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In a November 2018 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that “… Ponzi scheme payments to satisfy legitimate antecedent debts to defendant banks could not be avoided” by a bankruptcy trustee “absent transaction-specific proof of actual intent to defraud or the statutory elements of constructive fraud — transfer by an insolvent debtor who did not receive reasonably equivalent value in exchange.” Stoebner v. Opportunity Finance, LLC, 2018 WL 6055636 4 (8th Cir. Nov. 20, 2018), citing Finn v. Alliance Bank, 860 N.W. 2d 638, 653-56 (Minn. 2015).
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By Robert J. Anello and Richard F. Albert
When federal prosecutors focus their attention on high profile misconduct that is not an obvious violation of federal criminal law, they often cannot resist the attractions of broadly worded “catch-all” fraud statutes. From time to time, however, the U.S. Supreme Court has pushed back on efforts to further expand the boundaries of these statutes, leading to reversals of some well-publicized criminal convictions.
By Margaret A. Dale and Mark D. Harris
Given the current turmoil in the markets, an increasing number of plaintiffs are bringing shareholder class action suits, citing corporate statements about COVID-19. As first-quarter earnings season draws to a close, now is a good time to reflect on the shareholder class actions that have been brought to date related to COVID-19, and others potentially yet to come.
By Terence M. Grugan, David L. Axelrod and Emilia McKee Vassallo
For more than 10 years, federal investigators have investigated criminal conduct in connection with the 2008 recession-era TARP program. From those investigations, U.S. Attorneys across the country brought cases and earned convictions for offenses spanning the federal criminal code. We can expect that these same agencies will use the same techniques and strategies to investigate crimes and bring cases involving fraud related to the COVID-19 stimulus packages.
By Russell Koonin and Adam Schwartz
In the midst the current COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC is paying attention. The Division of Enforcement has made clear that it will act, and act quickly, to stop fraudulent conduct that falls under its jurisdiction related to the pandemic.