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The recent acquittal in the Eastern District of New York of Thomas Barrack, a longtime friend and ally of former President Donald Trump, who was accused of acting as an unlawful agent of the UAE to influence Trump’s decision-making, is only the latest example of the DOJ’s difficulties successfully prosecuting cases of non-traditional foreign influence in U.S. affairs. DOJ has also faced repeated setbacks in its prosecution in the Eastern District of Virginia of Bijan Rafiekian, former business partner of Trump’s National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, accused of acting as an illegal agent of the Turkish government in an effort to obtain the extradition of a Turkish dissident. Both Barrack and Rafiekian were charged under §951 of the U.S. Criminal Code, which has roots in the Espionage Act of 1917, and broadly prohibits agents of foreign governments from acting in the United States without first notifying the Attorney General. Despite the statute’s broad language, the DOJ has faced significant hurdles in pursuing §951 prosecutions outside the traditional espionage context, and particularly where the alleged foreign agent’s activity involves ostensibly legitimate international business dealings.
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ITC General Exclusion Orders Targeting All Importers Are On the Rise
By Daniel Muino, Brian Busey and Nomin-Erdene Jagdagdorj
In recent years, the ITC has issued more General Exclusion Orders (GEOs) than in the past. For importers of products potentially implicated by a requested GEO, the GEO can be a major threat even if the importer is not a respondent in the case.
Ticket Resellers’ Campaign Raises Securities Law and Money Laundering Issues
By Chris Castle
Some markets allow for the sale of a future contract for tickets that have not gone on sale as yet (i.e., “speculative ticketing”). The future contract, like an option or a commodities future, allows someone to purchase the right to buy a ticket once the tickets are offered for sale. This seems to implicate securities law issues, broker-dealer regulations and potentially the general solicitation rule.
Rule 10b-5 Liability: The Second Circuit and ‘Rio Tinto’
By Anthony Michael Sabino
Part Three of a Three-Part Article
The first two installments exposited Janus Capital Group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders and Lorenzo v. S.E.C., both essential to understanding S.E.C. v. Rio Tinto, the Second Circuit’s most recent holding regarding Rule 10b-5 “scheme” liability. Now we examine how the “Mother Court” of federal securities law has tended to that branch of the mighty judicial oak rooted in that venerable regulation.
Acquitted-Conduct Sentencing: A Quagmire Neither the Supreme Court Nor the U.S. Sentencing Commission Can Continue to Avoid
By Harry Sandick and Nicole Scully
It has been common knowledge to criminal practitioners for years that a criminal defendant’s sentence for a crime which they have been convicted can be increased based on consideration of conduct that the jury acquitted. This outcome can make a partial acquittal in federal court into a pyrrhic victory.