Publications

07.09.18 | Articles

Back to the Future: Criminal Insider Trading Under Title 18

New York Law Journal

In recent decades, the government has brought charges for illegal insider trading primarily under the securities laws, chiefly Section 10 of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5. In this article, we discuss the recent SDNY prosecution in United States v. Blaszczak et al., in which the government charged insider trading schemes in violation of not only Rule 10b-5 but also Section 1348 of Title 18. We discuss the implications of the outcome at trial: acquittals on the Rule 10b-5 charges but convictions on the Section 1348 charges – even though the charges related to the same securities trading. 

Related Lawyers: Elkan Abramowitz, Jonathan S. Sack

06.19.18 | Articles

The Standard for Extending Discovery Deadlines

New York Law Journal

Last month Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker issued an interesting decision in City of Almaty, Kazakhstan v. Ablyazov. In this article, we highlight Judge Parker’s decision, which discusses the impact of the proportionality requirements in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on extension of discovery deadlines and articulates a five-factor balancing test to apply when considering requests to extend discovery. 

Related Lawyers: Judith L. Mogul, Edward M. Spiro

06.08.18 | Articles

Sessions' Justice Department's Pragmatic Approach to Corporate Accountability

New York Law Journal

Many of the administration’s enforcement priorities may raise serious concerns for criminal defense lawyers and other champions of legal rights. In this article, however, we discuss the “anti-piling on” policy announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which is intended to reduce the perceived unfairness of repeated punishments for corporate misconduct. The policy bespeaks a welcome change in DOJ leadership’s attitude toward corporate accountability, but how the policy will be applied in individual cases remains to be seen.

Related Lawyers: Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello

06.05.18 | Articles

When Is a Bid or Offer a 'Spoof'?

Business Crimes Bulletin

Following the government’s first criminal conviction for spoofing in United States v. Coscia, questions remain about what makes a commodity futures trader’s conduct illegal instead of a legitimate trading strategy. In this article, we analyze the confusion faced by commodity futures traders in assessing whether their trading strategies constitute illegal spoofing, examine whether the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Seventh Circuit have provided sufficient guidance on the distinction between spoofing and legitimate trading activity, and highlight why the Supreme Court’s recent decision to deny Coscia’s petition for writ of certiorari will have significant consequences for the many spoofing actions currently pending before the courts, as well as for commodity futures trading in general.

Related Lawyers: Jodi Misher Peikin, Brent M. Tunis

05.17.18 | Articles

Beyond 'Marinello': Other Newly Relevant Obstacles to Criminal Tax Obstruction Cases

New York Law Journal

While the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Marinello v. United States may rightly be viewed as a bulwark against prosecutorial overreaching in tax cases, in his recent decision in United States v. Doyle, Judge Andrew Carter of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York addressed evidentiary issues arising out of the government’s pursuit of tax obstruction charges in light of Marinello. In this article, we discuss how Judge Carter’s decision in Doyle not only shines an interesting light on post-Marinello litigation under section 7212(a), but also presents a cautionary tale to lawyers who make factual representations on behalf of their clients.

Related Lawyer: Jeremy H. Temkin

05.14.18 | Articles

Insider Trading, or Trading by an Insider?

New York Law Journal

Employees of public companies routinely have confidential information about the businesses of their employers. Because that information is sometimes “material” under the securities laws, opportunities to engage in insider trading are not uncommon. In this article, we discuss recent civil and criminal charges brought against Jun Ying, a former Equifax IT staff member, for trading in Equifax stock after concluding, without being expressly told, that Equifax had suffered a major data breach. The charges raise interesting questions as to when information should be deemed material for purposes of insider trading enforcement.

Related Lawyers: Elkan Abramowitz, Jonathan S. Sack

05.07.18 | Articles

Marinello v. United States: SCOTUS Reins In the Tax Division

For The Defense

In Marinello v. United States, the Supreme Court rejected the government’s broad interpretation of the Omnibus Clause of the tax obstruction statute, 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a), thereby handing the white-collar defense bar an important victory. In this article, we discuss Marinello and conclude that it continues the Court’s efforts to cabin broadly-worded criminal statutes. By narrowing the scope of § 7212(a), Marinello provides defense lawyers with yet another tool to represent their clients and to push back against seemingly unbounded prosecutorial discretion.

Related Lawyers: Jeremy H. Temkin, Miriam L. Glaser

04.17.18 | Articles

Enforcement of Settlement Agreements – A Case in Point

New York Law Journal

Entering into a settlement agreement does not always mark the end of a litigation. A host of issues may arise in enforcing settlement agreements, as the recent decision in United States v. Prevezon Holdings makes clear. In this article, we discuss Southern District Judge William H. Pauley III’s detailed analysis in Prevezon, which provides valuable insights for counsel negotiating and seeking to enforce settlement agreements.

Related Lawyers: Judith L. Mogul, Edward M. Spiro

04.03.18 | Articles

My Lawyer Said It Was OK: 'Scully' and Defending Based on Reliance on Counsel

New York Law Journal

Good faith reliance on counsel can be a critical line of defense in white-collar prosecutions, but defendants seeking to assert it often face skepticism and procedural hurdles borne of an unduly narrow view of the doctrine. One example is the district court’s ruling in United States v. Scully, and the Second Circuit’s recent opinion reversing that ruling offers useful guidance. In this article, we discuss Scully and other relevant decisions, including case law supporting the so-called “involvement of counsel” defense.

Related Lawyers: Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello

03.21.18 | Articles

'Menendez' Decision Clarifies Issues in Public Corruption Cases

New York Law Journal

Attention has shifted in recent years from prosecutions of insider trading to high-profile charges of public corruption. In this article, we discuss Senior District Judge William H. Walls’s dismissal of campaign finance related counts in United States v. Menendez, followed by dismissal of the remaining counts at the government’s request. Judge Walls’s thoughtful analysis provides useful guidance to prosecutors and defense counsel in future public corruption cases.

Related Lawyers: Elkan Abramowitz, Jonathan S. Sack

03.15.18 | Articles

Deterrence in an Age of Dwindling Enforcement

New York Law Journal

The Tax Division of the Department of Justice has long sought to maximize the impact of criminal prosecutions by focusing its limited resources on a small number of high-profile offenders in the hopes that publicity regarding such prosecutions will lead others to comply with their tax obligations. As a logical extension of this principle, it is commonly accepted that general deterrence is a significant consideration in sentencing convicted tax offenders. In this article, we discuss how the recent reductions in the Internal Revenue Service’s enforcement budget has negatively affected the number of tax investigations and prosecutions, heightening questions regarding the fairness of ratcheting sentences of convicted tax offenders even higher to offset the loss of deterrence resulting from reduced enforcement activity.

Related Lawyer: Jeremy H. Temkin

02.20.18 | Articles

You Can’t Sue the Judge, or Can You?

New York Law Journal

Although judges are sometimes attacked in public comments outside the courtroom, those of us who practice regularly before the courts operate on the assumption that judges are broadly immune from attack within the legal system. In this article, we analyze a recent decision in Zappin v. Cooper by Southern District Judge Katherine Polk Failla, discussing a surprising gap in judicial immunity accorded to New York state judges, and ultimately dismissing the claims against a judge on alternative grounds.

Related Lawyers: Judith L. Mogul, Edward M. Spiro

02.08.18 | Articles

White Collar Criminal Enforcement in the Era of Trump

New York Law Journal

The Trump administration is emphasizing individual rather than corporate liability in white collar investigations and has shifted the focus of criminal law enforcement toward some non-white collar priorities. In this article, we discuss how the move away from corporate criminal liability has been manifest in policy decisions by the Justice Department, highlight the transition of its staff, and discuss whether this shift in priorities is likely to result in a decrease in white collar investigations and prosecutions.

Related Lawyers: Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello

01.18.18 | Articles

The Next Frontier: Civil Penalties for Undisclosed Offshore Accounts

New York Law Journal

Over the last decade, the government’s pursuit of offshore tax evasion has included criminal cases against taxpayers and their enablers, Deferred Prosecution and Non-Prosecution Agreements with foreign financial institutions, and four Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs offered by the IRS. This article discusses an often overlooked fourth prong of the government’s offshore enforcement efforts: the IRS’s imposition of significant civil penalties against taxpayers who were fortunate enough to avoid criminal prosecution. The article also reviews recent cases addressing the IRS’s burden of establishing that a taxpayer’s failure to disclose offshore accounts was willful and the hurdles facing taxpayers and their lawyers seeking to avoid the steep penalties imposed.

Related Lawyer: Jeremy H. Temkin

01.04.18 | Articles

Recent Developments in the Prosecution of Corporations

New York Law Journal

The prosecution of corporations remains a contentious issue in white-collar criminal enforcement. In this article, we discuss the DOJ’s new FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy and District of Massachusetts Judge William Young’s rejection of a corporate guilty plea in the Aegerion Pharmaceuticals case – two developments that highlight the significance of prosecutorial discretion in investigations of corporate misconduct.

Related Lawyers: Elkan Abramowitz, Jonathan S. Sack

12.21.17 | Articles

Challenges in Successfully Asserting the Fifth Amendment

New York Law Journal

Sorting through when, how and to what extent a deponent in civil litigation may invoke the Fifth Amendment presents both substantive and procedural questions. In this article, we discuss the recent decision in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) v. Pence in which the court’s particularized analysis of the Fifth Amendment issues, as well as its procedural considerations, provide useful guidance for counsel whose clients seek to invoke or limit the invocation of the privilege in civil litigation.

Related Lawyers: Judith L. Mogul, Edward M. Spiro

12.05.17 | Articles

Government Makes Manafort’s Lawyer A Key Witness Against Him – Ho-hum?

New York Law Journal

Mostly lost among the headlines regarding the charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was the simultaneous release of a court opinion compelling one of Manafort’s own lawyers to testify against him in the grand jury. In this article, we trace the history of the bar’s failed efforts to restrict the authority of federal prosecutors to issue this troubling type of subpoena, and discuss the D.C. district court’s decision affirming that authority in the Manafort case.

Related Lawyers: Richard F. Albert, Robert J. Anello

11.16.17 | Articles

Defining “Collected Proceeds” Under the IRS’s Whistleblower Program

New York Law Journal

Information from whistleblowers has generated billions of dollars in revenues for the IRS and hundreds of millions of dollars for whistleblowers. This article discusses Whistleblower 21276-13w v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, in which the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will review the Tax Court’s determination that awards should be based on the entire amount the government recovers based on a whistleblower’s information. While the IRS has argued that awards should be limited to amounts recovered under the Internal Revenue Code, others worry that excluding recoveries under other statutes could hamper the IRS’s enforcement efforts.

Related Lawyer: Jeremy H. Temkin

11.08.17 | Articles

The Impact of Salman v. United States on Downstream Tippee Prosecutions

The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation

In Salman v. United States, the Supreme Court held that a tipper receives a personal benefit sufficient to establish illegal insider trading when the tipper makes a gift of confidential information to a trading relative or friend. Salman did not address, however, the question of what level of knowledge a downstream tippee must possess of the personal benefit the tipper received in order to be held liable for insider trading. In this article, we address how district courts have analyzed the question of what downstream tippees must know to be held liable for insider trading after Salman and Salman’s continued impact on this question going forward.

Related Lawyers: Brian A. Jacobs

11.08.17 | Articles

New-Wave Legal Challenges for Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies

Business Crimes Bulletin

The cryptocurrency boom has been met with a fresh wave of regulatory and enforcement efforts by the SEC, DOJ, and beyond. Although these regulatory efforts are intended to address concerns about cryptocurrencies being subject to fraud and manipulation, or being used for money laundering, the agencies' responses complicate the growing use of these new technologies. In this article, we discuss the SEC’s crack down on Initial Coin Offerings, securities fraud liability implications, anti-money laundering efforts with respect to bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges, and the international response to the cryptocurrency boom.

Related Lawyers: Robert J. Anello, Christina Lee


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