Eli J. Richardson has more than 20 years of private practice and government enforcement experience, including an extensive background in federal and international criminal matters. Before joining Bass, Berry & Sims in 2010, he served in high-profile positions with the Department of Justice (DOJ), including the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Eli assists companies and individuals who are faced with potential or existing scandals, government investigations, or financial losses involving alleged white-collar criminal activity or misconduct - including financial fraud, healthcare fraud, RICO and foreign and domestic corruption issues. For clients facing these difficult situations, Eli works to devise and execute a strategy to successfully navigate the particular criminal, financial and reputational risks involved. He conducts internal investigations, advises on compliance policies, provides compliance training, proposes media strategies, conducts self-disclosure to government authorities, and asserts any rights the client might possess as a crime victim. He also represents clients under subpoena or investigation by DOJ, various Offices of Inspector General, or other government enforcement agencies.
Immediately prior to joining Bass, Berry & Sims, Eli served 19 months overseas as DOJ’s Resident Legal Advisor to Serbia, providing training, advice and case-specific assistance to Serbian judges, police and prosecutors. From 2004 to 2009, Eli was an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, where in addition to prosecuting cases he served as Anti-terrorism Coordinator, head of the Terrorism and Official Corruption Unit, and finally Criminal Chief. From 2002 to 2004, Eli served as an AUSA in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, investigating and prosecuting a wide variety of cases. Prior to that, he spent four years as an FBI Special Agent, working first on public-corruption investigations, and then on counterterrorism matters as the FBI’s regional Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator.
Eli serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Belmont University College of Law, where he teaches trial advocacy. During 2010, he served as an anti-corruption expert monitor for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
- Successfully defended Kentucky tobacco wholesaler by obtaining summary judgment in civil RICO action brought by the City of New York in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- Internal investigations, and resulting self-disclosures to federal law enforcement, on behalf of healthcare companies and specialty-food distribution company
- Representation of pharmaceutical company in connection with federal government investigation into alleged off-label marketing and certain aspects of its clinical-trial practices
- Appellate litigation on behalf of client convicted of aggravated identity theft and false statements to a federally-insured financial institution
- Representation of witnesses in insider trading and securities fraud investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice
- Representation of victim bank in major federal bank fraud case
- Representation of witness in False Claims Act investigation involving alleged healthcare fraud
- Development of government investigation crisis response plan for healthcare company
Representative Speaking Engagements
- “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” PwC 2012 SEC & Accounting Developments Seminar; co-presented (November 29, 2012)
- “Foreign Anti-Corruption Enforcement. What it is and What it Means for Internal Audit,” Institute of Internal Auditors, Nashville Chapter, Continuing Professional Education Program (October 9, 2012)
- “Impact of FCPA on M&A Transactions,” ABA Mergers & Acquisitions Committee Annual Meeting; co-presented (August 5, 2012)
- “White Collar Crimes Enforcement Issues,” Knowledge Congress CLE webinar; co-presented (July 7, 2012)
- “A New Focus of the Feds: Using the Travel Act, Federal Fraud and State Public-Corruption Statutes to Prosecute Domestic Corruption by Corporations,” Association of Corporate Counsel program; co-presented (May 17, 2012)
- “What’s Up Doc?: The Latest in Healthcare Fraud Prosecutions and False Claims Litigation,” Tennessee Bar Association CLE; co-presented (December 9, 2011)
- “When the Whistle Blows: Proactive and Reactive Responses to Whistleblowing,” Health Care Compliance Association, South Central Regional Annual Conference (December 2, 2011)
- “Corporate Criminal Liability in the 21st Century,” Tennessee Bar Association CLE; moderated and co-presented (October 18, 2011)
- “Dodd-Frank Act: Addressing the New Regulatory Compliance Challenges,” Compliance 360 webinar; co-presented (July 26, 2011)
- Featured Panelist, National Black Caucus of State Legislators Annual Conference, Law, Justice, and Ethics Policy Committee Session (December 2, 2010)
- “Anti-Corruption Policy and Practice Update 2010,” Lex Mundi CLE Webinar; co-presented (October 21, 2010)