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Jay Darden

Partner, Litigation Department
T 1(202) 551-1961
F 1(202) 551-0461
John S. (Jay) Darden is a partner in the Investigations and White Collar Defense practice at Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Darden defends individuals and companies in white collar criminal matters and government investigations. He focuses his practice on actions and investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); alleged health care fraud and abuse, including matters under the False Claims Act (FCA); and other white collar matters.

Mr. Darden’s FCPA practice is extensive and has included clients in diverse industries such as petrochemicals, infrastructure projects, medical devices, oil field services, professional services, the food and beverage industry, overseas government contractors, and a U.S.-based institution of higher education with operations overseas.

Recently, Mr. Darden represented Braskem S.A. (Brazil) in its successful resolution of investigations under the FCPA by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Our team’s work for Braskem was widely recognized in the worldwide business and legal press, resulting in Paul Hastings being nominated for and winning numerous legal industry awards, including The American Lawyer’s “Global Dispute of the Year--Investigations” for Latin America. Combined with the simultaneous settlements with authorities in Brazil and Switzerland, and combined with the resolution of similar investigations involving Braskem’s primary shareholder Odebrecht S.A., these matters constitute the largest anti-corruption resolution in history.

Mr. Darden also recently guided a medical device company (U.S.) through the successful dismissal of previously filed criminal charges for FCPA violations in Mexico, as well as the successful settlement with the SEC of an investigation into new FCPA allegations regarding conduct by the same company in Brazil. The DOJ declined to pursue new criminal charges against the company for the Brazil conduct. Citing this matter and our work for Braskem above, as well as the firm’s work for other clients, Paul Hastings was nominated as the “Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year” by Global Investigations Review.

Previously, Mr. Darden represented Alstom SA (France) in its plea agreement to FCPA violations for conduct in numerous countries, which remains one of the most significant criminal resolutions under the FCPA statute. Mr. Darden also counseled Alstom in the build-out of its anti-corruption compliance program and its reporting obligations to DOJ under the plea agreement.

Mr. Darden’s non-FCPA representations include clients such as U.S. government contractors and health care providers accused of submitting false claims, a news reporter subpoenaed for the identities of his confidential sources, a congressional campaign committee who was defrauded by its former treasurer, a political consultant accused of defrauding a gubernatorial campaign, and clients in other high-profile, Washington-based investigations. He also routinely represents high-level executives and high-net-worth individuals under investigation by the government in FCPA, health care, export controls, false statement, and other white collar matters.

Mr. Darden previously served in the Justice Department as Assistant Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. As Assistant Chief of the Fraud Section, Mr. Darden supervised the investigation and prosecution of health care fraud and anti-kickback violations nationwide, playing a pivotal leadership role in the initial implementation and success of the Medicare Fraud Strike Forces in Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, and other cities. As a prosecutor, Mr. Darden received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the second-highest award given by the Justice Department.

While at the Justice Department, Mr. Darden also personally investigated and prosecuted violations of the FCPA. He was the lead prosecutor in what was at the time one of the largest FCPA dispositions in the history of the statute.
As a prosecutor, he also investigated companies and individuals in insurance fraud, securities fraud, criminal false claims, money laundering, and false statement matters.

Mr. Darden has significant experience handling all aspects of federal criminal trial work. During his time at the Justice Department, he became one of only a handful of federal prosecutors to have tried multiple health care fraud cases to verdict in multiple districts, including Miami, Houston, and Los Angeles. In addition, he trained prosecutors and agents in health care fraud and abuse matters at the Justice Department’s National Advocacy Center.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Darden worked on Capitol Hill as an aide to former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia.


In Private Practice

  • Co-lead counsel in defense of publicly-traded Brazilian petrochemical company in FCPA under investigation by the DOJ and SEC for FCPA violations in Brazil
  • Lead counsel conducting an internal investigation for a non-public company into possible FCPA violations in Malaysia and Thailand.
  • Lead counsel representing current and former executives of a publicly-traded medical device company under investigation by the DOJ and SEC for possible FCPA violations in Mexico.
  • Lead counsel representing a medical device company under investigation by the DOJ and SEC for possible FCPA violations in Brazil.
  • Lead counsel representing a private U.S. company under investigation by the DOJ for possible FCPA violations in Afghanistan.
  • Lead counsel conducting an internal investigation for a public company into possible FCPA violations in Qatar.
  • Co-counsel representing a non-U.S. company under investigation by the DOJ for possible FCPA violations in multiple countries, including Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.
  • Provided FCPA compliance advice to public and private companies and other institutions, including drafting compliance policies and giving training to senior management.
  • Co-lead counsel representing a company under investigation for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
  • Co-lead counsel representing the board of directors of a hospice company under investigation for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
  • Lead counsel representing a current executive of a pharmaceutical company under investigation for alleged violations of the False Claims Act based on kickbacks and off-label marketing.
  • Lead counsel representing a former executive of a hospital company under investigation for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
  • Lead counsel representing current and former executives of a dialysis company under investigation for alleged violations of the False Claims Act.
  • Co-counsel in defense of a hospital and physicians in a federal civil False Claims Act case alleging fraudulent Medicare billings and whistleblower retaliation, resulting in a settlement with relators and the DOJ’s Civil Division.
  • Lead counsel representing a reporter subpoenaed by the DOJ for testimony and documents identifying confidential sources.
  • Co-lead counsel representing a congressional campaign committee in connection with the DOJ’s and the Federal Elections Commission’s (FEC) investigations of embezzlement by a former campaign treasurer.
  • Co-counsel representing a member of Congress in an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).
  • Co-counsel in defense of a former controller of a publicly-traded company in an accounting and securities fraud investigation resulting in a favorable settlement with the SEC after Wells submissions.
  • Co-trial counsel in a civil fraud and conspiracy action against corporate and individual defendants resulting in an $8 million jury verdict in favor of client.

In Government

  • Lead and co-lead trial counsel in multiple health care fraud trials in Miami, Los Angeles, and Houston.
  • Lead prosecutor in Medicare Fraud Strike Force take-downs of over 45 health care fraud defendants, and in charge of supervising investigations, grand jury presentations, plea negotiations, and trials.
  • Lead counsel in an investigation of nationwide anti-kickback violations by the sales force of a public pharmaceutical company.
  • Lead counsel in the prosecution of worldwide FCPA violations by a non-U.S. company resulting in corporate deferred prosecution agreements, corporate guilty pleas, combined criminal and civil penalties of $185 million, and a three-year monitorship of the parent company’s FCPA compliance program and related internal controls, and books and records.
  • Co-lead counsel in an investigation of allegations of fraud in connection with post-disaster claims under the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Co-counsel in an investigation of allegations of FCPA violations by a non-U.S. based company, working with the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office.

Speaking Engagements and Publications

Mr. Darden is a frequent writer and speaker on white collar issues. Recent speaking engagements and articles include:

  • International Anti-Corruption Academy, The Prosecutor’s Perspective (Apr. 2017)
  • “FCPA Professor” Podcast (Feb. 2017)
  • ABA International Anti-Corruption Committee Meeting (Feb. 2017)
  • “Compliance and Internal Investigations International Meeting,” American Chamber of Commerce and WA Advogados/Sao Paulo (Dec. 2016)
  • “Global Forum on Anti-Corruption Compliance in High Risk Markets,” ACI (July 2016)
  • Latin American Energy and Infrastructure Finance Forum (Mar. 2016)
  • “Corruption Risks & Enforcing the FCPA in Emerging Markets,” Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Annual Emerging Markets Corporate Conference, May 2015
  • “Settling Your Case Without Risking Debarment and Exclusion from Federal Healthcare Programs,” ACI’s 9th Advanced Forum on FCPA & Anti-Corruption for the Life Sciences Industry, April 2015
  • “Negotiating a Criminal Settlement in a Health Care Case,” Bloomberg BNA, February 2013
  • “Credit for self-disclosure and cooperation in corporate criminal FCPA cases,” Financier Worldwide, February 2011

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Past member, Law360 White Collar Editorial Advisory Board, 2012-2013


  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1999 (Managing Editor of the Virginia Law Review)
  • Washington and Lee University, B.A. in Politics, cum laude, 1993