Thomas Bever

Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP
1230 Peachtree Street, NE Suite 3100
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 815-3500

Tom Bever is a former federal prosecutor who focuses his practice on White Collar Criminal Defense and commercial litigation. He is listed in U.S. News The Best Lawyers in America for Bet-the-Company Litigation, Criminal Defense for White Collar Crime and for Commercial Litigation. He was named the Best Lawyers 2018 Atlanta Criminal Defense: White-Collar "Lawyer of the Year" in Atlanta. For 2018 Tom is also ranked as a Georgia Super Lawyer (Criminal Defense: White Collar) and is listed in Chambers USA for White Collar Crime & Government Investigations. He has had a top AV Preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell for more than 20 consecutive years. He is a member of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial honorary society.

Tom earned his JDA and MBA from the University of Virginia, and practiced in Atlanta with Alston & Bird. He then served in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia, prosecuting fraud, public corruption, and general crimes. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded him a Special Commendation for his prosecution of a major FHA mortgage loan fraud case. Tom later served as Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel conducting the "Iran/Contra" investigation.

Tom returned to private practice with Chilivis Cochran Larkins & Bever LLP. Tom is focused primarily on White Collar criminal defense, representing individual and corporate clients in all stages of criminal investigations in federal and state courts, from the initiation of the investigation through trial. He also represents clients in civil litigation and trials, as well as administrative hearings and regulatory matters. Tom has served as lead counsel on behalf of companies on a variety of internal investigations. His cases have primarily been in healthcare, government contracting, securities, tax, environmental, and commercial disputes.

Tom speaks and appears regularly at a variety of professional seminars. These have included the National Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the American Bar Association's Healthcare Fraud Institute, and annual seminars in Georgia on White Collar Crime, Healthcare Fraud, Federal Criminal Practice, and Internal Corporate Investigations.

Areas of Practice

White Collar Criminal Defense
Government Contracting
Internal Investigations
Business Litigation

Bar Admissions

Georgia, 1982
U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia, 1983
U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1983
Georgia Court of Appeals, 1983
Supreme Court of Georgia, 1983
U.S. District Court Middle District of Georgia, 1992
U.S. District Court Southern District of Georgia, 2016


University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia
J. D. - 1982
Honors: Finalist, Lile Moot Court Competition
University of Virginia Darden Graduate Business School, Charlottesville, Virginia
M.B.A. - 1982
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
B. A. - 1976
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
Honors: Honors Program
Honors: N.C. Fellows Program
London School of Economics, London, England
Certificate - 1976

Representative Cases

Citizens & Southern Community Bank vs. Dover, et. al, 11-CV-1439-JH (Superior Court, Cherokee County (defense verdict by jury trial for client developer on 9 promissory notes totaling $25 million).)
United States v. Lake, 1:01-CR-023-CAP (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division (hung jury, defended client against criminal charges for failure to file tax returns).)
State of Georgia v. Thompson, Case No. 2004-SU-CR-33 ((Superior Court of Greene County) (Extortion indictment dismissed by Court))
State of Georgia v. Dr. [Client name omitted], Case No. 99CR03399 ((State Court of Clayton County) (Sexual assault indictment dismissed by prosecutor))
State of Georgia v. [Client name omitted], Case No. 06-C-79248-3 ((State Court of DeKalb County) (Defended psychologist against Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigation alleging overbilling, negotiated first offender misdemeanor plea))
United States v. [Client name omitted], 1:04-CR-259 (Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division. Defended owner of MRI facilities in False Claims Act criminal and civil investigation for kickbacks to physicians. Achieved misdemeanor resolution, no incarceration, no monies paid in civil false claims act case.)
United States v. Heath, 1:01-CR-174 (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee. (Insurance Fraud, nine level downward departure achieved at sentencing).)
United States v. [Client name omitted], USAO File No. 2002R01572 (Defended federal agency former employee against investigation for filing false documents for disability payments. Obtained pretrial diversion.)
United States v. Ng, 1:09-CR-225 (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division (defended business owner in $6 million customs tax evasion case, facing 6 year sentence, negotiated one 2 year count, obtained 14 month sentence in court).)
United States v. Wingo, et. al, 3:11-CR-00058 (U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia, Athens Division (defended food procurement officer indicted in multi-defendant $3 million mail fraud case, facing 12 year sentence, negotiated plea and obtained 16 month sentence in court).)
United States v. [Client name omitted], 3:08-CR-014 (Northern District of Mississippi (owner of facilities development company indicted for improper political contribution and alleged mail fraud in multi-defendant case, facing multi-year sentence, negotiated plea, obtained sentence of 16 months in court).)
United States v. [Client name omitted], 1:00-CR-084-JTC ((U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division) (multi-defendant indictment on immigration violations, negotiated plea down from 5 years to blinding plea of 15 months).)
U.S. v. Ricks, 817 F.2d 692 (C.A.11 (Ga.) 1987)
U.S. v. Davis, 799 F.2d 1490 (C.A.11 (Ga.) 1986)
Mustin v. Citizens & Southern Nat. Bank, 309 S.E.2d 822 (Ga.App. 1983)
Atlantic States Const., Inc. v. Beavers, 301 S.E.2d 635 (Ga. 1983)


Moderator of Panel, "Use of Experts in White Collar Criminal Cases," 2016 White Collar Crime Seminar, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Atlanta, Georgia
Panelist, "How Compliance Efforts Can Be Used As Evidence Against Health Care Providers", ICLE Healthcare Fraud Institute, 2015
Panelist, The Knowledge Group Webinar, "Emerging Issues in Health Care Enforcement: New Tactics, New Theories"
Panelist, The Knowledge Group Webinar, "State False Claims Acts Enforcement in 2015"
Panelist, "The Effective Use of Criminal Discovery: Tactics for the Defense", Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute, American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, 2014
Panelist, "Investigative and Trial Tactics", ICLE Annual Healthcare Fraud Institute, 2013
Panelist, "The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: Defending the FCPA Case", ICLE Annual White Collar Crime Seminar, 2012
Panelist, "The Stakes are Raised: Enforcement Actions Against Individuals", ICLE Annual Healthcare Fraud Institute, 2011
Speaker, "Representing Employees in a Corporate Internal Investigation", ICLE Annual Seminar in Georgia on White Collar Crime, 2011
Moderator of Panel, "Preparing for and Conducting Interviews", ICLE Annual Seminar in Georgia on Corporate Internal Investigations, 2010
Speaker, ICLE, Georgia State Bar Southeastern Healthcare Fraud Institute, 2010
Speaker, "False Claims Act Amendments and Financial Impact", Healthcare Compliance Association, Southeast Regional Conference, 2010
Speaker, ICLE Annual Seminar in Georgia on Corporate Internal Investigations, 2009
Panelist, "Preparing for and Conducting Interviews", HCCA Southeast Regional Annual Conference on the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act, 2008
Moderator, "Preparing for and Conducting Interviews", ICLE Annual Seminar in Georgia on Corporate Internal Investigations, 2008
Panelist, "Sentencing in an Advisory Guidelines World", ICLE Seminar on Evolution of Crime in 21st Century, 2006
Speaker, "Defending an Employee in the Context of an Investigation," Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2005
Speaker, ICLE Seminar in Georgia on Federal Criminal Practice,"Sentencing After Blakely", 2005
Speaker, CLE International 4th Annual Conference, Negotiating Leases, "Ethics, Considerations for Practitioners", 2005
Speaker, CLE International, Commercial Leases Conference, Georgia, 2004
Speaker, "Ethics Tips: How to Avoid Going to Jail", ICLE Annual Seminar in Georgia on Real Estate Law, 2004
Speaker, ICLE Annual Seminar in Georgia on Healthcare Fraud, 2000
Panelist, "Ethics, Don't Let Your Good Deal Turn Bad", Lorman Commercial Leasing 2000, Atlanta
Speaker, ICLE Annual Seminar in Georgia on White Collar Crime, 1997, 1998
Speaker, ICLE Annual Seminar in Georgia on Healthcare Fraud, 1997, 1998
"Real Estate Lawyers and Federal Prosecutions", Annual Real Property Law Institute, 1996
Speaker, Fourth Annual National Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, 1995
Speaker, American Bar Association's National Healthcare Fraud Seminar, 1995
Speaker, ICLE Annual Seminar in Georgia on White Collar Crime, 1994
Speaker, "Ethics, A Case Study", ICLE Residential Real Estate Practice, 1989
Speaker, "Civil Ramifications of Criminal Actions", ICLE Seminar on Business Torts, 1989
Author,"Stays and Injunctions Pending Appeal", ICLE Appellate Procedure Seminar, 1984

Honors and Awards

Georgia's Super Lawyers (Criminal Defense: White Collar), Atlanta Magazine, 2005-2018
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, 2017
The Best Lawyers in America 2015-2018 (Commercial Litigation and Criminal Defense: White-Collar)
US News Best Lawyers in America (Criminal Defense - White Collar), 2006 - 2015
US News Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation), 2009 - 2015
Georgia's Best Lawyers, 2016 (Criminal Defense: White-Collar)
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, 1992 - 2015
Chambers USA for White Collar Crime & Government Investigations
Special Commendation, FHA Mortgage Loan Fraud Prosecutions, Department of Justice, 1988

Professional Associations and Memberships

Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (Trial Honorary Society), 2014-2015
Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court, 1987 - 1989
American Bar Association, Member
Federal Bar Association, Member
State Bar of Georgia, Member
Atlanta Bar Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

Office of Independent Counsel, Associate Counsel, Iran/Contra Investigation, 1990-1991
United States Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia, 1985 - 1990
Alston & Bird