Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In the News and Around the Blogosphere

In the News and Around the Blogosphere

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


November 26, 2008 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 24, 2008

In the News and Around the Blogosphere

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In the News and Around the Blogosphere

350 People for Ben Kuehne

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.


November 23, 2008 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Conrad Black Writes

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)

November 23, 2008 in Celebrities | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Fifth Circuit Looks At Loss in Context of Mortgage Fraud Case

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)

November 23, 2008 in Fraud | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Corporate Criminal Liability - What Will the Second Circuit Say?

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; (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

November 23, 2008 in Judicial Opinions, Prosecutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AALS Private Screening on Human Trafficking

An Exclusive LexisNexis Private Screening at AALS

It is estimated that one million people, mostly women and children, are trafficked around the world each year, lured into involuntary servitude and sexual slavery. The gross and unjust economic exploitation of vulnerable people is a direct result of an absence of Rule of Law. As a company that does business throughout the world, LexisNexis is committed to promoting the Rule of Law. We are proud to sponsor the Somaly Mam Foundation’s efforts to combat and raise awareness of this epic problem. A very effective way to raise awareness and promote action is the film "Holly". Please join us for a private screening of this film on Tuesday, January 6th from 7-9pm at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina (Salon A, North Tower, Lobby Level). Appetizers and refreshments will be served before the film. More details will be available at the AALS booth. Seating at the theater is limited to a maximum of 200. Please RSVP by sending an email to: carrie.irvin@lexisnexis.

November 23, 2008 in International | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)