Category Archives: Sentencing

“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

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Prosecutors Take Fair Approach to Sentencing in Fraud Case Against Executive (No, This Is Not Clickbait.)

As I’ve written about many times before, the loss amount drives many white-collar criminal sentences. The government’s view of loss amount plays a significant role in the court’s ultimate determination of that factor. the government often takes a very aggressive … Continue reading

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The Hard Numbers on White-Collar Criminal Sentences

Calling all data geeks: The United States Sentencing Commission just issued its “Overview of Federal Criminal Cases, Fiscal Year 2015.” It’s a fairly short summary of the longer “2015 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics,” which is also worth checking out. … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit Slaps Down District Court’s Loss Calculation in Contracting Fraud Case

The government knows—and exploits the fact—that loss amount is the driver of white collar sentences. In criminal contracting fraud cases, the government has taken the position that the relevant loss is the entire amount of the contract that was wrongfully … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Government contracting fraud, Sentencing | 1 Comment

Taking the Fifth for Financial Information: The Blankenship Case Is (Almost?) Done

Last December, Donald Blankenship was found guilty of conspiracy to violate mine safety laws. This is a misdemeanor. He was acquitted of the more serious felony charge against him for false SEC filings. In early April 2016, Mr. Blankenship was … Continue reading

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An Appeals Court Finally Takes a Practical Approach to Sentencing in Government Contracting Case (and an Interesting 4th Amendment Issue)

Loss calculation drives sentencing decisions in many white-collar cases. The higher the loss amount, the longer the sentence.Courts usually take an expansive view of what counts as a “loss” for sentencing. In a recent Third Circuit case, however, the court … Continue reading

Posted in Fourth Amendment, Government contracting fraud, Sentencing | Tagged | 2 Comments

Where Are They Now? An Update on Past Posts

Several of the cases I’ve featured in my posts over the last year have had significant developments or come to a close. It’s always interesting—and moderately depressing—to see how things turned out.

Posted in Bribery, FCPA, Insider Trading, Plea Agreement, Sentencing, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Guidelines Are “Ridiculous”: Governor McDonnell’s Two-Year Sentence

Former Governor Robert McDonnell was sentenced today to two years in prison for public corruption. Given that the government asked for a sentence in the 10-12 year range, a two-year sentence is a remarkable outcome. In criminal defense work, sometimes … Continue reading

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How Much Cooperation Is Enough to Avoid Prison?

How much cooperation with the government does your client have to provide to avoid prison? If portfolio manager Reema Shah is any example, the answer is…over a year. On May 21, 2014, Ms. Shah pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit … Continue reading

Posted in Insider Trading, Securities fraud, Sentencing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Where Are They Now? An Update on Past Posts

Every few weeks, I review the press releases for the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country. In the blur of stories about drug busts and indictments for low-level health care fraud, sometimes a name sounds familiar. No, not because it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Conviction After Jury Trial, FCPA, Government contracting fraud, Insider Trading, Sentencing | Tagged | 2 Comments