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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

A recent filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia uncovered a sidelight to the story of the botched prosecution of former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). In April 2009, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan set aside the verdict in the criminal case against Stevens and dismissed the case on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct. He commenced criminal contempt proceedings against six U.S. Department of Justice attorneys who were involved in the case, finding that they had failed to turn over exculpatory material to the defense. That investigation, which is being conducted by attorney Henry Schuelke on a court appointment, continues. However, on July 8, another attorney who was not named by Judge Sullivan for criminal contempt filed an interesting motion in the court. This was Patty Merkamp Stemler, chief of the Appellate Section of DOJ’s Criminal Division. A couple of months before the probe of the six attorneys began, Sullivan held Stemler in civil contempt for failure to produce 30 documents during post-trial proceedings in the Stevens case. However, Stemler... Read more

January 2010 saw the dramatic arrests of 22 individuals in the military and law enforcement equipment industry – in several companies and at various levels of responsibility – for alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations involving payments to an alleged sales agent for an unnamed African nation, later identified as Gabon. The arrests took place… Read More

The Wall Street Journal has just reported that the National Security Agency is planning to deploy electronic “sensors” in the private computer networks of major companies around the nation. The idea is to detect cyber-attacks by outside forces against companies involved in critical infrastructure like electric or nuclear plants. Cyber-terrorism is a real threat, and… Read More

On July 6, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit seeking to prohibit the enforcement of the controversial new anti-immigration law passed by the state of Arizona in April. See, for example, the helpful summary in the blog of Legal Times.  DOJ is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prohibit the enforcement of… Read More

The highly regarded British publication The Economist has just published an interesting article that strongly makes the case that poker is a game of skill, not a game of chance. The article notes that poker is, of course, big business these days, pointing to a consultant’s estimate that the online poker market amounts to $4.9… Read More

A recent Bloomberg News article points to a disturbing trend – a dramatic increase in ultimately unsupportable white-collar federal indictments. In recent years, a growing number of executives have been indicted for corporate crimes and then had the charges dropped. From 2006 to 2008, the most recent period available, U.S. prosecutors dismissed charges against 42… Read More

In her three-day Supreme Court confirmation hearing, nominee Elena Kagan expressed very few views on substantive issues that might give observers a clue as to how she would vote as a Justice. Criminal law and sentencing issues were no exception, as the nominee did not tip her hand much on these matters. One interesting tidbit… Read More

A recent Wall Street Journal article describing the FBI’s use against suspected financial criminals of techniques normally used to hunt terrorists shows how seriously white-collar crime is being viewed these days.  It also vindicates those who sounded warning bells after 9/11 when Americans were asked to trade civil liberties for the promise of national security. … Read More

On June 25, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its partially favorable decision in Skilling v. United States. Although the Court accepted former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling’s arguments on the reach of the “honest services” statute, it rejected Skilling’s contention that pretrial publicity and community prejudice prevented him from receiving a fair trial. Since his… Read More

Today the Supreme Court decided the key white-collar crime case of Skilling v. United States, rejecting the Justice Department’s efforts to use the well-known “honest services” statute against former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling. The court didn’t reverse Skilling’s conviction but sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to… Read More

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