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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

We wrote recently that the very recent Supreme Court decision in United States v. Skilling, limiting the reach of the federal “honest services” statute, may have an immediate impact on the ongoing case against Kevin A. Ring, a former associate of Jack Abramoff. See “Skilling Having Impact on Pending Honest Services Fraud Cases,” July 28, 2010. But last week, U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle gave prosecutors more leeway than some had expected in their pursuit of political corruption charges against Ring. Ring’s attorneys at Miller & Chevalier had argued vociferously for a judgment of acquittal on the grounds that Skilling had limited the application of the “honest services” statute to an actual bribery or kickback scheme that involves a misrepresentation to the public. But Judge Huvelle rejected the contention that prosecutors now need to prove a quid pro quo bribery arrangement. She said it would be enough for the Department of Justice to bring sufficient evidence that would permit a jury to “infer” that bribery occurred. Ring has... Read more

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently held confirmation hearings for Jim Cole, a partner at Bryan Cave and well known D.C. white-collar defense lawyer, who is President Obama’s nominee for deputy attorney general. During the confirmation hearings, an interesting back-and-forth occurred between Cole and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) regarding the use of deferred prosecution agreements. Sen…. Read More

The D.C. Circuit recently handed a significant victory to anyone with assets in the U.S. – especially anyone under investigation in another country for violation of that country’s laws. As reported on the Blog of Legal Times, the D.C. Circuit issued a decision on July 16 holding that the Department of Justice could not seize… Read More

Lynne Stewart, an attorney who was convicted in 2005 of providing material support to a terrorist group by passing messages to and from her imprisoned client, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, to his followers, was re-sentenced last month by U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in the Southern District of New York to 10 years in prison,… Read More

On June 24, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its much-awaited ruling in Skilling v. United States, which limited the scope of honest-services fraud. The next step is to look at the lower courts and see how they are interpreting the Skilling decision. After comments made very recently by U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle… Read More

When a U.S. magistrate judge in the District of Columbia issued his ruling in Federal Trade Commission v. Bisaro on July 13, 2010, permitting limited discovery of certain FTC officials regarding an agency subpoena, it had been more than three decades since the D.C. Circuit had found that “extraordinary circumstances” were present that warranted discovery… Read More

Jeff Ifrah, author of this blog, was interviewed today for the Legal Pulse, an online publication of the Washington Legal Foundation. In the interview, Jeff discusses cooperation with the government, federal sentencing, health care fraud, and other current issues in white-collar crime. The interview can be found here.

On July 14, 2010, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a group that defends the privacy and online rights of computer and Internet users, served a motion to quash two dragnet subpoenas issued by the plaintiffs in a high-profile New York state court case to Internet service providers (ISP’s) Google and Yahoo. The subpoenas demanded the identities… Read More

The below article is reprinted with permission from the July 19, 2010, issue of the National Law Journal. Copyright 2010 ALM Media Properties, LLC. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved. By A. Jeff Ifrah and Rachel Hirsch July 19, 2010 This summer, Richard Berger will be resentenced by a court that now… Read More

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… Read More

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