July 24, 2008
More on the Siegelman Matter
Noted here were articles reporting on some of the latest happenings in former Governor Siegelman's case. But it looks like there is even more to discuss. The Chief of the Appellate Section Criminal Division sent a letter earlier in July informing Siegelman's attorneys that there had been an investigation of emails received by some jurors and that the judge had been informed by the U.S. Marshals Service "that the Postal Inspectors were investigating the receipt of purported emails by co-workers of the two jurors and had concluded that the purported emails were not authentic..." One has to give high marks to the Chief of the Appellate Section of DOJ's Criminal Division for disclosing this information to defense counsel.
But one also has to wonder why it was not disclosed prior to this time by those affiliated with the case in the trial court. In a letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility of DOJ, questions are raised concerning this recent disclosure. Was there an ex parte communication by DOJ with the judge presiding on this matter? And if there was, will this make a difference to former Governor Siegelman's case? Having full discovery is important to someone defending an individual, most importantly because it allows defense counsel to scrutinize what occurred and question the individuals on their findings. Having knowledge of a DOJ finding allows defense counsel the ability to investigate further and also allows for the chance to cross-examine those making the findings.
The Letters - Download KilbornOPR.pdf
(esp) (w/ a hat tip to Professor Peter Henning)
July 23, 2008
Keith Coffman, Rocky Mountain News, Enron Prosecutor on Joe Nacchio Team - Sean Berkowitz Has Role Defending Former Qwest CEO
AG Mukasey on Public Corruption
AG Mukasey spoke to the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Concerning "Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice." The written statement is 37 pages, and it includes the following concerning public corruption:
"The investigation and prosecution of public corruption is among the highest obligations of law enforcement, and I consider it to be one of the top priorities of the Department of Justice. The Department’s career prosecutors and criminal investigators are engaged in a renewed effort to pursue corruption at all levels and in all branches of government. The Department’s achievements during the past year in this area show a steady commitment to fighting public corruption wherever it is found and on a non-partisan basis.
"The Department’s recent public corruption investigations have resulted in convictions of federal officials in all branches of government, as well as numerous state and local officials. At the federal level, in February, defense contractor Brent Wilkes was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his involvement in what the Washington Post called "the most brazen bribery conspiracy in modern congressional history." Wilkes funneled cash, mortgage payments, cars, meals, luxury travel, and prostitutes to former Congressman Randall "Duke" Cunningham in return for the Congressman’s assistance in steering contracts to Wilkes’s company.
"In March 2008, the Department obtained the seventh criminal conviction arising out of an ongoing investigation into public corruption among state officials in Alaska. The convictions have included three former elected members of the Alaska State House of Representatives (including a former speaker of the house), a chief of staff to a former governor, and three high-ranking executives with a major Alaska oil-services company. The convicted individuals made or received thousands of dollars in corrupt payments as well as offers of employment in return for official actions—including votes in the legislature—that would benefit the company.
"The Department, through its National Procurement Fraud Task Force, continues to devote significant attention to procurement and other corruption within the Iraq and Afghanistan war theaters and related support efforts. For example, in April 2008, an indictment by a federal grand jury in San Francisco was unsealed against a Canadian night vision goggles manufacturing firm and two of its executives for their participation in a scheme to defraud the U.S. military in the supply of equipment for the Iraqi army. In June 2008, a U.S. Army officer and his wife pleaded guilty for their participation in a conspiracy, bribery, and money laundering scheme involving contracts awarded in support of the Iraq war. Additionally, a retired U.S. Army colonel pleaded guilty in June for her role in a scheme designed to secure a U.S. Department of Defense contract at Camp Victory, Iraq, in 2004 and 2005. Also in June 2008, a defense contractor, Raman International, pleaded guilty for its role in a bribery scheme designed to influence the award of U.S. Department of Defense contracts at Camp Victory, Iraq. "
What's Happening in Alabama?
Al.com, Huntsville Times (AP) - AG says Siegelman findings to be released
Al.com, Huntsville Times (AP) - Siegelman supporters call for expanded probe
In the News
Courant.com (AP) - Torrington lawyer given prison for client theft
Liam Pleven & Amir Efrati, Wall Street Journal, Deal Possible for Greenberg in AIG Case
Ashby Jones, WSJ Blog, Scruggs to Stay Grounded in Bluegrass State
Dan Slater, WSJ Blog, Lori Drew Moves to Dismiss Indictment in MySpace Suicide Case
DOJ Press Release - Company that Managed Cosco Busan Indicted on New Charges
July 22, 2008
In the News
Martha Neil, ABA Law Jrl News Now, Prosecuting Official for Funds Misuse Led to Texas DA’s Downfall; Elizabeth Langton, Dallas Morning News, Rockwall County DA Ray Sumrow's fall a shock to those close to him
Yahoo Sports, President Asked Not to Commute Jones' sentence
Press Release, U.S. Attorney's Office Western District of Missouri, Cox Medical Center Signs $60 Million Settlement Agreement - Resolves Allegations of Fraudulent Medicare Payments
Robert Patrick, St Louis Post-Dispatch, Michael Shanahan Sr. takes plea deal (discussing a plea related to backdating company options - defendant will be paying $7.9 million restitution)
Martha Neil, ABA Law Jrl News Now, 1000s of Criminals Worked in Florida Mortgage Industry
(esp) w/ hat tips to John Wesley Hall, Peter Henning)
International Society of the Reform of Criminal Law Discusses Corporate Criminal Liability
A recent conference of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law focused on Codifying the Criminal Law: Modern Initiatives. One of the panels, and an excellent one at that, focused on Criminal Liability of Organizations. The panel was moderated by James Hamilton, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Dublin, Ireland.
The discussion included comments on corporate criminal liability in Australia, noting that it was mainly in the regulatory arena. John Thorton, First Deputy Director, Commonwealth D.P.P., Canberra, ACT, Australia provided examples that included the Export Control Act, the Ozone Protection Act, and the Meat Inspection Act. Joanne Klineberg, Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Department of Justice Ottawa, ON., Canada, provided a review of criminal liability of organizations in Canada. Sara Sun Beale, the Charles L.B. Lowndes Professor at Duke Law School, then looked at the development of corporate criminal liability in western Europe. The western countries initially rejected corporate criminal liability, but in 1992 France adopted it. It was interesting to see what countries use the Model Penal Code standard, and only apply corporate criminal liability when there is an act by a high managerial agent.
White Collar Crime Prof Blog Ranked 16th
Just a thanks to everyone who has been clicking this way. In the recent rankings of Paul Caron over at Tax Prof Blog, the white collar crime prof blog came in as 16th in the "Top 35 blogs edited by law professors with publicly available SiteMeters for the most recent 12-month period (July 2007 - June 2008)." (see here)
Recent White Collar Crime Scholarship
Geraldine Szott Moohr ,Of Bad Apples and Bad Trees: Considering Fault-Based Criminal Liability for Complicit Corporations, 44 American Criminal Law Review, Vol 44, 2007 - available on SSRN here
Miriam Baer, Corporate Policing and Corporate Governance: What Can We Learn from Hewlett-Packard's Pre-testing Scandal?, University of Cincinnati Law Review - Corporate Law Symposium, 2008 - available on SSRN here
James B. Johnston, Prosecuting Government Fraud Despite the 'CSI Effect': Getting the Jury to Follow the Money, New England Law Review, Vol. 41, 2007 - available on SSRN here
Paul Rothstein, 'Anything You Say May Be Used Against You': A Proposed Seminar ton the Lawyer's Duty to Warn of Confidentiality's Limits in Today's Post-Enron World, Fordham Law Review, Vol. 76, 2007 - available on SSRN here
July 20, 2008
The Latest on Sam Waksal - ImClone's Founder
For cancer patients, any word of the possible release down the road of Sam Waksal is likely to be celebrated. The latest word on his status is seen in an article by Beth Landman in the Intelligencer titled, Sam Waksal's Return to New York.
Waksal was the founder of ImClone, a company that produced a drug called Erbitrux. But the FDA's initial disapproval and his activities following that disapproval led to his conviction for insider trading. He stepped down as President and CEO in 2002 stating:
"Serving as Chief Executive Officer of ImClone Systems has been an honor and a privilege for the past eighteen years. In light of recent events and the distractions they have caused, I am withdrawing myself from the daily operation of the Company in the confidence that ImClone Systems will be able to maintain its focus on the advancement of our clinical development and research programs. I fully believe that our product candidates, the most advanced of which is ERBITUX(TM), will have a profound effect on the way that patients with cancer are treated." (see here)
The sad part of the events is that Waksal was thereafter incarcerated. The FDA finally approved ImClone's drug in 2004 (see here), but Waksal went to prison.
It is good to see that he may be able to return to assisting the development of cancer drugs. Those who go to prison are likely to be changed by the experience, but few are able to leave with little damage to their reputation. Whether Sam Waksal is in this select group remains to be seen.
(esp)(w/ a hat tip to Jack King)
In the News and Blogoshpere
Carrie Johnson, Washington Post, Right the Ship or Hold the Course? Attorney General Works More Toward Justice Department Stability Than Reform
New Plea Bargaining Blog here