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Akin Gump Partner Caught Selling Sealed Lawsuit
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stealing money

Summary: An Akin Gump partner, who has since been fired, was nabbed by the FBI for trying to sell a sealed whistleblower complaint to a company that’s being investigated for $310,000.

A former Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld partner tried to sell a copy of a sealed whistleblower lawsuit to a company by using a fake name and a wig to disguise his identity. Lawyer Jeffrey Wertkin, partner with Akin Gump at the time, was attempting to sell the sealed lawsuit for $310,000 at a hotel in Cupertino, California to an employee being investigated by the FBI.


Jeffrey Wertkin

The FBI contend that Wertkin believed he was selling the copy to an employee of a company under federal investigation for falsely billing the government. The FBI were alerted of Wertkin’s intentions when a high-ranking employee of a technology security company contacted the FBI to state that they had received a call from a man named “Dan.” Dan was offering a copy of a sealed False Claims Act complaint in exchange for a “consulting fee.” The FBI had the employee record all conversations with Dan.

Dan originally demanded $300,000 but then upped the “consulting fee” to $310,000 in bitcoin. He agreed to meet another employee of the company in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn in Cupertino. The other employee was an FBI agent.

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When Wertkin was arrested, he told the FBI agent, “My life is over.” Wertkin joined Akin Gump just over a year ago from the U.S. Justice Department. There he worked in the civil division’s commercial litigation branch. He was described as an experienced False Claims Act lawyer that oversaw complex investigations of health care fraud. Wertkin is accused of criminal contempt of court. He is free on $750,000 bond.

Akin Gump acted quickly upon learning of Wertkin’s crime, dismissing him from the firm. They released the statement: “We are shocked and deeply troubled by the conduct alleged in the charges filed against Mr. Wertkin. Honesty and integrity are at the core of our values and our client relationships. Immediately upon learning of these charges, we took swift action and Mr. Wertkin is no longer with the firm.”

What kind of future do you think Wertkin will have? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about bitcoin, read these articles:

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