Author Archives: Sara Kropf

The Torment of Being Under Criminal Investigation

Many of my white-collar clients are startled to learn how long a government investigation and criminal trial take. They think it will last a year, maybe 14 months. Instead, it can take years. Delay can work to my clients’ advantage, … Continue reading

Posted in Health care fraud, Plea Agreement, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SEC Charges Firm with Not Snitching Enough

Regular readers of this blog know that I resent when the government forces private industry do the government’s job. Internal investigations are a good example. Companies spend millions conducting them into possible wrongdoing—hoping for leniency—and then turn over the results … Continue reading

Posted in SEC Investigation, Securities fraud, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Venue Isn’t Boring (I Promise) – The Jeffrey Sterling Case

Venue seems like one of those boring topics we learned in law school that doesn’t have much practical application. But in a recent case out of the Fourth Circuit, a defendant won the dismissal of a charge based on lack … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Classifiied information, Venue | Leave a comment

Is the Government Throwing in the Towel on Pre-Trial Seizure of Untainted Assets? A Win in the Fourth Circuit Suggests Yes

Perhaps the most troubling type of criminal forfeiture is the pretrial restraint of untainted assets. The Department of Justice will seize assets, before proving a single allegation of wrongdoing, even where those assets are not linked to the wrongdoing. This … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Criminal Forfeiture, Health care fraud | Tagged | Leave a comment

Are You Criminally Liable if Your Business Partner Lies? Or, What the Heck is Misprision of a Felony?

Having a business partner can be a wonderful advantage. But it can also be dangerous if your business partner turns out to be unethical. Karen Olson, a former Alaska executive director of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal | Leave a comment

Ninth Circuit Sets Some Practical Limits on Obstruction of Justice and Witness Tampering Charges

There has been a lot of talk in the media recently about obstruction of justice. Obstruction of justice is a fascinating topic, to be sure. But whether the President of the United States obstructed justice when he fired the Director … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Obstruction, Trade Secrets, Witness tampering | Leave a comment

What is an FBI 302? The Problematic Nature of FBI Agents’ Interview Memos

Former FBI Director James Comey apparently wrote a memo summarizing his meeting with President Trump. The memo purportedly recounts the president’s statement saying he “hoped” that Comey would drop the investigation into the ties between his campaign and the Russians. … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Investigation, DOJ policy and practice, FBI policy and practice | 1 Comment

Government’s “Big” Case Against Compliance Officer Ends Up Kind of Small

The Treasury Department and former MoneyGram Chief Compliance Officer Thomas Haider have settled their civil claims. This was the first-ever case against a compliance officer for failing to implement an appropriate anti-money laundering (AML) program at a company. For all … Continue reading

Posted in civil case, Compliance | Leave a comment

Fifth Circuit Takes a Goldilocks Approach to False Claims Act Standard for Imputing Knowledge to Corporation

The Department of Justice is always busy prosecuting fraud related to government contracts. The two obvious reasons why this is a DOJ priority are (1) a lot of public money is spent through government contracts, and (2) the size and … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, civil case, False Claims Act, Government contracting fraud, Kickbacks | Leave a comment

“Restitution for a Reckless Bank? A Dubious Remedy Indeed” – Judge Posner’s Bank of America Smackdown

Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit—love him or hate him—just wrote a(nother) scathing opinion. He remanded a criminal restitution order, concluding that Bank of America was not entitled to any restitution for fraudulent mortgage loans because of the bank’s … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Restitution, Sentencing | Leave a comment