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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

Fiscal year 2013 marked the fourth consecutive year in which the Department of Justice has recovered at least $2 billion from cases involving charges of healthcare fraud.  Make no mistake: these record-setting yields were no accident.  The Obama Administration has prioritized busting healthcare fraudsters since it took office, and for good reason.  A 2009 analysis by the AHIMA Foundation, estimated that only 3 to 10 percent of healthcare fraud was being identified. To help crackdown, Attorney General Eric Holder and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius formed the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) in 2009.The Government also launched www.stopmedicarefraud.org in an effort to curb ongoing fraud. From January 2009 through the end of the 2013 fiscal year, the Justice Department used the False Claims Act to recover an unprecedented $12.1 billion in federal healthcare dollars. In this past year alone, DOJ successfully recovered $2.6 billion. More than half of that amount related to alleged false claims for drugs and medical devices under federally insurance health... Read more

The media coverage of this week’s announcement that federal prosecutors have charged former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, with illegally accepting gifts from a wealthy Richmond area businessman have largely focused on what the Commonwealth’s first family may have given in return.  To be sure, the question of whether and how… Read More

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January 17, 2014

Bitcoin Goes Mainstream

By: Ifrah Law

As followers of trends in e-commerce, our firm takes a keen interest in new e-payment methods. Last year, we predicted the Bitcoin would emerge as an innovative mode of currency for online transactions.  When Bitcoin – an alternative virtual currency – first appeared in the mainstream media, it was largely portrayed as a wonky, nerdy… Read More

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January 15, 2014

Don’t Let Google+ Get You Arrested

By: Ifrah Law

A Massachusetts man, whose ex-girlfriend had a restraining order out against him, was recently arrested for sending her an invitation to join Google+. This unfortunate drama sheds light on the disparate impact of ordinary things. According to the Salem News, after receiving a Google+ invitation, Tom Gagnon’s ex-girlfriend went to the police station with a… Read More

Last month, the Missouri Court of Appeals published its opinion holding that criminal defendant David Polk is not entitled to a new trial.  Although the prosecutor may have acted improperly by posting trial updates via Twitter, there was no evidence that her updates swayed the jury to convict Polk.  The court’s decision resolves a once-cold… Read More

The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes have filed suit against Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell after the Department Interior blocked their effort to offer real-money online gaming to international customers. The Tribes were prepared to launch Pokertribes.com after coming to a revenue-sharing agreement with the state of Oklahoma.  Pursuant to the terms of the agreement,… Read More

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December 24, 2013

Ifrah Law’s Three iGaming Predictions for 2014

By: Jeff Ifrah and Ifrah Law

As long-time observers of and participants in the internet gaming industry, we at Ifrah Law looked forward to 2013 as a year full of promise for internet gaming, particularly in the United States.  In the end, industry progress in 2013 was mixed: The year saw the enactment of online gaming in New Jersey and online… Read More

Appellate courts do not often reverse a trial judge’s decision to grant a new trial, so we took notice when the First Circuit did so in United States v. Carpenter.  Given the case history, the First Circuit decision should help to answer an important question:  How much leeway do prosecutors have when summarizing evidence in… Read More

By: Karl Smith and Casselle Smith  The value of Bitcoin, the hottest and most widely traded virtual currency, plunged a little over a week ago, after China’s central bank issued a statement that the government is banning financial institutions from trading in the virtual currency.The price of a single Bitcoinfell from roughly $1200 on December… Read More

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