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In recent years, prosecutions of public corruption have often centered on whether a government official committed an “official act.” The importance of that question derives from the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2355 (2016), in which the Supreme Court held that commission of an “official act” is required to sustain a conviction for honest services fraud and Hobbs Act violations. The Second Circuit has addressed the issue in several high-profile prosecutions of state officials. See, e.g., United States v. Silver, 948 F.3d 538 (2d Cir. 2020).
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By Harry Sandick, Anna Blum and Abigail Marion
The Second Circuit's long-anticipated decision in United States v. Blaszczak limits the government’s ability to bring fraud or insider trading prosecutions where the information used to achieve an advantage is regulatory information held by the government. It also brings the Second Circuit in greater alignment with the Supreme Court’s wire fraud jurisprudence.
By Andrey Spektor and Laura S. Perlov
If you use Whatsapp or similar platforms for work-related communications, then you’ve probably heard that regulators are putting an end to that practice. Ephemeral and encrypted messaging, they have noted, evades monitoring and prevents retention. A seldom used doctrine allows prosecutors to charge executives with misdemeanor offenses just for being in the position of power when others commit the misconduct. Rather than take a wait-and-see approach, companies and their leaders would do well to prepare for prosecutors to reach deep into their toolbox.
By Evan T. Barr
Ever since the Honeycutt ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017 that co-conspirators convicted of federal narcotics violations could not be held jointly and severally liable, courts have grappled with whether it also applied outside the narcotics context, to forfeiture judgments imposed in white-collar cases.
By Maria Dinzeo
General counsel may find themselves pulled into difficult conversations with top executives as the Securities and Exchange Commission tightens its rules on company insiders looking to dump their stock.