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Meet Our Professionals

Joel D. Schwartz

Washington, DC | 202.854.2811
Fax | 202.217.2771

Joel Schwartz is a former federal prosecutor and public defender who advises clients on white collar criminal defense, civil enforcement, and congressional and special investigations. With over 30 years of legal experience, clients turn to Joel for his ability to navigate negotiations and litigation in high profile, highly complex cases. He advises clients across a range of areas, including health care, consumer safety, corruption, government contracting, export control, financial services, and corporate fraud.

Joel has also conducted internal investigations and compliance reviews for corporate clients.

Aside from his time at the U.S. Department of Justice, Joel has experience as an assistant director in the Division of Enforcement & Investigations with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

Clients have recognized Joel for his work representing them before the DOJ, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as well as other federal agencies including the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He has also counseled clients on immigration and international issues.

Prior to joining Parker Poe, Joel led the White Collar Criminal Defense & Special Investigations practice group for one of the world’s top 200 largest law firms.

Representative Experience

Health Care & Consumer Safety

  • Successfully negotiated and litigated numerous Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) matters including off-label marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, tobacco fraud and regulation, FDA approval and clinical testing, compounding pharmacies, Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) and food and drug inspection issues.
  • Represent quality assurance executive in (separate) health care fraud, investor fraud and corruption investigations surrounding COVID vaccine contamination event being conducted by Justice Department, SEC and Congressional committees.
  • Represented quality assurance manager of dietary supplement manufacturer in grand jury and FDA investigations regarding sale of contaminated batches of products. Resulted in no charges being brought against client.
  • Represented over-the-counter drug supplier in recall action brought by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
  • Conducted internal investigation for pharmaceutical company regarding fraudulent activities by corporate development executive.
  • Preserved license and kept doors open at a compounding pharmacy confronted with allegations by industry and government that it was producing an alternative version of an FDA-approved drug outside the parameters of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) 503A and 503B.
  • Represent cardiology practice and its principal in Justice Department investigation of suspected Stark and billing violations.
  • Represent chain of vape stores in enforcement action by Justice Department and FDA for violating laws on marketing unapproved tobacco products.

Corruption and Government Contracting

  • Member of the Department of Justice (DOJ) trial team in United States' Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) enforcement action against the tobacco industry, United States v. Philip Morris.
  • Persuaded the DOJ and the Department of Defense (DOD) Criminal Investigative Service to drop criminal charges against government contractor who had been arrested for allegedly selling fraudulent and non-conforming parts to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).
  • Successfully prevented charges and other actions from being brought against construction-consulting firm and its principal who were targets in District of Columbia City Council "pay for play" investigation conducted by the DOJ, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Department of Labor's (DOL) Inspector General.
  • Convinced the DOJ not to prosecute or pursue other action against CEO of subsidiary to large public utility who was identified as a target of an "8(a) set-aside" fraud investigation brought by the DOJ Antitrust Division and Public Corruption Section.

Export Control

  • Protected corporate client against DOJ bringing charges after a multi-year grand jury investigation on the alleged grounds of violating International Emergency Economic Powers Act's export control provisions.
  • Represent exporter investigated by United Nations Security Council Affairs Division regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (on Iran nuclear program).

Financial Services & Corporate Fraud

  • Represent company in an industry-wide criminal price-fixing and bid-rigging investigation by the DOJ's Antitrust Division. Client was not charged.
  • Represent private law firm investigated for its potential role in suspected tax-fraud-through-bankruptcy scheme.
  • Represent community bank for suspected role in scheme of covering up thefts from accounts by artificial manipulation of businesses' charge-back rates. 
  • Retained by audit committee of public company to investigate allegations against its board chair for misappropriation of corporate funds.
  • Dissuade Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from bringing insider trading case against medical device company's corporate controller.
  • Defended former chairman of Philadelphia area bank against TARP-fraud, investor fraud and bank fraud charges brought by the DOJ, working in conjunction with the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program (SIGTARP) and the IRS. Trial resulted in a split verdict.
  • Persuaded the DOJ and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) not to prosecute or otherwise bring action against luxury home real estate corporation and its managing broker who were targets of mortgage fraud and bank fraud investigation.
  • Represented investment advisor prosecuted in New York federal court for securities fraud and tax fraud in case brought by the DOJ and the IRS.

Immigration and International Matters

  • Obtained declination of charges for business owner who, originally having entered the United States through diplomatic channels, was targeted in immigration fraud investigation brought by the DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security's National Security & Joint Terrorism Task Force.
  • Represent nationwide staffing company in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation into pattern of I-9 processing failures.
  • Represented foreign national business owners targeted in cross-border immigration fraud conspiracy to bring illegal workers into businesses across the United States in prosecution brought by the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section of the DOJ, the Department of Labor and the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service.
  • Defended international subsidiary against corruption charges before the World Bank Sanctions Board.
  • Served as U.S. counsel to defend foreign nationals against extradition to Eastern District of New York for offshore trading and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) violation, and to challenge legality of extraterritorial detention and search for evidence by foreign and U.S. authorities.


  • Successful trial defense of Arkansas Public Service Commission against preemption and commerce clause challenges to its rate setting authority.
  • Counsel for internal cybersecurity investigation of payment processing company; matter resolved without any government or private claims.
  • Represented target of criminal investigation into renewable fuels (RINs) and tax credit fraud brought by DOJ Environmental and Natural Resources Division, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the IRS.
  • Represented Canadian nationals in investigation of alleged interstate cigarette smuggling by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
  • Defended online education company against civil action brought by the FTC alleging deceptive advertising and marketing fraud.

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  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, White Collar Committee; Health Care Fraud Subcommittee