Patrick O’Connell, former chief of the Texas Attorney General’s Civil Medicaid Fraud Section, has joined Dallas-based Baron & Budd, P.C., as special counsel in the firm’s newly established Austin office.
O’Connell will lead the firm’s Qui Tam litigation team, representing government entities and individual whistleblowers to recover money stolen from the public through corporate fraud, according to the Baron & Budd announcement.
O’Connell served in the Attorney General’s office since 1999, leading a team of lawyers to recover funds fraudulently taken from the state’s Medicaid system. His team recovered more than $216 million in restitution, penalties, attorneys’ fees and other costs for state and federal taxpayers. Prior to his public service, O’Connell was a partner at O’Connell, Van Shellenbeck & Land.
Under O’Connell’s leadership, Texas’ Medicaid Fraud Section became a model for other states after obtaining major settlements with Bayer, Schering-Plough, and other pharmaceutical manufacturers in groundbreaking litigation involving drug pricing fraud.
O’Connell’s testimony before Congress resulted in provisions to the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 that led several states to pass their own False Claims Acts and, consequently, opened new avenues for addressing corporate fraud against government entities.
In 2005, Texas Lawyer newspaper named O’Connell one of the state’s top 50 in-house lawyers. Earlier this year, O’Connell received the Honest Abe Integrity in Government Award from the Taxpayers Against Fraud, becoming the first state government lawyer in history to be honored by the Washington D.C.-based organization.
Baron & Budd, P.C. has more than 50 attorneys and offices in California, Texas and Louisiana.
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