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Crime in the Suites An Analysis of Current Issues in White Collar Defense
A recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit limiting the reach of the False Claims Act demonstrates how relators who pursue cases in which the government declines to intervene can end up making law that is unfavorable to the government’s enforcement of that statute. United States ex rel. Rostholder v. Omnicare, Inc., et al., No. 12-2431, a qui tam case alleging violations of the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729, arose from a whistleblower’s claim that defendants violated certain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety regulations requiring that penicillin and non-penicillin drugs be packaged in complete isolation from one another.  The violation of these regulations resulted in a legal presumption of penicillin cross-contamination.  The relator asserted that the contaminated drugs were not eligible for reimbursement by Medicare and Medicaid and, therefore, claims presented to the government for reimbursement of these drugs were false under the FCA. In affirming the district court’s grant of Omnicare’s motion to dismiss, the Court of Appeals focused on the specific requirement... Read more

Yesterday, at the annual J. P. Morgan Global High Yield & Leveraged Finance Conference in Miami Beach, Florida, Ifrah Law Founding Member Jeff Ifrah shared his predictions for the growing online gaming industry in the U.S. and in Europe.  Susan Berliner, an analyst with J.P. Morgan who covers gaming and lodging, moderated the panel, which… Read More

Last Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen), both published new guidance in connection with the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado. Because marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, the banking industry is prohibited from servicing any marijuana-related bank accounts. This forces the recreational marijuana… Read More

The beginning of 2014 has brought many new laws into effect and we have written on a number of them. But few laws have received more mainstream media exposure than Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana. Of more importance to us, the legalization of recreational marijuana has posed some interesting problems for regulators. The most obvious… Read More

A November 2013 ruling from the United States District Court in a bankruptcy case may create an obstacle for a tactic increasingly popular among federal prosecutors – the seizure of a defendant company’s domain name. The statutes permitting civil and criminal forfeiture in U.S. District Courts – Title 18, United States Code Sections 981 and… Read More

LinkedIn has filed a suit against John Does in response to a spate of “data scraping” perpetrated by unknown individuals, in violation of the website’s terms and conditions.This is the latest federal case in the Northern District of California in which a tech company seeks to enforce its contractual provisions through the criminal statute Computer… Read More

Fiscal year 2013 marked the fourth consecutive year in which the Department of Justice has recovered at least $2 billion from cases involving charges of healthcare fraud.  Make no mistake: these record-setting yields were no accident.  The Obama Administration has prioritized busting healthcare fraudsters since it took office, and for good reason.  A 2009 analysis… Read More

The media coverage of this week’s announcement that federal prosecutors have charged former Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, with illegally accepting gifts from a wealthy Richmond area businessman have largely focused on what the Commonwealth’s first family may have given in return.  To be sure, the question of whether and how… Read More

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January 17, 2014

Bitcoin Goes Mainstream

By: Ifrah Law

As followers of trends in e-commerce, our firm takes a keen interest in new e-payment methods. Last year, we predicted the Bitcoin would emerge as an innovative mode of currency for online transactions.  When Bitcoin – an alternative virtual currency – first appeared in the mainstream media, it was largely portrayed as a wonky, nerdy… Read More

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January 15, 2014

Don’t Let Google+ Get You Arrested

By: Ifrah Law

A Massachusetts man, whose ex-girlfriend had a restraining order out against him, was recently arrested for sending her an invitation to join Google+. This unfortunate drama sheds light on the disparate impact of ordinary things. According to the Salem News, after receiving a Google+ invitation, Tom Gagnon’s ex-girlfriend went to the police station with a… Read More

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