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10 February 2017 at 09:47 BST

Akin Gump partner arrested trying to sell a sealed lawsuit - in a wig

The FBI has revealed that a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has been arrested while trying to sell a copy of a sealed whistleblower complaint to a company under federal investigation - using a fake name and wearing a wig.

Monika Gruszewicz

The FBI alleged that the lawyer Jeffrey Wertkin had sought $310,000 in the deal.The lawyer was arrested on January 31 at a hotel in Cupertino, California after he apparently thought he was selling the suit to an employee of a company being investigated for falsely billing the government. He is free on $750,000 bond.

A man called 'Dan'

The investigation started after a senior employee of a technology security company informed the FBI that he had received a call from someone calling himself “Dan” who offered to furnish him with a copy of a sealed False Claims Act complaint in exchange for a “consulting fee.” ‘Dan’ initially requested a $300,000 fee, later upped to $310,000. In a sting operation Dan agreed to meet a different corporate employee—who was in fact an FBI agent —at the Hilton Garden Inn in Cupertino. Mr Wertkin joined Akin Gump last April after working at the US Justice Department.

Akin Gump 'shocked and troubled'

In a statement an Akin Gump spokesperson said: '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.; Sources: ABA Journal, Legal Week


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