Thursday, February 18, 2010

White Collar Crime - Up and Down

Trac Reporting here is saying that white collar crime prosecutions for November 2009 show a decrease of 25.0% from the prior month.  But on the other hand, when compared with a year ago, it is up 6.6 % and the percent change from 5 years ago is 18.6. (including magistrate court). The most telling increase is seen in the number of convictions.  Matched with 5 years ago, it is up 24.9% (see here). But again, these statistics need to be examined carefully. (see here and here), especially with regard to how the term "white collar crime" is defined.

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

February 18, 2010 in Think Tank Reports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Scholarship - Sentencing

A  Note by Duke law student Derick R. Vollrath presents an important view on white collar sentencing. The Note titled, Losing the Loss Calculation: Toward a More Just Sentencing Regime in White-Collar Criminal Cases, states in the abstract that "[m]oreover, the loss calculation fails to adequately approximate a defendant’s culpability, dwarfing traditionally relevant considerations such as the manner in which the defendant committed the crime and the defendant’s motive for doing so."

(esp)

February 17, 2010 in Scholarship, Sentencing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Upcoming Conferences

24th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, Miami Beach, February 24-26 here

19th Annual National Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, May 12-14, St. Petersburg, Florida here

(esp)

February 17, 2010 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

New Scholarship

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

University of Texas Symposium - White Collar Crime

The University of Texas, The Review of Litigation's Symposium this year was devoted to white collar crime.  Titled,  White Collar Crime and the Changing Corporate Environment, Chief Symposium Editor Heather Mahurin and staff did an incredible job of bringing together top practitioners and a judge to examine the evolution of white collar crime and factors affecting this area. The event was sponsored by the law firm of Vinson & Elkins.  I had the pleasure of being the first speaker and providing an evolution of white collar crime.

The first panel of Tim McCormick (Thompson & Knight) and Carl Wessel (DLA Piper) looked at internal investigations and when one should seek outside counsel. It was not surprising to hear them mention the recent FCPA investigations, noting that the pharmaceutical area seems to also be part of the recent DOJ focus. Tim McCormick also talked about the concerns that get raised with Upjohn warnings.

A second panel looked at white collar crime prosecutions and it was appreciated that the Hon. Jennifer Coffman, Chief Judge of the Eastern District - Kentucky offered a judicial perspective.  Along with Kent Schaffer (Bires and Schaffer), there was a good bit provided on how emails were affecting the landscape of white collar cases. Mr. Shaffer noted how "people put things in emails that are shocking."  Telling "the story" to the jury is important, as is humanizing one's client. The participants on this panel also provided wonderful information on dealing with experts in white collar cases. The expert needs to be "not too academic" and "clear."

A final panel was focusing on  parallel proceedings and included top individuals like Solomon Wisenberg (Barnes & Thornburg).   It will be good to see the published works from this important symposium.  

(esp)

February 16, 2010 in Investigations, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Anticipate More Health Care Fraud Cases

In a recent speech by AG Holder he recapped this year's health care fraud prosecutions and predicted that more would be coming. (see press release) Holder was speaking at the National Summit on Health Care Fraud.  He said that:

"last year brought record levels of achievement in our fight against health care fraud. In 2009, the Justice Department reached an all-time high in the number of health care fraud defendants charged, more than 800. We also obtained more than 580 convictions. And on the civil enforcement front, our health care fraud recoveries last year under the False Claims Act exceeded a stunning $2.2 billion dollars."

He spoke of five things that would be happening to combat health care fraud.  One of them was:

"we must strengthen HEAT. We will continue to combine and leverage our agencies’ resources and expertise, including the FBI and the Office of Inspector General at HHS, to prevent and prosecute fraud. HEAT will continue to work closely with local U.S. Attorneys Offices to pursue both civil and criminal cases. And in bringing these fraudsters to justice, we will use the power of the Internet and the media to inform the public and the health care industry about how to prevent future fraud schemes."

And just looking at this past month, one finds the emphasis on health care matters.  See DOJ Press Release,  Former Los Angeles Medical Center Owners Agree to $10 Million Consent Judgment for Medicare and Medi-Cal Fraud Scheme; DOJ Press Release, Jury Convicts Detroit Area Doctor of Health Care Fraud Conspiracy

(esp)

February 16, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 15, 2010

DOJ Proactive Approach in Intellectual Property

DOJ is taking a pro-active approach in fighting intellectual property crimes.  AG Holder announced in a press release "the formation of a new Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property as part of a Department-wide initiative to confront the growing number of domestic and international intellectual property (IP) crimes."

(esp)

February 15, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Former Wilbros Execs

Two former executives of Wilbros were sentenced with one receiving 15 months and the other 12 months. The case arose under the FCPA (see DOJ Press Release here) and involved alleged bribes in Nigeria.  These two individuals plead to one conspiracy count but had guidelines exposure higher than the amount given to them. Most likely substantial assistance proved important to these former executives. Mark Weinhardt represented one of the individuals in this case.

See also Jesse Sunenblick, Main Justice, Former Willbros Executives Sentenced for Nigeria Bribery Scheme; Mary Flood, Houston Chronicle, Former Willbros executives get prison in bribery case; FCPA Blog,  Prison for Ex-Willbros Execs

(esp)

February 14, 2010 in FCPA, Sentencing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

In the News & Around the Blogosphere

DOJ Press Release, Former Tustin Hospital Executive Agrees to Plead Guilty to Paying Kickbacks in 'Skid Row' Healthcare Fraud Plot

DOJ Press Release, U.K. Firm Pleads Guilty to Illegally Exporting Boeing 747 Aircraft to Iran - Firm Agrees to Pay $15 Million in Fines

David Ingram, BLT Blog, Senate Confirms U.S. Attorney for D.C.

Richard Ben-Veniste and Dan Himmelfarb, Washington Legal Foundation Opinion Letter, Appellate Court Ruling Narrows Attorney Work Product Doctrine

Grant McCool & Matthew Goldstein, Reuters, Ex-Goldman programmer indicted over HFT code theft

Alexandra Clough, Palm Beach Post, White collar crime expert hired to probe FPL

Sheila McLaughlin, Cincinnati.com, Ex-banker pleads to $50K theft

Todd Ruger, Sarasota Herald Tribune, Sarasota jury might help Ponzi victims recover money

Peter Eisler, USA Today, FBI Tackling Rising Number of Haiti Scams

Chris Gair & Andrew Weissman, Midwest In-House, Fighting Governmental Efforts to Limit Defense Access to Witnesses

Susannah Nesmith, Andrew M. Harris & Joe Schneider, Bloomberg, Stanford Document Shredders Acquitted by Judge as Jury Debated;  Rob Barry, Jay Weaver, Michael Sallah Crline, Miami Herald, Judge tosses out charges against legendary drug agent in Allen Stanford case

DOJ Press Release, Former UBS Client Pleads Guilty to Hiding $10 Million in Offshore Bank Accounts

David Owens, Hartford Courant,Paralegal Gets 46-Month Sentence

AP, NYTimes, Jersey City Official Is Convicted in First Trial in Corruption Sting

Carol D. Leonnig and Nick Schwellenbach, Washington Post, Former Blackwater employees accuse security contractor of defrauding government

Larry Neumeister, law.com (AP), New Indictment Boosts Insider Trading Charges Against Galleon Founder 

David Barboza, NYTimes, China Indicts Rio Tinto Staff on Bribery Charges

DOJ Press Release, Virginia Resident Pleads Guilty to Bribing Former Panamanian Government Officials in Connection with Maritime Contract

(esp)(blogging from Palm Beach, Florida)

February 14, 2010 in News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)