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White Collar

  • June 17, 2019

    Crypto Co. Asks Court To Set Aside Clerk's Default

    Centra Tech urged a Florida federal judge to set aside a clerk’s default in its investors’ case accusing the cryptocurrency company of fraudulently raising $32 million in an initial coin offering, arguing that restrictions in a parallel criminal case prevented the company from securing legal representation earlier.

  • June 17, 2019

    Crypto Trading Co. Ran $147M Ponzi Scheme, CFTC Says

    A U.K.-based company that claimed to provide customers with guaranteed profits through cryptocurrency trading stole over 22,858 bitcoins in a Ponzi scheme-like fraud worth more than $147 million, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission alleged in a complaint filed Monday.

  • June 17, 2019

    Developer Dodges Prison For Role In Hack-Based Trading Plot

    A Georgia real estate developer on Monday avoided prison for his involvement in a $30 million scheme to trade stocks based on information stolen from press release distribution companies, with a New York federal judge citing the defendant's extensive cooperation with prosecutors.

  • June 17, 2019

    Ex-Binary Options CEO Says Feds Scared Off Her Witnesses

    Former Israeli binary options promoter Lee Elbaz accused prosecutors of violating her Fifth Amendment rights by tipping off her would-be defense witnesses that they had been indicted — a mess she says a Maryland federal judge can fix by making prosecutors give the witnesses immunity.

  • June 17, 2019

    Investment Biz Partners' Fraud Suit Spirals Into 'Food Fight'

    A New York state judge on Monday decried how a fraud lawsuit between onetime infrastructure investment partners and law school friends devolved into a “food fight,” directing them to a referee for their discovery disputes.

  • June 17, 2019

    5th Circ. Sinks $65M Stanford Insurance Scam Deal

    The Fifth Circuit on Monday vacated a $65 million deal ending claims that Lloyd's of London and other underwriters should cover losses from R. Allen Stanford's $7 billion Ponzi scheme, taking issue with a provision that barred future claims against the underwriters.

  • June 17, 2019

    Huawei Can't Cut Redactions In Feds' Bid To DQ Sidley Atty

    A New York federal judge has ruled that prosecutors can largely keep in place the redactions in a motion to disqualify a former deputy attorney general, now with Sidley Austin LLP, from representing Chinese technology company Huawei against claims it was deceptive about its dealings in Iran.

  • June 17, 2019

    Oak Investment Can't Kill $11M Suit Over 'Fraudster' Partner

    A New York state court judge on Monday cast aside a bid by venture capital fund Oak Investment Partners to escape a bankrupt e-commerce company's fraud lawsuit blaming it for the actions of a former Oak partner-turned-fugitive, ruling that issues of fact remained.

  • June 17, 2019

    Insys Hit With Nationwide Opioid Class Claim In Ch. 11

    Bankrupt Insys Therapeutics was hit Monday with a motion seeking recognition of a proposed nationwide class of privately insured consumers, who say the "scourge of opioid abuse" unleashed by the opioid maker jacked up their premiums.

  • June 17, 2019

    Platinum Judge Nixes Valuation Fraud Claims At Trial

    In a blow to the government's case, the judge overseeing the Platinum Partners trial has banned prosecutors from arguing that three accused executives fraudulently overvalued the funds' illiquid assets, citing a lack of evidence.

  • June 17, 2019

    Montgomery McCracken's White Collar Team Adds Prosecutor

    After nearly a decade as a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia, A. Nicole Phillips has joined the ranks of Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP as a partner in the firm's white collar and government investigations group.

  • June 17, 2019

    Ropes & Gray Client OKs Rep Of Fellow 'Varsity Blues' Parent

    Ropes & Gray LLP received the blessing of one of the two parents it is representing in the "Varsity Blues" college admissions scheme to take on multiple clients in the same case, following a hearing Monday morning in Massachusetts federal court.

  • June 17, 2019

    SEC Fines KPMG $50M For Stolen Watchdog Info, Cheating

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fined KPMG LLP $50 million Monday for former top executives' use of confidential information stolen from its regulator to improve results on audits, as well as audit professionals' efforts to cheat on internal training exams.

  • June 17, 2019

    Feds, States Can Prosecute Same Crime, Justices Rule

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld a long-standing exception to the Constitution's double jeopardy clause allowing states and the federal government to prosecute an individual for the same criminal acts, pointing to 170 years of precedent blessing the practice.

  • June 14, 2019

    Feds Can't Pause SEC's Civil Suit Against Ex-Theranos Exec

    A California federal judge on Friday refused the government's request to pause a civil suit against former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, finding that doing so would be "a gamble" that could unduly prejudice the former leader of the failed blood-test company.

  • June 14, 2019

    NY Criminal Defense Atty Gets 18 Months For Obstruction

    A former New York criminal defense attorney was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison following his conviction for attempting to impede the grand jury investigation into various schemes tied to the construction company of his former client, a longtime associate of a New York crime family.

  • June 14, 2019

    Indicted NY Real Estate Mogul Avoids SEC Asset Freeze

    Landlord Robert C. Morgan struck a deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday taking a potential asset freeze off the table that he said was hampering his ability to defend himself against allegations of systematic mortgage fraud.

  • June 14, 2019

    Fraudsters' Kin, Cos. To Pay SEC $720K Over $3.6M Scam

    A Florida federal judge ordered relief defendants in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission suit against a company that bilked investors out of $3.6 million to pay a combined total of more than $720,000 in disgorgement after entering several default judgments Friday.

  • June 14, 2019

    Jury Convicts Former FAA Safety Officer In Bribery Scheme

    A former Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector is guilty of taking part in a bribery and fraud scheme, in which he helped a Miami aviation repair company skirt safety regulations in exchange for $150,000 and other gifts, a federal jury found Thursday.

  • June 14, 2019

    Investment Co. Execs Hit With Fraud Charges In NY And Mass.

    A Rhode Island man and his Boston investment company scammed 40 employees out of more than $10 million by forcing them to invest in the company and using the money to pay for operating expenses, Massachusetts' securities watchdog said Friday, as federal charges tied to the alleged scheme were unsealed in New York.

  • June 14, 2019

    8 Men Charged Over Compounding Drug Kickbacks

    Three doctors and five marketers are facing Oklahoma federal court charges for allegedly duping federal insurance programs into covering compounding drug prescriptions that resulted from kickback payments, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

  • June 14, 2019

    'Millions' Worth Of ADI Tech Stolen By Ex-Employee, Feds Say

    A former employee at global semiconductor company Analog Devices Inc. has been charged with stealing the company's trade secrets and selling its designs as his own, according to an indictment unsealed Friday in Boston federal court. 

  • June 14, 2019

    Give 'Tone-Deaf' Alderman Prison Over Spending, Feds Urge

    Federal prosecutors on Thursday said a former Chicago alderman's request for no prison time after admitting to using a ward fund as his personal piggy bank is "tone-deaf," and he should serve up to 18 months for abusing the public's trust.

  • June 14, 2019

    Feds Say Centra Crypto Trio May See Attys As Shield

    Prosecutors asked a Manhattan federal judge on Friday to order three men accused of defrauding investors in their Centra Tech cryptocurrency payment platform to reveal whether they plan to argue at trial that their actions were blessed by lawyers.

  • June 14, 2019

    Convicted Ponzi Schemer To Pay $3M To Settle SEC Claims

    A Virginia federal judge on Thursday ordered an investment firm owner, who has been sentenced to spend the next 13 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme of at least $5 million, to also shell out more than $3 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims in the case.

Expert Analysis

  • Getting Out Of Legal Project Management Debt

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    If a client does not demand the application of project management techniques at the start of a matter, or a law firm does not routinely apply them, it is highly likely that additional, avoidable work — legal project management debt — will materialize throughout the matter, says Anthony Widdop of Shearman & Sterling.

  • Employer Considerations For Gov't Probes Of Senior Execs

    Excerpt from Lexis Practice Advisor
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    There are various steps in-house and outside counsel should take when representing a company in a government investigation of a senior executive. Attorneys with Pierce Bainbridge and Sahn Ward share practical guidance for each part of the process.

  • Traders At Risk Of DOJ Wire Fraud Charges For Spoofing

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    In U.S. v. Vorley, the U.S. Department of Justice has charged two commodities traders with wire fraud, based on an alleged spoofing scheme. The DOJ's approach could greatly expand potential criminal liability for spoofing activity, say attorneys at Mayer Brown.

  • Biker TM Case Sets New Bar For First Amendment Protection

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    A California federal court recently refused to allow forfeiture of motorcycle club trademarks in U.S. v. Mongol Nation, a case that is part of a trend challenging the government's use of trademark regulation as infringing upon free speech, say Rebecca Fewkes and Eric Ball of Fenwick & West.

  • 4 Ways State AGs Are Targeting Energy Sector

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    State attorneys general are playing an increasingly prominent role in regulating energy and environmental activity within their states. Energy sector participants should note AG priorities and take a proactive approach, say attorneys at WilmerHale.

  • 6 Ways To Keep Your Jury From Zoning Out

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    Science suggests that at least some jurors pay attention to less than 65% of the evidence during a trial due to "task-unrelated thoughts," but there are steps attorneys can take to present information in a more engaging, cognition-friendly fashion, say Dennis Stolle and Dennis Devine of Barnes & Thornburg.

  • 5 Myths In Legal Crisis Communications

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    Having worked at a boutique law firm, a crisis communications agency and in BigLaw, I have identified a number of common misconceptions across these disparate business models when it comes to crisis and litigation communications, says Robert Gemmill of Hogan Lovells.

  • The 'Varsity Blues' Sentencing Battles To Come

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    Of the seven factors federal judges consider when sentencing defendants, three will be particularly interesting to watch in the college admissions bribery case, says Brooklyn Sawyers Belk of Weinberg Wheeler.

  • An Overview Of The Debate Over Litigation Finance Disclosure

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    In light of a New York federal court's recent decision in Benitez v. Lopez, which joins a growing body of case law denying forced disclosure of commercial litigation finance, Stephanie Spangler of Norris McLaughlin and Dai Wai Chin Feman of Parabellum Capital break down the arguments commonly raised for and against disclosure.

  • Opinion

    Mueller Report Offers Ample Basis For Impeachment Inquiry

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    Special counsel Robert Mueller's report describes President Donald Trump and his aides welcoming Russian interference in the 2016 election, making an impeachment investigation the prudent and necessary next step, says David Driesen, a professor at Syracuse University College of Law.

  • Health Care Cos. Should Beware DOJ's Use Of Travel Act

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    The recent case against Forest Park Medical Center highlights the U.S. Department of Justice's increasingly aggressive stance in bringing federal health care prosecutions and its willingness to extend its prosecutorial reach through the Travel Act, say attorneys at Holland & Knight.

  • It May Help To Oppose Discovery Stay In Parallel Proceedings

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    One piece of conventional wisdom for attorneys representing clients in parallel civil and criminal proceedings is to support motions by the government to stay discovery in the civil action pending resolution of the criminal case. However, we recently found that the orthodox approach isn’t always the right one, say attorneys with Buckley.

  • How To Identify And Deal With Narcissists In Law

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    Given that a large swath of the legal profession may display some narcissistic tendencies, it is important for lawyers to know how to address the narcissist in the room — and it may be you, says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle.

  • Snowballs Or Ice Balls: When Settlement Demands Go Too Far

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    The criminal case against attorney Michael Avenatti has focused attention on the question of when settlement-related threats of public disclosure can be considered extortion. Legitimate settlement negotiations must include a good-faith effort to resolve the dispute, says Cort Sylvester of Nilan Johnson.

  • Compliance Certifications Jack Up Sanctions Violation Costs

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    The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has recently increased the real cost of sanctions violation settlements by requiring annual compliance certifications. This alters the cost-benefit analysis of implementing robust sanctions compliance programs at nonfinancial institutions, says Jeremy Paner of Holland & Hart.

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