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Tax Gap Estimates Show That Compliance Rates Remain Unchanged - 10.18.2019

With the passing of the October 15 deadline for filing individual income tax returns on extension, the extent to which taxpayers voluntarily comply with their tax obligations is top of mind for many tax professionals and observers. For people concerned with such things, the Internal Revenue Service periodically issues reports measuring voluntary compliance with the tax laws by computing the so-called “tax gap”, which purports to represent the difference between taxes that are owed and taxes that are paid. [...]

Significant Liability May Await Those Who File SLAPP Suits - 10.15.2019

In recent years, numerous states have enacted laws to deter so-called “SLAPP” suits—i.e., strategic lawsuits against public participation. These anti-SLAPP laws provide procedural protections for individuals and entities that are sued for speaking out on public matters. In this article, we discuss Southern District Judge J. Paul Oetken’s recent decision in National Jewish Democratic Council v. Adelson, in which he addressed – and rejected – several challenges to one of the nation’s most expansive anti-SLAPP laws.

SEC’s Reboot on Waiver Requests in Enforcement Settlements - 10.10.2019

When companies consider resolving an SEC enforcement action, they sometimes learn too late about so called “bad-boy” provisions that will inflict serious collateral consequences on their business unless the SEC provides a waiver. In this article, we discuss SEC Chairman Jay Clayton’s recently announced change in how the SEC will consider such waiver requests, which should rationalize the waiver process and provide greater certainty to companies and their shareholders regarding the consequences of enforcement settlements.

“Mismarking”: Developments In Valuation Fraud - 10.03.2019

The Department of Justice has aggressively targeted valuation or “mismarking” fraud in a number of indictments brought within the last few years. In this article, I discuss the Department’s efforts to expand its mismarking inquiries beyond stocks and bonds, highlight recent cases which illuminate the increasing need for robust internal controls designed to eliminate the incentives for an employee or manager to overvalue assets, and conclude that the defense of these cases will likely depend upon the ability of the defendants to discredit the cooperating witnesses while demonstrating that they acted in complete good faith.

Limiting the Reach of the Supreme Court’s McDonnell Decision - 10.01.2019

A key question in most public corruption cases is whether a public official was part of an unlawful quid pro quo. In recent years, the “quo” issue has received particular attention: what type of acts must a public official perform, or contemplate performing, to give rise to criminal liability. In this article, we describe the definition of “official act” in McDonnell, discuss recent Second Circuit decisions which declined to extend the reach of McDonnell’s “official act” requirement, and highlight the continued fluidity of key aspects of anti-bribery law.

Trump's Efforts to Quash Manhattan DA's Tax Subpoena: A Tortured Version of the Rule of Law - 09.22.2019

In January 2016, President Trump publicly announced that he would “absolutely” release his tax returns. Since that proclamation, Trump consistently has fought efforts to disclose those same returns. Continuing that trend, Trump has filed a federal complaint to enjoin a subpoena from Manhattan prosecutors that required Trump’s accountant to produce his tax returns. Through his lawsuit, Trump has staked out an unreasonably broad conception of presidential immunity that finds no support in the law—and contorts “policy” beyond recognition. Indeed, read literally, it could unreasonably suggest that even a President’s coconspirators could not be investigated, if to do so would touch on information about the President. [...]

Confidentiality of Tax Returns, Congressional Authority and the President - 09.19.2019

Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code sets out a simple “general rule” prohibiting federal employees from disclosing tax returns and return information. This straightforward provision is then modified by a maze of exceptions, several of which are the subject of litigation between Congressional Democrats seeking President Trump’s tax returns and the President seeking to avoid such disclosure. In this article, I discuss Section 6103’s many exceptions, Congress’s pending request for President Trump’s returns, and how litigation over the Congressional requests may provide a roadmap for both prosecutors seeking returns filed by targets in non-tax criminal investigations and civil litigants looking to avoid the heightened discovery burden when seeking copies of tax returns filed by their adversaries.

Employee Liability for Corporate Misconduct – Elizabeth Warren Style: Can Negligence Become Criminal? - 09.18.2019

Since the last financial crisis and the resulting increased scrutiny on business entities, companies involved in suspected corporate misconduct repeatedly have paid massive fines to resolve criminal charges. Alongside high-profile announcements by the government of multi-million- and billion-dollar recoveries has been a near constant refrain from politicians and commentators that prosecutors have been lax in pursuing individuals in connection with large corporate malfeasance. [...]

Ethical Considerations for Corporate Investigations 2019 - 09.18.2019

On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, partner Richard F. Albert will participate in a CLE panel sponsored by the New York City Bar entitled, “Ethical Considerations for Corporate Investigations: Views from All Sides.” The presentation will touch on a broad array of ethical issues, devoting special attention to current developments concerning prosecution and regulatory strategies, conflicts of interest, protection and waiver of the attorney-client privilege, counseling of employee witnesses, and issues raised by global investigations, involving multinational entities.

For more information about this program, please click here.

Morvillo Abramowitz Lawyers Named 2019 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars - 09.12.2019

NEW YORK, September 12, 2019 – Morvillo Abramowitz partners have been named 2019 New York Super Lawyers as well as several counsel and associates, who have been distinguished as New York Rising Stars.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.

Morvillo Abramowitz Lawyers Named 2019 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars - 09.12.2019

Morvillo Abramowitz partners have been named 2019 New York Super Lawyers as well as several counsel and associates, who were distinguished as New York Rising Stars.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.

The Limits of Obtaining Discovery from U.S. Persons for Use in Foreign Proceedings - 08.23.2019

Parties to pending or contemplated foreign proceedings potentially can use 28 U.S.C. § 1782 to obtain broad discovery from U.S. persons for use in foreign proceedings. In this article, we discuss Judge Jed S. Rakoff’s recent decision involving Section 1782 in In re Petrobras Securities Litigation and the legal framework governing the statute.

Morvillo Abramowitz Selected for The GIR 100 2019 Guide - 08.16.2019

NEW YORK, August 16, 2019 – Morvillo Abramowitz has been selected for The Global Investigations Review 100 2019 guide. Based on extensive research, the 5th edition of GIR 100 will highlight leading cross-border investigations practices from around the world, and will be distributed at several premier international conferences.