Michael S. Blume

Partner
Blume Michael

Michael Blume focuses 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. Clients benefit from Michael's extensive 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, and his extensive investigations experience. Before joining Venable, Michael served as director of the Consumer Protection Branch at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a senior executive position at DOJ.

Michael has tried a variety of civil and criminal matters in federal court, and has managed numerous investigations involving federal and state, civil and criminal agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and offices of state attorneys general. He also develops internal investigations protocols for companies, and provides training to in-house personnel to implement those protocols; he has also provided this training to hospitals and universities.

As the leader of the Consumer Protection Branch, one of DOJ's most proactive, innovative prosecuting arms, Michael investigated and prosecuted business crimes, primarily focusing on food, drug, and medical device safety; financial fraud; and consumer product safety. During his tenure, he handled financial fraud, food safety, and mass marketing cases that led to precedent-setting decisions, and he strengthened partnerships with consumer protection regulators – nationwide and around the world. Michael has worked with leaders across multiple components of DOJ and at numerous government agencies, including U.S. attorneys' offices nationwide, the FDA, FTC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and state attorneys general.

Prior to the DOJ, Michael served for nearly a decade 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, as a clerk to a judge on the federal Court of Appeals, and as trial counsel for an international law firm. He began his career as an aide to former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA).

Experience

Government Experience

  • Assistant City Solicitor, City of Philadelphia
  • Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Director, Consumer Protection Branch, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Legislative Monitor, Office of Senator Arlen Specter

Representative Matters

  • Serves as a member of the monitor team overseeing the provision of required consumer relief in the settlement between Deutsche Bank and the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities
  • Represented an international consulting firm in a federal investigation involving allegations of kickbacks in the sale of pharmaceuticals through non-profit organizations

DOJ Experience:

  • Oversaw several of the largest investigations and prosecutions involving life sciences companies, arising from allegations of, among other things, off-label marketing, adverse event reporting, and data integrity
  • Led initiatives inquiring into the role of financial institutions in facilitating consumer fraud
  • Supervised 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
  • Prosecuted a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods, which resulted in the largest fine ever levied in a food safety matter
  • Supervised several of the most significant dietary supplement cases in recent years, including FDA litigation against Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals over whether it is lawful to sell products containing DMAA, FTC litigation against Bayer Corporation over whether its claims for a probiotic product were substantiated, and a DOJ settlement with a major retailer over its role in the sale of a misbranded dietary supplement
  • Led 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

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. magna cum laude Harvard Law School 1996
  • Editor, Harvard Law Review
  • B.A. summa cum laude University of Pennsylvania 1989

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Clerk Experience

  • Honorable Edward R. Becker U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Recognition
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  • U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service
  • U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division Certificate of Commendation