White Collar

  • December 17, 2014

    Avon China Pleads Guilty In $135M DOJ, SEC Deal

    Avon Products Inc. received court approval Wednesday for a $135 million settlement that puts to bed DOJ and SEC investigations over the beauty giant's business practices in China, as its unit based there entered a guilty plea to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act misdeeds.

  • December 17, 2014

    4 Freedom Industries Execs Indicted Over W.Va. Spill

    Four Freedom Industries executives were charged Wednesday with criminal violations of the Clean Water Act and negligent operation of their Elk River facility for a massive chemical spill in January that left 300,000 West Virginia residents without usable water for days.

  • December 17, 2014

    Illegal Tax Shelter Traders Fight To Deduct Currency Losses

    Two partnerships that operated illegal tax shelter funds urged a California federal judge on Wednesday to allow their tax deductions on losses from currency trades that were part of the scheme, arguing they qualify for the deduction because the trades were intended to yield profits.

  • December 17, 2014

    Madoff Trustee Gets $600M In New Clawback Settlements OK'd

    A New York bankruptcy judge has approved $600 million worth of settlements in clawback suits brought by the SIPA trustee for Bernard Madoff's failed securities firm and also approved the consolidation of two suits against would-be opt-outs from an earlier $7.2 billion deal with mega-investor Jeffry Picower.

  • December 17, 2014

    Homeland Security OIG Agent Lands 3 Years For Obstruction

    A Texas federal judge has sentenced a U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent tasked with rooting out corruption to more than three years in prison, according to the DOJ, after the agent was convicted in March of falsifying documents and obstructing an internal inspection.

  • December 17, 2014

    NECC Prez Charged With Murder Over Meningitis Outbreak

    The president and a pharmacist of the now-bankrupt New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc. were arrested at their Massachusetts homes early Wednesday morning and charged with second-degree murder and racketeering for a deadly meningitis outbreak in 2012 caused by tainted steroid injections the company distributed.

  • December 16, 2014

    Ponzi Schemer Caught After Skipping Prison

    Texas authorities early Tuesday morning reportedly apprehended a former oilman who had run away from prison on Sunday night while serving a nine-year sentence for a $7 million Ponzi scheme.

  • December 16, 2014

    Former Nonprofit Worker Indicted For Afghanistan Bribery

    A former International Relief and Development Inc. employee was indicted Tuesday in Texas federal court for allegedly soliciting and accepting bribes in exchange for his influence in awarding government-funded contracts in Afghanistan, prosecutors said.

  • December 16, 2014

    Madoff Feeder Fund Beats Investors' 2nd Circ. Appeal

    The Second Circuit said on Tuesday that a Madoff feeder fund owned by insurance giant MassMutual Holdings LLC can't be directly sued by an investor that put $12 million into the historic Ponzi scheme because the feeder fund, Rye Investment Management, was damaged itself.

  • December 16, 2014

    States Take Light Touch With Bitcoin Rules

    A group of state banking watchdogs proposed virtual currency regulations Tuesday that take a less stringent approach to anti-money laundering compliance than do rules New York has separately been pushing — changes experts say could make it easier for virtual currency firms to grow and innovate.

  • December 16, 2014

    Two Pa. State Lawmakers Charged In Bribery Sting

    Two Pennsylvania state representatives were charged by Philadelphia’s district attorney Tuesday with accepting cash in exchange for voting a certain way on bills, part of a larger probe into political corruption initiated and later dropped by the state attorney general’s office

  • December 16, 2014

    Freedom Industries Exec Says Spill Exposure DQs Prosecutors

    The president of Freedom Industries Inc. told a federal court Monday that prosecutors charging him with lying to a bankruptcy court to shield his assets following a massive chemical spill should be disqualified, saying they can’t be impartial because they were among the 300,000 West Virginia residents exposed to the January spill.

  • December 16, 2014

    Jury Convicts Fla. Mayor In $8M Mortgage Fraud Plot

    A Florida federal jury convicted suspended North Miami mayor Lucie M. Tondreau on Tuesday of wire fraud for an $8 million scheme in which she and others used a radio show to recruit straw borrowers for fraudulent mortgage loans.

  • December 16, 2014

    Ex-Bond Trader Gets 2.5 Years For $9M Manipulation Scheme

    A former mortgage bond trader was sentenced in New Jersey federal court Tuesday to two-and-a-half years in prison for a price-manipulation scheme that saddled a Bank of New York Mellon unit with more than $9 million in losses.

  • December 16, 2014

    Fifth DBSI Exec Sentenced Over $150M Scheme

    Real estate company DBSI Inc. on Monday saw a fifth executive sentenced to serve time in connection with the $150 million fraud allegedly perpetrated by the bankrupt company, weeks after its former president was banned from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • December 15, 2014

    Verizon, Others Back Microsoft In Overseas Warrant Battle

    Verizon Communications Inc., the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Center for Democracy and Technology and dozens of other business groups and privacy experts on Monday flooded the Second Circuit with briefs supporting Microsoft Corp.’s challenge to a search warrant that would allow the U.S. government to access user data stored overseas.

  • December 15, 2014

    Microsoft GC Confident It Will Defeat US In Warrant Fight

    Microsoft Corp. knew its challenge to a warrant requiring the company to give the government user data stored overseas wouldn't be a "smooth ride," but it's optimistic it will prevail, even if that requires a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel David Howard told Law360 in an exclusive interview Monday.

  • December 15, 2014

    Willis Group Still On The Hook In Stanford Investors Suit

    A Texas federal judge has refused to dismiss a suit against insurance broker Willis Ltd. over its alleged role in Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme, finding Monday in a mixed ruling that many of the allegations were plausible enough to survive a motion to dismiss after the U.S. Supreme Court helped revive the suit.

  • December 15, 2014

    Halal Food Co. Pleads Not Guilty To Beef Export Fraud

    An Iowa halal food company and some of its directors pled not guilty on Monday to federal criminal charges that they fraudulently exported to Malaysia and Indonesia beef that was mislabeled to make it appear as if it had been prepared in accordance with those countries' import standards.

  • December 15, 2014

    Madoff Account Manager JoAnn Crupi Gets 6-Year Sentence

    JoAnn Crupi, who worked at Bernie Madoff's crooked firm for 25 years until its 2008 collapse, was sentenced to six years in prison Monday for crimes of greed, including tax and securities fraud, but a federal judge said she did not know her former boss was running a Ponzi scheme.

Expert Analysis

  • What Happens When Legal Aid Cuts Stimulate Pro Bono?

    Kevin J. Curnin

    The bad news coming out of the European Pro Bono Summit in November was the rising toll of heavy cuts to public legal aid in England. From this crossroad, there is a lot to be learned about the relationship between public and private assistance, the direction of legal help for the poor in the EU, and whether the American legal aid/pro bono experience offers a road map for what’s next in Europe, says Kevin Curnin of the Association ... (continued)

  • Blankenship Case Shows Perils Of Post-Crisis Assurances

    Jeremy Peterson

    Attorneys and executives would do well to take note of the recent federal indictment of Massey Energy Co.'s former CEO, which shows that, in at least some circumstances, relatively general and open-ended corporate statements can be the basis for criminal charges, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • Pressure Is On For Israeli Banks

    Robert Henoch

    Israeli financial institutions and U.S. holders of Israeli accounts have much to fear as the U.S. government accelerates its enforcement push against alleged U.S. tax evaders and their putative facilitators. However, those who fight back are likely to find that it is significantly easier for U.S. authorities to threaten complex financial prosecutions than to win them at trial, says Robert Henoch, a former assistant U.S. attorney no... (continued)

  • 2015 May Be 'Year Of The Individual' At DOJ

    Timothy Belevetz

    Recent trends, along with seemingly choreographed statements from high-ranking U.S. Department of Justice officials, provide something of a forecast for what may be on deck for 2015. An analysis of that data points to three key areas of focus, all tied to a coordinated effort to shift the spotlight onto individual offenders, says Timothy Belevetz, a partner with Holland & Knight LLP and former federal prosecutor.

  • 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring Appellate Counsel

    David Axelrad

    In the classic case, a client and his attorney seek appellate counsel after the trial court proceedings are concluded. But these days, “classic cases” are few and far between — more and more, appellate lawyers assist in the trial court with preservation of the appellate record and compliance with the many technical rules of appellate procedure, says David Axelrad of Horvitz & Levy LLP.

  • SEC Enforcement: 2014 Review And 2015 Outlook

    Thomas K. Potter

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent enforcement policies and actions have been as Chairwoman Mary Jo White promised: aggressive, robust and wide-ranging. The SEC’s enforcement year has sparked equally robust discussion about the proper role and methods of the commission in enforcing the nation’s securities laws. And maybe that robust debate has been a policy objective all along, says Thomas Potter of Burr & Forman LLP.

  • Fingerprint Lock Won't Protect Phone From Law Enforcement

    Kedar Bhatia

    A recent Virginia court ruling in Virginia v. Baust is a reminder to corporations and their counsel that while fingerprint technology may block hackers or thieves from viewing the contents on smartphones, it may surprisingly make it easier for government investigators to access these powerful mobile devices, say Glen Kopp and Kedar Bhatia of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

  • 6 Questions To Ask Before An Internal Investigation

    Ty E. Howard

    Ample literature exists on how to conduct an effective internal investigation and best practices in doing so. Far less common, but equally important, are the questions a company’s decision-makers — whether a CEO, compliance officer or in-house counsel — should ask before the investigation begins, says Ty Howard, a partner with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP and former federal and state prosecutor.

  • What Lawyer-Novelists Learned From Being Lawyers

    Michael H. Rubin

    The consensus that emerged from my discussions with several lawyers who have become best-selling novelists is that the traits it takes to be a great lawyer are invaluable in crafting first-rate mysteries and thrillers. Both thriller authors and lawyers possess a concentrated attention to detail that allows them to create a logical framework for their story, brief or courtroom presentation, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • What's Wrong With Judge Rakoff’s Plea-Bargaining Proposal

    Edward J. Loya Jr.

    To his credit, Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York anticipates opposition to his proposal for the use of neutral magistrates to referee the plea-bargaining process — indeed, I can think of six objections right off the bat, says Edward J. Loya Jr., an associate at Venable LLP and former federal prosecutor.