CHARLESTON, S.C. – Womble Bond Dickinson announced today that M. Rhett DeHart has joined the firm on the White Collar and Government Investigations Team. Rhett joins Womble from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina, where he most recently served as Acting U.S. Attorney, capping a 20-year career as a Federal Prosecutor.
As Acting U.S. Attorney, Rhett was the Chief Federal Law Enforcement Officer in a state with 5.2 million people, where he led a team of 165 professionals across offices in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Florence. He successfully oversaw numerous high-profile criminal and civil cases, including an $11 billion securities fraud case involving the state’s largest utility company, a $140 million False Claims Act suit involving health care providers, and a $30 million investment fraud involving a coastal real estate development. He also led a state task force to prosecute fraud related to COVID-19 relief programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program.
Rhett’s arrival further strengthens Womble’s White Collar and Government Investigations practice, following the recent additions of former U.S. Attorney and Department of Homeland Security General Counsel Joe D. Whitley in Atlanta and former Small Business Administration General Counsel Britt Whitesell Biles in Washington, D.C.
“I have admired Womble for many years. It is a top-shelf law firm, and I am honored to join this talented team. Womble has grown from being one of the South’s most respected law firms to a transatlantic law firm, and I look forward to contributing to the growth of its White Collar and Government Investigations practice.”
“Rhett is an extraordinary lawyer with the highest integrity and an exemplary skill set,” said Joe D. Whitley, Leader of the firm’s White Collar and Government Investigations Team. “His career in public service is commendable, and his dedication and commitment to doing what is right to the best of his ability is applauded and speaks volumes to what he will bring to the firm and our clients.”
Rhett adds: “I have admired Womble for many years. It is a top-shelf law firm, and I am honored to join this talented team. Womble has grown from being one of the South’s most respected law firms to a transatlantic law firm, and I look forward to contributing to the growth of its White Collar and Government Investigations practice.”
Rhett is an experienced and respected litigator, having handled hundreds of federal cases. He has tried more than 25 cases to verdict, authored more than 35 appellate briefs, and argued eight cases before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Throughout his career, Rhett has specialized in white-collar cases, including bank fraud, healthcare fraud, the False Claims Act, customs and import fraud, securities fraud, public corruption, and environmental crimes. Rhett worked closely with every major federal and state law enforcement agency and served under ten Attorney Generals. He was appointed First Assistant United States Attorney under Attorney General William Barr, and he served as Acting United States Attorney under Attorney General Merrick Garland.
At Womble, Rhett will represent corporate and individual clients in white-collar, internal investigations, and healthcare litigation matters. He will be based in Charleston, S.C., but will spend a significant amount of time in the firm’s Columbia, S.C., and Greenville, S.C., offices.