Archive for the ‘Criminal—White Collar’ Category
Changing of the Guard on Senate Banking Committee and SEC? What Will It Mean to Business and Investors?
Regulation in the financial markets will continue and may even accelerate in the U.S. in the next few years. Elizabeth Warren has been elected to the Senate from Massachusetts and will most probably join the Senate Banking Committee. Warren is a former Harvard professor who is a fierce pro-consumer advocate.
With the resignation of Mary Schapiro as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, President Obama has named a current member of the Commission to take her place. Elisse Walter is a Bush appointee and a Yale and Harvard educated lawyer. She appears to share Shapiro’s and the President’s view that stricter regulation of the financial industry is critical.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued a notice on May 8th that revealed a recent claim by the FBI and other agencies that cyber criminals are targeting travelers abroad through pop-up windows while they attempt to connect to the Internet in their hotel rooms.
Specifically, as travelers attempt to setup a hotel room Internet connection through their laptop, they are presented with a pop-up window that asks to update a widely-used software product. If the user clicks “accept and install,” malicious software downloads on the travelers’ laptops. The pop-up window appears to offer a routine update to a legitimate software product for which updates are frequently available.
A United States District Court Judge for the Judicial District of New Jersey has sentenced a former employee of Sanofi-Aventis (“Sanofi”) to 18 months in prison for attempting to sell Sanofi’s trade secrets for her own gain. In announcing the sentencing, the United States Attorney explained that the defendant, a foreign national working in the U.S., had been a research chemist at Sanofi for five years, assisting in the development of several compounds that Sanofi considered its trade secrets. The defendant accessed internal, confidential databases and copied 144,000 chemical compounds to her personal computer. She then offered to sell the compounds over a website owned by a company in which she was a fifty percent owner. The criminal complaint filed by the government detailed the extensive protections Sanofi employed to protect the theft of its trade secrets. This is the second criminal case this year brought by the U.S. Department of Justice against a foreign national working in the U.S., concerning the theft of trade secrets from a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey.
The United States Supreme Court, in an opinion dated February 21, 2012, held that an alien convicted of willfully making and subscribing to a false corporate tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. Section 7206 (1) may be deported. The defendant’s wife, who was convicted of one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of the false return in violation of 26 U.S.C. Section 7206 (2), was also subject to deportation.
On July 1, 2011 the new United Kingdom Bribery Act came into force. Because of the wide jurisdictional reach of that Act, any company or person(s) with any substantive contacts with the U.K. should understand how the Act may affect your business.
The Act revises the bribery laws in the U.K., now making it a crime for a person to offer, give or promise to give a “financial or other advantage” to another individual in exchange for “improperly” performing a “relevant function or activity.”
Bradford W. Muller, an Associate with Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A., will speak at a panel discussion entitled “Virtual Crimes – Real Damages: Challenges Posed by Cybercrimes in the U.S. and Efforts to Combat Cybercriminals.” The discussion is hosted by the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology and will be held tomorrow, March 3, 2011, at The University of Virginia School of Law. The discussion is presented in conjunction with the Journal’s publication of a comprehensive primer on cybercrimes in the United States and efforts to combat cybercriminals that includes a fifty-state and federal cyber law and proposed legislation survey co-written by Muller.
The United States government has moved to vigorously enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act over the past several years and this has profound implications for companies working overseas.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 788dd-1(a) (the “Act” or “FCPA”) prohibits “corrupt” offers of any kind of payment to a foreign official when the payment is for obtaining or retaining business. The Act has exempted “grease” payments, that is, small payments to, for example, expedite paperwork at a port or to speed the clearance of goods shipped.