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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

ICOs Facing an Uncertain Future in China and the U.S.
September 7, 2017

ICOs Facing an Uncertain Future in China and the U.S.

By: Steven Eichorn
This week, in a joint statement issued by the People’s Bank of China, the securities and banking regulators, and other government agencies, the Chinese government declared that initial coin offerings (ICOs) constitute “illegal open financing behavior” and immediately froze all ICO activity.  The joint statement explained that the tokens issued in ICOs do not have legal and monetary properties, do not have the legal status equivalent to money, and cannot be circulated as a currency in market use. Moreover, the Chinese government also ordered that companies should repatriate all funds received from past ICOs to investors, and the companies were further warned that the relevant investigative agencies would ensure compliance. Interestingly, the joint statement did not specify the method of repatriation. This raises a thorny issue of how to refund investors that paid in other virtual currencies (e.g. Bitcoin) for their tokens because the refund transaction in Bitcoin is seemingly prohibited by the joint statement as well. This is a stark contrast with the approach by the United States’ Securities and... Read more
How Poking the Bear Gets Your Assets Kicked
August 23, 2017

How Poking the Bear Gets Your Assets Kicked

By: James Trusty

For many decades, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals was viewed as a very conservative place, where prosecutors were usually quite comfortable with the status quo, a largely “law and order” kind of venue.  During the Obama presidency, the Court’s makeup changed dramatically, with a batch of younger, more liberal judges joining the “old guard”… Read More

While the endless portrayal of jury trials in media might indicate otherwise, trials are actually quite rare in the U.S. criminal justice system. With 97% of federal cases ending in pleas, the Atticus Finch conception of American justice has been largely confined to books. Ordinarily, when an accused enters into a plea agreement, he waives… Read More

Why Banning Criminals from the Web Doesn’t Work
July 21, 2017

Why Banning Criminals from the Web Doesn’t Work

By: Steven Eichorn and James Trusty

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730 (U.S. 2017) invalidating a state law outlawing registered sex offenders from accessing websites which could facilitate offender-minor direct communication.  While the majority opinion and concurrence seems grounded in, and specific to, sex offender restrictions, the… Read More

You Can’t Run From Justice
July 19, 2017

You Can’t Run From Justice

By: David S. Yellin

Just last week, a Kentucky lawyer by the name of Eric Conn was sentenced to twelve years in prison by a federal judge for bribery and theft of government money.  Though similar sentences are doled out around the country on a daily basis, this was unique because the defendant was not even in the courtroom. … Read More

The Lowdown on Takedowns
July 13, 2017

The Lowdown on Takedowns

By: James Trusty

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a battery of other federal law enforcement officials today announced the “largest health care fraud takedown” in U.S. history, with 412 charged defendants, including 56 doctors, accused of defrauding taxpayers of roughly $1.3 billion.  Importantly, the takedown focused on the over-prescription of opioids, a phenomenon that has led to thousands… Read More

The “Third Party” Catch-22
June 12, 2017

The “Third Party” Catch-22

By: David S. Yellin

As the Department of Justice has been doubling down on law enforcement overreach, the Supreme Court has just decided to hear a case that may limit the use of a common tool that law enforcement uses to infringe upon the privacy rights of innocent people. The case, Carpenter v. United States, arises out of a… Read More

On May 10, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum that expressly rescinds previous Department of Justice (DOJ) policy and directs federal prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” against federal defendants. The likely result of this harsher approach to the enforcement of federal drug laws is a return to… Read More

When A Threat Becomes A Crime
March 2, 2017

When A Threat Becomes A Crime

By: James Trusty

A Miami Beach man was recently accused of threatening President Trump on Twitter. He sent the threat directly to Secret Service, challenging them to stop his Inauguration Day surprise. They did, and Dominic Puopolo, who used the screen name of Lord Jesus Christ, is now in federal custody. Sending a threat to the President, to an ex-wife,… Read More

Will Clemency Continue?
February 1, 2017

Will Clemency Continue?

By: Steven Eichorn

There are many big policy changes happening in Washington these days and they receive appropriate press coverage. But, there are also many smaller changes that can have literally life changing effects on citizens, which are not generally reported in the media. One of those smaller changes is whether the Trump administration will revive a clemency program… Read More

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