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Regulation White Collar Crime

Second Circuit ‘Connolly’ Ruling Shows Limits of Mail and Wire Fraud Statutes

The Connolly decision draws attention to the limits of the mail/wire fraud statutes — laws that are quite expansive but can also be stretched too far when applied to conduct in financial markets, especially markets tied to opaque rules and practices.

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Since about 2011, the Department of Justice has devoted considerable effort to investigate and prosecute alleged manipulation of the London Inter-Bank Offer Rate (LIBOR). LIBOR is an interest rate benchmark that is so embedded in the global financial system that, despite much criticism, and even during DOJ’s investigations and prosecutions, LIBOR has continued to be used by institutional borrowers and lenders, and will not be phased out fully until June 2023.

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