No Unanimity Required
The unanimity requirement for convictions of crimes in federal court, laid out in Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 31(a), does not apply to overt acts under the criminal-conspiracy statute in the U.S. Code. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a conviction in which the court had not instructed the jury that it must be unanimous as to which overt acts were committed. In its ruling, the court distinguished between the elements of an offense (requiring unanimity) and specific facts relating to those elements (not requiring unanimity).
"White" and "Green" Text Messages Are Seen (and Not Suppressed)
A legal search of the contents -- text messages, directories and call logs -- of a cellphone requires no more than the use of the generic terms "correspondence, address books and telephone directories" in a search warrant, according to a Fifth Circuit opinion. There, while the cellphone seized was found in plain sight when federal agents stormed a possible cocaine and marijuana drug-trafficking operation, their warrant application did not list "cellphones" among the items to be searched. Nevertheless, they searched the phone's text messages and found incriminating evidence (such as references to the "white" and the "green") against the defendant, who tried in vain to have those elaborately coded messages suppressed.
SEC to Judge Rakoff: "Game On"
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) director of the Division of Enforcement, Robert Khuzami, released a statement in connection with the SEC's notice of appeal of Judge Jed S. Rakoff's rejection of its proposed consent judgment with Citigroup. Mr. Khuzami contended that Judge Rakoff had improperly changed the rules of the game by requiring an admission of facts before agreeing to accept the consent judgment. Mr. Khuzami also defended the SEC's entering into the $285 million deal with Citigroup as justified in light of the circumstances of the case.
Should the SEC Have an Extreme Makeover?
Yes, according to this report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The report details the history and functionality of the SEC and makes 28 recommendations for reform, nine of which relate to enforcement. Among other things, the report suggests enhanced training on investigative techniques, increased staffing and reduced malingering on closing stale investigations.
Welcome to the Hot Seat
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is used to taking companies to task for improper behavior. But now CMS is in the sights of Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who wrote on behalf of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary about whether CMS had improperly held meetings with hedge-fund managers and political-intelligence brokers. Sen. Grassley noted a CMS whistleblower's allegations about the alleged misconduct and demanded that CMS promptly respond to his 19 questions.
Nothing Sweet About These Cookies
Uncle Sam's Counting the Benjamins
Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole spoke about the Department of Justice (DOJ) campaign to cut fraud, waste and abuse from government expenditures. Deputy Cole noted that the DOJ recovered more than $5.6 billion from fraudsters in 2011, which broke all previous single-year-recovery records. After cataloging some examples of fraud, Deputy Cole said, "Our message could not be clearer -- we will aggressively investigate and prosecute those who seek to defraud the American people. Those who commit fraud will be held to account."
On January 30, Jed Davis will speak at The Knowledge Group Webcast, "Best Strategies in Protecting Your Firm Against Hackers: What Hackers Can and Cannot Do?"
Day Pitney Newsletter
Jed Davis authored the article, "Cybersecurity for the Under-Resourced" for Bloomberg BNA.
Day Pitney Newsletter
Dan Wenner wrote an article, "No Conviction, No Credit: Troubling Sentence For Cooperator," for Law360. Wenner explores why cooperation agreements don’t always work by analyzing the case United States v. Harrington, No. 15-3486, 2016 WL 4409337 (7th Cir. Aug. 19, 2016), in which the government and defendant-cooperator Richard Harrington sought resentencing under Rule 35.
Steven Cash was quoted in an article,"In Patz Case, Prosecution Is Set to Rest," in the Wall Street Journal.
Steven Cash was quoted in an article, "Senate Judiciary Committee To Be Led by Non-Lawyers," in The Wall Street Journal. In the article, Cash discusses how Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California is set to become the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, joining the committee's chairman, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Neither Grassley or Feinstein attended law school.
Steve Cash was named in an article, "How Two Russian Defectors Helped the FBI Nab European Mobsters Then Wound up Stranded in Oregon," in Newsweek.
Dennis Kearney was quoted in an article, "Bridgegate verdict: How long could Kelly and Baroni serve?," in The Star Ledger. In the article, Kearney discusses Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly’s sentencing in the Bridgegate trial.
Dan Wenner was quoted in an article, "Appeals could drag Bridgegate case on for another year," in The Bergen Record.