Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Numbers Confirm that Sotomayor is "Tough on White Collar Crime"

I previously blogged on my review of 100 white collar related cases of Judge Sotomayor here. TRAC reporting now confirms empirically what I found. See here. They conclude that

"A case-by-case examination of the sentences imposed by Judge Sonia Sotomayor during her six years as a trial judge in the Southern District of New York has determined that she was more likely than her colleagues to send a person to prison. . . this was particularly true for convicted white-collar criminals."  

They provide charts and numbers that confirm their findings.  They used a definition of white collar that may have been more restrictive than I used as they compared only 47 of her cases with a total of 1,570 of all judges in New York's Southern District.  They found that

"For this group of criminals, Judge Sotomayor's colleagues sent 43% to prison, with only one out of three of the total receiving a sentence of six months or longer. Judge Sotomayor, in contrast, handed out prison time more often. In her case, a bit more than half (52%) were given some prison time and nearly half (48%) -- rather than one-third (34%) -- were given a prison sentence of 6 months or more."

Hats off to TRAC for providing this empirical evidence. 

(esp) (w/ disclosure that she is a B.S. graduate of Syracuse U.- home of the Trac Reports). 

July 9, 2009 in Judicial Opinions, Think Tank Reports | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Not a Good Day for Blagojevich

John Harris, who served as Blagojevich's chief of staff, entered into a plea agreement that includes cooperation. The agreement states:

Defendant agrees he will fully and truthfully cooperate in any matter in which he is called upon to cooperate by a representative of the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.  This cooperation shall include providing complete and truthful information in any investigation and pre-trial preparation and complete and truthful testimony in any criminal, civil or administrative proceeding.  Defendant agrees to the postponement of his sentencing until after the conclusion of his cooperation.

See Jeff Coen & Dan Mihalopoulos, Chicago Breaking News, Ex-Blagojevich aide pleads guilty, will testify

(esp)(w/ a hat tip to Mark Johnson)

Addendum, NYTimes, (AP) Blagojevich Aide Pleads Guilty in Corruption Case

Plea Agreement - Download Harris plea

July 8, 2009 in Settlement | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

FCPA - Some New Items

Check out the FCPA Blog here for a discussion of the FCPA count in William Jefferson's trial.  The question is asked " Is William Jefferson still on trial for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?"

Andy Spaulding, Fulbright Scholar at the University of Mumbai, India, posted a piece on the FCPA on SSRN here.  Here's an abstract of the piece -

Unwitting Sanctions:  Understanding Anti-Bribery Legislation as Economic Sanctions Against Emerging Markets
Although the purpose of international anti-bribery legislation, particularly the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, is to deter bribery, empirical evidence demonstrates a more problematic effect:  in countries where bribery is perceived to be relatively common, the present enforcement regime goes beyond deterring bribery and actually deters investment.  Drawing on literature from political science and economics, this article argues that anti-bribery legislation, as presently enforced, functions as de facto economic sanctions.  A detailed analysis of the history of FCPA enforcement shows that these sanctions have most often occurred in emerging markets, where historic opportunities for economic and social development otherwise exist and where public policy should encourage investment.  This effect is contrary to the purpose of the FCPA which, as the legislative history shows, is to build economic and political alliances by promoting ethical overseas investment.

These perverse and unanticipated consequences create two policy problems.  First, the sanctions literature suggests that the resulting foreign direct investment void may be filled by capital-rich countries that are not committed to effectively enforcing anti-bribery measures.  This dynamic can be observed, for example, in China's aggressive investment in Africa, Latin America, and Central Asia, and creates myriad ethical, economic, and foreign policy problems.  Second, by enforcing these laws without regard to their sanctioning effects, developed nations are unwittingly sacrificing poverty reduction opportunities to combat bribery.  The paper concludes with various proposed reforms to the text and enforcement of international anti-bribery legislation that would further the goal of deterring bribery without deterring investment.

July 7, 2009 in FCPA | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Upcoming Conferences

ABA Presidential Showcase Program: Hot Topics and Recent Developments in Public Corruption Investigations & Government Ethics here

NACDL - Defending White Collar Crimes - October 1-2, NY - here

Strafford, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Latin America -Implementing FCPA Compliance Programs and Mitigating Legal Risks -July 9th here

FCPA - November 17-18, 2009 - Washington, D.C. here


July 5, 2009 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)