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Book details
  • Genre:LAW
  • SubGenre:Criminal Law / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:374
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781483589527
  • Paperback ISBN:9781483588384

Cardiac Arrest

Five Heart-Stopping Years as a CEO On the Feds' Hit-List

by Howard Root and Stephen Saltarelli

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It started as a false accusation by an embittered former employee and ended a half-decade later in a San Antonio courtroom with two words – “not guilty.” Beating the 10-count felony criminal prosecution – over just one FDA-cleared medical device that made up only 0.1% of the company’s sales and never harmed a single patient— took a 121-lawyer team and a $25 million legal bill. Even a single guilty verdict would have put the 500-employee company’s continued existence in doubt and sent its CEO Howard Root to prison for years. In Cardiac Arrest, Howard tells the true story of out-of-control prosecutors leveraging vague federal regulations to manufacture criminal charges that put his company and his freedom in peril.


Who polices America’s prosecutors? And when they set their sights on an innocent CEO, can he survive a 5-year, $25 million legal labyrinth to save the company he built, and himself from prison?

Howard Root started Vascular Solutions with little more than a dream and an idea for a single medical device. Fifteen years later, his Minnesota company had created over 500 American jobs and developed more than 50 new medical devices that saved and improved lives.

But in 2011, the federal government threatened to destroy his company and put Howard behind bars for years. Why?

Federal prosecutors had been sold a bill of goods – a tall tale peddled by a money-hungry ex-employee out for revenge. All over one device. A device that never harmed a single patient and made up less than 1% of the company s sales.

The investigation revealed the charges to be baseless, but the scalp-hunting prosecutors didn’t back off. Instead they dug in – threatening witnesses, misleading grand juries, and strategically leaking secret documents. Whatever it took to pressure a headline-grabbing settlement.

Howard Root stood up to the shakedown. Five years, 121 attorneys and $25 million in legal fees later, his life’s work and freedom rested in the hands of 12 strangers in a San Antonio jury room. Would Howard and his company be vindicated by the verdict, or had he made the biggest mistake of his life by challenging the federal government?

Cardiac Arrest is the eye-opening true story of life on the Feds’ hit-list, told from the desk of a CEO who decided to fight back. Follow Howard from the boardroom to the courtroom, as he tells the inside story of the case that sparked outrage in the pages of The Wall Street Journal and triggered a congressional investigation.

About the author
Howard Root is the CEO of Vascular Solutions, a company he started in 1997 and has continuously led ever since. Vascular Solutions' medical devices are used daily worldwide to improve the lives of patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, resulting in more than $1 billion in total sales.
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