As Co-Chair of the Firm’s Whistleblower & Qui Tam Practice Group, John McKnight works primarily on qui tam/whistleblower cases. He received his law degree from University of Maryland Law School in 2011.
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John McKnight is a Partner in the Washington, DC office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Tennessee, and Maryland, and a Co-Chair of the Firm’s Whistleblower & Qui Tam Practice Group. He received his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, M.F.A. from the New School, and B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Mr. McKnight is experienced in the representation of clients in qui tam lawsuits under the U.S. False Claims Act and works on sealed and unsealed qui tam whistleblower cases involving fraud against the federal and state governments. He was an integral part of the litigation team that ultimately secured an $11.3 million settlement in U.S. ex rel. Cox v. Smith & Nephew, the first Trade Agreements Act settlement involving a medical device company. In addition to the Trade Agreements Act, Mr. McKnight works on cases involving the SEC Whistleblower program, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Price Reduction Clause, the Price Adjustment Clause, Medicare procurement guidelines, and numerous other fraud-based statutes.
Mr. McKnight is a member of the Maryland Bar Association, and speaks intermediate-level Mandarin Chinese.
Prior to joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, Mr. McKnight was an Associate at McKnight and Kennedy, LLC in Silver Spring, Maryland, which he joined following his graduation from the University of Maryland School of Law.
While at the University of Maryland, Mr. McKnight interned with the Human Rights Team at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and with United States District Court Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. (Retired) of the District of Columbia, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge William Jackson, and Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson of the United States District Court of the District of Columbia. He also participated in the University of Maryland’s International and Comparative Law Clinic in China, where he worked with actors in the Chinese microcredit industry.
- J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, 2011
- M.F.A., The New School, 2007
- B.A., University of Michigan, 2005
- Honorable Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. (Retired), the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- Honorable Judge William Jackson, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
- Honorable Judge Deborah Robinson, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- Maryland, 2011
- District of Columbia, 2015
According to settlement documents in a qui tam case against California-based network security company Fortinet, Inc., the relator represented by Sanford Heisler Sharp was awarded 19% of the $545,000 the company was fined for selling equipment made in China to the U.S. Government.
Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP won a $11.3 million qui tam settlement against Smith & Nephew one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers. The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Smith & Nephew violated the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and the False Claims Act by selling products to the Government that were manufactured in countries with which the United States is not a trading partner, under contracts governed by the TAA.
United States ex rel. Sherwin v. Office Depot (Los Angeles County Superior Court) – $68 Million Settlement
The whistleblower, represented by Altomease Kennedy and California co-counsels, alleged that Office Depot violated the California False Claims Act by overcharging numerous governmental entities, including the city and county of Los Angeles, for office and classroom supplies, and failing to offer them the company’s “best price.” The city of Los Angeles received the largest settlement allocation of more than $11 million.
Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP won a more than $4.4 million qui tam settlement against Medtronic, Inc., one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers. The whistleblower, represented by the firm and the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Medtronic violated the Trade Agreements Act (“TAA”) and the False Claims Act by selling products to the Government that were manufactured in countries with which the United States is not a trading partner, under contracts governed by the TAA.
- October 3 – 5, 2018, Panelist/Speaker
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF) 2018 Conference and Awards