Vedder Price

Ryan S. Hedges


Ryan S. Hedges is a Litigation Shareholder and a member of the firm’s Chambers USA–ranked Government Investigations & White Collar Defense group, focusing on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations and complex civil litigation matters.

A former federal prosecutor and seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Hedges represents companies and individuals in their most sensitive and high-profile matters involving the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG) and many other government agencies.  In more than 20 years of practice, Mr. Hedges has successfully tried numerous cases to verdict. Most recently as lead trial counsel in a  three-week federal criminal jury trial, Mr. Hedges obtained a complete defense verdict for a former accounting executive of a publicly traded transportation company, acquitting him of all 14 counts charged in an alleged $245 million securities and accounting fraud scheme.

Mr. Hedges is ranked individually by Chambers USA for Litigation: White Collar Criminal Defense & Government Investigations and noted as a “fantastic white collar attorney” (2021), who "By combining his analytical and advocacy skills has a knack for seeing the big picture when given complex information and then effectively articulating that vision to others" (2022), with one client commenting “He has an outstanding mind, is keenly focused on how to win and can see the big picture as well” (2020). In 2021, Mr. Hedges was recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the category of Securities Litigation – Defense.  Additionally, he was selected for inclusion to Illinois Super Lawyers in 2024. 

Mr. Hedges routinely handles white collar and complex civil litigation matters involving the False Claims Act (FCA) and parallel criminal investigations, the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and Stark Law, health care fraud, whistleblower claims, securities and financial fraud, accounting irregularities, insider trading, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), official bribery, defense contractor fraud, export control laws, immigration, environmental crimes, tax, antitrust, bank fraud, RICO, money laundering, obstruction of justice, extortion, consumer protection, and mail, wire and honest services fraud. Mr. Hedges also conducts internal investigations into possible wrongdoing and counsels clients regarding compliance in these areas.

Prior to joining Vedder Price, Mr. Hedges served for more than seven years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago investigating and prosecuting complex financial crimes. Selected to the U.S. Attorney’s team dedicated to prosecuting health care fraud, Mr. Hedges investigated and prosecuted some of the largest and most complex health care fraud cases recently charged in the Northern District of Illinois. Notably, Mr. Hedges co-led the multi-year investigation and resulting prosecution of 11 administrators and doctors at the former Sacred Heart Hospital, which culminated in a seven-week jury trial and guilty verdicts against the hospital’s CEO and two other top administrators.

Mr. Hedges demonstrates a commitment to pro bono service by representing low-income individuals in federal criminal defense matters and by devoting time to other criminal justice reform matters. Mr. Hedges serves on the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, Diversity Committee, Associate Evaluation Committee, and as the Associate Development Coordinator for the Litigation Practice area.

Mr. Hedges previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. While in law school, Mr. Hedges served as Editor-in-Chief of the Southern California Law Review.

Ryan S. Hedges



  • University of Southern California Gould School of Law, J.D., 2001
  • Northwestern University, B.S., 1993

Ryan S. Hedges


Bar Admissions

  • California, 2001
  • Illinois, 2005

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, 2002
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, 2021
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2005
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2018
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 2002
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2006


  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association

Ryan S. Hedges


Ryan S. Hedges



Representative matters include:

As lead trial counsel, obtained a complete defense verdict in a three-week federal criminal jury trial acquitting a former public company accounting executive of all 14 counts, including charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud, misleading external auditors, falsifying books and records of the company, and insider trading, in connection with an alleged $245 million securities and accounting fraud scheme

Representing former hospital CEO in federal fraud investigation

Representing co-founder of national COVID-19 testing company in federal fraud investigation

Representing real estate developer in civil RICO litigation

Represented national accounting firm and engagement partner in SEC investigation and Rule 102(e) proceeding alleging that audits of client’s financial statements were not conducted in accordance with PCAOB standards

Represented individual in parallel DOJ and SEC fraud actions related to what the DOJ described as the largest Ponzi scheme ever prosecuted in the Los Angeles area

Successfully represented former hospital CEO in federal False Claims Act litigation alleging Anti-Kickback and Stark violations resulting in a modest financial settlement and no government action

Successfully represented U.S. businessman in federal criminal prosecution alleging illegal exporting of electronics in violation of U.S. export control laws (EAR) resulting in a sentence far below the Sentencing Guidelines after hotly contested litigation with the DOJ

Successfully represented former bank CEO in Small Business administration (SBA) fraud prosecution resulting in a sentence far below the Sentencing Guidelines

Successfully represented former president of government contractor in Kuwait in federal criminal prosecution alleging payment of illegal gratuities to a U.S. Army official

Successfully represented property management company in ICE-HSI inspection matter alleging violations of regulations governing employment eligibility verification

Representing numerous health care providers and their employees in various federal health care fraud and civil False Claims Act investigations  

Representing multiple defense contractors in DOJ False Claims Act matters and parallel criminal investigations

Routinely conducting internal investigations for publicly traded and privately held companies and representing those clients in government-facing matters regarding potential violations of health care fraud laws and the False Claims Act, securities laws and the FCPA, federal procurement and environmental laws

Successfully resolved civil and criminal DOJ investigations into publicly traded defense contractor related to violations of SBA regulations by its employees for a civil monetary settlement less than the government’s single damages theory

Conducted multiple internal investigations for publicly traded manufacturing company related to allegations involving the FCPA and local environmental regulations at foreign facilities in Asia, Central and South America

Conducted internal investigation for government contractor related to former employee involving FCPA and official bribery allegations

Conducted internal investigation for publicly traded airline related to DOJ False Claims Act investigation

Represented sales executive of a publicly traded automobile manufacturer in parallel SEC and DOJ investigations into the manufacturer’s sales reporting, resulting in no action taken by either agency

Represented multiple officers and directors of publicly traded companies in parallel SEC and DOJ investigations into alleged insider trading, resulting in no action taken by either agency

Lead counsel to the “Information Agent” and “Special Master” appointed in U.S. v. All Business Assets of the Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills (C.D. Cal. Case No. 16-cv-5369, relating to the alleged multibillion-dollar 1MDB fraud)

Represented former CFO of publicly traded pharmaceutical company in connection with parallel SEC and DOJ investigations into the company’s financial reporting and accounting practices

Represented national accounting firm and its professionals as third parties in connection with the prosecution of a pharmaceutical executive and his lawyer on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud, U.S. v. Martin Shkreli and Evan Greebel  (E.D.N.Y. Case No. 15-637)

Represented several individual employees in EPA investigation of their employer transportation company related to alleged Clean Air Act violations, resulting in no government action

Represented dozens of employees of various hospital systems in connection with grand jury investigations and third-party trial testimony regarding federal health care fraud charges

Represented a refinery charged with criminal violations of the federal Clean Air Act in a six-week jury trial, obtaining acquittals on two of four counts, with the two counts of conviction ultimately being reversed and vacated on appeal

Represented a refinery in a federal criminal investigation into potential violations of the federal Clean Water Act, resulting in no criminal charges

Routinely conducting investigations and providing guidance related to substantive health care matters, including Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse; medical insurance billing; up-coding and over-billing; unlawful kickbacks; physician compensation arrangements; patient referral practices; off-label promotion and misbranding of pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements and medical devices; and regulatory compliance with the AKS, FCA, Stark Law, and Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), among other federal statutes







Ryan S. Hedges



Mr. Hedges contributes to our Media & Privacy Risk Report blog. To view it, please click here.