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Crime in the Suites An Analysis of Current Issues in White Collar Defense

A Blog About Current Issues in White Collar Defense

In the eyes of federal investigators, when is a payment processor considered a benevolent alternative to traditional banks, and when is it viewed as a shady facilitator of all things criminal?  In other words, is the client another Paypal or Venmo, or are we looking at a potential WireCard AG prosecution? We have noticed in recent cases that prosecutors are across the board in their treatment of payment processors they pursue for wrongdoing, charging some with criminal liability and others with civil liability only. “Why the difference?” Unfortunately, the answer is not entirely clear: Unlike other areas of federal prosecution, there is no definitive guidance for prosecutors on how to treat payment processors; nor is there an obvious checklist for clients to consider for avoiding government scrutiny. There are, however, some common considerations and assumptions that accompany these types of cases, and while they hardly form a comprehensive playbook to study, it’s at least a start. In deciphering Department of Justice (“DOJ”) priorities, policies, and practices, we typically look first to... Read more
Going…Going…Ghosn
May 22, 2020

Going…Going…Ghosn

By: James Trusty

While much of the focus on the Japanese prosecution of high-profile executive Carlos Ghosn has been on his spectacular private jet escape from Japan while hidden in an instruments case, his prosecution actually raises much more profound issues about white collar criminal prosecution in Japan and in the United States. Ghosn is an indisputably talented… Read More

Death by a Thousand Cuts
May 8, 2020

Death by a Thousand Cuts

By: James Trusty

When legal scholars look back at the failed Flynn prosecution, they will not be able to pin the dismissal on a single deficiency or legal principle, but if they are fair they will recognize a small case that was plagued with innumerable flaws. The DOJ Motion to Dismiss, filed in the rarified air of a… Read More

Videoconferencing to the Rescue
April 1, 2020

Videoconferencing to the Rescue

By: James Trusty

While the recent passage of the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act is receiving tremendous attention because of its price tag, strategies to keep businesses and families afloat, and its hidden gems for beneficiaries like the Kennedy Center, it also has a component that is important for federal practitioners who handle criminal matters… Read More

How White Hats Get Dirty
March 19, 2020

How White Hats Get Dirty

By: James Trusty

Historically, undercover operations by law enforcement would run into problematic “loyalty tests,” designed to make sure that the criminal conspirators could trust the “new guy.” Biker gangs would ask this “pledge” to beat someone up or take drugs, knowing law enforcement agencies would likely not let that happen, even in an undercover capacity. Prostitution stings… Read More

A Tiny Crack in the Wall?
December 10, 2019

A Tiny Crack in the Wall?

By: James Trusty

Federal sentencing proceedings have a long and rich history of including every speck of good and bad that a defendant brings to the table. Unlike the trial itself, there are no Rules of Evidence that apply to keep the factfinder from considering unreliable or unproven information. The judge need only find facts by a preponderance… Read More

Celebrating 10 Years by Strategizing with the Best
August 6, 2019

Celebrating 10 Years by Strategizing with the Best

By: Nicole Kardell

How do you celebrate ten years of defending people against a criminal justice system that plays with a stacked deck? Bring in a renowned journalist and legal commentator to talk problems and solutions. Emily Bazelon, a staff writer at New York Times Magazine and the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale… Read More

On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down Gamble v. United States, No. 17-646, an interesting decision on Double Jeopardy with practical and predictive ramifications beyond its limited facts. Terance Martez Gamble was caught possessing a loaded handgun in Mobile, Alabama, after previously having been convicted for robbery. He pleaded guilty and received one year in… Read More

The Cliffhanger – Paul Manafort’s Sentencing Drama
February 14, 2019

The Cliffhanger – Paul Manafort’s Sentencing Drama

By: James Trusty

A hit man walks into a restaurant where Tony Soprano and his family are eating dinner while the jukebox blares a Journey song. The last show of the highly successful series ends with an abrupt cut to black before the audience knows the fate of Tony and his family. The end of The Sopranos series… Read More