In what appears to be a complete about-face, earlier this month, the OIG informed Forest’s Chairman, CEO and President, Howard Solomon, that it has decided not to seek his exclusion from federal healthcare programs. This decision stands in stark contrast to the OIG’s initial notification to Solomon of his potential exclusion based on his association with Forest, as well as its position as stated in the May 10, 2011 fact sheet, which explicitly asserted the OIG’s authority to exclude corporate officers when a company is convicted of a crime. In a very short and simple letter to Solomon on August 5, 2011, the OIG advised Solomon that after reviewing its file and the information provided by Solomon’s attorneys, the OIG was closing its case. Although a good outcome, the unsatisfying explanation in the OIG’s letter fails to shed any light on why the OIG chose to pursue the exclusion in the first place and what specifically caused them to abandon the pursuit. Moreover, it only begets more unanswered questions. Will the OIG pursue the exclusion of officers based on association as a matter of course when a company is convicted of a crime, unless the officer can prove, as apparently Solomon did, that the factors weigh against exclusion? How can an executive demonstrate that he or she has established compliance and lawful behavior as an integral facet of the company’s culture? How will future executives and officers persuade the OIG that they are trustworthy participants in federal healthcare programs when they might not have the amazing reputation and career of Solomon to recount? In Solomon’s case, he was able to provide the OIG with evidence of his personal reputation, the strong compliance program the company instituted under his direction, and the proactive approach he took towards compliance issues. While it is unclear exactly what piece of evidence led to the case’s closure, it is apparent that executives must consider what policies, procedures, and programs they have and (perhaps even more importantly) have not instituted and what message it could send to personnel and the OIG during an investigation.