Michael Blume focuses his practice on compliance, consumer fraud, and corporate liability for clients in the pharmaceutical, life sciences, food, dietary supplements, medical device, consumer products, and financial services industries. He has significant experience with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA); the False Claims Act; the Federal Trade Commission Act; and the Consumer Product Safety Act, among others. Mr. Blume has tried a variety of civil and criminal matters in federal court, and has managed investigations involving a variety of state and federal civil and criminal agencies, including the FBI, United States Postal Inspection Service, FDA, FTC, and state attorneys general.
Prior to joining Venable, Mr. Blume served as Director of the Consumer Protection Branch at the U.S. Department of Justice. As the leader of a proactive, innovative prosecuting arm of the DOJ, he gained considerable experience investigating and prosecuting an array of business crimes, primarily focusing on food, drug, and medical device safety; financial fraud; and consumer product safety.
During his tenure, he prioritized financial fraud, food safety, and mass marketing cases leading to precedent-setting prosecutions, and he worked to strengthen partnerships with consumer protection regulators worldwide and nationwide. Mr. Blume worked with leaders across multiple components of the DOJ and at numerous government agencies, including U.S. Attorneys' Offices nationwide, the FDA, FTC, CSPC, and state attorneys general.
Mr. Blume's experience at DOJ includes:
- Supervising the prosecution of corporate officials associated with the Peanut Corporation of America, which led to the longest prison term ever imposed in a food safety matter, and the prosecution of a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods, which included the largest fine ever levied in a food safety matter.
- Supervising several of the most significant dietary supplement cases in recent years, including the FDA's litigation against Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals over whether it is lawful to sell products containing DMAA, the FTC's litigation against Bayer Corporation over whether its claims for a probiotic product were substantiated, and the DOJ’s settlement with a major retailer over its role in the sale of a misbranded dietary supplement.
- Other highlights of his tenure at the Consumer Protection Branch include the largest-ever settlement with a ratings agency for its role in the packaging and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities, the largest penalty ever awarded for violations of the Do-Not-Call laws, and enforcement sweeps targeting worldwide, mass marketing fraud schemes.
Mr. Blume received several awards from the Department of Justice, including the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service.
Prior to working at the Consumer Protection Branch and for nearly a decade, Mr. Blume served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where he handled an active civil and criminal caseload, managed civil and criminal prosecution teams, and engaged in extensive community outreach. He also served as Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia, a clerk to a judge on the federal Court of Appeals, and trial counsel for an international law firm. He began his career as an aide to former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter.