Legal Blog


Lynch v. Dimaya, Where The Johnson Court Is Headed, And How It May Get There

Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lynch v. Dimaya, a case challenging the constitutionality of 18 U.S.C. § 16(b), which defines the term “crime of violence.” As a firm, we frequently encounter these issues in our practice, and as a result have been closely following the Dimaya case. You can read our post: “Violent Felony” And “Crime of Violence”: What Johnson v. United States Can Mean For Other Federal Criminal Statutes Involving Violent Crimes for a general overview of the kinds of issues that Dimaya involves.

What happened in Lynch v. Dimaya?

Dimaya was an alien who … Read More »



At Counsel’s Table: An Interview with Hank Asbill of Jones Day

We recently interviewed Hank Asbill of Jones Day, and Professor Ellen Podgor at White Collar Crime Prof Blog graciously published the interview. The interview can be read by clicking on this link. The interview covers Mr. Asbill’s career as well as his work on the McDonnell case.



What the McDonnell Ruling Means for Future Corruption Prosecutions

Thanks to Professor Matthew Stephenson of the Harvard Law School, we were able to guest post an article about the McDonnell decision on his blog, the Global Anticorruption Blog. The article may be read through this link: https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2016/08/11/guest-post-what-the-mcdonnell-ruling-means-for-future-corruption-prosecutions/

 

 



Is the FBI’s Recommendation in the Clinton Email Probe Justified?

Recently, our firm published a guest post on the White Collar Crime Prof Blog discussing the FBI’s recommendation of no prosecution after investigating Hillary Clinton’s email use. The post may be accessed here: http://goo.gl/UyAEJy

 



“Violent Felony” And “Crime of Violence”: What Johnson v. United States Can Mean For Other Federal Criminal Statutes Involving Violent Crimes

In 2015, the Supreme Court decided Johnson v. United States. The decision struck down part of the federal Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 (“ACCA”), which defined a legal term: “violent felony,” used for some federal crimes. As noted in a recent article from the Washington Post, hundreds, if not thousands, of prisoners can expect to have their prison sentences reduced as a result of Johnson.

Johnson’s impact, however, does not stop at the individuals directly sentenced under ACCA. The Supreme Court’s rationale in Johnson may be applicable to many other federal criminal statutes, including laws defining a similar term: … Read More »



Can the Government Freeze Assets I Need to Hire an Attorney ? 

In order to answer this question, it is important to recognize that under forfeiture law, there are two broad categories of assets: tainted and untainted assets.

What are tainted assets?

Tainted assets refer to assets that are in some way linked to the crime: either it can be “traced” to a crime, or was an “instrumentality” of the crime. For an example of the former, If Bernie Madoff used the profits of his pyramid scheme to purchase a life insurance policy, that policy is now tainted because it can be “traced” back to the illegal pyramid scheme. For an … Read More »



Case Study: Guilty Plea in Alexandria Federal Court by Former TV Pundit

The Washington Post recently reported on a guilty plea in the Alexandria federal courthouse: read here.

The initial reporting on the case focused on the allegation that the defendant, Wayne Simmons, falsely claimed to have been a CIA paramilitary operative. Federal prosecutors previously alleged through the indictment that Mr. Simmons never worked for the CIA. In the guilty plea, however, Mr. Simmons continues to maintain that he did in fact work for the CIA.

The facts of this white collar case in the Eastern District of Virginia are interesting and the case serves as a good example of how federal … Read More »



FAQ – Federal Bribery and Public Corruption Charges

FAQ – Federal Bribery and Public Corruption Charges

What is a federal bribery charge?

It is a federal crime to pay bribes or gratuities to public officials. 18 U.S.C. § 201. The federal government has in recent years aggressively prosecuted instances of bribery and gratuity payments to public officials.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 78dd et seq., deals with bribery of foreign officials. That law makes it a crime for a US business or individual to make payments to a foreign official in exchange for an official act, or for the purpose of obtaining, retaining, or … Read More »



Targets, Subjects and Witnesses in Federal Criminal Investigations

Federal prosecutors and agents conducting criminal investigations often talk in terms of “targets”, “subjects”, and “witnesses.” So what do these terms mean and why are they important?

In laymans’ terms, a target is a person who the government has decided to prosecute if they can whereas a witness is a person the government believes is innocent but may have relevant information. A subject is somewhere in between – the government has not decided whether they are guilty of a crime or not.

A simple example will illustrate the point. Let’s image a mortgage fraud investigation where the government learns a … Read More »



Thoughts on the Fourth Circuit’s Ruling in the McDonnell Case

For a while things were going well for former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s appeal of his convictions for corruption related offenses. The Court allowed him to remain out of custody while the appeal was pending and the panel who heard his case – Judges Motz, King, and Thacker – was pretty favorable by Fourth Circuit standards.

But the Court ruled against him on every issue. In a published decision issued last Friday.

The media has (appropriately) given most of its attention to the Fourth Circuit’s decision to uphold the relatively broad definition of “official act” given to the jury by … Read More »