As Benesch continues the expansion of its Chicago office through high-profile lateral hires, the firm is pleased to announce that former Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Lee has joined their White Collar, Government Investigations & Regulatory Compliance Practice Group.
For almost 20 years, Lee has handled complex cases both as a federal prosecutor in Chicago specializing in health care fraud and as a white-collar criminal defense attorney representing large companies managing investigations. This unique background helps Lee to provide current perspective on solving today’s problems and avoiding tomorrow’s.
“Stephen’s versatility is unmatched,” said Benesch’s Managing Partner Gregg Eisenberg. “He has dealt with some of the largest, most complex cases in the nation. Stephen has successfully overseen dozens of trials and appeals on behalf of the United States and has appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court. His health care experience will also serve our clients, as Stephen has advised the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Illinois Task Force to Eliminate Health Care Fraud, and other entities on how to address fraud, waste and abuse.”
As a federal prosecutor in Illinois’ Northern District, Lee represented the U.S. in multiple trials involving the Anti-Kickback Statute, including one that resulted in a Seventh Circuit opinion now relied upon to clarify some aspects of the law. He also handled multiple fraud cases involving chief executive officers and owners accused of fraud, kickback, and obstruction charges. He was the lead prosecutor in two local cases against doctors stemming from the 2015 action led by the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative between the Department of Justice and HHS, which, at the time, were part of the largest national Medicare fraud takedown in history.
Additionally, Lee represented the U.S. in cases and investigations involving Ponzi schemes, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and securities fraud. He was also the senior counsel to the health care fraud unit established by Acting U.S. Attorney Joel R. Levin in Chicago in 2017.
Benesch’s White Collar, Government Investigations & Regulatory Compliance Practice Group is led by Mark J. Silberman, himself a former federal and state prosecutor, who also has experience as general counsel to the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. Silberman has built a team that has frontline insights into government investigations and analytics.
“The White Collar division aims to help clients not just with managing ongoing government investigations, but to take proactive steps to avoid government investigations altogether,” said Silberman. “The hiring of Stephen adds to the White Collar division’s already deep bench of talent. As a former federal prosecutor, Stephen helped design the government playbook, and his wealth of experience makes our Chicago office the epicenter of white collar investigations.”
Lee’s hiring reflects continued momentum for Benesch, which has been growing aggressively in Chicago and expanding its national footprint as part of a strategic plan launched by Eisenberg in 2015. In all, over 60 attorneys have joined the firm in the last 18 months, which has also seen the opening of offices in Chicago and San Francisco and the expansion of practices including class action litigation, intellectual property litigation and labor and employment. Since making its debut on the AmLaw 200 list in 2016, the firm has advanced 15 places and is currently ranked at number 180.
Lee graduated from Columbia Law School in 2000 and from Yale University in 1995.