• FCPA

    Vantage Drilling, General Lee and the Culture of Compliance

    Gin is a noble spirit; without vermouth, perhaps a lonely one.  Similarly, having a compliance program, yet failing to follow it in the presence of some red flags is both lonely and expensive, as we see in the internal accounting controls FCPA case that Vantage Drilling recently settled with the SEC.  Is this a problem with culture?  And what is “culture,” anyway, in terms of FCPA 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…

  • 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

  • Bank Fraud,  Evidence,  Insider Trading,  Securities Fraud,  Trials, Judges and Jurors

    New DOJ Cases From the Financial Crisis? Look For This Criminal/Civil Hybrid

    A good summary by Peter Henning, here —   DOJ Financial Crisis Cases?  — about possible future cases arising from the financial crisis and the Government’s use of a FIRREA provision.  In part: But pursuing criminal cases from the financial crisis gets increasingly difficult, especially against individuals, because unlike a good bottle of wine, evidence does not age well. Memories dim and the chance of finding the “smoking gun” e-mail or recording that can help implicate a defendant in a fraudulent scheme becomes less likely with the passage of time. Mr. Holder will more likely pursue charges under a civil statute that has become the Justice Department’s favorite tool of late against…

  • Insider Trading,  Securities Fraud

    A Prosecutorial Campaign In The Media

    Mr. Bharara’s comments are measured, but a prosecutorial campaign in the media is always disquieting (as a defendant’s media campaign can be troubling): Prosecutor Hits The Media Trail.  And, although it’s true that “sometimes it’s the case that conduct is so pervasive and there’s so much that shouldn’t be going on that is going on, that the only way that justice can be done is by indicting the entire institution,” very few American businesses — even those with some very bad apples —are actually run as criminal enterprises.  Rather, the threat of a company indictment is often simply a tool to achieve other prosecutorial ends.