J. Scott Gilbert


J. Scott Gilbert served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the Southern District of Mississippi, where he litigated white-collar criminal matters, including health care fraud, money laundering, Bank Secrecy Act, bank fraud, asset forfeiture and public corruption. In addition to criminal cases, Scott litigated civil health care fraud cases and other False Claims Act and Qui Tam matters.  Scott also managed the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering program for 94 United States Attorney's offices.  He was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 2006, and the Texas Bar in 2017.

Scott practices primarily in the areas of criminal and civil Healthcare Litigation, White Collar Criminal Defense, Governmental and Corporate Investigations, and Asset Forfeiture Litigation.    He has represented clients who were under state or federal criminal investigation, successfully guiding them through the process and avoiding charges.  Scott has trial experience defending criminal cases and represents clients in the federal and state courts throughout the United States in criminal cases, and in civil and criminal asset forfeiture cases.  Prior to joining the firm, Scott frequently lectured on money laundering and asset forfeiture at the Department of Justice training facility in Columbia, South Carolina. Scott is an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law, where he teaches Criminal Practice and Asset Forfeiture Law. 

Representative Criminal Defense Work

  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Scott has tried criminal cases in state and federal courts in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Scott has negotiated the dismissals of felony and misdemeanor criminal charges, and obtained reduced sentences in cases where a conviction occurred. For example:
    • Represented a client charged with criminal false pretense, and successfully negotiated with the district attorney to have the charge remanded without presentation to the grand jury.
    • Represented a client accused of criminal theft of government funds by a federal agency, and successfully negotiated a civil settlement with the U.S. Attorney, avoiding criminal charges.
    • Represented a state employee accused of submitting false reimbursement requests to a state agency, and convinced the agency that there was insufficient evidence to warrant referring the matter for criminal investigation.
    • Represented a college student accused of a Title IX violation, which involved an internal school investigation and a criminal investigation. The client was not found to have engaged in any wrongful conduct.
    • Represented a client charged with multiple counts of auto-burglary and illegal firearms possession and secured a significantly reduced sentence that was served as a trustee in a local jail, avoiding any time spent in a state prison.
  • Criminal and Civil Healthcare Litigation
  • Scott has represented doctors and health care businesses under civil and criminal investigation by various state and federal law enforcement agencies, and negotiated resolutions that avoided criminal prosecution and allowed the doctors to keep their medical licenses, as well as substantially reduced sentences in cases where a conviction occurred. For example:
    • Represented two doctors and their practice during an investigation by the State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The investigation was closed with no criminal charges filed.
    • Represented a doctor who was under investigation by the DEA for pharmaceutical diversion. Scott negotiated a resolution that avoided criminal charges and allowed the doctor to keep his license.
    • Represented a doctor who was under investigation in multiple states by the DEA for pharmaceutical diversion. Scott convinced the United States Attorney's Office not to prosecute his client.
    • Represented a doctor who was indicted in federal court for pharmaceutical diversion, and after a guilty plea, obtained a sentence substantially below the recommended Sentencing Guideline range.
  • False Claims Act and Qui Tam Litigation
  • Scott represents companies and individuals named in False Claims Act or Qui Tam  cases. For example:
    • Represents a managed care company in Mississippi that is a defendant in a False Claims Act Qui Tam matter.
    • Represents a trucking company in Virginia against government allegations of false claims related to wage and hour regulations.
  • Corporate Investigations and Healthcare Business Representation
  • Scott has conducted internal corporate investigations on behalf of large and small companies into potential criminal conduct by employees and by outside entities.
  • Scott currently represents health care practices, providing advice and counsel in the various aspects of day to day operations, such as Stark and Anti-Kickback law implications of day-to-day business activities, contract negotiation, medical billing, fair market value assessments and tax and other regulatory issues. For example:
    • Represented an ambulatory surgical center during its efforts to expand the services it offered, including acquiring new members and specialists.
    • Represents a non-profit mental health provider in various aspects of its business operation, including general day-to-day advice, before the Department of Revenue, and in negotiating complex physician employment contracts. 
  • Asset Forfeiture
  • Scott has represented criminal defendants and claimants in criminal and civil forfeiture cases throughout the United States and  Mississippi in federal and state courts, including:
    • The Southern District of Mississippi
    • The Northern District of Georgia
    • The Western District of Virginia
    • The Eastern District of Texas
    • The Northern District of Texas
    • The District of Delaware
    • The Southern District of Alabama
  • Scott has obtained the return of seized property both pre- and post- verdict. For example:
    • Represented a trucking company in Virginia during a federal criminal case. Scott advised the company's CFO on the legality of multiple transactions involving the sale and transfer of the company and its assets while the company was under indictment. The government sought a $40 million forfeiture, which was ultimately reduced to $2 million.
    • Represented a criminal defendant in an immigration case in the Eastern District of Texas, and obtained a dismissal of four out of five parcels of real property that had been previously ordered forfeited by a jury.
    • Represented a claimant in a civil forfeiture in Mississippi and obtained the return of the entire $50,000 that was seized from the client by the Jackson Airport Police.
    • Represented a client in a civil forfeiture in Rankin County, Mississippi, where he obtained the return of half the money seized from the claimant.

Representative Trials as Lead Criminal Prosecutor

  • United States v. Cassandra Thomas, 3:08cr170DPJ-LRA
  • United States v. Theddis Pearson, et al, 2:09cr43KS-MTP
  • United States v. LaTanicia and Wayne Rogers, 1:09cr100WJG-RHW
  • United States v. Pamela Hull and Jacqualine Crawley, 1:07cr125LG-RHW
  • United States v. Allan Hearne, 3:08cr164DPJ-JCS
  • United States v. Gregory Bernard Griffin, 3:13cr80DPJ-LRA
  • United States v. Charles Barlow, 2:07cr20KS-MTP
  • United States v. Lee Taylor, 1:07cr116HSO-RHW
  • United States v. Marco Rogers, 3:12cr127DCB-FKB
  • State of Mississippi v. James Vardaman, Rankin County Circuit Court #16366



Contact Information:

Telephone number: 601.965.1922
Email: sgilbert@watkinseager.com
Practice Areas

Healthcare Litigation
White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations

Bachelor of Arts, Mississippi State University, magna cum laude, 2003
Juris Doctor: Mississippi College School of Law, magna cum laude, 2006

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 Court Admissions

  • All Mississippi state, federal and tribal courts
  • All Texas state courts and the U. S. Southern District of Texas
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit


  • A recipient of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association 2013 Investigation of the Year Award
  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

 Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of The Fifth Federal Circuit
  • Capital Area Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL
  • Rankin County Bar
  • State Bar of Texas
  • The Mississippi Bar