White Collar

  • December 17, 2014

    UBS Can't Duck $1.4B Bail In French Tax Evasion Probe

    France’s highest court has rejected UBS AG’s appeal of a €1.1 billion ($1.36 billion) bond for a French investigation into claims that the Swiss banking giant helped wealthy French clients dodge taxes, UBS said Wednesday.

  • December 17, 2014

    Ponzi Investors' Claims Trimmed Against Greenberg, Hunton

    A Texas federal judge Wednesday tossed a class of investors' claims that Greenberg Traurig LLP and Hunton & Williams LLP breached fiduciary duty helping convicted Ponzi schemer Robert Allen Stanford, saying the firms' continuing legal fees weren't enough of a pecuniary interest to raise the claims.

  • December 17, 2014

    Jurors Give Ex-JP Death Sentence In Texas DA Murders

    A Texas jury on Wednesday sentenced a former justice of the peace to death after finding him guilty in the 2013 murder of the former Kaufman County District Attorney’s wife in a crime spree that allegedly included the killings of the DA and assistant DA.

  • December 17, 2014

    Broker-Dealer Execs Plead Guilty In $60M Bribery Scheme

    Two former executives of broker-dealer Direct Access Partners LLC pled guilty Wednesday to participating in a $60 million bribery scheme arising out of the company's transactions with a Venezuelan bank, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

  • December 17, 2014

    8th Circ. Affirms Bayer's FCA Loss But Trims Damages

    The Eighth Circuit on Wednesday affirmed that a former Bayer Corp. sales representative was terminated in retaliation for alerting authorities to a customer’s Medicaid scam, but trimmed about a third off his $890,000 damages award because it found the emotional distress award was excessive.

  • December 17, 2014

    PennDOT Corruption Investigation Snares 10

    Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced Wednesday that 10 individuals, including two former PennDOT managers, have been charged for their alleged roles in an overbilling scheme that defrauded state taxpayers of at least $1.2 million.

  • December 17, 2014

    5th Circ. Upholds Asset Seizure In $24M Laundering Case

    Remittances company U.S. Tours and Remittance and its law firm Nowak & Stauch LLP can't recover funds that were forfeited as part of a $24 million money laundering prosecution against the company’s owner, the Fifth Circuit said on Tuesday.

  • December 17, 2014

    Silk Road's 'Dread Pirate' Blew Off Verbal Plea Deal Offer

    Alleged Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht said Wednesday in Manhattan federal court that he ignored an opportunity to plead guilty prior to being formally indicted for running a global online drug trafficking and money laundering operation

  • December 17, 2014

    Chinese Student Cops To Military Sensor Exportation Scheme

    A Chinese citizen living in the U.S. on a student visa pled guilty Tuesday to trying to illegally export military weapons sensors to China, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit announced.

  • December 17, 2014

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

    Avon Products Inc. received court approval Wednesday for half of a $135 million settlement to end 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

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.