Author Archives: Sara Kropf

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

Bingo! A Defense Win Limits Broad Use of Mail Fraud Statute

The only thing I like better than seeing a defense lawyer win is seeing a friend who is a defense lawyer win. A friend of mine, Jay Nanavati, led a case to victory in the Northern District of West Virginia, … Continue reading

Posted in Dismissal of charges in indictment, Mail Fraud, Money Laundering | 2 Comments

Upjohn Warnings from Both Sides of the Table

I recently participated on a panel at the excellent NACDL White Collar Defense College with Ellen Brotman, Preston Pugh, Brian Bieber and Cynthia Orr. The College aims to teach lawyers how to handle white-collar cases from start to finish. We … Continue reading

Posted in Obstruction, Attorney client privilege, internal investigation | 2 Comments

Update on the Hedge Fund Founder David Ganek’s Lawsuit Against Preet Bharara

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the lawsuit filed by Level Global founder David Ganek. Mr. Ganek sued Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, as well as other prosecutors and agents, claiming … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, civil case, DOJ policy and practice, Fourth Amendment | Leave a comment

Like DOJ, the SEC Has Trouble with Misleading Press Releases

I’ve written before about the fundamental unfairness of the Department of Justice’s practice of issuing press releases touting indictments but not issuing press releases when the charges are dismissed or the defendant acquitted. It looks like the SEC has the … Continue reading

Posted in SEC policy and practice, Securities fraud | Leave a comment

OIG Investigations – Why Lawyers and Clients Should Both Worry

On first glance, investigations by a federal agency’s Office of Inspector General, or OIG, may seem like no big deal. An inspector general has no criminal authority. He can’t charge you with a crime or throw you in jail. He … Continue reading

Posted in OIG investigations | 2 Comments