Category Archives: Wire Fraud

Everything’s Bigger in Texas, But this Sentence Is Absurd

Nearly all of my clients face federal white-collar criminal charges. Many of them seem to believe that federal criminal charges are more serious than state criminal charges, or that the penalties will be steeper. A recent case from Texas shows … Continue reading

Posted in Wire Fraud | 8 Comments

The Coolest Investigation – Is a Failed Kickstarter Campaign a Crime?

About two years ago, I saw a video on Facebook about a Kickstarter campaign for the Coolest cooler. I thought it was a joke. It was a cooler with a blender and a Bluetooth speaker, plus giant wheels, built in … Continue reading

Posted in Wire Fraud | Tagged | 3 Comments

Commercial Negotiation Tactics Are Not Fraud: Seventh Circuit Limits Scope of the Wire Fraud Statute

The federal wire fraud statute is incredibly broad. In this era of non-stop email and texts, it’s hard to imagine a white collar case that doesn’t implicate it. For the most part, courts have been reluctant to limit its reach. … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Reversal, Wire Fraud | Leave a comment

This Shouldn’t Be News: Second Circuit Affirms that Government Needs Warrant to Seize Property

The government’s aggressive methods to seize a defendant’s assets before he is convicted of a crime hinders a defendant’s ability to choose—and pay for—his lawyer. A recent Second Circuit case limits the government’s ability to do so. It is based … Continue reading

Posted in Appeal, Criminal Forfeiture, Fourth Amendment, Wire Fraud | Leave a comment

Judge Says He’s Never “Seen a More Misguided Prosecution” Than This One Involving Foreign Bribery

The Department of Justice has never lacked for confidence in its ability to prosecute people. It investigates supposed FCPA violations overseas, identifying some minor link to the United States. Unfortunately, courts rarely limit DOJ’s reach in these types of cases. … Continue reading

Posted in Bribery, Dismissal of charges in indictment, Uncategorized, Wire Fraud | Leave a comment

Marge Would Not Be Happy: The Simpsons’ Former Executive Producer Indicted for Fraud

I’ve written about fraud in the entertainment industry before. Last time it was Broadway, this time it’s Hollywood. The government recently indicted four employees of a California-based movie production company, Gigapix Studios Inc. (“Gigapix”), on charges of mail fraud, wire … Continue reading

Posted in Investor fraud, Mail Fraud, Securities fraud, Wire Fraud | Tagged | 2 Comments

Is This Trade Secrets Prosecution Crumbling? An Update on the Eli Lilly Case

A few months ago, I posted about a trade secrets prosecution involving Eli Lilly employees. There have been some interesting developments over the last few months. In 2013, the government accused Guoqing Cao and Shuyu Li of stealing trade secrets … Continue reading

Posted in Mail Fraud, Trade Secrets, Wire Fraud | Tagged , | 2 Comments

When a 20-Month Prison Sentence Goes in the “Win” Column

For the government, sentencing seems to be a science, not an art. Let the probation office calculate the guideline range. Request a sentence within it, usually at the high end. Done. But for defense counsel, sentencing is an art, not … Continue reading

Posted in Commercial Bribery, Conviction After Jury Trial, Obstruction, Sentencing, Wire Fraud | 3 Comments

It’s Not Easy Being Green: Feds Indict Biofuel Executives For a $100 Million Fraud

The government loves to encourage us to be “green.” Drive a Prius and get a tax credit. Put solar panels on your house and get a tax credit. Heck, buy the right kind of heat pump for your house and … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiracy, Criminal Investigation, Environmental Crimes, False statements, Indictment, Obstruction, Wire Fraud | Tagged | Leave a comment

Special Victims Unit: Sports Stars?

In certain fraud cases, defendants allegedly target groups of victims, such as the elderly or members of an ethnic or religious group (commonly known as “affinity” fraud). But, today, I bring you two cases that involve a very specialized group: … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiracy, Indictment, Investor fraud, Mail Fraud, Money Laundering, Plea Agreement, Wire Fraud | Tagged | 1 Comment