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Criminal Law Litigation White Collar Crime

The Importance of ‘Particulars’ in Criminal Fraud Cases

This article discusses the standard for ordering a bill of particulars in the Second Circuit, drawing a comparison with the standard for civil fraud claims, and then describes a recent decision ordering a bill of particulars in the high-profile prosecution growing out of the Theranos blood-testing scandal. The decision in that case highlights the importance of seeking bills of particulars in fraud cases.


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The indictment against your client reads in relevant part as follows: “In or about and between January 2019 and February 2020, the defendants, JOHN DOE and JANE DOE, co-owners of Acme Technology Co., made materially false and misleading statements and omissions to investors regarding, among other things, (i) the current and future revenues of Acme; (ii) the sales forecasts for Acme’s main product; (iii) the amount of debt on Acme’s balance sheet; and (iv) the executive compensation owed to the defendants.” Such broadly worded charges, which describe the nature of the crime but do not identify specific misstatements, are common in fraud prosecutions.

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