White Collar

  • April 10, 2024

    'Varsity Blues' Judge Won't Recuse From Bid For Plea Redo

    The Boston federal judge overseeing the waning "Varsity Blues" college admissions case said Wednesday he should be the one to decide whether a parent who pled guilty in the scandal's early days should be able to have the conviction erased, calling her recusal bid "fraught with judge-shopping."

  • April 10, 2024

    Fla. Lawyer Seeks 'Compassion' After Loan Fraud Conviction

    Fresh off a failed bid to have her wire fraud conspiracy conviction nixed, a Florida attorney found guilty of fraudulently obtaining federal COVID-19 relief loans asked a Georgia federal judge for leniency in her upcoming sentencing.

  • April 10, 2024

    DeFi Platform Uniswap Discloses SEC Enforcement Notice

    The firm behind decentralized crypto exchange Uniswap said on Wednesday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had notified the firm that it may soon face an enforcement case.

  • April 10, 2024

    Trump Fails Again To Halt NY Trial Over Claim Judge Is Biased

    Donald Trump on Wednesday tried and failed for the third time in as many days to delay his upcoming hush-money trial, after arguing the judge should be removed for supposed bias and that the judge's rules were preventing him from defending himself.

  • April 10, 2024

    Feds Back Trial Delay For Sen. Menendez's Wife's Surgery

    Prosecutors on Wednesday told the New York federal judge overseeing Sen. Robert Menendez's bribery case that they are in favor of postponing the May trial for a few months in light of a serious medical condition affecting Nadine Menendez, the senator's wife and co-defendant.

  • April 10, 2024

    Mich. Appellate Panel Won't Halt Election Case Against Atty

    A Michigan appellate panel on Tuesday said it wouldn't pause criminal proceedings against an attorney accused of tampering with voting machines after the 2020 presidential election or consider her appeal of a trial court's decision to issue an arrest warrant for missing a hearing.

  • April 10, 2024

    1st Circ. Says Appellant's Death Erases Conviction

    The First Circuit has vacated the stock fraud conviction of a biotech executive who died in prison, aligning itself with all the other federal circuits in adopting the longstanding principle that a defendant's death during a direct appeal of a conviction wipes out all the criminal proceedings from their inception.

  • April 10, 2024

    IRS' DOJ Referral Rules 'A Disaster,' Sen. Whitehouse Says

    The IRS protocols for referring cases to the U.S. Department of Justice are "a disaster" for enforcing laws against bankers and other actors who help U.S. taxpayers evade taxes, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said Wednesday during a hearing on offshore tax evasion before the Senate Budget Committee.

  • April 10, 2024

    Ex-Judge Dropped From Harassment Suit After NJ Courts' Win

    A New Jersey municipal court administrator has agreed to end a suit alleging she was sexually harassed by a former municipal court judge after a state superior court ruled she could not include the Administrative Office of the Courts as a defendant in the case.

  • April 10, 2024

    Feds Cleared To Use Undercover Recording In Atty's Tax Trial

    Federal prosecutors trying an attorney next week on charges he orchestrated a tax fraud scheme that spanned seven states will be allowed to play for the jury an audio recording made by an undercover agent, a North Carolina federal judge ruled.

  • April 10, 2024

    Chase, Zelle Can Arbitrate Stolen-Funds Reimbursement Case

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Tuesday granted Chase Bank and Zelle's request to arbitrate customer claims they acted negligently and violated consumer protection laws by refusing to refund stolen funds, with the judge saying that relevant virtual terms of service required by Chase are valid, and that Zelle may enforce the agreement as a third-party beneficiary.

  • April 10, 2024

    Ex-BigLaw Atty In OneCoin Scam A Flight Risk, Feds Say

    A former Locke Lord LLP partner who was convicted of laundering proceeds from the OneCoin cryptocurrency scam has "every incentive" to flee the country, prosecutors told a New York federal judge, arguing he shouldn't be allowed to stay out on bail while his appeal is pending.

  • April 10, 2024

    Pot Cos. Say California City Reneged On Fee Waiver Promise

    Six cannabis companies are suing the city of Cudahy in California federal court, saying the city breached its contracts by refusing to waive fees accrued during national emergencies and city-caused delays, costing the companies more than $26 million in damages.

  • April 10, 2024

    Ropes & Gray Adds DOJ Senior Litigator To DC Team

    Ropes & Gray LLP has hired a U.S. Department of Justice litigator who spent the past decade with the agency working on False Claims Act matters and other related disputes, the firm announced Tuesday.

  • April 10, 2024

    PCAOB Fines KPMG, Deloitte Units $27M For Cheating Claims

    KPMG Netherlands and two Deloitte units will pay a combined $27 million to settle allegations from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board of widespread answer sharing in their internal training programs, with KPMG's $25 million penalty marking the largest fine PCAOB has ever imposed.

  • April 10, 2024

    Ex-Trump Finance Chief Weisselberg Jailed For Perjury

    A New York state judge on Wednesday sentenced former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg to five months in jail for lying under oath in the attorney general's civil fraud case against Donald Trump and his business associates, imprisoning a close ally of the former president on the eve of his hush-money trial.

  • April 09, 2024

    Men Agree To Pay $1M For Robocalls Targeting Black Voters

    A pair of conservative conspiracy theorists have agreed to collectively pay $1 million to resolve litigation stemming from their robocall campaign that spread lies about voting by mail to Black voters ahead of the 2020 election, according to a consent decree filed Monday in New York federal court.

  • April 09, 2024

    Quinn Emanuel, Davidoff Hutcher Sued Over Mansion Sale

    The trustee for a bankrupt entity once owned by HFZ Capital Group has sued Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, seeking to claw back up to $2 million the firms allegedly fraudulently received from a $45 million Hamptons mansion sale linked to developer Nir Meir.

  • April 09, 2024

    'You're Going To Lose These People,' Judge Tells Lynch Atty

    U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Tuesday chided a Steptoe partner representing former Autonomy CEO Michael Lynch in his criminal fraud jury trial, saying that his hourslong questioning of a Deloitte partner shouldn't go on much longer, or "you're going to lose these people."

  • April 09, 2024

    Crypto Booster Says $1B SEC Fraud Suit Offends Free Speech

    The crypto founder known as Richard Heart told a federal judge in Brooklyn on Tuesday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission violated his and others' free speech rights when it brought a case accusing him of selling $1 billion worth of unregistered digital asset securities across his projects and misappropriating customer assets.

  • April 09, 2024

    Crypto Trader Says $110M Mango Markets Trades Were Legit

    An attorney for a crypto trader accused of stealing $110 million from investors on the Mango Markets exchange through a market manipulation scheme told a Manhattan federal jury on Tuesday that his client was executing a legitimate trading strategy and had no intent to defraud anyone.

  • April 09, 2024

    Ex-Ohio Utility Chair Dies As Criminal Charges Mount

    The onetime chair of Ohio's utility regulator, who was accused of stealing money from FirstEnergy Corp. as part of a bribery scheme behind a controversial $1.3 billion bailout for two nuclear energy plants, died Tuesday in an apparent suicide, the Franklin County Coroner's Office confirmed.

  • April 09, 2024

    Calif. AG Backs Bill To Revamp 'Abysmal' Corporate Penalties

    California Attorney General Rob Bonta gave his full support Tuesday to a state bill that would increase the cap on criminal penalties for corporate malfeasance from the "abysmal penalty" of $10,000 per felony to $25 million, or twice the value of the inflicted loss, and provide all proceeds to California's crime victim services.

  • April 09, 2024

    In Trump Case, Justices Get Reminded Presidents Aren't Kings

    Former President Donald Trump's bid for absolute presidential immunity from criminal prosecution flies in the face of a major feature of the U.S. Constitution, and would create novel obstacles for the military and the economy, backers of special counsel Jack Smith have told the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • April 09, 2024

    Former Pharma Exec Can't Oust Judge In Contempt Case

    A federal judge in Massachusetts on Tuesday denied what he called a "frivolous" motion to recuse himself from a criminal contempt proceeding against a former pharmaceutical executive who has acknowledged using an alias to flout an injunction banning him from working in the securities field.

Expert Analysis

  • Stay Interviews Are Key To Retaining Legal Talent

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    Even as the economy shifts and layoffs continue, law firms still want to retain their top attorneys, and so-called stay interviews — informal conversations with employees to identify potential issues before they lead to turnover — can be a crucial tool for improving retention and morale, say Tina Cohen Nicol and Kate Reder Sheikh at Major Lindsey.

  • Independent Regulator Could Chip Away At FIFA Autonomy

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    After the U.K.'s recent proposal for an independent football regulator, FIFA's commitment to safeguarding football association autonomy remains unwavering, despite a history of complexities arising from controversies in the bidding and hosting of major tournaments, say Yasin Patel at Church Court Chambers and Caitlin Haberlin-Chambers at SLAM Global.

  • New Concerns, Same Tune At This Year's SIFMA Conference

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    At this year's Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association conference on legal developments affecting the financial services industry, government regulators’ emphasis on whistleblowing and AI washing represented a new refrain in an increasingly familiar chorus calling for prompt and thorough corporate cooperation, say attorneys at Fried Frank.

  • Calif. High Court Ruling Has Lessons For Waiving Jury Trials

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    The California Supreme Court’s recent decision in TriCoast Builders v. Fonnegra, denying relief to a contractor that had waived its right to a jury trial, shows that litigants should always post jury fees as soon as possible, and seek writ review if the court denies relief from a waiver, say Steven Fleischman and Nicolas Sonnenburg at Horvitz & Levy.

  • Opinion

    DOJ Press Office Is Not Fulfilling Its Stated Mission

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    The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs’ apparent practice of issuing press releases when someone is indicted or convicted, but not when a defendant prevails, undermines its stated mission to disseminate “current, complete and accurate” information, and has negative real-world ramifications, says Sara Kropf at Kropf Moseley.

  • Reducing Risk While DOJ Plans New Whistleblower Rewards

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    In light of the Department of Justice's newly announced plan to create a comprehensive whistleblower reward program to fill the gaps in the current patchwork of federal incentives, companies should mitigate their risk of external claims now by implementing internal systems where employees can confidently and anonymously report concerns, say Caleb Hayes-Deats and Walter Hawes at MoloLamken.

  • Series

    Spray Painting Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experiences as an abstract spray paint artist have made me a better litigator, demonstrating — in more ways than one — how fluidity and flexibility are necessary parts of a successful legal practice, says Erick Sandlin at Bracewell.

  • DOJ's Safe Harbor Policy May Quietly Favor M&A Enforcement

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    In a change that has received little attention, the U.S. Justice Department's recently codified safe harbor policy essentially reads the Antitrust Division's criminal enforcement out of the policy entirely, and now appears to favor merger enforcement in antitrust, rather than criminal enforcement, as originally intended, say Daniel Oakes and James Attridge at Axinn.

  • Takeaways From The 2023 DOJ Fraud Section Report

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    Attorneys at Wiley discuss notable trends from the U.S. Department of Justice's recently reported Fraud Section activity last year and highlight areas of enforcement to watch for in the future, including healthcare fraud and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.

  • Securing A Common Understanding Of Language Used At Trial

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    Witness examinations in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump illustrate the importance of building a common understanding of words and phrases and examples as a fact-finding tool at trial, says Reuben Guttman at Guttman Buschner.

  • Why Individual Officers Are BSA-AML Enforcement Targets

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    Banking compliance professionals should use recent enforcement actions against individual officers at both Sterling Bank and the New York State Employees Credit Union to assess whether they are equipped with the tools and authority necessary to avert deficient Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering compliance, says Sam Finkelstein at Volkov Group.

  • 5 Issues To Consider When Liquidating Through An ABC

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    Assignments for the benefit of creditors continue to grow in popularity as a tool for an orderly wind-down, and companies should be considering a number of issues before effectuating the assignment, including in which state it should occur, obtaining tail coverage and preparing a board creditor mailing list, says Evelyn Meltzer at Troutman Pepper.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Is Imperative This Election Year

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    As the next election nears, the judges involved in the upcoming trials against former President Donald Trump increasingly face political pressures and threats of violence — revealing the urgent need to safeguard judicial independence and uphold the rule of law, says Benes Aldana at the National Judicial College.

  • How Harsher Penalties For AI Crimes May Work In Practice

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    With recent pronouncements from the U.S. Department of Justice that prosecutors may seek sentencing enhancements for crimes committed using artificial intelligence, defense counsel should understand how the sentencing guidelines and statutory factors will come into play, says Jennie VonCannon at Crowell & Moring.

  • 2nd Circ.'s Binance Locus Test Adds Risk For Blockchain Cos.

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    The Second Circuit’s recent use of the irrevocable liability test to rule a class action may proceed against decentralized crypto exchange Binance heightens the possibility that other blockchain-based businesses with domestic customers and digital infrastructure will find themselves subject to U.S. securities laws, say attorneys at Holland & Knight.

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