Gene R. Besen

Clients come to me when their liberty, careers and futures are all at stake. Because I believe a government investigation is a tremendous threat that is never to be taken lightly, I take a proactive approach that allows me to step back and see the entire field for my clients, anticipate issues, make quick, effective decisions and ensure that clients are never surprised throughout the process.

Corporations and individuals across the country call on Gene Besen to help them navigate investigations, civil enforcement actions and criminal proceedings brought by various government agencies. Leader of the White Collar Defense Practice Group, his clients span several industries – healthcare, pharmaceuticals, financial services plus many more – and they need proactive strategies to sidestep prosecution and minimize the financial impact of controversies involving a broad range of allegations, including billing fraud, kickbacks, securities fraud, insider trading, FCPA violations, pay-to-play schemes, antitrust violations and price fixing.

Gene has guided clients to favorable outcomes in investigations and criminal prosecutions brought by every enforcement agency that oversees their activities, including the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Health and Human Services, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Texas State Securities Board. Always focused on preventing government intervention altogether, Gene often helps clients develop compliance policies and also conducts internal investigations and audits to identify emerging issues before they become real problems.

Gene also has extensive experience representing hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, laboratories, pharmaceutical corporations, financial institutions, hedge funds and utilities in a wide range of civil and commercial litigation matters. These disputes typically involve claims related to his white-collar criminal practice, including False Claims Act violations, healthcare fraud, securities fraud, kickbacks and clawback actions involving alleged fraudulent transfers.

Gene’s practice also goes far beyond handling investigations and enforcement proceedings, allowing him to help clients expand and protect their businesses, instead of just solving problems that have already materialized. He serves as outside general counsel for several entrepreneurs and growing companies throughout the country, advising on the entire gamut of everyday and big-picture issues and opportunities that arise during the life cycle of their businesses.

Representative Experience

White Collar

  • Representing highest prescribing physician in connection with ongoing criminal investigation into Houston-based compounding pharmacy.
  • Representing a community bank in connection with investigation by FDIC and Texas Department of Banking
  • Representing COO of Dallas-based REIT in connection with parallel SEC and criminal investigation into securities fraud allegations. 
  • Representing a laboratory, and its principal, in parallel civil and criminal investigations related to allegations of illegal kickbacks and Medicare fraud.  
  • Conducting an internal investigation into illegal kickback and billing fraud allegations on behalf of a large Houston-based healthcare company. 
  • Representing a healthcare marketing company in connection to an investigation conducted by the Justice Department and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Representing the CEO of a Dallas-based energy company accused of perpetrating a US$500 million offering fraud in a civil action filed by the SEC and a related investigation by the U.S. DOJ.
  • Representing an executive at a medical device company following his indictment on charges of mail, wire and securities fraud in connection with an alleged US$400 million accounting fraud scheme.
  • Representing a Dallas entrepreneur in connection with parallel proceedings initiated by the SEC and the DOJ in connection with his alleged involvement in the issuance of false press releases by several public companies.
  • Served as lead counsel in a successful summer 2017 criminal insider trading trial arising from the 2012 acquisition of Shaw Group, Inc.
  • Successfully represented a global manufacturer in connection with a Grand Jury Subpoena and related DOJ investigation into allegations of price fixing.  Conducted internal investigation and deterred U.S. prosecution of the allegations.  
  • Successfully represented a global healthcare company in connection with allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with securing a business in Brazil. Led internal investigation into allegations of improper payments. 
  • Successfully represented a Dallas-based private equity advisor in connection with multiple ongoing investigations by the SEC, DOJ and state attorneys general into allegations of “pay-to-play," in connection with obtaining and maintaining business from public pension funds in California, New York and New Mexico.
  • Successfully represented the principal of a large Houston-based hedge fund in connection with a SEC insider trading investigation alleging ill-gotten gains in excess of US$20 million.
  • Successfully represented a major Texas political figure in connection with his settlement with the Texas State Securities Board.  

Civil Litigation

  • Representing a laboratory, and its principal, in claims asserted by the Department of Justice pursuant to the False Claims Act, as wells as CMS  proceedings initiated by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Representing medical practice in connection with False Claims Act litigation alleging that certain medical procedures were performed without the requisite  medical necessity and Medicare fraud in connection with the billing for those procedures. 
  • Representing physicians in connection with Bankruptcy Trustee’s claims seeking to recover alleged illegal kickback payments. 
  • Successfully represented seven Major League Baseball players in recovering in excess of US$139 million from the receivership estate of the Stanford Financial Group, and successfully defeated the Stanford receiver’s fraudulent transfer claims seeking to claw back in excess of US$9 million from the players. Janvey v. Adams, et al., 588 F.3d 831 (5th Cir. 2009).
  • Successfully represented a national hospital chain in connection with litigation brought under the False Claims Act by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
  • Represented multiple pharmaceutical companies in False Claims Act litigation brought by the Attorney General of the State of Texas related to drug pricing and drug marketing.    
  • Obtained a summary judgment on behalf of JPMorgan and LifeCare Hospitals against fraud claims asserted by Highland Capital Management over an amendment to a US$250 million credit agreement. Highland Crusader Offshore Partners, L.P., et al v. LifeCare Holdings, Inc., et al, 2009 WL 1065212 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 21, 2009) affirmed 2010 WL 1849293 (5th Cir. May 10, 2010).
  • Represented multiple pharmaceutical companies in average wholesale pricing litigation, brought by numerous state attorneys general, asserting claims including fraud, false advertising and violations of state consumer protection laws.
  • Served as co-lead counsel for Global Gaming Solutions, LLC, in connection with ongoing litigation arising from the failed acquisition of two casinos out of bankruptcy.
  • Represented Schering-Plough in connection with the defense and prosecution of a Lanham Act trade dress infringement action involving its Coppertone sunscreen brand. Obtained a successful out-of-court settlement with the manufacturer of generic sunscreen for a major worldwide retailer.
  • Served as co-lead counsel representing Hudson City Savings Bank against the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) trustee for Lehman Brothers, Inc., in connection with its claim for the return of more than US$100 million of securities held by Lehman Brothers pursuant to an open repurchase transaction on the date Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.
Thought Leadership / News
  • Selected as a Best Lawyer in Dallas by D Magazine (2018 - 2019)
  • Named a Rising Star by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters company) as published in Texas Monthly (2011 - 2019)
Organizational Involvement
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • American Bar Association
  • J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law (2004)
  • B.A., Brandeis University (2001)
Bar Admission
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit