Category: Federal Criminal (Other)

January 12, 2011

Why Is an Assault on Congress Member a Federal Crime?

The charges against Jared Loughner for shooting Representative Gabrielle Giffords put into sharp focus a little-known federal statute, 18 U.S.C. 351. This law provides for a death penalty for killing a member of Congress, a presidential or vice presidential candidate, or a Supreme Court justice, as well as imprisonment up to life for attempting to… Read More

December 20, 2010

Harry Reid Folds His Hand: No Online Poker Bill This Year

It now appears that despite a flurry of interest earlier this month, Congress isn’t going to take a good look at legalizing and regulating online poker this year. Staffers for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had been circulating a bill, backed by many bricks-and-mortar casinos in Reid’s home state of Nevada, that would have created… Read More

December 17, 2010

Federal Strike Forces Will Boost Medicare Fraud Enforcement

In October 2010, federal enforcers announced a plan to nearly triple the number of its Medicare fraud strike force units around the nation. In view of the magnitude of health care fraud, this plan is understandable, but the vast majority of providers, who comply with the law, will also see their compliance and other costs… Read More

December 15, 2010

ISPs Take Note: Court Rules E-mails Have Full 4th Amendment Protection

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit has just issued a trail-blazing opinion that is good news for anyone who has ever sent an e-mail – and that needs to be carefully read and adhered to by all Internet service providers (ISPs). We noted six months ago that ISPs have been all too… Read More

November 29, 2010

Often It’s Not the Crime, It’s the Cover-Up

On November 12, 2010, Prince Georges County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife, incoming Prince Georges County Councilmember Leslie Johnson, were arrested by the FBI on charges of tampering with and destroying evidence in a political corruption probe. As has been widely reported, FBI agents found $76,000 in cash in Leslie Johnson’s underwear, allegedly the… Read More

October 7, 2010

Plea in Major FCPA Case Raises Entrapment Issues

Government informant Richard Bistrong’s recent guilty plea to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charges will probably fuel arguments that defendants in the largest-ever FCPA case were entrapped.  While those arguments may not succeed, they do have merit.   Best known as “Individual 1” in the so-called Africa Sting case, Bistrong helped the FBI build the single… Read More

September 8, 2010

Perjury Statute May Pose Problem for Clemens Prosecution

Last month, a federal grand jury indicted former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens on charges of obstruction of Congress, making false statements, and perjury. The six-count indictment alleges that Clemens obstructed a congressional inquiry in 2008 and lied to a House committee in 15 statements under oath, including denials that he had never used… Read More

August 30, 2010

Can the Constitution Shield a Congressman From an Extortion Probe?

Federal prosecutors recently responded to an appeal filed by former U.S. Representative Rick Renzi before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which seeks a dismissal of Renzi’s February 2008 extortion indictment. The indictment stems from a government land-swap deal that prosecutors say illegally benefited Renzi’s former business partner. Prosecutors claim that Renzi,… Read More

August 19, 2010

Blagojevich and the Complexity of Jury Instructions

In the wake of the conviction in federal court in Chicago of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on one criminal count of lying to the FBI and the mistrial on 23 others, mostly involving political corruption, the question of the complexity of many white-collar crime cases has been widely discussed. In one newspaper account, a… Read More

July 19, 2010

DOJ Official Seeks to Clear Her Name After Contempt Charge

A recent filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia uncovered a sidelight to the story of the botched prosecution of former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). In April 2009, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan set aside the verdict in the criminal case against Stevens and dismissed the case on the grounds of… Read More

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