Category: Federal Sentencing

October 17, 2011

Five Years Later, Skilling’s Sentence Is Still Up in the Air

On Sunday, October 16, 2011, an op-ed article by founding partner Jeff Ifrah and associate Jeff Hamlin appeared in the Houston Chronicle. The article discusses the upcoming resentencing of former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling and the fact that it is now close to the fifth anniversary of his conviction. The following is the full text… Read More

October 10, 2011

District Judge Orders Much-Reduced Sentence in Fraud Case

A federal judge has made a major reversal in the case of Steve Warshak, the Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals founder who was sentenced to 25 years for defrauding customers who bought his “male enhancement” pills, which were advertised in the notorious “Smiling Bob” ad campaign. We have discussed Warshak’s case in a previous blog post. Warshak… Read More

October 7, 2011

Judge Imposes Draconian Sentences in Medicare Fraud Scheme

On Sept. 16, 2011, a federal judge in Miami sentenced Lawrence Duran to 50 years in prison, the longest sentence ever imposed in a Medicare fraud case, for his role in a massive fraud scheme that resulted in more than $205 million in losses. Duran was also ordered to pay $87 million in restitution. Duran… Read More

September 27, 2011

Appeals Court Limits Scope of ‘Intended Loss’ in Sentencing Guidelines

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit recently considered what type of proof is required for a sentence enhancement based on “intended loss” under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. The court held that a loss enhancement applies only to losses the defendant purposely sought to inflict, not losses the defendant merely knew would occur… Read More

July 31, 2011

New 4th Circuit Ruling Is Major Sentencing Win for Defendants

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit handed down a ruling earlier this month in United States v. Divens that made it harder for the government to refuse to grant a defendant an additional one-step downward departure for an acceptance of responsibility under United States Sentencing Guideline (U.S.S.G.) § 3E1.1(b). Under the guidelines, defendants… Read More

March 7, 2011

The Recession’s Effect on Federal Prison Sentences

On March 2, 2011, Jeff Ifrah, founder of Ifrah Law, and Jeffrey Hamlin, an associate in the firm, published the following article in the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Prison inmates in the United States may have reason to thank Wall Street for the 2008 recession. The bloated federal deficit is forcing agencies to tighten their budgets, including… Read More

January 28, 2011

Ifrah Law’s Semi-monthly Blog Wrap-up, January 15-31

This is the first of a regular series of posts that summarize and wrap up our latest thoughts that have appeared recently on Ifrah Law’s two blogs. 1. Can Police Read a Suspect’s Text Messages Without a Warrant? What happens when the usual rules of search and seizure collide with the new world of information in… Read More

January 25, 2011

Amicus Briefs Urge Reduction in Rubashkin Fraud Sentence

We first posted about Sholom Rubashkin—the former plant manager at the now-defunct Agriprocessors, Inc. — back in May 2010, when Rubashkin was awaiting sentence for more than 80 counts of fraud in connection with his operation of the kosher slaughterhouse. Since then, Chief U.S. District Judge Linda Reade of the Northern District of Iowa sentenced… Read More

November 15, 2010

Does Money Play Too Large a Role in Federal Sentencing?

Does money, specifically the dollar loss that victims suffer from a fraud or other crime, count for too much in federal sentencing? A recent American Bar Association conference on federal sentencing guidelines saw a top Justice Department official and a federal district judge sharply disagree about whether the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines involve unfair discrimination in… Read More

October 29, 2010

In Federal Sentencing, Age Begins to Matter

On November 1, 2010, a new amendment to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines will go into effect that will allow a judge to consider a defendant’s age far more often than before in handing down a sentence in federal court.  We think this change will have a major impact on sentencing in white-collar criminal cases. Defendants… Read More