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Crime in the Suites An Analysis of Current Issues in White Collar Defense
On February 8, 2011, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and the FBI announced some new indictments in a massive probe of insider trading on Wall Street. They charge two defendants not only with conspiracy to commit securities fraud but also with obstruction of justice for destroying evidence. The five-page release issued that day by the government reads like something out of a TV crime drama, complete with turncoat informants, telltale e-mail messages, and late-night dumpster trips in a failed effort to hide evidence. In just one instance of alleged insider trading, two hedge funds pulled in $2 million in profits nearly overnight. “When you are paying insiders for earnings data before it’s announced, that isn’t ‘research.’ That’s cheating,” said Janice K. Fedarcyk, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York office in announcing the indictments. “And the efforts to destroy evidence are laid out largely in the defendants’ own words. For all their presumed sophistication, the defendants lacked a mobster’s instinct for conversational discretion.” In fact, Samir Barai and Donald Longueuil, the two hedge... Read more
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February 22, 2011

Will the Internet Taint a Loughner Verdict?

By: Ifrah Law

As Arizona plans a trial for accused Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner, a new set of questions has arisen: How will a jury be able to sit in impartial judgment, untainted by nonstop online coverage of the crime and its aftermath? What safeguards should a judge impose to keep the jury from following the case… Read More

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February 15, 2011

Facebook Friends and Judicial Ethics

By: Ifrah Law

Last December, another legal ethics commission addressed the question of whether a judge may become a “friend” on a social networking site with attorneys who appear as counsel in the judge’s courtroom. The Ohio Supreme Court Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline opined that a judge may “friend” attorneys as long as the judge… Read More

If anyone needed evidence that federal and local prosecutors are taking cybercrime seriously and in some cases pushing for tougher enforcement, just look at a domain name seizure announced recently in New York City. At the request of federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, a magistrate judge seized 10 websites that… Read More

The two iPad hackers who obtained the personal data of approximately 120,000 iPad users by exploiting a security weakness in AT&T’s resubscription page are now facing federal charges and potential jail time. After the hackers publicized their activities, the FBI started an investigation that ended with criminal charges against the hackers. The hackers were charged… Read More

The U.S. Department of Justice — possibly stung by several recent instances of prosecutorial misconduct, many of which were outlined in a USA Today investigation — has set up a new unit to review instances of intentional or reckless conduct by its attorneys. The new Professional Misconduct Review Unit, announced last month, will be headed… Read More

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February 2, 2011

Is D.C. on the Way to Legalizing Online Poker?

By: Ifrah Law

An amendment introduced to the District of Columbia Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Act and approved with little fanfare or advance warning could signal a major change in the law of i-gaming. The amendment, introduced by at-large Democrat Councilmember Michael A. Brown, would allow the D.C. Lottery to administer online poker by defining the D.C…. Read More

This is the first of a regular series of posts that summarize and wrap up our latest thoughts that have appeared recently on Ifrah Law’s two blogs. 1. Can Police Read a Suspect’s Text Messages Without a Warrant? What happens when the usual rules of search and seizure collide with the new world of information in… Read More

We first posted about Sholom Rubashkin—the former plant manager at the now-defunct Agriprocessors, Inc. — back in May 2010, when Rubashkin was awaiting sentence for more than 80 counts of fraud in connection with his operation of the kosher slaughterhouse. Since then, Chief U.S. District Judge Linda Reade of the Northern District of Iowa sentenced… Read More

The text messages in a defendant’s cell phone are in no way different, for the purposes of a police search after an arrest, from the defendant’s clothing or a cigarette package. That was the holding of the California Supreme Court on January 3, 2011, in People v. Diaz, a case in which the state’s highest… Read More

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