White Collar

  • April 20, 2015

    Lighting Co. Hit With Securities Suit As Chairman Arrested

    ForceField Energy Inc. was hit with a securities class action on Friday in New York federal court accusing the LED lighting company of plumping up its stock values with sponsored articles, while its chairman resigned from the company Sunday after being arrested, according to financial filings.

  • April 20, 2015

    Stanford Investors Suing Proskauer, Chadbourne Seek Cert.

    Investors accusing Chadbourne & Parke LLP, Proskauer Rose LLP, two insurance brokers and a financial services firm of aiding Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme urged a Texas federal judge on Monday to grant class certification in their malpractice action.

  • April 20, 2015

    Former CEO's $235M Retaliatory-Prosecution Suit Dismissed

    A D.C. federal judge dismissed a $235 million malicious-prosecution suit against the U.S. government Friday that was brought by the CEO of a government contractor who was cleared of corruption charges in 1989.

  • April 20, 2015

    Rising Star: Freshfields' Kimberly Zelnick

    Kimberly Zelnick’s unwavering efforts on behalf of a former top UBS AG executive accused of conspiring to defraud the United States by helping clients hide $20 billion in assets from the IRS allowed her client to walk away a free man, earning the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP partner a spot on Law360’s 2015 list of the top white collar attorneys under 40.

  • April 20, 2015

    Ex-Biofuel Exec Will Plead Guilty To $100M Tax Credit Fraud

    A former biofuels executive on Monday agreed to plead guilty for his role in an Indiana-centered conspiracy to defraud investors and the government through a more than $100 million tax credit and securities fraud scam, one of the largest fraud schemes in the state’s history.

  • April 20, 2015

    Gupta Accuses Bharara Of About-Face On Newman's Impact

    Rajat Gupta, the imprisoned former Goldman Sachs director, has accused U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office of changing its tune about the Second Circuit's Newman decision as it tries to stave off Gupta's latest challenge to an insider trading conviction he says is void under the landmark ruling.

  • April 20, 2015

    SEC Seeks $180M From Rothstein Feeder Fund Owner

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has asked for more than $180 million in disgorgement and civil penalties from investment manager George Levin, who was found liable earlier this month for helping funnel investor money into Scott Rothstein's $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

  • April 20, 2015

    Class Blasts Opposition To $9.6M Lien-Rigging Deal

    Plaintiffs in a New Jersey class action accusing several companies of conspiring to rig municipal tax lien auctions slammed three class members who claim a proposed $9.6 million settlement is inadequate, telling a federal judge Friday the objectors filed their opposition too late.

  • April 20, 2015

    Hedge Fund Lawyers Unsure How To Comply With Newman

    While hedge fund managers may have initially seen the Second Circuit's landmark Newman decision on insider trading as a victory, the ruling's fallout has since left their compliance attorneys uncertain about what sort of trading activity is legal and what isn't.

  • April 20, 2015

    2nd Ex-Prof Cops To Duping Gov't For $1.38M In Funds

    The second of two former Texas professors accused of making misleading statements to secure $1.38 million in federal grant money and contracts pled guilty Monday to submitting altered letters to request funding from federal agencies, including NASA.

  • April 20, 2015

    Ex-PSU Admins Want McQueary's Discovery Bid Axed

    A pair of former Pennsylvania State University administrators urged a state judge on Friday to bar the release of materials sought in discovery by former assistant football coach Mike McQueary as part of his lawsuit alleging that he was fired for blowing the whistle on convicted sex offender Jerry Sandusky.

  • April 20, 2015

    Miffed 2nd Circ. Rejects Alleged Facebook Scammer's Appeal

    The Second Circuit on Monday emphatically denied Paul Ceglia’s bid to revive what U.S. prosecutors have called a fraudulent suit against Facebook Inc. and owner Mark Zuckerberg, saying the fugitive upstate New York man had “repeatedly demonstrated total disregard for our judicial system.”

  • April 20, 2015

    Justices Refuse Gupta's Appeal Of Insider Trading Conviction

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. director Rajat Gupta’s appeal of his conviction for passing insider stock tips to imprisoned hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam.

  • April 18, 2015

    Rakoff Pushes Separate Criminal, Civil Insider Trading Laws

    U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff extended his recent call for clear legislation to define insider trading on Friday, arguing that separate laws — a broad civil statute and a narrow criminal one — would be clearer and more fair than the current system of court-made common law, which is applied on a case-by-case basis.

  • April 17, 2015

    Brazilian Co. Sheds Construction Biz Post-Petrobras

    Dozens of units of Brazilian industrial company Schahin Group requested bankruptcy protection in Brazil on Friday as the company announced plans to exit the construction business entirely, citing liabilities of 6.5 billion Brazilian reais that cannot be refinanced in a credit market wary after an economy-shaking scandal at Petrobras.

  • April 17, 2015

    Ex-Goldman Coder Seeks Mid-Trial Dismissal Of IP Theft Case

    Attorneys for a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. programmer accused of stealing source code for the firm’s high-frequency trading platform on Thursday asked a New York court to quash the criminal trial before it reaches a jury, saying there’s no evidence to support the charges.

  • April 17, 2015

    XTO Can't Get Pa. Fracking Wastewater Spill Charges Axed

    A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday ruled that criminal charges against an Exxon Mobil Corp. unit for allegedly spilling toxic wastewater from a gas well site could move forward, rejecting the company’s assertion of a selective prosecution along with other defenses, and finding the state has presented reasonable grounds for suit.

  • April 17, 2015

    Five Charged For Shipping $24M Of Microelectronics To Iran

    An indictment unsealed Friday in a Texas federal court accuses five people of illegally exporting to Iran $24 million worth of commodities, including microelectronics frequently used in surface-to-air and cruise missiles, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

  • April 17, 2015

    US Defends Insider Trading Forfeiture Order In 2nd Circ.

    U.S. prosecutors on Thursday urged the Second Circuit to uphold an $814,736 forfeiture order against former expert networking consultant and convicted insider trader Winifred Jiau, arguing that she should be on the hook for profits of other participants in the alleged scheme.

  • April 17, 2015

    3rd Circ. Says Feds Must Return Seized Coins Worth $76M

    The Third Circuit on Friday ruled in a split precedential decision that the federal government must return 10 allegedly stolen rare gold coins reportedly worth $76 million that a Pennsylvania woman found in her deceased father’s security deposit box.

Expert Analysis

  • 2015 Begins With A Drop In FCPA Enforcement Activity

    Marc Bohn

    The pace of enforcement under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has slowed considerably in 2015, with just three resolved enforcement actions during the year’s first quarter — all brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — which represents the lowest level of enforcement to begin a year since 2006, say Marc Bohn and Austen Walsh of Miller & Chevalier Chtd.

  • A Look At The 1st Criminal 'Spoofing' Prosecution: Part 1

    Clifford C. Histed

    A federal judge recently ruled, in the first criminal case of its kind, that the "spoofing" and fraud indictment against futures trader Michael Coscia would not be dismissed. But under what circumstances will canceling a trade be considered a regulatory violation or, worse yet, a crime? The answer to that question is not always clear, says Clifford Histed, partner at K&L Gates LLP and former federal prosecutor who supervised the in... (continued)

  • REBUTTAL: Donziger’s Lies Cannot Excuse His Fraud

    Stephen W. Green

    Steven Donziger’s recent “op-ed” in this publication is his latest deception — repeating on the eve of appeal the lies he has told a thousand times before. Far from a never-before-detailed account, his article is nothing more than a recycling of discredited misrepresentations and outright falsehoods, says Stephen Green, vice president for policy, government and public affairs, Chevron Corp.

  • Lessons From The Schlumberger Settlement

    Ed Krauland

    The case against Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd. is particularly noteworthy in that it is a non-U.S. company whose non-U.S. subsidiary was charged with criminal conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions laws based on the conduct of employees — many of whom were non-U.S. citizens — of another business unit located in the United States, say attorneys with Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • Virginia's ‘Rocket Docket' Continues To Roar

    Robert M. Tata

    The Eastern District of Virginia ― known as the “Rocket Docket” ― had the fastest trial docket in the country in 2014, for the seventh year in a row. The median time interval to trial was 12.5 months. That’s compared to a nationwide average of 24.9 months to try a case, says Robert Tata, managing partner of Hunton & Williams LLP's Norfolk, Virginia, office.

  • OPINION: Donziger's Case Against Chevron, In His Own Words

    Steven R. Donziger

    With all eyes on the Second Circuit this Monday when oral arguments begin in the appeal of Judge Lewis Kaplan's decision in Chevron Corp.'s RICO case against Steven Donziger and two of his clients from the Ecuadorian rainforest, the plaintiffs attorney for the first time offers his view, in detail, of the decades-long, multibillion-dollar Lago Agrio oil field pollution case.

  • 2 Routes To Hourly Rates For Lawyers

    Gerald G. Knapton

    If we were developing a system to determine legal fees from a clean slate, we would price our professional services according to quality, efficiency and results — tasks and team would be agreed upon. Instead, we have an hourly system that discourages tight management, can lead to padded bills and includes time for work that may not have been necessary, says Gerald Knapton of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC.

  • Using The New York FCA To Combat Offshore Tax Evasion

    Adam Pollock

    For every sophisticated and illegal tax shelter, there is someone, in addition to the tax dodger, who knows about the scheme. Under the New York False Claims Act, those in the know — accountants, bankers, information technology staff, colleagues, competitors — can do the right thing, step forward and blow the whistle, say Adam Pollock and Teige Carroll of the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York.

  • Health Care Executive Liability Exposure Post-Sacred Heart

    Tony Maida

    The recent Sacred Heart Hospital verdict arose out of extraordinary facts and on its own does not reflect a new emphasis on criminal prosecution under the Anti-Kickback Statute. However, the government’s focus on personal accountability for corporate malfeasance is real, say Tony Maida and Michael Peregrine of McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

  • Can US Serve Federal Criminal Summons On Foreign Cos.?

    Daniel Prince

    It is likely that the Seventh and Ninth Circuits will soon provide guidance regarding whether foreign organizations may be summoned to the U.S. by way of a domestic subsidiary. But there remains an open issue as to whether current Criminal Rule 4 authorizes service on a foreign organization in the first instance, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.