Rodger Heaton, a former United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, focuses his practice in white-collar criminal investigations, trials and appeals, and a wide variety of commercial litigation. He has more than two decades of trial and appellate experience, and substantial experience in health care fraud, procurement fraud and qui tam
actions under the False Claim Act. Mr. Heaton represents public and private companies, or senior managers, officers or directors of those companies who are entangled in federal or state investigations and prosecutions.
Mr. Heaton defends clients in both trials and appeals in state and federal court, and before state administrative tribunals. He also represents clients facing government investigations by HHS, the SEC or the Department of Justice for all types of fraud or corruption, and leads companies through proactive compliance audits and internal investigations.
As the chief federal law enforcement official for 46 of Illinois’ 102 counties, Mr. Heaton supervised a staff of 80 people, including 35 assistant U.S. attorneys, who handled civil litigation and criminal investigations and prosecutions involving health care and procurement fraud, public corruption, and a variety of violent crime. He has tried more than 20 federal cases to a jury verdict, and has briefed and argued more than 60 appeals in the Seventh Circuit (twice en banc).
Mr. Heaton has substantial experience in cyber crimes, having supervised the Central Illinois Cybercrime Unit during his tenure with the Central District. He was also a Computer Crime and Technology Specialist for the federal government earlier in his career.
Mr. Heaton joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in September 2009. As the United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, he was the chief federal law enforcement official in the largest geographical judicial district in Illinois. Under his direction, charges were filed in approximately 1,300 felony cases.
Mr. Heaton supervised the investigation and prosecution of numerous major procurement fraud matters and cases arising from the Rock Island Arsenal’s contracting work for the U.S. Army. He was responsible for the formation of the Central Illinois Public Corruption Task Force, a multi-agency investigative and prosecution team in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, Illinois State Police and the Secretary of State, Inspector General’s Office.
He also oversaw numerous health care fraud investigations, and the negotiation and finalization of health care fraud settlements and pleas that led to the recovery of approximately $20 million for the Medicare Trust Fund.
He taught White Collar Crime as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law from 1993 to 1997, and has taught both trial and appellate advocacy at the Department o Justice Advocacy Institute.
Mr. Heaton has been a member of the Committee to Revise the Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 1997-1998, and again in 2008-2009. In addition, he also served on the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys.
In 2001 to 2003, he joined the private sector as a litigation partner in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis.
In 2003, he returned to public service as Chief of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois. In 2005, he became the United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois.
During his career, Mr. Heaton has received numerous awards from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mr. Heaton is a member of the Leading Lawyers Network, where he was selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in the area of Criminal Defense Law: White Collar. In 2012, Mr. Heaton was included on the Super Lawyers
list in the area of Criminal Defense: White Collar, by Illinois Super Lawyers
Mr. Heaton is a member of the White Collar Crime Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. His professional memberships also include the American Bar Association and the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys.
Mr. Heaton participated in “Crimes or Misdemeanors? Assessing and addressing the Increasing Risks of Corporate Criminal Exposure,” a legal roundtable discussion sponsored by Navigant Consulting and the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association, in Chicago, February 2010. Mr. Heaton’s other presentations include “Healthcare Fraud: Health Reform’s Expansion of Provider Risk and Best Practices to Minimize Exposure in Government Actions,” at Hinshaw’s Annual Healthcare Conference in Lisle, Illinois, November 2011.
Mr. Heaton was a guest commentator on the topic of “Honest Services Law,” on WILL AM Radio’s Focus 580 program in December 2009.
He is a co-author of "The Changing Face of White Collar Crime Enforcement," a chapter in “Managing White Collar Legal Issues, Leading Lawyers on Understanding Recent Notable Cases, Establishing Key Defense Strategies, and Developing Client Relationships, 2011 Edition,” published by Aspatore Books, of Thomson Reuters.
Mr. Heaton’s other publications include, “Electronics and Consent
,” co-author, published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, April 23, 2011.