Friday, July 24, 2009

Enron the Show

Enron the show has hit London, and perhaps it will cross the pond to the U.S.  In the interim check out Loren Steffy's note (and link to Michael Billington's Guardian Review) in the Houston Chronicle here.

(esp) (w/ a hat tip to Bill Olis)

July 24, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

Are the New Jersey Charges Another Abscam?

Back in the 1970s and 80s, the FBI ran an undercover operation to stop corruption by government officials.  Convictions included a New Jersey Senator, members of Congress and others.  The government set up a phony business to lure individuals to commit crimes, and despite claims of entrapment and outrageous government conduct, many of the convictions stood.

Fast forward 30 years and we see the government again is using an undercover operation to arrest many politicians and some religious leaders.  The charges are no longer simple bribery or conspiracy charges.  Rather now we see newer statutes, like money laundering, statutes that carry more significant penalties.

An Acting US Attorney is proud to say that he is behind charges against "mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield, the Jersey City deputy mayor and council president, two state assemblymen, numerous other public officials and political figures," and yes  community religious leaders.  The long list of complaints and press release can be found here. But as one reads these complaints one has to wonder about the "CW" - cooperating witness - that seems to be behind so many of these cases.  One also has to wonder what if any individual gains or profits accrued to each of the individuals charged with the alleged crimes. Finally one has to wonder why the government felt a  "perp walk" was necessary here.  Did they really think these individuals would flee, destroy evidence, or not turn themselves in voluntarily?

See also, Ted Sherman & Joe Ryan, NJ.com, Massive N.J. corruption sting targets mayors, legislators, rabbis

(esp)

July 23, 2009 in Corruption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Could there be corruption in New Jersey?

See CNN, Mayors, rabbis arrested in corruption probe

NYTimes (AP), 2 Mayors Arrested in Broad N.J. Corruption Sweep

In this same US Attorney's Office, just a couple of days ago, an assemblyman and former mayor had a new charge added to his Indictment alleging that "he participated in a scheme with his former key political advisor to circumvent the contribution limitation and reporting requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act." (see here).

(esp)

July 23, 2009 in Corruption, Money Laundering | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 19, 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

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

ABA - Criminal Justice Section - White Collar Crime Committee - Town Hall Meeting on the State of White Collar Crime - "One Look Forward, Two Looks Back" - Friday, July 31 4:00-5:30 P.M. - The John Marshall Law School, Room 3E, 315  S. Plymouth Court, Chicago - here

Strafford, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigations and Privacy Protection - Safeguarding Data and Avoiding Violations of U.S. and International Privacy Laws, August 11, CLE Teleconference - here

Economic Crime Institute of Utica College is hosting their 20th Annual Conference in Maryland, October 20 to 22. This year's theme is "Extraordinary Circumstances: Combating Fraud and Corruption in Hard Times." Keynote speakers include Cynthia Cooper (WorldCom Whistleblower) and Martin Biegelman (Director, Financial Integrity Unit, Microsoft) - here

(esp)(blogging from San Antonio)

July 19, 2009 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)