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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

March 17, 2014

Supreme Court Expands Whistleblower Protection

By: Jeffrey Hamlin
The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that Sarbanes–Oxley extends whistleblower protection, not just to employees of public companies, but to employees of private contractors and subcontractors that serve public companies. In a 6-3 decision, the Court rejected the First Circuit’s narrow construction of the statute in favor of the Labor Department’s more expansive interpretation. Now more than ever, affected contractors and subcontractors need to ensure they have robust policies in place for addressing whistleblower complaints. Congress passed the Sarbanes–Oxley Act in 2002, the year after Enron’s collapse. The Act was intended to protect investors in public companies and restore trust in financial markets. It achieved these goals in part by providing whistleblower protection: 18 U.S.C. § 1514A makes it unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees who report suspected fraud. The provision certainly protects employees of publicly traded companies. It was less clear whether § 1514A protects employees of private contractors that service public companies. The plaintiffs in Lawson v. FMR, LLC, claimed it did. Jackie Lawson and Jonathan Lang were... Read more

We have previously reported on the arrangements being made by the Garden City Group for remittance of money to the former customers of Full Tilt Poker.  Since that time, there has been a lengthy process for the submission of claims to the group for administration. It appears that players’ waiting has not been all for… Read More

A recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit limiting the reach of the False Claims Act demonstrates how relators who pursue cases in which the government declines to intervene can end up making law that is unfavorable to the government’s enforcement of that statute. United States ex rel. Rostholder v. Omnicare,… Read More

Yesterday, at the annual J. P. Morgan Global High Yield & Leveraged Finance Conference in Miami Beach, Florida, Ifrah Law Founding Member Jeff Ifrah shared his predictions for the growing online gaming industry in the U.S. and in Europe.  Susan Berliner, an analyst with J.P. Morgan who covers gaming and lodging, moderated the panel, which… Read More

Last Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen), both published new guidance in connection with the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado. Because marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, the banking industry is prohibited from servicing any marijuana-related bank accounts. This forces the recreational marijuana… Read More

The beginning of 2014 has brought many new laws into effect and we have written on a number of them. But few laws have received more mainstream media exposure than Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana. Of more importance to us, the legalization of recreational marijuana has posed some interesting problems for regulators. The most obvious… Read More

A November 2013 ruling from the United States District Court in a bankruptcy case may create an obstacle for a tactic increasingly popular among federal prosecutors – the seizure of a defendant company’s domain name. The statutes permitting civil and criminal forfeiture in U.S. District Courts – Title 18, United States Code Sections 981 and… Read More

LinkedIn has filed a suit against John Does in response to a spate of “data scraping” perpetrated by unknown individuals, in violation of the website’s terms and conditions.This is the latest federal case in the Northern District of California in which a tech company seeks to enforce its contractual provisions through the criminal statute Computer… Read More

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… Read More

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