Publications

04.16.19 | Articles

When Misrepresentations During Settlement Conferences Become Sanctionable

New York Law Journal

In this article, we discuss Southern District Magistrate Judge James L. Cott’s recent decision in Otto v. Hearst Communications, addressing the potential for imposition of sanctions based upon misrepresentations during settlement conferences.

Related Lawyers: Edward M. Spiro, Christopher B. Harwood

04.11.19 | Articles

Are DOJ’s F/X Prosecutions Ahead of the Law on “Trading Ahead”?

New York Law Journal

Two recent prosecutions in the foreign exchange (F/X) market raise questions about the use of general criminal statutes to regulate a trading practice that Congress, specialized regulators, and market rules have declined to prohibit. Both cases deal with a practice that bankers refer to as pre-positioning, which the government pejoratively labels “trading ahead” or “front running,” in the context of complex, multi-billion dollar F/X trades between sophisticated parties. In this article, we discuss the appeal of the conviction in one such case and the court’s dismissal of the charges in the other.

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

04.02.19 | Articles

“Spoofing” as Fraud: A Novel and Untested Theory of Prosecution

Business Crimes Bulletin

In the past few years, the government has brought several prosecutions targeting “spoofing” activity in the commodity futures markets, with mixed results at trial. In this article, we survey recent prosecutions in which the government has attempted to prosecute spoofing activity under traditional fraud statutes, including commodities fraud and wire fraud, which requires the government to prove that a defendant made a false statement or a material misrepresentation. To make that showing, the government has argued that spoofing—bidding or offering with the intent to cancel the bid or offer before execution—involves an implied misstatement to the market regarding supply and demand and a defendant’s willingness to trade. In response, defendants (joined by financial industry associations) have forcefully criticized the government’s novel theory as an overly expansive application of the wire-fraud statute. How the federal courts address the applicability of traditional fraud statutes to spoofing-related activity will have significant implications for market participants.

Related Lawyers: Jodi Misher Peikin, Justin Roller

03.15.19 | Articles

Does the Sixth Amendment Apply to Restitution? Two Justices Say the Answer May Be Yes

New York Law Journal

Beginning with Apprendi v. New Jersey in 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court has extended the Sixth Amendment to the imposition of terms of imprisonment and fines. In recent years, defendants have argued that the reasoning of Apprendi also applies to restitution – a mandatory and increasingly significant aspect of white-collar sentencing. While this argument has failed in the circuit courts, two justices of the Supreme Court, dissenting from a denial of certiorari, recently suggested that the high court should look closely at the issue. In this article, we discuss the brief dissent of Justice Gorsuch, joined by Justice Sotomayor, indicating that the Apprendi doctrine might appropriately be applied to restitution in criminal cases. 

Related Lawyers: Elkan Abramowitz, Jonathan S. Sack

03.14.19 | Articles

Is the IRS Whistleblower Program Finally Reaching Its Potential?

New York Law Journal

Whistleblowing has become big business, resulting in thousands of submissions each year and generating billions of dollars in recoveries by the IRS. Over the years, however, whistleblowers and their lawyers have lodged several complaints regarding the IRS’s management of the Whistleblower Program. In this article, I discuss the Whistleblower Program, highlight a recent statutory change, which has led to a banner year for awards, and conclude that, in order for the Whistleblower Program to reach its full potential, the IRS could benefit from additional resources to allow it to investigate worthwhile leads on a more timely basis.

Related Lawyer: Jeremy H. Temkin

02.19.19 | Articles

Sanctions Stick Even After Settlement

New York Law Journal

An order imposing sanctions catches the attention of litigants, sometimes even encouraging the parties to settle. When they do, the sanctioned party often will seek to have the sanctions award vacated as part of the settlement. Increasingly, judges are resistant to vacating sanctions orders. In this article, we discuss Southern District Judge Victor Marrero’s recent decision in Rogue Wave Software v. BTI Systems, which highlights the trend away from courts vacating sanctions orders just because the parties’ settlement agreement provides for it, and concludes that going forward, the more egregious the conduct leading to a sanctions order, the less likely it is that a court will vacate it.

Related Lawyers: Edward M. Spiro, Christopher B. Harwood

02.14.19 | Articles

White-Collar Enforcement After Two Years of Trump

New York Law Journal

The halfway point of President Trump’s term offers an opportunity to examine and assess the impact of his administration on business-related prosecutions. In this article, we discuss the government’s shift in enforcement priorities, which focus on violent crimes, opioid cases, and most notably, immigration violations. We also highlight the decline not only in the number of traditional white-collar cases brought, but also in the amounts of fines and penalties imposed. Despite these numbers, however, the Trump Justice Department has remained aggressive and creative in its pursuit of individual wrongdoers in certain business-related areas, particularly in international corruption and foreign bribery.

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

01.17.19 | Articles

FBAR Penalties: Relief for Taxpayers?

New York Law Journal

By statute, taxpayers who fail to disclose accounts on a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account, commonly referred to as an FBAR, are subject to a maximum penalty of up to 50% of the funds in the undisclosed accounts. However, two recent district court opinions have held that the applicable regulations cap the FBAR penalty at $100,000 per undisclosed account. In this article, we analyze four recent cases that have split on the maximum permissible FBAR penalty and the implications of this debate.

Related Lawyer: Jeremy H. Temkin

01.08.19 | Articles

Government Misconduct in a Grand Jury Investigation: Is There a Remedy?

New York Law Journal

In cases of misconduct by the government, federal law strongly favors narrowly tailored remedies in criminal cases. The ultimate sanction, dismissal of an indictment, is reserved for the most extreme wrongdoing. In this article, we discuss the Second Circuit’s recent decision in United States v. Walters, which affirmed an insider trading conviction notwithstanding undisputed, improper leaks to news reporters by an FBI agent prior to indictment.  

Related Lawyers: Elkan Abramowitz, Jonathan S. Sack

12.17.18 | Articles

Specific Jurisdiction Through the Lens of New York Activity of Foreign Banks

In the past few years, the Supreme Court has issued a number of decisions emphasizing that the Constitution’s limits on personal jurisdiction have real teeth. In this article, we discuss Chief Judge Colleen McMahon’s recent decision in Nike v. Wu, which applied certain general principles of specific jurisdiction to the New York activities of a group of foreign banks against whom discovery was sought in the Southern District of New York in connection with a judgment enforcement proceeding.

Related Lawyers: Edward M. Spiro

12.04.18 | Articles

1MDB Scandal Tests Justice Department on FCPA and Corporate Prosecutions

New York Law Journal

The Justice Department’s prosecution of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case illustrates how despite early predictions otherwise, Trump administration enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is alive and well. In this article, we discuss the 1MDB case and examine the extent to which the Justice Department will adhere to the Administration’s declared intent not to “employ the hammer of criminal enforcement to extract unfair settlements” from corporations where there is cooperation and evidence of a strong compliance structure.

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

11.21.18 | Articles

How Institutional Dynamics Have Shaped Insider Trading Law

The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation

The past decade has brought multiple significant decisions in insider trading law, but has not substantially clarified the line between legal and illegal trading. In this article, we address how some degree of this lack of clarity can be traced to certain institutional dynamics at play in the courts issuing the relevant decisions. In particular, we look at both the Second Circuit’s uniquely strong preference for avoiding en banc review and the Supreme Court’s general preference for narrow decisions, and assess the ways in which these dynamics have shaped and may continue to shape insider trading jurisprudence.

Related Lawyer: Brian A. Jacobs

11.19.18 | Articles

Constitutional Questions in Corporate Internal Investigations

New York Law Journal

In recent years, the Department of Justice has made clear that when companies seek leniency they are expected to turn over incriminating information about current and former employees. In this article, we discuss recent criminal prosecutions in the SDNY and District of New Jersey in which the defendants claimed violations of their constitutional rights because corporate internal investigations became intertwined with federal criminal investigations.

Related Lawyers: Elkan Abramowitz, Jonathan S. Sack

11.15.18 | Articles

What Will Justice Kavanaugh Mean for Criminal Tax Defendants?

New York Law Journal

Notwithstanding the controversy surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s recent appointment to the Supreme Court, practitioners need to consider how he will impact the Court’s jurisprudence for many years to come. Regardless of what they think about Justice Kavanaugh’s record on other issues, criminal defense lawyers are likely to view his approach to the imposition of sentencing as somewhat of a mixed bag. In this article, we note that while Justice Kavanaugh has articulated concerns that the post-Booker regime has brought too much unpredictability to sentencing, his decisions have demonstrated deference to district judges, who frequently give defendants convicted of tax offenses the benefit of substantial downward variances.

Related Lawyer: Jeremy H. Temkin

10.15.18 | Articles

Privacy Trumps Right of Access to Judicial Documents in ‘Giuffre v. Maxwell’

New York Law Journal

Southern District Judge Robert W. Sweet’s recent decision in Giuffre v. Maxwell addresses the press’s application to unseal potentially salacious documents covered by a protective order in an action concerning allegations of sexual abuse. In this article, we discuss Judge Sweet’s analysis of the law in the Second Circuit on protective orders and the sealing of “judicial documents,” and the tension between the public’s right of access and interest in transparency in the legal system and the individual’s right to privacy.

Related Lawyers: , Edward M. Spiro

10.11.18 | Articles

The Vanishing Federal Criminal Trial

New York Law Journal

Contrary to Hollywood’s fictionalized vision of our criminal justice system, a recent report from the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers confirms what many have recognized: trials are an endangered species. In this article, we discuss how the "trial penalty"-- the difference between the result a defendant may obtain by pleading guilty and the far harsher result that same defendant may receive if found guilty after trial -- has skewed our criminal justice system.   

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

10.04.18 | Articles

Hidden 'Time' Bombs in White-Collar Criminal Matters

Business Crimes Bulletin

Congress has armed the government with an arsenal of weapons to extend limitations periods in white-collar cases that prosecutors have used in increasingly creative ways that are often difficult for defendants to predict. In this article, we examine the various tools at the government’s disposal, including mutual legal assistance treaties in cross-border matters; FIRREA’s ten-year statute of limitations for frauds “affecting” financial institutions; criminal conspiracy charges; tax crimes; and war-time extensions. We highlight a recent decision in United States v. Bogucki, a wire fraud prosecution, which is a prime example of how the government may lie in wait before launching hidden “time” bombs to lengthen the applicable limitations period.

Related Lawyers: Robert J. Anello, Justin Roller

09.20.18 | Articles

‘United States v. Sertich’: Affirmative Obligations of Taxpayers

New York Law Journal

Under the Internal Revenue Code, employers are responsible for accounting for and paying over to the IRS taxes that they withhold from their employees. In United States v. Sertich, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that an employer who willfully fails either to account for or to pay over such taxes commits a felony under 26 U.S.C. § 7202. In this article, we address Sertich’s holding that, while Section 7202 lists a series of acts using the conjunctive “and,” the statute imposes mandatory obligations, all of which must be affirmatively fulfilled. Sertich is also noteworthy in its discussion of the government’s heightened burden of proving willfulness in criminal tax cases.   

Related Lawyer: Jeremy H. Temkin

09.20.18 | Articles

‘Obey-the‑Law’ Injunctions: Is Time Running Out for the SEC?

New York Law Journal

SEC enforcement actions are subject to a five-year statute of limitations on civil penalties, but the SEC has often been able to enlarge its time for bringing an action by seeking equitable relief, notably, “obey-the-law” injunctions and disgorgement. In recent years, however, courts have begun to curtail this de facto enlargement of the limitations period. In Kokesh v. SEC, the Supreme Court held that disgorgement is a penalty subject to a five-year statute of limitations. Following Kokesh, courts have begun to address another important question: whether so-called obey-the-law injunctions constitute a penalty subject to the five-year limitations period. In our latest article, we discuss a recent decision of Judge Nicholas Garaufis in SEC v. Cohen, which held that an obey-the-law injunction, like disgorgement, is a penalty subject to a five-year limitations period. 

Related Lawyers: Elkan Abramowitz, Jonathan S. Sack

8/21/2018 | Articles

In 'Ambac,' Judge Attempts to Make Sense of New York's Economic Loss Rule

New York Law Journal

New York’s economic loss rule, which acts as a check on asserting tort claims for purely economic damages, has long confounded practitioners. The rule, intended to preserve the distinction between contract and tort law and to protect defendants from disproportionate damages, has its most straightforward application in products liability and construction cases, but has been applied in a broad array of cases. In this article, we discuss a recent SDNY decision by Judge William H. Pauley III in Ambac v. U.S. Bank, which arises in the context of an RMBS case, but provides an interesting and informative lens for viewing the interplay between contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims under New York law.

Related Lawyers: Edward M. Spiro


Load More