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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

Late last month, we noted a highly unusual decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay in the District of Columbia to order the Federal Trade Commission to respond to interrogatories about a subpoena it had issued to Paul Bisaro, the CEO of Watson Pharmaceuticals, in a generic-drug investigation. Normally, that sort of inquiry into the motivations behind an FTC subpoena is off limits. The only exception, which is rarely invoked, is that limited discovery can be ordered to ensure that enforcement of the subpoena would not amount to an abuse of process. Kay’s inquiry seems to have found nothing terribly amiss in the FTC’s motivations for the subpoena, as he has just recommended to U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly that the subpoena to Bisaro should be enforced. Judge Kollar-Kotelly had referred the dispute to Kay, and his findings can now be appealed to Judge Kollar-Kotelly. Kay said that the case law requires that the court enforce the subpoena, as long as the FTC could show a proper purpose for it,... Read more

In the wake of the conviction in federal court in Chicago of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on one criminal count of lying to the FBI and the mistrial on 23 others, mostly involving political corruption, the question of the complexity of many white-collar crime cases has been widely discussed. In one newspaper account, a… Read More

Conservative columnist Michelle Minton just wrote an interesting op-ed piece for Forbes.com on why Republicans, and by extension, conservatives in general, should favor legalized Internet gambling. Minton’s arguments come in the wake of the recent passage by the House Financial Services Committee of a bill that would legalize Internet gambling, including online poker, in the… Read More

Federal prosecutors often take very seriously the prohibitions on illegal lobbying and on withholding the truth from the FBI. That’s one of the lessons that former U.S. Rep. Mark Siljander probably learned last month when he pleaded guilty to two federal charges relating to his alleged ties to an Islamic charity claimed to have funded… Read More

The U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles just took an interesting and nuanced position concerning a very high-profile request for community service as part of a guilty plea. Disgraced plaintiffs attorney William Lerach pleaded guilty in 2007 to a charge of conspiring to obstruct justice and make false statements in many of his law firm’s… Read More

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,… 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