Search Warrants and Russia Raids

Look sharp, feel sharp.

The execution of a search warrant on a residence owned by Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign director, raises some interesting questions.  Search warrants are rarely necessary in white-collar cases, yet their use seems to be more and more common.

Here was my take on Brian Williams’s MSNBC show The 11th Hour:

As I told Michael Schmidt of the New York Times:

“A search warrant is very bracing for the person who is being searched,” said Jack Sharman, the former special counsel to the House Banking Committee during its Whitewater investigation of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. “It’s very invasive and sends a loud statement from the prosecutors to the person that there should be no doubts about the seriousness of the investigation.”

“The government will be investigating something like public corruption, and it knows that you know something about it,” said Mr. Sharman, now a white-collar criminal defense lawyer at Lightfoot, Franklin & White. “The government will then come after you on something unrelated, where you have criminal exposure, in the hopes that you will cooperate on their public corruption investigation.”

Read the full article here.

And here, for Amber Phillips of the Washington Post:

He’s also the perfect target to send a message to the rest of Washington that the special counsel investigation means business, said Jack Sharman, a white-collar lawyer in Alabama and former special counsel for Congress during the Bill Clinton Whitewater investigation.

“One purpose of such a raid is to bring home to the target the fact that the federal prosecution team is moving forward and is not going to defer to or rely on Congress,” he said.

Read the entire article here.

Finally, for all you Grateful Dead fans, I have written about search warrants before and provided additional compelling video: Subpoenas, Search Warrants and the Dead.

The video (with less gray hair and longer tie) is here:

 

 


Subpoenas, Search Warrants and the Dead

Process server.

Process server.

The Grateful Dead were succinct about it:   “Got a tip they’re gonna kick the door in again/I’d like to get some sleep before I travel/But if you got a warrant, I guess you’re gonna come in” (from “Truckin”) (1970).

Here is a piece about subpoenas and search warrants for risk managers.  Short and free. Videos included.  Also free.  No Jerry Garcia, though:

On May 2, Jack Sharman spoke at the Spring Meeting of the Alabama Society for Healthcare Risk Management. As a member of the Firm’s White-Collar Criminal Defense and Corporate Investigations practice, Jack has represented physicians, physician-practices, nurses and other healthcare providers in criminal, civil and administrative investigations. Jack spoke on the background landscape of healthcare fraud today and, in particular, on how to prepare for and handle subpoenas and search warrants.

Here is a brief (140 seconds) Lightfoot 140 talk on search warrants and a longer CLE version.

 

And, if you have not heard it in a while, here’s the song.

 


ABA White-Collar Crime Committee Winter/Spring 2014 Newsletter

Suit looks tight.

Suit looks tight.

Here’s the ABA White-Collar Crime Committee Winter Spring 2014 Newsletter.

 

 

 

 

Good articles on:

  • INTERNATIONAL WHITE COLLAR CRIME AND DEFERRED PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS
  • CORPORATE COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN ITALY:
    ARE THEY THE SAME?
  • GIVE ME BACK MY BOOKS AND RECORDS: APPLICATION OF RULE 41(G) IN RESPONSE TO FEDERAL SEARCH AND SEIZURE WARRANTS
  • HOT ISSUES IN CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURES
  • THE BOARD’S ROLE IN ANTI-CORRUPTION COMPLIANCE: GUARDIAN AND GUIDE
  • SEC ARGUES FOR BROAD CONSTRUCTION OF DODD-FRANK ACT
    WHISTLEBLOWER ANTI-RETALIATION PROVISION
  • DOES THE GREEN LIGHT MEAN GO?: WILL SEC’S NEW RULES FOR SMALL OFFERINGS INCREASE STATE ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS?
  • NEW PROPOSED RULES INCREASE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS’
    RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PREVENTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Thoughtful.

Thoughtful.

We have written on several of these issues, as well, including deferred prosecution agreements.

 


Breaking Bad, All the Time: White Collar Crime for Business Lawyers

 

Trial Dot Com

The Network of Trial Law Firms is an excellent CLE vehicle.  Here’s a Sharman White Collar Panel Video of a Network panel about white-collar issues for civil lawyers — me, Jackie Arango of Akerman Senterfit (Miami), Joel Neckers of Wheeler Trigg (Denver) and Gerry Leone of Noxon Peabody (Boston).  Here’s the blurb from the Network program:

No one thinks of themselves, their employees or their company as “criminals.” On the other hand, Walter White was once just a chemistry teacher. The lines between what are business-crime problems and what are traditional corporate civil issues — compliance, due diligence, regulatory recordkeeping and permitting, whistleblowers, confidentiality, privilege and indemnification — have become blurred. Listen to an experienced panel highlight the most important events and insights from 2013 and what to expect in 2014.

Video camera

I know, I know.  The video is a bit long to just sit and watch unless you’ve previously gone to the “Cocktails” archive of this blog, but I find the most curious point to arrive at minute 25:22, where I play for the crowd a 140-second video of myself talking about search warrants.  A video within video.  They loved it.


The Border, Searches and the Digital Devices of Executives and Employees

Here’s a story (via @nytimes) about how the border is a back door for device searches.

There is, of course, a “border exception” to the Fourth Amendment, a constitutional doctrine that came of age when national physical borders were also, usually, information-borders as well.  Although the discussion in the article takes place in the national-security context, it’s worth American companies giving more careful thought to how they address the way their executives and employees work and travel.  Employees usually love using their own devices and storing company data in ways that are readily accessible to and productive for them.

At the border, though, all that corporate data is free game.

As the article notes:

TECS is a computer system used to screen travelers at the border, and includes records from law enforcement, immigration and antiterrorism databases. A report from the Department of Homeland Security about border searches of electronic devices says a traveler may be searched “because he is the subject of, or person-of-interest-in, an ongoing law enforcement investigation and was flagged by a law enforcement ‘lookout’ ” in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement computer system.

For now, the law remains murky about any limits on intrusive border inspections, including how long travelers can be detained, whether they are required to provide passwords for their devices . . . and whether they must answer any question an agent asks. Responses may be recorded in a traveler’s TECS file and shared with other government agencies.

Detention is an inconvenience.  To answer (or not answer) an agent’s question is another matter entirely, one that implicates both the company’s legal exposure and the individual’s Fifth Amendment rights.

If you find yourself in a lawsuit or prosecution based on a seizure at the border, it’s worth asking for this document from ICE: