Kevin A. Seely devotes his practice to representing whistleblowers, shareholders and consumers in complex qui tam, derivative and class actions throughout the U.S. A tenacious trial lawyer with litigation experience in both the public and private sectors, Mr. Seely has successfully prosecuted top corporate executives, high-ranking government officials and corporate entities for a variety of wrongdoings, including theft of government services, bribery, embezzlement, and health care fraud. Mr. Seely has been recognized by his peers as a San Diego Super Lawyer for eight consecutive years.
Prior to joining Robbins LLP, Mr. Seely prosecuted white-collar crimes and public corruption cases on behalf of the U.S. government as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and Northern Mariana Islands. In that role, Mr. Seely successfully led teams to investigate, prosecute and negotiate the resolution of numerous complex financial fraud cases, resulting in the restoration of public trust and the return of funds to various entity and individual victims. Mr. Seely also investigated and prosecuted civil fraud cases for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, resulting in the return of millions of dollars to the victims of complex accounting and contract fraud schemes. Before becoming a federal prosecutor, Mr. Seely was a partner at a prominent commercial litigation law firm in Guam.
Mr. Seely earned his Juris Doctor from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, where he served as associate editor of the Lewis & Clark Law Review. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Irvine, where he was team captain of UCI’s nationally ranked men’s water polo team.
Mr. Seely and his selfless and courageous whistleblower client were instrumental in assisting the United States government in securing a $10.25 million settlement against Oglethorpe, Inc. and its three Ohio psychiatric treatment facilities to resolve False Claims Act allegations involving kickbacks and unnecessary admissions to Cambridge Behavioral Hospital and Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital. Mr. Seely, on behalf of his client, a former patient advocate, filed a qui tam complaint, wherein defendants were accused of providing free long-distance transportation to patients to induce them to seek treatment at defendants’ facilities, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, and submitting claims for services provided to these patients, in violation of the False Claims Act, between August 2013 and June 2019. The settlement was reached after extensive investigation and analysis by the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, and the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the cooperation and assistance of Mr. Seely and the relator. The settlement also includes a corporate integrity agreement requiring Oglethorpe, Inc. to retain an Independent Review Organization to review its claims to Medicare and Medicaid for the next five years. United States ex rel. Baker v. Oglethorpe, Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-1040 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 28, 2021)
Mr. Seely and his litigation team on behalf of Community Health Systems, Inc. were instrumental in obtaining what is believed to be the largest shareholder derivative recovery in the Sixth Circuit to date. Mr. Seely served as plaintiff’s co-lead counsel in a shareholder derivative action against the officers and directors of Community Health alleging that the fiduciaries systematically steered patients into medically unnecessary inpatient admissions when they should have been treated as outpatients. The allegations included claims that the defendants’ wrongful conduct resulted in the company being forced to pay millions to resolve federal and state investigations into its Medicare compliance practices. After five years of contentious litigation and discovery, defendants agreed to settle the case, which included a $60 million cash payment to Community Health and the implementation of extensive corporate governance reforms, including board modifications to ensure director independence, improved internal disclosure policies to allow for the confidential reporting of suspected violations of healthcare laws, and the establishment of a Trading Compliance Committee to ensure compliance with Community Health’s insider stock trading policy, among others. In re Community Health Systems, Inc. Shareholder Derivative Litig., No. 3:11-cv-00489 (M.D. Tenn. Jan. 20, 2017).
Mr. Seely served as co-lead counsel in this shareholder derivative action on behalf of Alphatec Holdings, Inc. against Alphatec’s fiduciaries who depleted shareholder equity as a result of the company’s acquisition of Scient’x. The complaint alleged the acquisition was initiated solely for the benefit of five Alphatec directors who were affiliated with the owner of Scient’x, and that shareholder approval was obtained through false and misleading statements. As a result of Mr. Seely’s efforts, several defendant directors and senior executives resigned from their positions, and Alphatec implemented reforms providing for director independence, greater review and oversight of related party transactions, and enhanced audit committee responsibilities regarding disclosure of company financial information. In re Alphatec Holdings, Inc., Derivative S’holder Litig., No. 37-2010-00058586-CU-BT-NC (Cal. Super. Ct.–San Diego Cnty. Aug. 21, 2014).
Mr. Seely served as co-lead counsel for the Nevada plaintiffs in the consolidated shareholder derivative action on behalf of the information technology and professional services company, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). Plaintiffs alleged certain members of the company’s senior management and board of directors breached their fiduciary duties by allowing false and misleading statements regarding the company’s $5.4 billion contract with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, the adequacy of CSC’s internal controls over financial reporting, and financial and accounting irregularities primarily related to CSC’s operations in Europe’s Nordic region. After lengthy discovery, Mr. Seely helped negotiate extensive corporate governance enhancements at the company, including personnel changes, the implementation of a Global Ethics & Compliance Program, and additional finance and administration training to strengthen accounting procedures and processes, among others. Bainto v. Laphen, Consolidated Case No. A-12-661695-C (Nev. Dist. Ct.-Clark Cnty. Nov. 6, 2013).
Mr. Seely was instrumental in obtaining cutting edge corporate governance at SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc., through shareholder derivative litigation following the company’s violations of the False Claims Practices Act (FCPA) for bribing Chinese officials for business. The settlement terms, praised by the Honorable Marie S. Weiner as “the most detailed and extensive corporate governance changes I’ve seen in a derivative settlement,” established consequences to employees for violations of the FCPA or other criminal misconduct, created the position of compliance coordinator and a compliance program and code, instituted a due diligence process pertaining to the hiring of all foreign agents and distributors and demanded employee compliance training, established policies for disclosure and clawback of incentive-based compensation for officers in the event of a material restatement of the company’s financial statements, and modified the company’s whistleblower programs. In re SciClone Pharms., Inc. S’holder Derivative Litig., Lead Case No. CIV 499030 (Dec. 13, 2011).
Mr. Seely served as co-lead counsel to shareholders in a consolidated derivative action on behalf of medical device company ArthroCare Corporation against certain of its officers and directors arising from accounting improprieties, wrongful insurance practices, and lack of healthcare regulatory compliance, which resulted in the need for the company to restate its financials. Mr. Seely’s efforts resulted in a substantial monetary recovery for the company, as well as the implementation of enhanced internal controls and corporate governance reforms designed to curtail future corporate misconduct and to strengthen the company. In re ArthroCare Corporation Derivative Litig., Case No. D-1-GN-08-003484; Weil v. Baker, Case No. 08-CA-00787-SS (Dec. 8, 2011).
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