Ashcroft Rakes It In With DOJ Settlement

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft's consulting firm is set to make $52 million in fees as a result of being picked by New Jersey U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie to monitor a civil settlement regarding alleged wrongdoing with hip and knee replacement firms. They were investigated for allegedly paying surgeons to use their products.

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft was one of five private attorneys whom Christie hand-picked to monitor the implant makers. Now Ashcroft's D.C.-based firm is poised to collect more than $52 million in 18 months, among the biggest payouts reported for a federal monitor.

Disclosed in SEC filings, the arrangement calls for Zimmer Holdings of Indiana to pay Ashcroft Group Consulting Services an average monthly fee between $1.5 million and $2.9 million. The figure includes a flat payment of $750,000 to the firm's "senior leadership group," individual legal and consulting services billed at up to $895 an hour, and as much as $250,000 a month for expenses including private airfare, lodging and meals.

Mark Corallo, still doing press relations for Ashcroft defends the fee.


The spokesman, Mark Corallo, called the fee structure "consistent with any other large-scale monitoring circumstances," but could not immediately point to similar cases.

New Jersey Senator Frank Pallone is troubled by the fee and considering legislation "that would limit the ability of U.S. attorneys to hire outside monitors of companies or individuals accused of wrongdoing." In addition he asks why are the companies given deferred prosecution agreements rather being prosecuted?

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    perhaps, (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 04:21:25 PM EST
    this type of contract, seemingly unnecessary, unless the NJ US Attorney is saying his people are incompetent, might be one of those "legal" issues adding to the cost of medicine, well beyond the incompetence of the manufacturer itself.

    but, i'm guessing those in favor of tort reform aren't talking about this, just the payments made to the actual victims.

    $895 an hour? damn, for that kind of money, you'd think they could at least pay for their own lunch!

    jeralyn, you and BTD are clearly practicing the wrong specialty.

    Trial lawyers.. (none / 0) (#2)
    by diogenes on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 11:12:29 PM EST
    Don't trial lawyers rake in billions all the time for "monitoring" court orders?  Or in contingency fees?  Maybe we should have a "single payor" legal system, like the "single payor" medical system.