With more than 20 years of experience as a federal prosecutor, defense attorney, and in-house counsel specializing in complex criminal and civil investigations and trials, John Pease represents clients in a host of white collar litigation and government investigations matters, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and False Claims Act (FCA) litigation. While serving as an Assistant US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2013, John handled many of the office’s most complex and high-profile investigations and prosecutions, including the trial conviction for corruption of a prominent Pennsylvania state senator.
While at the US Attorney’s Office, John also served as Chief of the Government and Health Care Fraud Section in the Criminal Division from 2009 to 2013, leveraging his healthcare fraud and FCA litigation experience and leading a number of nationwide investigations and prosecutions involving global pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, defense contractors, and healthcare providers. He has far-reaching first-chair trial experience and has argued numerous times before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, John was executive counsel for Teva Pharmaceuticals, where he managed global government investigations and related criminal and civil litigation (in the United States and internationally) in a variety of areas, including the FCPA; foreign criminal and regulatory statutes; the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; the Anti-Kickback Statute; and the FCA. He worked closely with Teva’s general counsel and senior executive management team, interfaced with the board and audit committee, and served as principal counsel to the global compliance officer. John has handled FCPA investigations in more than 20 countries, with significant experience in Asia, Eastern Europe (including Russia and Ukraine), Western Europe, and Latin America. He began his career at a national law firm based in Philadelphia, where he handled both complex commercial litigation and white collar matters. John previously taught trial advocacy as an adjunct professor at the Drexel University School of Law and served as a lecturer in law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has spoken on numerous panels regarding white collar crime, the FCPA, and healthcare fraud throughout the United States.
Government Investigations and False Claims Act/Qui Tam Litigation
Defended pharmaceutical and health care industry investigations by federal and state law enforcement authorities involving a broad variety of issues, including sales and marketing practices, clinical trials, and the False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, and state unfair trade practices laws.
Represented a major hospital and health system in investigation of alleged Anti-Kickback Statute violations, Stark regulations, and hospital/clinical practice relationships, and successfully obtained dismissal of False Claims Act complaint and declination of prosecution.
Defended a national wholesale pharmaceuticals distributor in parallel criminal and civil investigation and prosecution involving alleged violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and False Claims Act concerning a compounding pharmacy operation.
Defended a national pharmacy chain in False Claims Act litigation and obtained dismissal of the complaint.
Defended a pharmaceutical manufacturer in an investigation and litigation involving alleged payment of physician kickbacks and successfully obtained declination by the federal government.
Defended a pharmaceutical manufacturer in a federal investigation concerning allegations of fraud related to a Phase III clinical trial and successfully obtained declination by federal government and dismissal of False Claims Act complaint.
Defended a federal criminal investigation of a national insurance company and successfully obtained declination of all criminal charges.
Defended a major government contractor in connection with False Claims Act investigation of alleged government overpayments related to technology products.
Defended federal and state investigations of alleged price-fixing and market allocation antitrust violations in the pharmaceutical industry.
Advised on numerous internal investigations of potential healthcare fraud and abuse issues.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Anticorruption Compliance
Conducted an internal investigation of potential FCPA violations for a global manufacturer of high-technology military and police products.
Conducted a global FCPA risk assessment for a global consumer products company.
Prepared and drafted a new Code of Conduct for a global manufacturer in the energy industry, including provisions related to the FCPA.
Counseled clients on FCPA issues and the development of effective FCPA compliance programs.
Represented the Philadelphia district attorney in a federal criminal investigation of alleged public corruption.
Represented a former president of a patient assistance nonprofit corporation and successfully obtained declination of criminal and civil charges.
Represented a first-degree murder defendant originally sentenced to life without parole as a juvenile at a resentencing hearing and obtained a substantially reduced prison sentence of five years below the existing state mandatory minimum.
University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 1992, J.D., Cum Laude
University of Pennsylvania, 1989, B.S., Economics, Magna Cum Laude
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Philadelphia, The Best Lawyers in America (2020)
AV Peer Rating
Member, American Health Lawyers Association
Member, Federal Bar Association, Criminal Law Committee, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Master, University of Pennsylvania American Inn of Court
Member, American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee