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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

SEC Continues to Focus on ICOs
October 3, 2017

SEC Continues to Focus on ICOs

By: Steven Eichorn and Jeff Ifrah
A new enforcement initiative  by the Securities and Exchange Commission, part of its proclaimed efforts to address cyber-based threats and protect retail investors, indicates that the agency is including Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) under its broad blanket of protection. Recent actions by the agency in the case of REcoin give more clues to its position on ICOs: on Friday, the SEC charged two companies and an individual with “defrauding investors in a pair of so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs) purportedly backed by investments in real estate and diamonds.” If there was any question before whether the agency would adopt a regulatory approach or a wholesale ban approach to ICOs, it seems the SEC has resolved that question and has now embraced the latter approach. Last month, it was apparent that the SEC perceived ICOs as a threat, but there was still some question as to whether the agency would monitor ICOs for fraud and compliance, with some regulations to provide structure, or whether it would treat ICOs... Read more
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… 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: Ifrah Law

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: Ifrah Law

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