Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Daniel B. Wood, Christian Science Monitor, Guilty verdict in MySpace suicide case could chill Internet speech
Bloomberg, Carlyn Kolker and David Voreacos, UBS Clients Go to IRS to Settle Swiss Account Taxes
Lynne Marek, National Law Journal, Larger Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Fines Ahead
John R. Wilke, Wall St Jrl, China Defends Price Fixing by Vitamin Makers
Adrian Walker, Boston Globe, FBI informant in bribe cases says more suspects are likely to surface
Del Quentin Wilber, Washington Post, Hearing Set Into Letter by Witness in Stevens Trial
Derek Kravitz, Washington Post, Ex-Interior Official Charged With Taking Payments
David Markus, Southern District of Florida Blog, Ben Kuehne Motions Hearing before Judge Cooke
Monday, November 24, 2008
Carrie Johnson, Washington Post, As Bush's Term Ends, Some Big Names Seek Pardons
Law.com (AP), Christopher Sherman, Prosecutor Who Brought Indictment Against Vice President Seeks Judge's Recusal
Richard Lloyd, The American Lawyer, A Dose of Reform for British Bribery Laws
Fox28 (AP), Ohio corruption probe puts lawyers to work
Jeff Jeffrey, BLT Blog, Former White House Aide Faces 90-Day Suspension of Law License
Joanna Lin, LATimes, Terry Christensen sentenced to three years in Pellicano case
Sunday, November 23, 2008
FCPA Blog, Aibel Pleads Guilty; Wall Street Jrl, Marketwatch, Aibel Group Ltd. Pleads Guilty to Foreign Bribery and Agrees to Pay $4.2 Million in Criminal Fines
Corporate Crime Reporter, Former Enron Prosecutor Hueston Calls SEC Case Against Cuban Risky and Flimsy: Nicholas Rummell, Financial Week, Cuban charges not a slam dunk Viability of the SEC's insider trading case against mouthy billionaire hinges on definition of insider.
Adam Nossiter, NYTimes, New Twist in Appeal of Ex-Alabama Governor
Carrie Johnson, Washington Post, Mukasey Returns to Work After 'Fainting Spell'
Del Quentin Wilbur, Washington Post, Stevens Trial Witness Cries Foul -Ex-Veco Worker Says Prosecutors Improperly Steered Him
Michael Orey, Business Week, Lessons from Intel's Trade-Secret Case - A low-level former employee made off with valuable information by retaining access to company computers after starting a job with a competitor
Ramon Bracamontes, El Paso Times, $2.1 billion in contracts involved in FBI inquiry
There were approximately 350 people at the fundrasier for Ben Kuehne this past week. As this blog stated here, people usually keep their distance when someone is charged with criminal activity. The opposite is happening here. This is yet another indication that DOJ needs to re-evaluate this case. For background see here and here.
Conrad Black writes from a U.S. prison in Florida a piece titled, From my cell I scent the reeking soul of US justice. It appears in the Sunday Times (UK). Perhaps the most interesting aspect of his piece is his evaluation of the U.S. grand jury process. I also recommend reading the comments following the column. If these comments are representative of thoughts throughout the world, then DOJ has a lot of work ahead on its international relations. Interestingly, Doug Berman's Sentencing Blog here, is getting a different set of comments to this piece.
(esp)(w/ a hat tip to Brenda Rossini)
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. v. Goss, examined a sentence on a mortgage fraud case, affirming in part and vacating and remanding in part. The court noted how in cases "involving immovable real property, ... part, if not all, of the loan value was more likely recoverable," and actual loss should therefore be examined. The court noted that "to determine intended loss, actual, not constructive, intent is considered."The court further stated:
"Obviously, application of an actual-loss method in this instance does not necessarily mean that the full collateral value for each loan will be deducted in every instance. An inflexible, bright-line rule for all of the loans at issue does not ensure the victims’ financial losses will be accurately assessed; and, therefore, it is necessary to examine each loan individually in order to determine the fair market value of the loan’s collateral and whether it should be deducted.
This loan-by-loan inquiry will allow the district court to properly determine how to treat the collateral, for each loan at issue, in order to arrive at the most accurate assessment of the lenders’ losses. Needless to say, this loanby-loan inquiry is fact-intensive, and should be shaped by weighing the appropriate factors in determining, at the time of sentencing, what, in the event of a default, would be the fair market value of any recovered collateral. This inquiry is likely to touch upon many of the issues presented in earlier cases. In this instance, factors that may impact the likelihood of recovery, the fair market value of the property, or both, include: the collateral is immovable; whether third parties exercise control over the collateral; whether, in the event of default, the collateral is, or might be, damaged before recovery; whether the collateral’s value was appraised or assessed at the time of sentencing; and whether there are financial or practical risks inherently associated with the collateral. (Of course, this list is not exhaustive; and no one factor is controlling."
(esp) (w/ a hat tip to Evan Jenness)
This past week the Second Circuit heard oral argument in the Ionia case. Although there are many worthwhile issues in this case, a key one that merits consideration is the level of culpability of a corporation for the acts of a rogue employee. Will the court take the step, as has been done in some civil matters, to insert a "good faith" defense into the legal landscape. (see background and briefs here) (see also Jenner & Block, Second Circuit Amicus Brief Argues for Change in Law of Vicarious Corporate Criminal Liability).
Coverage of the hearing can be found here: Amir Efrati, WSJ Blog, Former Enron Prosecutor: Criminal Charges Shouldn’t Be So Easy; Silive.com (AP), Larry Neumeister, Lawyer urges court to curb corporate liability; Grant McCool, Reuters, Appeals court hears brief on corporate liability
Addendum - Tom Kirkendall's Houston ClearThinkers here
Mark Godsey, Crim Prof here
Michael Thomas, The Daily Caveat here
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