Richard Blake is Chair of McDonald Hopkins’ Government Compliance, Investigations and White Collar Defense Practice Group. 

When you find yourself the target of a government investigation and facing potential criminal or civil penalties, an experienced attorney with a proven track record is essential for your defense. Richard has more than 35 years in both government and private practice and boasts the experience and talent to successfully fight for his clients' interests. 

Richard spent 20 years in government service in various capacities with the United States Army, Department of Treasury and Department of Justice. During his tenure, he worked in the DOJ Organized Crime Strike Force and Economic Crimes Unit, where he prosecuted a wide variety of cases, including organized crime racketeering, money laundering, health care fraud, insurance and tax fraud, domestic terrorism, defense procurement fraud, banking and securities fraud, and identity theft. He was also the first federal prosecutor hired by the Justice Department to exclusively prosecute federal qui tam and civil false claims cases in the Northern District of Ohio.

For more than 15 years, Richard has focused his private practice on assisting clients in a wide variety of criminal and civil matters, including allegations of health care related fraud, securities fraud, Controlled Substance Act violations, contract procurement fraud, public corruption and tax fraud.

Richard’s dedication to his clients is paramount. His ability to assemble teams tailored to a client’s individual needs and circumstances has yielded tremendous success, including:

  • Not-guilty verdicts on all counts of criminal conspiracy and willful filing of false tax returns against a Michigan mortgage broker. Although the client’s former partner pleaded guilty to the alleged conspiracy and testified for the government, the jury deliberated just over one hour before fully exonerating the client.
  • The dismissal of all federal charges filed by the Department of Justice against a pharmaceutical distributor charged with violating the Controlled Substances Act; Richard also appeared before the United States Congressional House Committee on Energy and Commerce as the client’s counsel during Congress’ national investigation of opioid abuse. 
  • Not-guilty verdicts on 50 counts of health care fraud and related charges against two Ohio cardiologists following a three-month federal jury trial.  Richard subsequently negotiated a civil settlement with the government and succeeded in maintaining the physicians’ licenses and recouped all Medicaid funds withheld during the investigation and trial.
  • The successful representation of the only public official in Ohio to be acquitted at trial of all federal corruption charges in the largest public corruption investigation ever conducted in the Northern District.

Richard also conducts internal investigations tailored to the individual needs of his clients. One such investigation for the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners addressed the potential impact of a federal public corruption investigation on the county's financial condition and bond rating. The report was released by the county to the public and referred to in the media as "The Blake Report."

During his tenure with the federal government, Richard was honored with the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency Award following his successful prosecution of a defense subcontractor who provided the Navy with defective components used on nuclear submarines. He has also received numerous awards for his work as a federal prosecutor, including from the FBI, Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, IRS Criminal Investigation Division, United States Environmental Protection Agency, and United States Secret Service.

After leaving government service, Richard continued to serve as an instructor for the FBI, training its agents on health care fraud investigations, Civil False Claims Act and qui tam whistleblower matters, and HIPAA compliance.

Richard has also been a featured speaker for delegations of foreign law enforcement dignitaries visiting the United States with the State Department and Council on World Affairs, speaking on issues including federal criminal procedures, international money laundering, public corruption, and organized crime. 

Honors & Recognition

Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers (2015-2024)

Named one of the Best Lawyers in America (2016-2024)

2010 Federal Bar Association Iron Lawyer, Northern District of Ohio

2006 President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency Award for Excellence and Distinguished Performance in Protecting United States Military Personnel and the Nation’s Nuclear Programs



St Johns University

City University of New York Baruch College

Admissions – Court

Admissions – State

Professional & Civic

Professional Activities

Ohio State Bar Association

New York State Bar Association

American Bar Association

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

American Health Lawyers Association

Community Involvement

United States Army, Army Reserve (1984-1990)

Federal court-appointed mediator, Northern District of Ohio in alternative dispute resolutions

Volunteer Magistrate, Mayfield Village Juvenile Court Diversion Program

SBMD Family Foundation, Board of Directors

Former Adjunct Law Professor, Cleveland Marshall School of Law

UCP of Greater Cleveland, Board of Directors

News & Insights

External News & Publications

“District Court Allows Relator to Add Qui Tam Charge to Existing Retaliatory Discharge Complaint,” (March 29, 2012)

“Court Dismisses RICO Claim Against Provider, But Allows False Claims Act Retaliatory Discharge Count to Proceed,” (March 27, 2012)

“U.S. Government to Receive $15.85 Million Settlement from Lockheed Martin to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations,” (March 27, 2012)

“Federal Court Rules in Whistleblower’s Favor on Question of “Original Source”, (March 22, 2012)

“Another Round of Kyphoplasty Settlements Yields More Than $12 Million in Payments to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations,” (February 08, 2012)

 “Corporate Leaders in Cross Hairs: Exclusions and Other Government Enforcement Trends Converge Against Individuals,” AHLA Hospitals and Health Systems Practice Group News Letter, (May 2011)


“Congress Expands Scope of Federal False Claims Act," Fine Print – The Ohio State Bar Association’s Quarterly Newsletter, (Summer 2009)

“Attorneys say changes to False Claims Act will have impact on future litigation,” The Columbus Daily Reporter, (June 3, 2009) Contributor

 “Federal Prosecutors Target Off-Label Promotion of Prescription Drugs,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, (November 2008)



Speaking Engagements

"How to Protect Your Lab from Costly and Time-Consuming Government Investigations and Qui Tam Lawsuits--and What to Do If the Government Does Come Calling", Pathology Blawg webinar (June 25, 2015)

"Public Corruption Investigations", Presentation to Ohio Auditor of State Annual Training, Cleveland, Ohio (December 12, 2012) 

"Fraud and Abuse Update", Ohio Health "Stark School" training for hospital executives and compliance personnel, Columbus, Ohio (November 11, 2012) 

"Public Corruption and Its Impact on the Regional Economy", 12th Annual Emerging Trends in Fraud Investigation and Prevention Conference, Columbus, Ohio (May 22, 2012) 

"Case Study Involving Northern Ohio Charter School Fraud", 12th Annual Emerging Trends in Fraud Investigation and Prevention Conference, Columbus, Ohio (May 22, 2012) 

"Criminal and White Collar Defense Issues, Part 2", Northeast Ohio Healthcare Financial Management Association Gerry Haggerty Annual Leadership Institute, Aurora, Ohio (May 16, 2012) 


"Criminal & White Collar Defense", Northeast Ohio Healthcare Financial Management Association, Chapter Meeting, Independence, Ohio (March 15, 2012) 

"Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Boot Camp Webinar Series, Part III: The Federal Anti-Kickback Law: An Overview, Recent Enforcement Trends & Impact of Healthcare Reform", Moderator for Webinar hosted by AHLA (March 1, 2012) 

Presentation to Ukrainian Delegation Council on World Affairs, International Visitor Leadership Program, Cleveland, Ohio (February 17, 2012) 

"Qui Tam and Regulatory Update for Hospitals and Providers", Top 10 Event, West Chester, Ohio (January 25, 2012) 

"A View From the Front Lines", J.P. Morgan Chase Legal Division, New Jersey (December 20, 2011) 

"Financial Issues in Healthcare", Akron Bar Association, Akron, Ohio (December 16, 2011) 

"Feds Gone Wild! How Prosecutors and Whistleblowers Use the False Claims Act and its Impact on Health Care Providers", Ohio Society of CPA's Health Care Conference, Columbus, Ohio (November 16, 2011) 

"Use of Internal Investigations for Municipalities", Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association, Dublin, Ohio (July 2011) 

"Navigating the Federal Funds Audit Process: School Spending Under the Microscope", Ohio Association of School Board Officials, NE Chapter Meeting, Valley View, Ohio (June 2011) 

"HIPAA Training for FBI Agents", Federal Bureau of Investigation Health Care Fraud Unit - Basic In-Service, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (June 2011) 

"Stark School", - Ohio Health in-house training of hospital executives and compliance personnel (May 20, 2011) 

"Issues that Keep Health Care Executives Awake at Night", Ohio Health, Columbus, Ohio (February 9, 2011) 

"Financial Fraud Liability Issues", Guest Lecturer, Case Western Reserve Weatherhead School of Management, Cleveland, Ohio (March 17, 2011) 

"Public Corruption & Fraud and Their Impact on Current Economic Trends", Joint Institute of Internal Auditors, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners meeting, Fraud and Forensics Day, Independence, Ohio (February 7, 2011) 

Presentation to Colombian Law Enforcement Delegation, International Visitor Leadership Program, Cleveland, Ohio (January 31, 2011) 

"Financial Crime Litigation Techniques", NALS of Ohio, Winter Conference (January 22, 2011) 

"Recent Developments in False Claims Act: Strategies & Litigation", Cincinnati Bar Association, Cincinnati, Ohio (December 2010) 

"The Stored Communications Act: 20th Century Computer Law for the Digital Millennium", Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association 2010 Annual Meeting, Columbus, Ohio (December 2010) 

"Be Afraid: The Ugly Truth Behind Uncle Sam's Increased Medicare/Medicaid Enforcement Activities and Its Impact on Hospitals", Revenue Cycle, Central Ohio Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management Association, Columbus, Ohio (June 2010) 

"When & How to Self-Disclose to the Government - Lessons Learned", Ohio Hospital Association, Columbus, Ohio (June 2010) 

"Be Afraid: The Ugly Truth Behind Uncle Sam's Increased Medicare, Medicaid Enforcement Activities and Its Impact on Hospitals", SW Ohio, Healthcare Financial Mgt. Assoc.: Educational Forums, Cincinnati, Ohio (April 2010) 

"Financial Fraud Liability Issues", Guest Lecturer, Case Western Reserve Weatherhead School of Management, Cleveland, Ohio (March 2010) 

"HIPAA Privacy Rules Medical Records Privacy", FBI Health Care Fraud Conference, Leesburg, VA (March 2010) 

"Prosecuting Health Care Fraud Investigations", FBI Health Care Fraud Conference, Leesburg, VA (March 2010) 

"Hot Topics", Ohio Hospital Association Medical Staff Leadership, Cleveland, Ohio (February 2010)

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