(January 15, 2020, Los Angeles) — Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce that Ashwin J. Ram, an assistant US attorney in the major frauds section of the US Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, has joined the firm's White-Collar Criminal Defense practice as a partner. Ashwin will reside in Steptoe's Los Angeles office, where his practice will also include civil litigation.
As a federal prosecutor, Ashwin has handled more than a dozen trials and charged, negotiated, and resolved more than 100 criminal matters involving cumulative losses in excess of $1.5 billion. He was one of the lead prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of "Operation Spinal Cap," one of the largest health care fraud prosecutions in California history. Ashwin also led a series of prosecutions into compounding pharmacies, in which he investigated pharmacies, executives, physicians, sales representatives, and related entities collectively responsible for dispensing more than $250 million of allegedly unnecessary compounded drug prescriptions. Along with health care fraud and Anti-Kickback Statute violations, Ashwin has investigated and prosecuted a variety of other frauds, including investment, securities, bank, and tax fraud, as well as bribery, False Claims Act violations, and money laundering. For his casework, Ashwin received the Assistant Inspector General Excellence Award. On the appellate side of his practice, Ashwin has drafted multiple briefs, and argued four cases before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Ashwin first joined the Office of the United States Attorney, Criminal Division, in 2012 as a special assistant US attorney in the Eastern District of California. He moved to the general crimes section in Los Angeles and was then assigned to the major frauds section. Prior to his government service, Ashwin served as general counsel for a technology startup company.
In welcoming Ashwin to the firm, Steptoe Chair Phil West stated: "Ashwin is a first-chair trial lawyer who simply has a stronger courtroom track record than most other attorneys. As a former federal prosecutor, he is experienced in all aspects of federal criminal practice, from the investigatory stage through trial, sentencing, and appeal. His stellar reputation, ability, and energy make Ashwin the ideal person to expand our white-collar practice on the West Coast."
Ashwin commented: "In returning to private practice, I was looking for a firm where I could leverage my experience as a federal prosecutor to build a strong white-collar practice. Steptoe was at the top of my list. The firm has a top-tier white-collar practice that boasts a deep bench of talent, including a number of former federal prosecutors. I could not be more excited for this opportunity to grow the practice in California."
Steptoe's white-collar criminal defense practice has represented some of the largest public and private companies in the world in major government and internal investigations. The team represented Volkswagen AG in the Department of Justice's diesel emissions case and successfully negotiated the largest corporate criminal and regulatory settlement in recent history.
Regarded as one of the best white-collar practices in the United States, the team has garnered many accolades, including recognition by both Chambers USA and The Legal 500 as a top-ranked practice in this field. The group was also named The National Law Journal's "Washington Litigation Department of the Year in White-Collar Crime" in 2014, 2017, and 2018, and has received Law360's "Practice Group of the Year in White-Collar" award three times. For the past five years, Global Investigations Review has named Steptoe to its GIR 30, an independent guide to the world's best firms for international investigations.
Ashwin earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Miami University. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Kansas, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as a member of the Kansas Law Review.
He is the former president of the South Asian Bar Association and the Network of Indian Professionals (North America), which is one of the largest nonprofit organizations dedicated to the advancement of South Asian professionals in the United States.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe has earned an international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in structuring business transactions. Steptoe has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit www.steptoe.com.