White Collar

  • February 26, 2024

    Convicted Nikola Founder Must Forfeit Ranch, Judge Says

    A New York federal judge on Monday ruled Nikola Corp. founder Trevor Milton, who received a 4-year prison sentence for fraudulently inflating the truck-maker's value on Wall Street, must forfeit his 4,700-acre Utah property, citing the seriousness of Milton's crime and that he bought the ranch using inflated stock options.

  • February 26, 2024

    Feds Want PacifiCorp To Cover $1B Ore., Calif. Wildfire Costs

    PacifiCorp revealed in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday that the U.S. Department of Justice is potentially looking to collect more than $1 billion from the company to cover costs related to 2020 wildfires in Oregon and California, even threatening to take one matter to court.

  • February 26, 2024

    AmEx Fights To Arbitrate Merchant's Girardi-Linked Suit

    An attorney for American Express Co. urged a California federal judge on Monday to reconsider his tentative ruling declining to force a costume merchant to arbitrate malicious prosecution claims over charges disputed by Erika Girardi, saying the agreement in question applies to the merchant and not just his company.

  • February 26, 2024

    Ex-Glass Co. CFO Can't Beat SEC's Accounting Fraud Suit

    A California federal judge said Monday that a former officer of a "smart" glassmaker will have to face the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's allegations that he defrauded investors by failing to tell them about certain liabilities the company faced before it merged with a blank-check company.

  • February 26, 2024

    Family Dollar OKs Record $41.7M Deal With DOJ Over Rodents

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced that Family Dollar Stores LLC will pay $41.7 million after pleading guilty to storing food and drugs in unsanitary conditions at a rodent-infested warehouse, in what federal prosecutors called the largest monetary penalty in a food safety case.

  • February 26, 2024

    11th Circ. Says Bankruptcy Fraud Threat Can't Tank Deal

    The Eleventh Circuit ruled Monday that coupon marketing agency Valpak's alleged threat to report a franchisee for bankruptcy fraud was not extortion and refused to set aside the settlement that ended the franchisee's suit accusing Valpak of wrongfully terminating their agreement.

  • February 26, 2024

    'Pig Butchering' Victim Slaps Binance, Ex-CEO With RICO Suit

    Binance and the cryptocurrency exchange's former CEO let criminal syndicates run fraud schemes through its platform by flouting laws against money laundering and money transmitting, according to an $8.1 million civil racketeering suit filed in Boston federal court.

  • February 26, 2024

    Ex-Bank CFO Cops To $700K Theft And Life Insurance Scam

    An ex-Eastern International Bank chief financial officer has pled guilty to defrauding the bank out of more than $700,000 to pay his personal expenses, and he admitted to opening life insurance policies in the names of bank employees to benefit his wife, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • February 26, 2024

    Pastor And Ally Of NYC Mayor Was A Con Man, Jury Hears

    A well-known Brooklyn pastor with close ties to New York City Mayor Eric Adams is a con man, a Manhattan federal prosecutor told jurors Monday, one who lied to lenders, stole from an elderly parishioner and claimed his connections to City Hall could result in millions of dollars in profits from a real estate deal.

  • February 26, 2024

    UAW, Fiat Chrysler Escape Engineers' Bribery Scheme Suit

    The United Auto Workers, Fiat Chrysler and others are off the hook for state fraud and civil conspiracy claims brought by auto engineers in connection to a bribery scheme between union officials and the automaker, a Michigan federal judge ruled Monday, citing a recent Sixth Circuit decision finding related allegations untimely.

  • February 26, 2024

    SoCal Edison Will Pay 'Record' $80M To End Thomas Fire Suit

    Southern California Edison Co. has agreed to shell out $80 million to resolve a lawsuit in California federal court alleging the utility company caused the 2017 Thomas Fire that scorched large sections of the Los Padres National Forest, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday.

  • February 26, 2024

    Ponzi Schemer To Be Resentenced After High Court Ruling

    A man who pled guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that targeted elderly victims will be resentenced after prosecutors agreed to dismiss an aggravated identity theft count following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that narrowed the type of conduct that triggers the identity theft statute.

  • February 26, 2024

    Ex-NYU Finance Exec Cops To Stealing Grant Funds

    A former New York University finance director admitted Monday to diverting approximately $3.5 million earmarked for minority- and women-owned businesses and spending some of the money on home renovations and a swimming pool, the Manhattan district attorney said in a statement.

  • February 26, 2024

    Two Indicted In $3.9M Fraudulent Business Email Scheme

    The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that a federal grand jury indicted two men for an email conspiracy that duped an asbestos abatement company and a shipping company into depositing about $3.9 million into their own bank accounts instead of the intended.

  • February 26, 2024

    Inmate, 8 Others Charged In Trafficking, Tax Fraud Schemes

    A California prison inmate has been charged along with eight other individuals with operating two separate illegal schemes: one to distribute methamphetamine and another to fraudulently claim over $550 million in COVID-19-based tax credits.

  • February 26, 2024

    Brother Of Suspect In University Slaying Charged With Fraud

    The brother of the suspect charged in the slaying of a nursing student on the University of Georgia's Athens campus was charged Friday night with possessing a fraudulent green card and is now in state custody.

  • February 26, 2024

    Stimwave Prosecutors Accused Of Brady Violation Mid-Trial

    The former CEO of Stimwave Technologies has alleged in the middle of her criminal fraud trial that the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office withheld key evidence about proffer meetings, teeing up a potential Brady fight before a skeptical judge.

  • February 26, 2024

    Smirnov Loses Bid For Freedom In Biden Bribery Lies Case

    A California federal judge Monday ordered former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov to remain jailed on charges he fabricated reports that President Joe Biden and his son took bribes from a Ukrainian company, saying he takes "no comfort" in Smirnov's promises not to flee given his history of false statements.

  • February 26, 2024

    Fla. Men Receive Probation In Sweepstakes Fraud Scheme

    Two men accused of defrauding elderly people of millions of dollars in a sweepstakes scheme were sentenced to probation Monday in Florida federal court, more than a month after each pled guilty to a wire fraud charge that they were previously convicted of, but had vacated due to prosecutorial misconduct.

  • February 26, 2024

    Manhattan DA Seeks Trump Gag Order For Hush Money Trial

    The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has asked a New York state judge to limit what Donald Trump can say publicly about the upcoming hush money trial against him, referencing Trump's history of intimidating and harassing witnesses, jurors, attorneys and court staff.

  • February 26, 2024

    Feds Say Fla. Atty Can't Undo COVID Relief Fraud Conviction

    A U.S. attorney's office has pushed back on a Florida lawyer's bid to vacate her conviction in Georgia federal court of conspiring to defraud a coronavirus pandemic relief program, saying the government doesn't have to prove she was "behind the keyboard" when the applications were submitted to be convicted of the charges.

  • February 26, 2024

    1 Pilot For Billionaire Cops Plea, But 2nd Says He's Innocent

    A pilot employed by British billionaire Joe Lewis pled guilty in Manhattan federal court Monday to insider trading, while counsel for a second Lewis pilot charged with profiting from illegal stock tips said his client is innocent and preparing for trial.

  • February 26, 2024

    Trump Fights With State Over Cell Data Use In Willis DQ Bid

    District Attorney Fani T. Willis of Fulton County, Georgia, and former President Donald Trump are once again facing off in court, this time over whether cellphone data purporting to show late night visits between Willis and a special prosecutor can be used in a bid to disqualify Willis and her office from prosecuting the Georgia election interference case.

  • February 26, 2024

    1st Circ. Rejects Crypto Founder's Hollow Fraud Appeal

    A cryptocurrency founder convicted of fraud hitched his appeal to "inapplicable precedent" and failed to muster an argument why a judge's blocking of testimony from government witnesses deprived his defense of material and favorable evidence, the First Circuit said in upholding the guilty verdict.

  • February 26, 2024

    Justices Decline Standard Chartered Sanction Evasion Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider whether a whistleblower should've been granted a hearing in a lower court to support allegations that Standard Chartered Bank cleared roughly $56 billion in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Expert Analysis

  • Steps For Companies New To Sanctions Compliance

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    Businesses newly required to implement compliance programs due to the increased breadth of mandatory sanctions and export controls, including 500 additional Russia sanctions announced last Friday, should closely follow the guidance issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and other regulators, say Jennifer Schubert and Megan Church at MoloLamken.

  • Bank Secrecy Act Lessons For Casinos After DOJ Settlements

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    The U.S. Department of Justice's recent settlements with the MGM Grand and Cosmopolitan casinos, resolving an investigation into alleged violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, signal a shift in the DOJ's enforcement focus and provide insight into potential pitfalls in anti-money laundering compliance programs, say attorneys at Jenner & Block.

  • High Court Forfeiture Case Again Pits Text Against Purpose

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    In oral arguments Tuesday in McIntosh v. U.S., the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether a federal court can impose asset forfeiture on a defendant even if it doesn’t comply with timing rules, which may affect the broader interpretation of procedural deadlines — and tees up the latest battle between textualism and purposivism, say Anden Chow and Christian Bale at MoloLamken.

  • 6 Pointers For Attys To Build Trust, Credibility On Social Media

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    In an era of information overload, attorneys can use social media strategically — from making infographics to leveraging targeted advertising — to cut through the noise and establish a reputation among current and potential clients, says Marly Broudie at SocialEyes Communications.

  • Cos. Must Know How NY, Federal LLC Disclosure Laws Differ

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    Though New York state's new LLC Transparency Act and the federal Corporate Transparency Act impose similar beneficial owner reporting obligations on limited liability companies, New York LLCs should study the important differences between the laws to ensure they are prepared to comply with both, say Abram Ellis, Olenka Burghardt and Jane Jho at Simpson Thacher.

  • More Than Drugs At Stake In High Court's 'Blind Mule' Case

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's eventual decision in Diaz v. U.S., evaluating whether expert witnesses may testify that most defendants caught with drugs at the border know they are transporting drugs, could have implications for prosecuting everything from complex financial crimes to gun and drug cases, says Kenneth Notter at MoloLamken.

  • A Refresher On Witness Testimony In 3 Key Settings

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    The recent controversy over congressional testimony from university presidents about antisemitism on campus serves as a reminder to attorneys about what to emphasize and avoid when preparing witnesses to testify before Congress, and how this venue differs from grand jury and trial proceedings, say Jack Sharman and Tyler Yarbrough at Lightfoot Franklin.

  • A Post-Mortem Analysis Of Stroock's Demise

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    After the dissolution of 147-year-old firm Stroock late last year shook up the legal world, a post-mortem analysis of the data reveals a long list of warning signs preceding the firm’s collapse — and provides some insight into how other firms might avoid the same disastrous fate, says Craig Savitzky at Leopard Solutions.

  • Preparing For DOJ's Data Analytics Push In FCPA Cases

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    After the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent announcement that it will leverage data analytics in Foreign Corrupt Practice Act investigations and prosecutions, companies will need to develop a compliance strategy that likewise implements data analytics to get ahead of enforcement risks, say attorneys at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Considering The Logical Extremes Of Your Legal Argument

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    Recent oral arguments in the federal election interference case against former President Donald Trump highlighted the age-old technique of extending an argument to its logical limit — a principle that is still important for attorneys to consider in preparing their cases, says Reuben Guttman at Guttman Buschner.

  • How High Court SEC Case Could Affect The ITC

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    While the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy will likely spare the U.S. International Trade Commission from major operative changes, the ITC’s ability to issue penalties for violations of its orders may change, say Gwendolyn Tawresey and Ryan Deck at Troutman Pepper.

  • Storytelling Strategies To Defuse Courtroom Conspiracies

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    Misinformation continues to proliferate in all sectors of society, including in the courtroom, as jurors try to fill in the gaps of incomplete trial narratives — underscoring the need for attorneys to tell a complete, consistent and credible story before and during trial, says David Metz at IMS Legal Strategies.

  • $32.4M Fine For Info Disclosure Is A Stark Warning For Banks

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    The New York State Department of Financial Services and the Federal Reserve's fining of a Chinese state-owned bank $32.4 million last month underscores the need for financial institutions to have policies and procedures in place to handle confidential supervisory information, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • Lessons From Rare Post-Verdict Healthcare Fraud Acquittal

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    A Maryland federal court recently overturned a jury verdict that found a doctor guilty of healthcare fraud related to billing levels for COVID-19 tests, providing defense attorneys with potential strategies for obtaining acquittals in similar prosecutions, says attorney Andrew Feldman.

  • ChristianaCare Settlement Reveals FCA Pitfalls For Hospitals

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    ChristianaCare's False Claims Act settlement in December is the first one based on a hospital allegedly providing private physicians with free services in the form of hospital-employed clinicians and provides important compliance lessons as the government ramps up scrutiny of compensation arrangements, say attorneys at Sheppard Mullin.

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