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Crime in the Suites An Analysis of Current Issues in White Collar Defense
This summer BNP Paribas, one of the five largest banks in the world, agreed to a $9 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The settlement figure may seem nothing short of economic shock and awe; indeed it was the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history. What could justify such a staggering fine and was the DoJ too heavy-handed in its tactics against the French-based bank? The $9 billion figure was not created out of thin air. It correlates to the value of transactions that BNPP helped to push through the U.S. financial system on behalf of Sudanese, Cuban and Iranian interests. These countries have been subject to U.S. sanctions under the U.S. International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). The sanctions restrict, among other things, trade and investment activities involving the U.S. financial systems, including processing U.S. dollar transactions through the States. BNPP chose to ignore those sanctions. What’s worse, the Statement of Facts that the DoJ published with... Read more

When it comes to a conviction, or even an arrest, the collateral consequences that are sometimes overlooked by client and counsel can be extremely damaging, especially when dealing with government agencies and programs. One such set of consequences is unique to contractors who do business with federal or state governments.  Because even a plea to… Read More

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September 3, 2014

FATCA: Trapped by the Land of the Free?

By: Nicole Kardell

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has been billed as the U.S.’s bold effort to go after tax dodgers and cheats. The picture painted is that of greedy rich people secreting their fortunes in offshore accounts and away from poor Uncle Sam. But this is not a fair representation of FATCA’s impact or reach…. Read More

  Prosecutors and often even judges do not appreciate the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction, regardless of whether it results from a trial or a plea agreement.  While the direct consequences of conviction are obvious – such as jail time, probation requirements, and fines – the collateral consequences are more insidious.  Yet sometimes those… Read More

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August 14, 2014

DC Bans the Box

By: Ifrah Law

   MLive.com Graphic   Criminal defendants face a wide range of consequences for their alleged actions.  The high emotional and financial cost of defending a case may pale in comparison to the personal toll resulting from a conviction and the associated direct consequences including fines, penalties, remuneration, and incarceration. For most offenders, however, the longest-lasting… Read More

Is it possible to commit money laundering with virtual currency? At least one federal judge thinks so. Last month, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest refused to dismiss a money laundering charge premised on the use of a Bitcoin-based payment system. She is the first federal judge to hold that the federal money laundering statute is… Read More

Severely ill patients in New York State are celebrating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature of a bill that legalized medical marijuana in New York for many severely ill patients[1]. As noted by Assembly Speaker Silver in his remarks, “With this agreement, we are assuring access to that much-needed relief while ensuring the tightest possible regulation and… Read More

Recently the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that under certain circumstances, a court may compel a criminal defendant to provide the password to encrypted digital evidence without violating the defendant’s constitutional rights. This is an increasingly prevalent issue that has divided courts across the country and may be presented to the United States Supreme Court… Read More

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