News & Analysis as of

The Meaning of “Malfeasance in Office” and the Lifetime Ban to Holding Office it Carries

The California Attorney General concluded in a recent opinion that the City of Commerce has the right to sue a sitting city councilmember convicted of a crime to test if he has the right to hold office. The Attorney General...more

Prosecutors win rare murder conviction of M.D. in prescription drug deaths

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers but one voice among many that has declared that the United States is in the midst of a prescription drug abuse epidemic. As the CDC notes: “Since 1999, the amount of...more

If Considered Material, False Statements Made to Federal Regulatory Bodies Create Exposure to Criminal Liability - United States...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed a conviction for making a false statement to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), holding that a false statement is not material if it could not influence the...more

FCA bans Macro Fund head following convictions

FCA has issued its final notice against Magnus Peterson following his convictions in January 2015 for fraud, forgery, false accounting and fraudulent trading. Mr Peterson is the former head of the now-collapsed hedge fund...more

Health Care Physicians in the Crosshairs: Criminal Prosecution

Recent changes to our health care system have been at the forefront of the American news cycle for several years. But certain aspects have not received adequate attention. One example is the scrutiny federal and state...more

The Truth Will Set (And Keep You) Free - Making False Statements to an OSHA Inspector Can Result in Criminal Charges

On April 6, 2015, the United States Department of Justice charged a roofing contractor doing business in Alabama with making false statements and lying to OSHA inspectors in connection with an incident investigation at one of...more

Disgruntled Former Tribune Company Employee Who Aided Hacking Convicted; Could Face Jail Time

On October 7, 2015, former Tribune Company employee Matthew Keys was convicted of three felonies stemming in part from assistance he provided to the hacking collective Anonymous to alter content on the LA Times’ website. ...more

Implied Threat on Facebook Insufficient to Support Stalking Conviction

Last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that a Facebook profile may constitute a “threat” within the meaning of the Massachusetts stalking statute. However, a profile that is merely “vaguely ominous or...more

OSHA Violations: Managers and Others May Have Personal Civil and/or Criminal Liability

Historically, there are few criminal convictions for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and the majority of those violations were related to dishonesty during OSHA inspections and interviews. Though...more

California Federal Courts Reiterate: Unless Computer Hacked, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Permits Misuse Of Electronic Information

In United States v. Nosal, 676 F.3d 854 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc), the court held that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, prohibits unlawful access to a computer but not unauthorized use of computerized...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...more

Federal Appeals Court Reverses Conviction of Mental Health Program Director

In a recently released decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed the conviction of a former community mental health program director who was convicted after trial of conspiring to commit...more

Big win for SFO in LIBOR trial – Tom Hayes sentenced to 14 years. More SFO prosecutions to come in financial sector?

The conviction of Tom Hayes in the first UK LIBOR trial is a watershed moment. It’s a big win for the SFO, although it must be said that a more damning book of evidence could not be imagined. The judge’s sentencing remarks...more

Court Awards Grandparents Partial Custody of Grandchildren Over Mother's Objection and Court Holds that Minor Criminal Convictions...

In June 2015, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in K.T. v. L.S., provided partial child custody to the children's paternal grandparents over mother's objection....more

Felony Conviction Bars Whistleblower from Pursuing Qui Tam Case

A relator convicted of criminal conduct is precluded from sharing in related FCA recoveries, irrespective of degree of culpability. On July 16, a US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel upheld the dismissal from...more

Ninth Circuit Concludes that Conviction Precludes Relator Recovery

The Ninth Circuit last week held that pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3730(d)(3) of the False Claims Act (“FCA”), a qui tam relator who is convicted of conduct giving rise to the fraud that is the subject of the FCA lawsuit must be...more

500,000 Lines of Source Code: The New “Intangible Property”

Sergey Aleynikov’s six-year trade secret odyssey through all possible configurations of litigation, civil and criminal, federal and state, may at long last have come to an end after the New York Supreme Court recently...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2015

Employee's Inability To Work For A Particular Supervisor Does Not Constitute A "Disability" - Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Med. Found., 237 Cal. App. 4th 78 (2015) - Michaelin Higgins-Williams worked as a clinical...more

Big sweepstakes scam artists don’t cry

According to the Edmonton Sun newspaper, Nigerian-born Richard Mmah Chukwu, a resident of Edmonton, was recently convicted of implementing a multi-million dollar sweepstakes scam. Chukwu was found guilty in the Canadian...more

When Theft is not a Federal or State Crime

In the most recent ruling in a lengthy and procedurally complex criminal case, a New York trial court dismissed a computer programmer’s criminal conviction under New York’s Unlawful Use of Secret Scientific Material law for...more

Another Aleynikov Trade Secrets Case Ends with Narrower Statute

In 2009, Sergey Aleynikov was a computer programmer employed by Goldman Sachs to write high-frequency trading code. He accepted an offer to join a new Chicago-based company, Teza Technologies. Before he left Goldman Sachs,...more

The Supreme Court Takes the BIA to Task

Yesterday, in an opinion authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court brought a measure of hope to non-citizens facing deportation on the basis of certain minor criminal convictions. In Mellouli v. Lynch,...more

Supreme Court Decides Elonis v. United States

On June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Elonis v. United States, No. 13-983, holding that to support a conviction under a federal statute that makes it a crime to communicate a threat, prosecutors must prove a mental...more

Supreme Court Decides Mellouli v. Lynch

On June 1, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Mellouli v. Lynch, holding that a legal permanent resident may not be deported for a state-law drug conviction unless that conviction necessarily involves a drug covered by the...more

Fourth Circuit Upholds Federal Criminal Conviction for Accessing Former Employer's Database

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was primarily intended to deter and punish database hacking by third parties. Employers involved in disputes with former employees have attempted to use CFAA in response to...more

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