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 March 26, D.C. Counsel Steven Cash will be featured on live webinar, "When Congress Comes Calling: Unique Rights and Wrongs for Oversight and Investigation Targets," presented by the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF).
Day Pitney Newsletter
Dan Wenner and Stan Twardy authored an article, "Forfeiture and the Eighth Amendment," published in the January/February issue of GPSolo Magazine, a publication of the American Bar Association.
Steven Cash authored an analysis article, "What to Do When a Client Receives a Subpoena From Congress," published by the New York Law Journal.
On February 5, partners Dan Wenner and Jed Davis will present a webinar, "Cybersecurity Incident Report: Applying Reason And Rigor To Control Chaos," produced by PLAC (formerly the Product Liability Advisory Council).
Jed Davis was quoted in an article, "Manager Data in Peril from Growing Cyber Threats," published by FundFire, a Financial Times news service for professionals working in the high net worth and institutional investment management industry.
Stan Twardy appeared live on the RNN-TV program "Richard French Live," a nightly news talk show.
Washington, D.C.-based counsel Steven Cash was quoted in an article, "Five Tantalizing Questions About Mueller's Investigation," published by The Hill.
Washington, D.C.-based counsel Steven Cash was quoted in an article, "Rule Change Sharpens Dem Investigations into Trump," published by The Hill.