White collar defense and investigations partner Antonio M. Pozos has been named a 2020 “Minority Business Leader” honoree by the Philadelphia Business Journal. The “Minority Business Leader Awards,” now in its twelfth year, identify individuals in Philadelphia with demonstrated business success over the past 12 to 18 months. Nominees are judged on professional accomplishments, community leadership and philanthropy, as well as on awards and milestones.
In an exclusive profile, Pozos spoke with the Philadelphia Business Journal about his motivation, greatest challenges, successes and achievements and how he’s used his background to build international clientele. Additionally, he offered insight on how he thinks the Philadelphia business community help heal racial divisions.
Pozos told the Philadelphia Business Journal that his greatest professional challenge and achievement came when he served as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. In that role, he prosecuted a national hospital operator for illegally and callously paying third parties to coerce largely undocumented Hispanic women to give birth at hospitals far from their homes so that the hospitals could bill Medicaid. The case resulted in over $513 million in corporate financial penalties, corporate guilty pleas, and prosecutions of individuals. Pozos described the experience as “humbling to fight for justice for victims who are often marginalized.”
When asked about what has been the key to his success, Pozos pointed to the role that mentors played in his career early on. “Hard work and talent are only rewarded when they have an opportunity to be recognized,” he said. “I have been very fortunate to have [had] committed mentors who opened doors at key moments throughout my education and professional development. These allies made Harvard possible for a student of limited means, trusted me with their hardest cases, and stood with me when I led sensitive prosecutions. I am forever grateful and honored to open doors for others today.”
Pozos also noted the role that his background has played in building international clientele. “Diversity is an asset. Advising international clients in complex criminal cases requires language skills, cultural fluency, and a diplomatic ability to navigate between cultural expectations, priorities, and systems. The number of lawyers with those skills and experience overseeing major white-collar cases for the Department of Justice, is unfortunately quite limited. My background and experience have helped me earn the trust of clients and develop my practice.”