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On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Jonathan S. Sack will participate in a full-day CLE program hosted by the Greater New York Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel. Mr. Sack's panel, "Resolving Government Investigations: Trends in Judicial Review of Deferred Prosecution Agreements, Plea Agreements and SEC Consent Judgments," will address the new challenges faced by companies seeking to resolve investigations. He will be joined by Nancy Kestenbaum, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP, and Thomas M. Merritt, Deputy General Counsel, KCG Holdings, Inc. For more information, please click here.
Big Brother Vs. Underfunded Enforcement - 07.23.2014
On July 5, 2014, in an opinion piece entitled “The Real Internal Revenue Scandal,” the editorial board of The New York Times noted that “every dollar spent on internal revenue service enforcement yields $6 in additional revenue.”
I suspect that the SEC would make the same claim, that for every dollar spent on staff attorneys in the Division of Enforcement, the SEC recovers a multiple of that number. [...]
On July 18, 2014, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Stephen M. Juris was quoted in Global Investigations Review regarding the Second Circuit’s affirmance of the dismissal of Mexican state-owned oil company Pemex’s RICO claims against Siemens AG and SK Engineering & Construction Co.
As we noted in two of our prior posts in the Insider blog, the government has long touted its ability to rely upon data mining as a means of detecting fraud in the federal health care system, and has initiated a host of investigations and prosecutions based on its analysis of claims data from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Yet any approach that relies on data mining rests on a fragile foundation, because the quality of the information upon which the government relies has often been in doubt. As we explained in the first of our two prior posts on this topic, an HHS Regional Inspector General testified in June 2012 that much of the data used to identify overpayments and fraud is not “current, available, complete, [or] accurate.” Subsequently, in a post from November 2012, we described the concerns that two United States Senators raised regarding the effectiveness of the “Fraud Prevention System Program” (“FPS”), which is intended to use “predictive analysis” to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare program. [...]
Elkan Abramowitz Quoted in Law360 - 07.14.2014
On July 14, 2014, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Elkan Abramowitz was quoted in a Law360 article, “Dewey Execs Likely Bound for Trial Despite Ace Legal Teams.” Confident in the legal position that was taken, Mr. Abramowitz stated, “We are hopeful that the judge will treat our arguments with the same seriousness with which we made them. We believe the indictment should be dismissed.” Morvillo Abramowitz partner Lawrence Bader, who is also representing Steven Davis, was mentioned in the article as well.
SEC Enforcement Data Analyses: Volume 2, Issue 1 - 07.07.2014
The third publication of Morvillo Abramowitz's SEC Enforcement Data Analyses examines the work of the Securities & Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement, beginning with cases filed on or after January 1, 2013. This publication focuses primarily on cases filed between January 1, 2014 and March 31, 2014 and provides a useful tool to discern important enforcement trends and precedents.
On June 4, 2014, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a widely publicized 2011 decision by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, which rejected a settlement between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. (“Citigroup”). The settlement resolved allegations that Citigroup had misled investors in connection with the structuring and marketing of a fund holding assets that were linked to subprime securities. The settlement called for a civil penalty of $285 million but did not include admissions of fact or liability by Citigroup. [...]
Under Section 1001 of Title 18, a wide array of false statements is subject to criminal prosecution, raising concern over the power the law gives to prosecutors. To the surprise of many, the Justice Department has recently taken a position on one element of a Section 1001 offense—“willfulness”—which at first blush would seem to make prosecutions under the law more difficult for the government. This article considers the Department’s position and its practical implications for white-collar defense lawyers and their clients.
The Legal 500 United States 2014 has recommended Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC in both Securities: Shareholder Litigation and White-Collar Criminal Defense. Indeed, more than half of the firm’s partners have been recommended, including Elkan Abramowitz, Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Iason, Judith L. Mogul, Jonathan S. Sack, Edward M. Spiro, and Richard D. Weinberg within Securities: Shareholder Litigation; and Elkan Abramowitz, Jonathan S. Sack, and Jeremy H. Temkin within White-Collar Criminal Defense. In addition, Elkan Abramowitz has been recognized as a “leading trial lawyer” in this year’s edition for his outstanding skills in the courtroom.
Praising the firm’s white-collar practice, sources note the “integrity and rectitude” with which the “sophisticated” team handles matters. Sources also remark that the firm “brings a lot of experience and expertise to the table” in securities litigation matters.
Since 2006, The Legal 500 United States has been analyzing the capabilities of law firms nationwide, honoring US firms that couple a national presence with the capability to handle sophisticated and complex work. Each year, the publication highlights those legal teams who consistently uphold quality over quantity.
A debate has been raging in the courts over whether an employee who reports suspected misconduct only to his employer but not to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is a “whistleblower” entitled to the protection of the Anti-Retaliation Provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”). Last summer, in Asadi v. G.E. Energy (USA), L.L.C., the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals – the only federal appellate court to address this issue –ruled that an employee who reported a potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) violation to his employer was not a “whistleblower” because he did not “provide information relating to a violation of the securities laws to the SEC,” contradicting five federal district courts which had found internal reporting to be adequate. (I analyzed the Asadi opinion and its likely effect on internal reporting in “When Is A ‘Whistleblower’ Not Really A ’Whistleblower’?”). A few district courts have since adopted the Fifth Circuit’s interpretation, but most have concluded that, consistent with the SEC’s own rules, internal reporting is sufficient to implicate Dodd-Frank’s protections. [...]
Multidistrict Litigation: For Better or Worse - 06.17.2014
While consolidated multidistrict litigation may prove beneficial in terms of cost and efficiency, consolidating multiple complex cases in a single forum also comes with risk. The rules governing multidistrict litigation generally permit transfer back to the original forum for trial, but not all cases can be transferred back to their original jurisdictions. This article examines the application of law governing multidistrict litigation in the context of Apple's recent multidistrict antitrust litigation.
Revisiting Criminal Insider Trading Liability - 06.03.2014
The insider trading conviction of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam continues to ignite debate on the breadth of federal insider trading law. In affirming Rajaratnam’s conviction, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit relied on its precedent, broadly imposing criminal insider trading liability where a defendant has knowledge of insider information without evidence that he actually relied on the information in making a trade. That question, which is central to Rajaratnam’s petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, is the topic of this article.
Since its inception, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide has recognized Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC for excellence in Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations with its highest ranking, Band 1. Clients praise the firm, noting, "Their team is just phenomenal – very bright, very caring and very well prepared."
More than half of the firm's partners were named leading lawyers by Chambers USA in the categories of Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations: Elkan Abramowitz, Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello, Lawrence Iason, Robert M. Radick, Jonathan S. Sack, Jeremy H. Temkin, and Richard D. Weinberg; and Securities: Regulation: Enforcement: Richard D. Weinberg. Sources commenting on the firm and its lawyers said, "They are one of the best firms I have ever had the privilege of working with."
Since 1990, Chambers and Partners has been researching the legal profession, identifying the leading lawyers and law firms through in-depth and client-focused interviews with thousands of lawyers and their clients. Known for its independence and the objectivity of its research, Chambers USA ranks the leading firms and lawyers in an extensive range of practice areas throughout the U.S. with their guides read by industry-leading companies, organizations, and law firms throughout the U.S. and worldwide.
This story comes to mind now because of the increasing influence of the United States on the world’s regulatory environment, imposing United States views of how things should be run on the rest of the world. This week, the Department of Justice announced that it had reached an agreement with Credit Suisse whereby Credit Suisse agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit tax evasion in the United States and pay a penalty of $2.6 billion. Presumably, most of the conduct at issue took place outside of the United States. But because it had consequences in the United States, the United States government believed that it had the right to punish that conduct. [...]
Partner and Federal Bar Council President Robert J. Anello, left, poses with honoree, Eastern District Judge Joseph F. Bianco, second from left, at the annual Central Islip Reception on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Anello is joined by Eastern District Chief Judge Carol Bagley Amon and courthouse committee chairman Anton Borovina.
The Honorable Joseph F. Bianco was celebrated for his service to the Long Island Bench and Bar.