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As we have observed over the years, 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 like the one prohibiting wire fraud. 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. The most recent example is the Supreme Court’s reversal of the “Bridgegate”-related convictions of Bill Baroni, the former Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority, and Bridget Anne Kelly, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The unanimous “Bridgegate” decision’s rationale, however, was relatively narrow. The court, for example, did not expressly weigh in on the controversial “right to control” theory, which provides that a defendant deprives a victim of “property” as required under the federal fraud statutes if he or she denies the victim the right to control how its assets are used. The extent to which the principles articulated in that decision will have an impact on future federal fraud prosecutions is currently being tested in another high-profile case currently on appeal before the Second Circuit where the “right to control” theory is at issue — United States v. Gatto, otherwise known as the NCAA “hoops” case.
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By Ross Benson and Robert N. Driscoll
Given the rapid expansion of interest and participation in cryptocurrency transactions, it’s not a matter of whether you have an interest in crypto, think it’s all a bizarre techno-bubble, the eventual replacement for fiat currency, or somewhere in between. The fact of the matter is your clients, and future clients, are more likely than ever to have a connection to this market, and a brief review of the headlines can make this prospect seem terrifying.
By Jacqueline C. Wolff and Michael Herrmann
The prevalent view is that telehealth will remain an integral part of our healthcare system post-PHE and may even continue to expand. And that means criminal and civil enforcement focused on fraud committed using, or furthered by the use of, telehealth will be expanding as well, particularly when one looks at the dollars that a regulator can bring in for fraud or noncompliance.
By Carolyn H. Kendall and Abraham J. Rein
Hillary Clinton's 2015 statement about the possibility of incarceration for employment-related failures was, to many, an alarming prospect. Since that time, this movement has grown, and has recently gained momentum. Today, prosecutors across the country increasingly seek criminal fines and jail time for what were previously seen as non-criminal labor violations.
By Elkan Abramowitz and Jonathan S. Sack
This article describes pending federal prosecutions, which level corruption charges against high-level officials, considers how the theories of prosecution in these cases might be viewed in light of court decisions in other public corruption cases, and concludes with some observations about the outer limits of federal public corruption prosecutions.