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The Whistleblower Law Collaborative LLC is pleased to announce that Erica Blachman Hitchings joined the practice in February of this year, after nearly nine years in the United States Department of Justice where she successfully investigated, litigated, and settled a wide range of False Claims Act and other cases.
Ms. Hitchings began her Justice Department career as a member of the prestigious Attorney General’s Honors Program in 2009. She served as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Fraud section in Washington, D.C., from 2009-2013, and then as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of California (San Francisco) from 2013-2018. Ms. Hitchings conducted dozens of healthcare, procurement, and other fraud investigations that resulted in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars by the United States. She received a Special Commendation for Outstanding Service in the Civil Division.
During her Justice Department career, Ms. Hitchings investigated and successfully resolved healthcare fraud cases against a nationwide skilled nursing home chain, a large hospital system, and sleep centers. She developed significant expertise in the areas of Medicare Advantage, the Stark self-referral law, the Anti-Kickback statute, and pharmaceutical off-label marketing schemes. Her procurement fraud work contributed to the recovery of over $250 million from numerous technology and consulting companies for allegedly defrauding the government through pricing and kickback schemes.
Ms. Hitchings has been a frequent speaker on healthcare fraud and False Claims Act developments. She also served as a consultant to the national non-profit Public Rights Project, where she designed a training curriculum that will boost the affirmative investigation and litigation skills of government attorneys across the country.
She graduated from Dartmouth College, Phi Beta Kappa, and received her J.D. from Stanford Law School. At Stanford, Ms. Hitchings was a member of the Stanford Law Review and the Stanford Journal for Civil Rights & Civil Liberties. After graduating from Stanford Law School, Ms. Hitchings spent two years clerking for the Honorable Patti B. Saris, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts before joining the Department of Justice.
“We are thrilled that Erica has chosen to join the Whistleblower Law Collaborative team of former government prosecutors,” co-founder Bob Thomas said. “She is an exceptional attorney with an established record of success,” he added. Co-founder Suzanne Durrell noted, “Erica brings deep False Claims Act expertise and experience combined with knowledge of how the Department of Justice and the courts operate. She has already proven to be a valuable addition.”
“I am excited to join this talented and nationally-recognized group of like-minded former government fraud prosecutors,” commented Erica. “I have the opportunity to continue doing the work I love – ensuring that the government can identify fraud and recover precious taxpayer dollars – alongside superb colleagues and courageous clients.”