Joel Hammerman is a former federal prosecutor who represents companies and executives in government investigations, civil and criminal litigation, internal investigations and at trial. Joel is a seasoned trial lawyer and appellate advocate who has tried more than 20 cases and argued 11 matters in the U.S. Court of Appeals. 

Joel represents clients in complex compliance and enforcement matters, litigating allegations of fraud, and conducting internal investigations. He has led internal investigations for clients in a variety of industries and has represented corporations and individuals in matters involving the U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal and state regulators. These representations have involved allegations of health care fraud, violations of the False Claims Act, environmental offenses, financial reporting irregularities, securities fraud, antitrust violations, public corruption, U.S. sanctions programs, tax offenses, embezzlement, and investment and corporate fraud.

Prior Experience

Prior to joining Faegre Drinker, Joel was a federal prosecutor in Chicago for 12 years, where he served in the Securities and Commodities Fraud, Complex Fraud, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering, and Financial Crimes and Special Prosecutions sections of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. As a prosecutor, Joel investigated and prosecuted scores of sophisticated financial crimes, including health care fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, corporate and securities fraud, commodities fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, bankruptcy fraud, public corruption, organized crime and cybercrime. Joel was a member of the U.S. Attorney’s team dedicated to prosecuting health care fraud. He also served as a liaison to FBI counterterrorism and counterintelligence squads and served as a Terrorist Financing Coordinator and Asset Forfeiture Coordinator.

Joel began his legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Sarah S. Vance of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Representative Matters

  • Represented Fortune 500 financial institution in CFTC investigation of Sarbanes-Oxley reporting practices; CFTC did not pursue enforcement action.
  • Represented Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company in a qui tam False Claims Act litigation regarding government price reporting under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program.
  • Represented executive of a Fortune 500 healthcare company in a qui tam False Claims Act case alleging violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark law.
  • Representing former founder and chief executive officer of mircrobiome science company charged by the DOJ and SEC for alleged healthcare fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
  • Represented owner and chief executive officer of an investment advisory firm in connection with an SEC action and DOJ prosecution for embezzling client funds.
  • Represented a chief financial officer of a private equity portfolio company in Delaware Chancery Court trial involving allegations of, inter alia, securities fraud; case settled following trial.
  • Represented chief executive officer in an Environmental Protection Agency enforcement inquiry associated with the company’s violations of the Clean Air Act.
  • Conducted internal investigation concerning whether hospital employee upcoded surgical services provided to patients.
  • Conducted internal investigation of inpatient psychiatric hospital system’s relationship with a physician staffing company for possible violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • Conducted internal investigation related to nonprofit’s senior executive’s embezzlement.
  • Represented subject in a federal criminal environmental crime prosecution; obtained non-prosecution agreement for client.
  • Conducted internal investigation of sales practices of ophthalmologic device and vision care company in response to reported violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • Represented ambulance company in connection with federal False Claims Act investigation of the medical necessity of hospital discharge patient transportation services.
  • Conducted internal investigation of company’s foreign subsidiary’s compliance with United States’ international sanctions program.
  • Conducted internal investigation and self-reported company’s violations of United States’ international sanctions program.
  • Represented senior executive of a medical device manufacturer investigated for submitting false claims to FEHB insurance programs.
  • Represented hospital system alleged to have violated employee privacy rights under Illinois state law.
  • Represented unindicted co-conspirator in home health prosecution alleging violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute; obtained immunity agreement for client.
  • Represented special purpose securitization company on behalf of financial institutions that brought civil RICO claims in connection with the bankruptcy of a securitized borrower; obtained a jury award in excess of $21 million for clients.
  • Represented pharmaceutical company and corporate representatives investigated by the SEC for alleged reporting violations.

Federal Prosecution Matters

  • Lead investigative and trial counsel in eleven-defendant prosecution of hospital CEO, CFO, COO and other senior executives and staff physicians charged with violating the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • Co-lead investigative and trial counsel in prosecution of psychiatric hospital CEO, COO and staff physician charged with violating the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • Lead counsel in action seeking the civil forfeiture of $6 million in al-Qaida assets maintained at a futures trading company.
  • Lead investigative and trial counsel in prosecution of real estate company’s president, associated counsel and title company representative who orchestrated a mortgage bailout scheme involving hundreds of fraudulent mortgage loans.
  • Lead prosecutor of the owners of an online forex trading company who used their company to commit a $17 million Ponzi scheme.
  • Lead prosecutor of a defendant convicted of attempting to travel to Somalia to provide support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
  • Lead prosecutor of a defendant convicted of attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction following a concert at Wrigley Field.
  • Lead prosecutor of a former chief of police and a city inspector general convicted of tax and bankruptcy fraud.
  • Lead prosecutor of purported organized crime figure convicted of a string of Hobbs Act robberies.

Related Legal Services


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Hon. Sarah S. Vance, 1997-1998


Harvard Law School
J.D. magna cum laude (1997)

The University of Texas at Austin
B.A. highest honors (1994)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Trends Surrounding Investigations and Regulatory Matters, Including Antitrust
    Panelist, Corporate Investigations - In the U.S. and Globally, Sandpiper Partners LLC, November 2016


  • Chambers USA — Illinois, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2023-24
  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2023
  • Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency — Investigation Award for Excellence for the Sacred Heart Hospital investigation and prosecution, 2015 (team member)
  • Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency — Gaston L. Gianni, Jr. Better Government Award for the investigation and prosecution of USDA benefits fraud, 2008 (team member)
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