Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blagojevich Fundraiser: Is Death A Growing Trend

Is it my imagination, or in recent years have there been more deaths of individuals under federal investigation then occurred in the past?  This question comes to mind as I read the Chicago Tribune article titled, Ex-Blagojevich fundraiser Kelly dies of possible OD 

And if death is more common, is it related to the trauma of a white collar offender facing a government investigation?  At this point, just a lot of questions with no answers as the government now investigates the death. With sadness...

(esp)

September 12, 2009 in News, Prosecutions | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 11, 2009

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

Jeff Jeffrey, BLT Blog, Holder Declines to Prosecute Schlozman

Holtz Rubenstein Reminick LLP, Town Hall Meeting- Implications & Consequences of Foreign Bank Account Reporting - Wed., Sept. 16th, NYC -  Download September 16 Foreign Income Disclosure - Invite

DOJ Press Release,International Hacker Pleads Guilty for Massive Hacks of U.S. Retail Networks

 Dan Newhauser, BLT Blog, Computer Hacker Pleads Guilty in Major Identity Theft Case

DOJ Press Release, Three Individuals Indicted for Roles in Conspiracy Schemes Involving Two U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Sites in New Jersey

Terrie Morgan-Besecke, Times Leader, Judges Facing More Jail Time - Racketeering Charge Added to List

Leo Strupczewski And Hank Grezlak, Legal Intelligencer, law.com, Arraignment Scheduled for Former Pa. Judges on Racketeering Charges

Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics - Upcoming conferences here

Crime & Federalism Blog,DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility: Protecting Their Own (w/ a hat tip to Tiffany Joslyn)

KattenMuchinRosenman Release, Obama's Pick for Top DOJ Environment Post Appears Headed for Confirmation

HeraldTribune.com, Beau Diamond (compilation of articles)

DOJ Press Release, Pennsylvania Businessman Pleads Guilty and Is Sentenced in Puerto Rico Corruption Case

(esp)

September 11, 2009 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

Cary O’Reilly and Linda Sandler, Bloomberg, Judges Punish Wall Street as Regulators Just Talk About Reform

Florida AG Press Release, Jensen Beach Pastor, Wife Sentenced to Prison for Mortgage Fraud Scheme(sentences of 20 and 10 years and restitution to banks of $700,000.)

Edmund H. Mahony, Hartford Courant,Names Of 4 Finalists For U.S. Attorney For Connecticut Sent To Obama

Michael Pollick, DIAMOND' - Bail denied for currency trader Beau Diamond

Terrie Morgan-Besecker,Timesleader.com, Judges Facing More Jail Time - Racketeering Charge Added to List

Daily Business Review, law.com, Former Miami DEA Chief Indicted in Stanford Probe

Jenna Greene, National LJ, SEC Attacked for 'Colossal Failure' Over Madoff

Lynne Marek, law.com, National LJ, Judge wants to make federal sentences easier to calculate 

(esp)

September 11, 2009 in Mortgage Fraud, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Con Artist Hall of Infamy

Check it out here.

(esp)

September 10, 2009 in Fraud, News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Upcoming Conferences

ABA - Foreign Evidence: Collecting It and Protecting It - Washington, D.C. - Sept. 17, 2009 - Download Foreign Evidence Invitation

ABA - Second Annual Sentencing Advocacy, Practice and Reform Institute With Special Focus on Reentry - Washington, D.C. - November 6, 2009 - here

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

American Conference Institute, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) - November 17-18, 2009 - Washington, D.C. here ($200 discount to blog readers when they reference discount code "White Collar Crime."

American Conference Institute, Financial Institution Fraud Enforcement & Financial Recovery - November 16-17, 2009 - Washington, D.C. here [$400 discount off the standard price (for a price of $1795 - no expiration) when they reference discount code "White Collar Fraud"]

ABA - 4th Annual National Institute on Securities Fraud - October 15-16, Washington, D.C. - Download CEN9SFR FINAL BROCHURE 929032_R5

(esp)

September 9, 2009 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2008 Florida Report Shows White Collar Prosecutions

The Annual Report of Statewide Prosecutor William N. Shepard, from the Office of the Attorney General in Florida, presents prosecutions of some white collar crimes.  With respect to white collar crime, the Report states that "Fighting fraud is an integral part of the Statewide Prosecution mission and mandate. We target three specific areas: (1) mortgage fraud, (2) health care fraud, and (3) securities fraud."  The Report details some of the prosecutions in these three areas, as well as in non-white collar areas.

(esp)

September 8, 2009 in Think Tank Reports | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Ring Case - A Lot of Turbulence on this Flight

The case against Kevin Ring, a former associate of Jack Abramoff, is a case well worth watching. Ring faces "a ten count indictment for [allegedly] paying illegal gratuities in violation of" section 201, honest services fraud under wire fraud and the honest services provision (sections 1343 and 1346), conspiracy, and obstruction under section 1512.  Back in June, the district court denied a motion to dismiss when Ring had argued the lack of an "official act" element of the crime, that "the honest services wire fraud charges are invalid as a matter of law because the statute cannot be used to prosecute a private lobbyist who did not prevent a federal lawmaker's breach of congressional ethics rules," that the conspiracy count premised on other charges should therefore fall, and that there was a lack of nexus for the obstruction charges. Although the court did not dismiss the case on pre-trial, these arguments sent the message that this case was going to present some tough legal issues for the government.

But it sounds like the legal issues are not the only problems facing the government. See Joe Palazzolo, Main Justice, Case Against Ex-Abramoff Associate Hits Curves

(esp)

September 8, 2009 in Prosecutions | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Beam on HealthSouth

Video Highlights of Aaron Beam, co-founder of HealthSouth, speaking at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners here. As noted on the webpage written by Dick Carozza (editor of Fraud Magazine), "Beam pleaded guilty to bank fraud."  He served "three months in federal prison in return for his testimony against former HealthSouth Chief Executive Officer Richard Scrushy."

(esp) (w/ a hat tip to Gary Zuene)

September 8, 2009 in Fraud, HealthSouth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Monday Morning Quarterbacking with the Madoff Report

As noted here, the SEC's release of the executive summary of the Madoff Report (Investigation of Failure of the SEC to Uncover Bernard Madoff's Ponzi Scheme) demonstrated that there was no finding of corrupt conduct.  But the bottom line was that the ball was dropped on more than one occasion.  It is, of course, easy to look back and examine the mistakes made.  The 477 page Report, now released, allows that to be done. But as people ponder the sad findings in this report, the more important report and findings that need to now be made - is what to do about all of this to make certain it won't happen again. Clearly the new SEC chair has put into place some measures to allow for better regulations and control.  But is this enough? Some thoughts -

  • If this had been a company that had missed the red flags, the DOJ would be making them pay a lot of money, institute a more effective corporate compliance program, and probably have monitors in place to make certain that wrongdoing would not occur again. 
  • Is Madoff no different from the rogue employee who operates improperly and hurts innocent victims (in this case the victims are those who invested, those who benefitted from entities that had invested, and the general public).
  • Will there ever be sufficient controls in place without thorough outside monitoring?  In the case of corporations, the DOJ typically wants more than a company compliance program and looks for outside monitors to make certain there are no future violations.  Should the SEC be held to a lesser standard? No -  I am not suggesting that we employ John Ashcroft for this one.
  • An Inspector General Report after-the-fact is wonderful, but where was the oversight when this fraud was occurring.
  • It is easy to put blame on individuals who may have missed items, but we need to also consider their workload and whether it was reasonable for them to discover this fraud and whether more resources and systems are needed to assure they can properly perform their jobs.
  • Clearly it is easy to Monday morning quarterback, especially on a Sunday over Labor Day - but this amount of fraud needs more thought and consideration.

The 477 pages tells us what happened.  Now we need to examine the controls in place to assure it will never happen again.

(esp) 

September 6, 2009 in Fraud, Government Reports | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)