Category Archives: Sentencing

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

The Secret Life of the Director of Financial Reporting: Guilty Plea by Celgene Corp. Executive for Insider Trading Scheme

For over five years years, the former Director of Financial Reporting at Celgene Corp. engaged in an insider trading scheme. The government contended that John Lazorchak passed along inside information through middlemen, distributed and received profits from the insider trading … Continue reading

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Yet Another Way the Deck Is Stacked Against Defendants—Granting Witness Immunity

Brent Roger Wilkes is nothing if not tenacious. In November 2007, he was convicted of wire fraud, bribery, conspiracy and money laundering, all in connection with a scheme to bribe former California State Congressman Randall “Duke” Cunningham and to defraud … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Bribery, Immunity, Sentencing | Leave a comment

Here’s One Way to Afford the D.C. Real Estate Market: Seven Year Sentence for Defendant in Bribery Scheme Involving Public Official

By Sara Kropf For years now, the calling card of a big-firm white-collar lawyer has been, “I do FCPA work.” But all the focus on foreign bribery work overlooks the domestic bribery schemes that are regularly pursued by the federal … Continue reading

Posted in Bank fraud, Bribery, Conspiracy, Plea Agreement, Public Corruption, Sentencing | Leave a comment

Expected 151 Months; Got 276 Months. Is Cooperation Worth It?

Frank Castaldi’s story serves as a cautionary tale for anyone trying to cooperate with the government to get a better deal. In 2008, Mr. Castaldi turned himself in to government investigators, revealing his $77 million Ponzi scheme. Mr. Castaldi fully … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Investor fraud, Plea Agreement, Sentencing | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Largest DBE Contracting Fraud. Yes, Ever.

Government contracting fraud has been a hot area for the Department of Justice these last few years. And who can blame it? It’s a huge amount of money being handed out by many agencies, sometimes with less oversight than is … Continue reading

Posted in Government contracting fraud, Sentencing, Tax fraud | Tagged | 3 Comments