As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Sonya investigated and litigated civil and criminal fraud matters, which resulted in over $300 million in taxpayer recoveries and criminal fines.
Sonya Rao is a partner with Morgan Verkamp, having joined the firm in September 2017. Prior to joining Morgan Verkamp, Sonya spent seventeen years in various roles at the Department of Justice. She joined the DOJ in 2000 through the highly-competitive Attorney General’s Honors Program and worked in the Department’s Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C., where she investigated and litigated employment discrimination cases, including complex testing cases, across the country. Sonya was with the Civil Rights Division until mid-2007, and she received multiple Distinguished Service Awards for her work there.
While working for the Civil Rights Division, Sonya also represented federal agencies when the constitutionality of certain agency programs was challenged. She won an award from the United States Secretary of Transportation for her representation (during discovery and trial) of the federal Department of Transportation in Gross Seed Company v. NE Dept. of Roads, et al., 4:00-cv-03073-LES (D. Neb.).
In 2007, Sonya joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). As an AUSA, Sonya investigated and litigated civil and criminal health care and defense procurement fraud matters. The matters she worked on included investigations of Warner Chilcott, Millennium Laboratories, Blackstone Medical, and Calloway Laboratories. Her efforts resulted in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars (in the form of taxpayer money and criminal fines) and resulted in guilty pleas from corporations and individuals. Sonya also received a Patriotic Civilian Service award from the Army for her work on a defense fraud matter.
As an AUSA, Sonya also served as the Office’s first Civil Coordinator for the Civil Rights Enforcement Team. In that role, she oversaw cases involving housing, employment, and disability rights violations, conducted outreach to vulnerable populations, and provided civil rights training to various entities. Her work on the Civil Rights Enforcement Team resulted in the creation of a permanent Civil Rights Unit within the United States Attorney’s Office.
Prior to joining Morgan Verkamp, Sonya also was the Senior Litigation Counsel for the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Her responsibilities in that role included providing advice and counsel to the Office’s senior managers and training to the Civil Division, as well as its agency partners, on various litigation matters.
In addition to her work at Morgan Verkamp, Sonya also holds a leadership position with the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation, is a member of the Federal Bar Association’s Access to Justice Taskforce, and chairs the Regulatory Committee of Taxpayers Against Fraud. Sonya also serves on multiple boards of organizations in the Boston area.
Something You May Not Know About Me
During college, I worked as an Emergency Medical Technician on an ambulance, handling 911 calls in and around the Boston area. While I answered many calls to help people suffering from trauma, one of my most memorable calls was the time that I almost delivered a baby in the back of the ambulance! My work as an EMT was an amazing and humbling experience.