• Compliance,  Fourth Amendment

    Dude, That’s My Lighter: Lacrosse, Suspensions, the Fourth Amendment and the White-Collar Thanatos of Zero Tolerance

    The relationship between lacrosse and white-collar crime is not obvious, although for much of its 20th century history the sport was powered by mid-Atlantic and New England prep-school products whose high schools also provided several All-American rosters of white-collar defendants.  And even for perfectly lawful activities, there has long been a close relationship between lacrosse and Wall Street, as shown in this 2008 Wall Street Journal article about how On Lacrosse Fields, A Battered Bank Is Still a Player The story of how these Maryland lacrosse players’ case moves into court  raises some curious insights, though, into matters of compliance and internal policing, not to mention Fourth and Fifth Amendment…

  • Evidence,  Insider Trading

    Martoma and Harvard Law School (Again)

    We recently addressed the ongoing Mathew Martoma trial “Harvard Law School fraud” story: The Martoma Trial and Character Evidence in White-Collar Trials From Professor Susan Brenner, who blogs at Cyb3rCrim3, here’s a detailed analysis of the Court’s ruling not on the substantive issue — whether the government can discuss his HLS misdeeds at trial — but rather on Martoma’s motion to seal the discussion: The Law Student, Forgery and the Motion in Limine

  • Compliance,  Ethics

    McKinsey, General Lee and the Culture of Compliance

    Except perhaps for “paradigm” and “silo,” the word “culture” is one of the most abused in the vocabulary of compliance, ethics and consultants.  (I once heard a consultant say that he needed “a high hover over the silos.”  I thought it an ironic mash-up about drones and agriculture; it was not).  Yet, “culture” has a meaning in the broader world; in commerce; and in compliance.  “Culture” represents a gear-shift in compliance and ethics, and can be smooth or bone-rattling. Consider this story about  McKinsey’s culture in the wake of insider-trading scandals: For a quarter of a century, except for a brief stint as a currency analyst at Rothschild, Mr. Barton has…

  • Crime Fiction,  Theology

    John D. MacDonald and King Saul

    We worked John D. MacDonald’s private eye, Travis McGee, into this discussion of King Saul and the young David:  Spare the King and Seize the Spareribs.  I most recently read The Quick Red Fox, which I was thinking about for the Saul and David post. MacDonald had fine PI prose: “We were about to give up and call it a night when somebody threw the girl off the bridge” (Darker Than Amber (1966)).  

  • Evidence,  Securities Fraud

    The Martoma Trial and Character Evidence in White-Collar Trials

    In the trial of former SAC hedge fund manager Mathew Martoma, the dispute over getting kicked out of Harvard Law School  is worth noting for what evidence we have juries consider at white-collar trials and what we don’t: In 1999, Mr. Martoma was expelled from Harvard for creating a false transcript when he applied for a clerkship with a federal judge, court papers unsealed on Thursday showed. Mr. Martoma used a computer program to change several grades from B’s to A’s, including one in criminal law, and then sent the forged transcript to 23 judges as part of the application process. Then, during a Harvard disciplinary hearing to determine whether…