and Coming, White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2022)
- Super Lawyers, Rising Star, White Collar Crime (2022)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, Commendation for Demonstrated Excellence, Prosecutive Skills and Outstanding Service (2021)
- United States Secret Service Director James Murray, Commendation for Superior Service (2021)
- Department of Health and Human Services, Inspector General Award (2021)
- Deputy Inspector General Gary Cantrell, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Commendation for Fight Against Health Care Fraud (2021)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation, Savannah and Brunswick (GA) Resident Agencies Certificate of Recognition (2021)
- Department of Health and Human Services, Certificate of Appreciation (2019)
- Legal Services Corporation, Certificate of Recognition (2019)
- Drug Enforcement Administration, Certificate of Appreciation (2018)
- Department of the Army, Certificate of Appreciation (2018)
- Department of Health and Human Services, Certificate of Appreciation (2016)
- Guest lecturer on parallel government investigations and the False Claims Act, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (2016-2020)
- Guest lecturer on the False Claims Act and Health Care Fraud, University of Georgia School of Law (2017)
- Guest lecturer on the False Claims Act and Health Care Fraud, University of Georgia School of Law (2020)
- Guest lecturer on white collar crime and government investigations, Georgia Southern University (2021)
- False Claims Act Primer, American Health Law Association (September 2016)
- Year in Review: Looking Back on Healthcare Fraud Issues in 2016, Nashville Health Care Fraud Conference (December 2016)
- False Claims Act Enforcement in Managed Care Space, Health Care Compliance Association (January 2017)
- False Claims Act Primer, American Health Law Association (March 2017)
- Parallel Proceedings, Department of Justice (May 2017)
- Opioid Abuse and Diversion, University Hospital of Augusta (November 2017)
- Pitfalls and Perspectives Regarding Qui Tam Litigation, Southern District of Georgia Court Advisory Committee (March 2018)
- Whistleblower Law Symposium, State Bar of Georgia (March 2018)
- The Ethics of a Healthcare Fraud Investigation, State Bar of South Carolina (April 2018)
- Whistleblower Law Symposium, State Bar of Georgia (March 2019)
- False Claims Act Summit, State Bar of Georgia (May 2019)
- Georgia Society Risk Managers, Georgia Society Risk Managers (May 2019)
- Overview of the False Claims Act and its Qui Tam Provisions, Federal Bar Association (February 2019)
- Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute, American Bar Institute (September 2019)
- Georgia Health Care Fraud Institute, State Bar of Georgia (December 2019)
- White Collar Crime Seminar, State Bar of Georgia (January 2020)
- Parallel Proceedings, Department of Justice (June 2020)
- Telemedicine Prosecutions, Department of Justice (August 2020)
- False Claims Act, Department of Justice (December 2020)
- Creating an Investigative Plan in Fraud Cases, Department of Justice (December 2020)