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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

This week the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stinging reminder about the need for precision in the case of U.S. v. Pikus, No. 20-3080 (2d Cir. 2022). Aleksander Pikus was one of four defendants charged with money laundering conspiracy and related offenses for bilking Medicare and Medicaid through false billings. The scheme featured unnecessary ambulance rides to a Brooklyn medical clinic apparently run for the sole purpose of tapping into federal health care dollars. A Health Care Fraud Task Force of local and federal agents brought the case to the DOJ Fraud Section and an indictment was filed in June of 2016.  The guilty verdict was enrolled in October 2019. The right to a Speedy Trial is embedded in the Sixth Amendment’s trial guarantees, and federal prosecutions also operate under the rubric of 18 United States Code § 3161 et seq, which provides that an indicted criminal case shall be brought to trial within 70 days. The constitutional right is not wedded to a specific time-to-trial requirement, but... Read more
Michigan’s High Profile Boomerang
April 21, 2022

Michigan’s High Profile Boomerang

By: James Trusty

About one month before the 2020 election, the Department of Justice proudly announced their disruption of a scheme to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Six men were arrested and referred to as “violent extremists.” Gov. Whitmer’s surrogates indicated that the blame was not fully on the gnarly bearded men whose pictures dominated newscasts around the… Read More

Modern Day Ceasar Faces Brutal End
August 23, 2021

Modern Day Ceasar Faces Brutal End

By: James Trusty

Last week’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in U.S. v. Sinmayah Ceasar, 2021 WL 3640387 (2nd Cir. Aug. 18, 2021) provides some insight into the challenging area of defining a “reasonable” sentence and ascertaining the circumstances when appellate courts might overturn a judge’s sentencing decision for being “unreasonably” lenient. The case against Ceasar was… Read More

Time to Face the (Hidden) Music
August 2, 2021

Time to Face the (Hidden) Music

By: James Trusty

A Texas man named Guy Reffitt has found himself at the edge of the new legal frontier, a place where privacy rights and encrypted technology face aggressive prosecutors willing to push for their strongest criminal case. This Guy did not bring a lot of sympathy to the legal battle—he is alleged to have traveled from… Read More

Last Independence Day, there was a big firework show at Mt. Rushmore, the first one since 2009. President Trump joined Governor Kristi Noem, and the show was well-attended by South Dakotans and tourists alike. Governor Noem liked it so much that she put in for a permit this year, only to be rejected by the… Read More

This article was originally published on FoxNews.com on May 16th, 2021. Department of Justice priorities obviously can change with new administrations, and history shows this with regularity. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy was greatly concerned with the Mafia’s activities, and John Ashcroft wanted more obscenity and pornography prosecutions. Generally, the subject matter emphasis pops up and… Read More

When Double Jeopardy Means No Jeopardy
March 25, 2021

When Double Jeopardy Means No Jeopardy

By: James Trusty

In March of 2019, on the afternoon in which Paul Manafort was sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance unveiled an indictment against Manafort for mortgage fraud and similar state offenses. As rumors had begun to swirl that President Trump… Read More

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… 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