Savvy white collar criminal defense grounded in experience as federal prosecutor
Eric Pruitt is a former assistant U.S. attorney who focuses on white collar criminal defense. With two decades of experience as a criminal and civil trial lawyer, he helps in-house counsel and management conduct internal investigations and respond to government investigations and enforcement actions. Eric also has deep experience with:
- Complex commercial litigation
- Litigation and investigations related to health care fraud and abuse
- Fraud in the areas of government contracting, securities and tax, as well as environmental crime and public corruption
- Cases involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, False Claims Act, Stark Act and Anti-Kickback Statute
Eric has broad and meaningful working relationships with federal and state enforcement agencies and regulators – many built over decades. These relationships have generated deep knowledge and garnered respect from prosecutors and regulators. Eric combines vigorous client advocacy with a deft touch in his dealings with prosecutors and regulators to achieve favorable outcomes for clients in the most efficient manner possible. He focuses on resolving high-stakes issues for clients at the investigative stage, often before proceedings are initiated, but is always ready to take a case to trial.
Most recently, Eric was a partner at a Chicago boutique firm recognized for its work with white collar, civil and criminal defense matters. Before that, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago for 12 years, including spending several years as a member of the Health Care Fraud Unit within the Financial Crimes Section. In this role, he tried 16 cases to verdict as part of both the criminal and civil divisions of the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Eric is co-chair of the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense and Investigations team.
Experience in Action
- As an assistant U.S. attorney, Eric prosecuted complex cases from investigation through appeal on a variety of matters, including health care fraud, public corruption, violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, bank fraud, tax fraud, racketeering, money laundering and cyber-crime.
- Experienced in dealing with federal agencies, including the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Trained other prosecutors from across the country on how to investigate and prosecute health care fraud as an instructor at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center.
- Conducted internal investigation for Chicago suburb following the death of an employee and allegations of co-worker harassment and misconduct.
- Convinced federal prosecutors to forego criminal prosecution of clients in FBI/USDA investigation of fraud in livestock industry.
- Defended corporate employees in an investigation of possible FCPA violations.
- Convinced federal prosecutors to forego criminal prosecution of clients in DOJ/EPA environmental crimes investigation.
- Successfully defended pharmacy owner in False Claims Act investigation.
- Obtained dismissal of public corruption charges for company under Deferred Prosecution Agreement.
- Served as external compliance officer for company on legal and regulatory issues relating to dealings with state and local governments.
Professional & Civic Activities
- Law clerk to the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
News & Insights
- John Marshall Law School, now University of Illinois-Chicago Law (J.D., 2001)
- University of Wisconsin - Madison (M.A.)
- South Asian Studies
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (B.A.)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (including Trial Bar)
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan