Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Michael Cohen's Attorney Speaks - No Need For a Search

Playing the press has become an important component in handling a white collar case.  In the past, one might remain silent and let the case be resolved prior to making any statements, especially press-related statements.  With the speed of the internet, it often becomes necessary for attorneys to respond to allegations to provide a level playing field.  It, therefore, was no surprise to see Michael Cohen's attorney, Stephen M. Ryan, issuing a press release. (see here).  He calls the US Attorneys Office "completely inappropriate and unnecessary."  He argues that his client "has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath."

It is interesting to see the use of a search here as opposed to a subpoena.  The downside of the government using a search is that it is more expensive, not secret like the grand jury process, requires probable cause, and if the probable cause is later found lacking the entire search can be invalidated. The upsides of a search are surprise, getting the material immediately without having to wait for the grand jury, obtaining items that might be found in plain view, and also receiving possible incriminating statements from individuals while performing the search, this latter one mostly applicable in the corporate or business context. One can argue obstruction of justice either way.  On one hand you get the items in question before there is any possibility of them being destroyed.  On the other hand if documents were destroyed, prosecutors would have a "short-cut offense" to charge of obstruction of justice.

In my Article, White Collar Shortcuts, forthcoming in the Illinois Law Review, I note how prosecutors are using investigative and charging "short-cuts" more frequently in white collar cases.  Whether the use of a search warrant was a "short-cut" here, remains to be seen.  

(esp)

April 10, 2018 in Defense Counsel, Investigations, Obstruction, Prosecutors, Searches | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Attorney Client Privilege is "Alive and Well"

The attorney-client privilege has had its challenges over the years.  But to say the "attorney-client privilege is dead" is clearly an exaggeration and inaccurate.

As noted here, there have been many law offices that have been searched throughout the years. (see here). The government has protocols in place to handle these searches.  And hopefully a court will take it a step further and appoint an independent taint team to protect any client information. As you can tell, I am not a fan of the FBI or DOJ being the "taint team."  But this does not diminish the ability of the government to stop potential criminality whether it exists inside or outside a law firm.

Some basics - "The core protection of the privilege requires (1) a communication, (2) that was made by the client to a lawyer, (3) that was made in confidence, and (4) that was made for the purpose of obtaining professional legal advice (or services relating thereto)." (See Podgor & Israel, White Collar Crime in a Nutshell 5th Ed. p. 461).  One of the exceptions to this privilege is the crime-fraud exception, an exception that does not provide a privilege to client communications that are made for the purpose of furthering an ongoing or future crime or fraud.  In assessing whether something falls within the crime-fraud exception, "[t]he key is the purpose of the client, not the knowledge of the lawyer, as the exception applies whether or not the lawyer is aware of the client’s purpose. It also applies whether or not that purpose was actually achieved." Id. at 489.

What we don't know with regard to the search of the President's lawyer's office: 1) whether or not the information sought in the search involved activities of the President, activities of the lawyer, or the activities of others.  If this involves activities of the lawyer, an issue of attorney-client privilege may not be implicated.  We also do not know whether any confidential communications were being sought.  Finally, we don't know if the crime-fraud exception was even a basis used for this search.    

And as I say again, white collar investigations take time. Let's give the government, whether it be a special prosecutor or a US Attorneys Office, the time to properly conduct their investigation.  If they overstep their authority, there will be plenty of time down the road to challenge it.

(esp) 

April 10, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Law Office Searches - Nothing New Except the President's Lawyer This Time

The NYTimes is reporting that the FBI raided the office of President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen.  (see here). Raids on law offices are not new, and there have been many law offices throughout the years that have had FBI teams show up to obtain boxes of materials and computers.  In places such as the Southern District of Florida, one might find a law office raided by the FBI when the attorneys represented individuals engaged in drug dealing, and the government believed that the attorneys were involved in the illegality. But perhaps what is new here, is that the attorney represented the President of the United States, albeit in his personal capacity.

Law firm searches are particularly tricky as the attorney is likely to have privileged information that may be compromised when the investigating agents view items in cases they are opposing.  The US Attorney's Manual sets forth a procedure for searching law offices (U.S. Attys Manual - 9-13.420) to protect this information. The Manual provides that "[f]or purposes of this policy only, 'subject' includes an attorney who is a 'suspect, subject or target,' or an attorney who is related by blood or marriage to a suspect, or who is believed to be in possession of contraband or the fruits or instrumentalities of a crime."   The Manual notes that:

There are occasions when effective law enforcement may require the issuance of a search warrant for the premises of an attorney who is a subject of an investigation, and who also is or may be engaged in the practice of law on behalf of clients. Because of the potential effects of this type of search on legitimate attorney-client relationships and because of the possibility that, during such a search, the government may encounter material protected by a legitimate claim of privilege, it is important that close control be exercised over this type of search. Therefore, the following guidelines should be followed with respect to such searches:"

The guidelines then note that prosecutors should use the "least intrusive approach," obtain "authorization by United States Attorney of Assistant Attorney General," consult with the Criminal Division - including submitting "a draft copy of the proposed search warrant, affidavit in support thereof, and any special instructions to the searching agents regarding search procedures and procedures to be followed to ensure that the prosecution team is not "tainted" by any privileged material inadvertently seized during the search." "If exigent circumstances prevent such prior consultation, the Criminal Division should be notified of the search as promptly as possible." The guidelines also provide that there is "safeguarding procedures" in place "to ensure that privileged materials are not improperly viewed, seized or retained during the course of the search." And in conducting the search, "to protect the attorney-client privilege and to ensure that the investigation is not compromised by exposure to privileged material relating to the investigation or to defense strategy, a "privilege team" should be designated, consisting of agents and lawyers not involved in the underlying investigation."  Specific procedures are used for searching and seizing computers.  Finally, guidelines also exist concerning the review of the materials obtained.

Bottom line - 1) All of this takes time. 2) The use of a search warrant against a law firm is not new. 3) Can a government taint team really assess privileged material? 4) The government procedures are concerned about protecting their cases, but who is monitoring and protecting the attorney's cases?

Hopefully, a court will soon step in to evaluate any privilege issues.

(esp) 

April 9, 2018 in Privileges, Searches | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 8, 2018

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Mueller: What Could He Do And When Could He Do It?

Monday night, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed his Response [Government's Response in Opposition to Motion to Dismiss] to Paul Manafort's Motion to Dismiss the Superseding Indictment. Manafort's Motion to Dismiss is bottomed on the alleged invalidity of Acting AG Rod Rosenstein's May 7 2017 Order Appointing Robert S. Mueller III as Special Counsel and defining Mueller's jurisdiction. As part of his Response, Mueller referenced and filed Attachment C, a redacted version of Rosenstein's  August 2 2017 Letter Re The Scope of Investigation and Definition of Authority.

Before Monday night there was no public knowledge of this August 2 letter, which sets out in detail, among other things, the specific matters already under investigation before Mueller came on board.  According to the August 2 letter, the May 7 Order had been "worded categorically in order to permit its public release without confirming specific investigations involving specific individuals." The private August 2 letter, in contrast, "provides a more specific description of your authority." Recall that the May 7 Appointment Order authorized Mueller to "conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including...(i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R § 600.4(a)." The August 2 letter unequivocally states that "[t]he following allegations were within the scope of the Investigation at the time of your appointment and are within the scope of the Order:

[Redacted]

• Allegations that Paul Manafort:

    º Committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the     Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in     violation of United States law;

 º Committed a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian     government  before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych;

[Redacted]"

In other words, FBI Director Comey was already investigating Manafort for possible criminal collusion with the Russians and for payments Manafort received from Yanukovych, before Mueller came into the picture. By including the Yanukovich payments in his probe of Trump, Comey displayed an aggressiveness sadly absent from the investigation of Ms. Clinton's email server.

What is odd is that Rosenstein's August 2 letter was sent almost three months after Mueller began his inquiry. You would think that such a specific private memo detailing the scope of Mueller's investigative authority would have been issued contemporaneously with the May 7 Order. That it wasn't suggests there were disagreements in defining the outer boundaries of Mueller's charter or that Mueller or Rosenstein began to perceive problems with the wording of the May 7 Order and foresaw the possibility of just the sort of Motion to Dismiss ultimately filed by Manafort.

Rachel Stockman at Law and Crime notes here that the more specific delineation of authority laid out in the August 2 letter came one week after the raid on Manafort's home. Mueller may have wanted written reassurance that the search and seizure were within his authority ab initio, or, as we say in Texas, from the get-go.

(wisenberg)

April 4, 2018 in Corruption, Current Affairs, Defense Counsel, Government Reports, Grand Jury, Investigations, News, Obstruction, Prosecutions, Prosecutors, Searches | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

"Subject" - Trump?

The Washington Post is reporting that "Mueller told Trump's Lawyers the President isn't" a target of the Special Counsel's Investigation, but that in early March "Mueller described Trump as a subject of his investigation."  (see here & here)(emphasis added).  Whether President Trump currently is a subject or witness is important, especially for legal counsel in advising whether their client should testify or speak with investigators.

"A target is a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is a putative defendant." U.S. Attorney's Manual 9-11.151.  Being told that one is not a target is definitely something good for President Trump to hear.  But "[a] subject of an investigation is a person whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury's investigation." Id.  This is something that may or may not be good for President Trump.  It can mean that the government just hasn't made up their mind yet as to whether the individual will remain under investigation or move to being a witness. This last category, a witness, is obviously the preferred place to be, if one has to be anywhere near a grand jury or being asked to speak with government attorneys.

"A grand jury may properly subpoena a subject or a target of the investigation and question the target about his or her involvement in the crime under investigation." U.S. Attorneys Manual 9-11.150.  "It is the policy of the Department of Justice to advise a grand jury witness of his or her rights if such witness is a "target" or "subject" of a grand jury investigation." U.S. Attorney's Manual 9-11.151. Because the DOJ Manual is unenforceable at law, there is little that one can do if they are not advised of their rights as a target or subject, except perhaps report the prosecutors for not following their internal policy.  In some instances, more common perhaps in white collar cases, a subject or target may "request or demand the opportunity to tell the grand jury their side of the story." Government lawyers are instructed that a "refusal to do so can create the appearance of unfairness." U.S. Attorney's Manual 9-11.152

But should a target or subject testify or even be questioned by government attorneys?  Some white collar individuals feel they can talk their way out of an indictment, when in fact they are talking their way right into one.  So targets and subjects can be hesitant to speak with the government without any immunity. Even with immunity, the fear is that they will provide false evidence, perjure themselves, or if not before a grand jury say something materially false to investigators and be criminally liable under the false statement statute (18 U.S.C. 1001).  

So if reports are accurate that President Trump is not a target, this does not necessarily mean he can rest easy.  If he remains a subject, then it will be more time before we know where things stand. It is common in white collar cases for individuals to remain in a holding pattern for many months and sometimes years as white collar investigations take time. 

(esp) 

April 3, 2018 in Investigations, Perjury | Permalink | Comments (0)

Court Sentences First Person from Special Counsel Mueller's Investigation

Alexander van der Zwann is the first individual to be sentenced from Special Counsel Mueller's Investigation (see here). The sentence is 30 days. (see here & here). According to the terms of the plea agreement, he faced a maximum of 5 years imprisonment. (see here).  The agreement called for a level 6 under the sentencing guidelines, with a reduction of 2 for acceptance of responsibility, finalizing at a level 4.  The details of the false statement that led to the violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001 are here.  

(esp)

April 3, 2018 in Sentencing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Conflicts of Interesat: diGenova and Toensing Out of the Picture

Not long after being announced as additions to President Trump's legal team, Joe diGenova and Vicki Toensing have bowed out due to potential conflicts of interest, apparently connected to their representation of other clients in the Mueller probe. Politico's Darren Samuelsohn has the story here.

(wisenberg)

March 25, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Dowd Resigns From Trump Legal Team

The Washington Post has the story here.

(wisenberg)

March 22, 2018 in Current Affairs, Defense Counsel, Investigations, Obstruction, Prosecutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Supreme Court Overturns Conviction And Narrows Reach Of Tax Code's Omnibus Clause

Today in United States v. Marinello, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a circuit split and significantly narrowed the reach of Internal Revenue Code Section 7212(a)'s Omnibus Clause, which makes it a felony to "corruptly or by force...endeavor[r] to obstruct or imped[e] the due administration of this title [the Internal Revenue Code]."

The Court held that the phrase "'due administration of [the Tax Code]' does not cover routine administrative procedures that are near-universally applied to all taxpayers, such as the ordinary processing of tax returns. Rather the clause as a whole refers to specific interference with targeted governmental tax-related proceedings, such as a particular investigation or audit."

Justice Breyer  wrote the 7-2 opinion for the Court. Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Alito, dissented.

The majority relied in part on analogous cases from its general obstruction jurisprudence, including United States v. Aguilar and Arthur Andersen v. United States. Although the focus was on the nexus required between the obstruction and a particular act of administration, the Court also stressed the rule of lenity and the need to provide fair warning to the public. This approach could be potentially relevant to any obstruction of justice case that Special Counsel Mueller may one day bring against President Trump or administration officials. Some of the theories floating around cable television about what constitutes obstruction under the federal criminal code are unusually broad and unlikely to survive rigorous analysis based on Aguilar and Arthur Andersen.

(wisenberg)

 

March 21, 2018 in Arthur Andersen, Fraud, Investigations, Judicial Opinions, Obstruction, Prosecutions, Prosecutors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Swamp Story: "Rudy Is On The FISA Court!"

Lost in the shuffle of last weekend's uproar over the McCabe firing was the astonishing disclosure of yet another unredacted series of text messages between the FBI's Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The Federalist has the story here. These messages and others had been provided to Congress previously in heavily redacted form, but Congressmen or Congressional investigators wishing to see them unredacted had to travel to DOJ.

Strzok had a pre-existing friendship with U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph "Rudy" Contreras, of the D.C. District Court. As luck would have it, Contreras was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ("FISC" or "FISA Court") in May 2016. On July 25, 2016, Page texted Strzok, saying "Rudy is on the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]! Did you know that?" Strzok responded that he did, adding "I need to get together with him." The two then discussed ways in which Strzok could run into Contreras during a social setting, as a mask for some kind of substantive discussion. Strzok texted Page that “[REDACTED] suggested a social setting with others would probably be better than a one on one meeting. I'm sorry, I'm just going to have to invite you to that dinner party.” Strzok thought he needed to "come up with some other work people cover for action.” Page replied "Why more? Six is a perfectly fine dinner party." During the exchange, Strzok expressed skepticism that such a meeting could be accomplished without forcing a recusal by Conteras, while Page assured him that the bar for recusal was a high one.

Do we even need to say how utterly repulsive it is for Strzok (a high-level FBI Supervisory Special agent) and Page (an FBI lawyer) to be seriously thinking of arranging a fake social get together in order to convey information ex parte to a sitting federal judge?

Most of the press coverage of the text exchange has focused on Judge Contreras' later recusal from the Michael Flynn criminal case. This misses the point entirely. Flynn was not even being criminally investigated in July 2016 and wasn't charged until December 2017. There is no way either Strzok or Page would know that Flynn would be charged, much less who the judge would be. This is all about the FISA Court. The FBI opened its Russian collusion case in late July 2016, right around the time that Page and Strzok were texting each other about Rudy. Strzok himself opened the case. It seems likely to me that the pair hoped Contreras would be sitting on the panel that would one day review a FISA application related to the Trump campaign. That affidavit was submitted in October 2016.   Sources close to Strzok have told at least one journalist that the meeting never took place.

Monday's WSJ story (subscription required) by Del Quentin Wilber on the Strzok-Page exchanges, mentions that Contreras was appointed to the FISA Court but leads with a focus on the Flynn case and does nothing to connect any dots regarding the proximity in time between the texts and the onset of the formal (or any informal) FBI investigation. The story does not even mention the FISA Court's approval of the October 2016 FISA warrant application for Carter Page. That's not surprising given Weber's Wilber's previous softball reporting on the pair. Strzok and Page were sources for Weber's Wilber's WSJ predecessor on the DOJ beat, Devlin Barrett and it was FBI leaks to Barrett in October 2016 that led in part to the recent firing of Andrew McCabe.

 

(wisenberg)

 

March 20, 2018 in Investigations, Judicial Opinions, Obstruction, Perjury, Prosecutions, Prosecutors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Point of Personal Privilege: Means & Ends In the War Against Trump

News is coming in fast and furious, since Friday night's firing of Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

First, there was McCabe's own defiant and somewhat poignant statement, seriously marred by his ludicrous suggestion that the career professionals at DOJ-OIG and FBI-OPR, appointed respectively by Obama and Mueller, were only doing Donald Trump's bidding.

Second, came President Trump's mean spirited tweet celebrating McCabe's firing.

Third out of the box? Trump Lawyer John Dowd's nutty call for Rod Rosenstein to shut down Mueller's probe. What else?

Brennan's tirade against Trump amid reports that McCabe has given notes of his conversations with Trump to Mueller. (Who hasn't done that?)

Jonathan Turley suggests here that McCabe's full statement poses potential problems for Comey, because McCabe claims that his conversation with the WSJ was authorized by Comey. This arguably contradicts Comey's sworn statement to Congress that he did not leak or authorize the leak of Clinton investigation details to the press. Turley also believes that McCabe's firing may embolden Trump to fire Mueller if McCabe, unlike Flynn, isn't prosecuted for lying to investigators. To top things off, there is the growing consensus that DOJ-FBI's original probe, taken over by Mueller after Comey's firing, was marred from its inception by the FISA affidavit's over-reliance on the Steele Dossier, made worse by the failure to disclose (to the FISA judges) that the dossier was bought and paid for by the DNC and Clinton's campaign. 

Some things to keep in mind. The ends almost never justify the means. Whatever McCabe thought of Trump, he had no business leaking classified law enforcement information to a WSJ reporter in order to protect the Bureau's image surrounding its handling of the Clinton email and Clinton Foundation investigations. And of course McCabe had no right to lie about it to investigators, under oath or otherwise.

In the rush to hate Trump at all costs, care must be taken not to compromise the criminal law, investigative norms, or the Constitution. Trump may be unfit in many ways to serve as President of the United States. But he won the election. I see no substantive evidence on the public record now before us that he did so unlawfully. There is a difference between his repeated violations of decades-long institutional norms, regardless of how repulsive those violations may be, and impeachable or criminal offenses. Failure to recognize this difference, or bending the rules to get Trump, will have disastrous consequences in the long run.

(wisenberg)

March 17, 2018 in Celebrities, Corruption, Current Affairs, Defense Counsel, Government Reports, Investigations, Obstruction, Perjury, Prosecutions, Prosecutors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Van Der Zwaan Plea and Statement of the Offense

Hey, if the Office of Special Counsel can't decide the proper capitalization of his name, don't expect me to. Here are the  Van Der Zwaan Plea Agreement and the  Van Der Zwaan Statement of the Offense.

 (wisenberg)

February 20, 2018 in Current Affairs, International, Investigations, News, Obstruction, Perjury, Prosecutions, Prosecutors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mueller Strikes Again

Special Counsel Mueller's office has charged Alex Van Der Zwann, apparently a former Skadden associate, with violating 18 U.S.C. Section 1001, for lying to FBI Special Agents about his conversations with Richard Gates and an unnamed individual. More to come as events develop. Here is the Criminal Information in U.S. v. Alex Van Der Zwann.

(wisenberg)

February 20, 2018 in Current Affairs, Investigations, Prosecutions, Prosecutors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Mueller's Investigation & Recent Russian Indictments

The speaking indictments of this past week provide a clear trail to Russian individuals and entities allegedly interfering in the 2016 Presidential election.  The choice of charges, which include conspiracy to defraud, are no surprise. An indictment under section 371 can take one of two avenues: conspiracy to commit a specific offense or conspiracy to defraud the government. This is a classic case for the defraud statute to be used, as it is the U.S. election process that is alleged to be compromised here.  Several questions to consider here:

  1. Why has it taken so long for this indictment?  Answer - it hasn't.  Actually Mueller's team is moving faster than we often see in white collar cases where the investigation can take many years. In less than a year, the Special Counsel's Office has accumulated several cases (see here). Computer related cases can take even longer as tracking items on the web are not easy, especially when a perpetrator tries to mask its origin.    
  2. Can the U.S. prosecute extraterritorial conduct? Answer - Yes and No. You will notice that the alleged conduct in this indictment either took place inside the U.S. or had an "affect" here in the U.S.  Under principles of "objective territoriality," the U.S. has, in many instances, prosecuted conduct occurring outside the U.S. that has an effect in this country.  As one who has been somewhat critical of objective territoriality, I have been a strong advocate for using what I term "defensive territoriality."  Interfering in a U.S. election would most definitely fit the bill of conduct that the U.S. needs to defend against.  Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has wrestled with the issue of the application of different U.S. statutes for conduct occurring outside this country.  A three-fold response here: 1) this is not extraterritorial conduct, 2) even if it is extraterritorial, there are enough acts in this country to allow for jurisdiction here, and 3) the U.S. needs to defend its election process. 
  3.  Can the government bring the charged Russians to the U.S.? Answer - It may be difficult here. Do we think that the Russian government will be turning over these individuals for a U.S. prosecution? Without a U.S.-Russian extradition treaty the chances of this happening are diminished. Perhaps one of them will travel to a country where the U.S. does have an extradition treaty  (see here). Other methods exist, such as luring (see here), but the international community frowns on its use. Prosecuting these individuals/entities are less important than letting the public know that our election process has allegedly been the subject of attacks from Russia.  Mueller's team definitely accomplishes this here.

The more interesting Information and Statement of the Offense relates to Richard Pinedo, a cooperating witness who has a plea agreement for a violation of section 1028.  Although the Information has section 1028 on it, it also is termed identity fraud and speaks to an alleged violation of the wire fraud statute found in section 1343.  The Information only speaks about a Count One.  Whether there is another document with other counts is unknown. We saw this previously with the Informations of Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos, so it is doubtful that the use of "1" without a "2" is significant. The special counsel's website has "et al" after Pinedo's name, but no other names listed. Other Indictments and Informations on the Special Counsel's website do not have "et al." (See Flynn, Manafort, Gates, and Papadopoulos). The Pinedo Information says it was filed on February 7, 2018, as "sealed." The header on the understanding for the plea is also marked sealed, but dated February 12, 2018.   All of this may be nothing, but it is interesting to note. Finally, kudos to the special counsel's team for writing a plea that does not include offensive language such as a waiver of any possible claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.  These documents go a step further to allow  for such claims to be brought by the accused even though they are pleading guilty. Ethically, this is the way a plea should be written, but some past documents in some US Attorneys' Offices have not always done this. The Florida Ethics Board went so far as to issue an ethics opinion prohibiting waivers of ineffective assistance of counsel (see here).  So Mueller's team taking the high road on the wording of its pleas, is nice to see.

What happens next?  The Mueller team may know, but we don't.  So stay tuned. 

(esp) 

February 18, 2018 in Computer Crime, Current Affairs, Fraud, Prosecutions, Prosecutors | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 4, 2018

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

DOJ Press Release, Arkansas State Senator Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Money Laundering and Bank Fraud 

John F. Savarese, Ralph M. Levene, Wayne M. Carlin, David B. Anders, Jonathan M. Moses, Marshall L. Miller, Louis J. Barash, & Carol Miller, White Collar and Regulatory Enforcement: What to Expect in 2018, Compliance & Enforcement

(esp)

February 4, 2018 in Corruption, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 2, 2018

ABA sends letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Opposing Anti-Money Laundering Bill

"American Bar Association President Hilarie Bass sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing concerns over a proposed anti-money laundering bill that would undermine the attorney-client privilege and impose burdensome and intrusive regulations on millions of small businesses, their lawyers and other agents, and the states." See more here.

(esp)

February 2, 2018 in Money Laundering, Statutes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Decision to Dismiss Case of Senator Robert Menendez

Hats off to the government for dismissing the case against Senator Robert Menendez.  Corruption cases are important, but it is also important to assure that the prosecution of these cases meet the law. Hats off also to Attorney Raymond Brown, who represented Menendez. See Nick Corasaniti, Justice Department Dismisses Corruption Case Against Menendez, NYTimes, Jan. 31, 2018

(esp)

February 2, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Environmental Prosecutions Continue to Decrease

Syracuse Trac just reported the number of environmental criminal prosecutions is continuing to drop.  (see here).  Based upon first quarter statistics, the "annual total [projected] prosecutions will be 220 for this fiscal year."  This would be down from 338 for FY 2017 and 393 for FY 2016. In 2007 the number was above 900 prosecutions for the year.

(esp) (w/ disclosure that she is a B.S. graduate of Syracuse U.- home of the Trac Reports). 

February 1, 2018 in Environment, Government Reports, Prosecutions | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Martin Act: A Tool for Reform or an Abuse of Power?

NYU Law School Center on the Administration of Criminal Law will be hosting a symposium titled, The Martin Act: A Tool for Reform or an Abuse of Power? On Monday, February 26, 2018 from 9:30 -2:00 p.m.  More information and to register, see here. The program is as follows:

Panel One: The Martin Act and the Need for State Action

  • Harlan Levy, partner at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and former Chief Deputy Attorney General, New York Attorney General’s Office
  • Katherine Milgram, Chief, Investor Protection Bureau, New York Attorney General’s Office
  • Chad Johnson, partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and former Chief of the Investor Protection Bureau, New York Attorney General’s Office
  • Eric DiNallo, Executive Vice President/General Counsel at The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, former Chief of the Investor Protection Bureau, New York Attorney General’s Office

Panel Two: Practitioners Speak: How to Handle a Martin Act Investigation

  • Charles Stillman, partner at Ballard Spahr LLP
  • David Zornow, partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
  • Jeffrey Scott, partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
  • David Anders, partner at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz LLP
  • Cynthia Hanawalt, Enforcement Section Chief, Investor Protection Bureau, New York Attorney General’s Office 

Panel Three: The Martin Act: An Abuse of Power?

  • James Park, Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law
  • Rachel Barkow, Segal Family Professor of Regulatory Law and Policy, Faculty Director of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at NYU Law School
  • Ellen Podgor, Gary R. Trombley Family White-Collar Crime Research Profesor, Stetson University College of Law
  • James Copland,Senior Fellow, Director of Legal Policy at The Manhattan Institute
  • John Gardiner, partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP

(esp)

February 1, 2018 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)