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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

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 mass incarceration, with disparate impacts on communities of color and victims of the opioid epidemic. In addition to this express directive to charge the most serious offense, the policy also requires prosecutors to disclose to sentencing judges “all facts that impact the sentencing guidelines or mandatory minimum sentences” in a given case. For drug-related crimes, such facts include drug quantity and prior convictions, both of which can trigger minimum sentences that judges must impose.

Sessions’ memorandum does allow for exceptions in limited cases. If prosecutors conclude that strict application of the charging policy is not warranted in a particular case, the prosecutor should consider whether an exception is justified. Any decision... 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

Will Clemency Continue?
February 1, 2017

Will Clemency Continue?

By: Steven Eichorn

There are many big policy changes happening in Washington these days and they receive appropriate press coverage. But, there are also many smaller changes that can have literally life changing effects on citizens, which are not generally reported in the media. One of those smaller changes is whether the Trump administration will revive a clemency program… Read More

Alexa and Fifth Amendment Law
January 17, 2017

Alexa and Fifth Amendment Law

By: Ifrah Law

It sits in your house, passively recording everything you say.  It knows what you like.  It knows what you listen to.  It knows what you buy.  It knows who’s in the room with you.  And now, it might tell the police all about it. “It” is the Amazon Echo, a revolution in the “internet of… Read More

The E-Rate Honey Pot
August 12, 2016

The E-Rate Honey Pot

By: Nicole Kardell

When you grant access to a $ 4 billion fund and give fund participants relative autonomy in how they use those funds, ne’er-do-wells will sniff their way to the honey pot. Keeping them out can be a challenge. So goes the story of the federally administered Schools and Libraries Program, better known as E-Rate. Established… Read More

Keep It Short and Prosper
June 9, 2016

Keep It Short and Prosper

By: Nicole Kardell

What a difference two words can make. Just ask the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) or Americans for Prosperity (AFP), two organizations that filed separate lawsuits against the same defendant, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, over the same issue: whether Harris’s office had the right to access the organizations’ donor information. (The cases are Center… Read More

This Man Is Dodging Wall St.
June 8, 2016

This Man Is Dodging Wall St.

By: Ifrah Law

Rather than confront accusations of baseless zeal and prosecutorial overreach, New York federal prosecutor Preet Bharara would rather spend his energy dodging accountability. In 2010, Bharara launched a crusade against Wall Street, prosecuting several hedge funds he suspected of insider trading. Highly publicized raids followed. In the wake of the financial meltdown, Bharara was hailed… Read More

Data breaches are as common as the common cold—unfortunately, just as incurable. Run a news search on “data breaches” and you’ll find that all kinds of institutions—major retailers, tech companies, universities, even government agencies—have been vulnerable at some point. Now run a search on “data breaches,” but include the word “lawsuit.” You’ll find that many… Read More

Getting Started with E-Rate
May 2, 2016

Getting Started with E-Rate

By: Nicole Kardell

Public schools and libraries in the U.S. can save a lot of money on Internet service by applying for the Schools and Libraries Program, a federal subsidy better known as E-Rate. E-Rate funding, capped yearly at $3.9 billion, helps eligible institutions cover costs of Internet service. Participants can save anywhere from twenty to ninety percent… Read More