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Fraud & Business Torts

RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. The European Community - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 4-20-16 featuring Richard A. Samp
Richard A. Samp April 20, 2016

On March 21, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. The European Community. The European Community and 26 of its member states sued RJR Nabisco (RJR) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, alleging that RJR conducted a global money-laundering enterprise in violation of several laws, including the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a federal statute. The alleged RICO enterprise involved the importation of illegal drugs into European countries by Colombian and Russian criminal organizations, with RJR helping to launder their drug money through a cigarette import-purchase scheme. Applying a presumption against extraterritorial application of federal law, the district court dismissed The European Community’s civil RICO claim. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated that judgment and reinstated the RICO claim, however, concluding that various alleged predicates for RICO liability had been intended by Congress to apply extraterritorially and that other offenses asserted sufficiently important domestic activity to come within RICO’s coverage.

The U.S. Supreme Court granted RJR’s subsequent petition for writ of certiorari on the following question: whether, or to what extent, RICO applies extraterritorially.

To discuss the case, we have Richard A. Samp, who is Chief Counsel at Washington Legal Foundation.

RICO's Reach: Arguments Heard in RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. The European Community - Podcast

Litigation Practice Groups Podcast
Richard A. Samp March 24, 2016

On Monday, March 21, the Court heard RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. The European Community. The case arose in the 2nd Circuit. The question presented is whether, or to what extent, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act applies extraterritorially. The European Community, now the European Union, alleged that RJR participated in a scheme to launder illegal drug sale proceeds in Europe.

Mr. Richard Samp, Chief Counsel of the Washington Legal Foundation, attended oral arguments on behalf of the WLF, which filed an amicus brief in support of RJR.

Featuring:

  • Richard A. Samp, Chief Counsel, Washington Legal Foundation

How “False” Must a Claim be under the False Claims Act? - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Shane B. Kelly, Stephen J. Obermeier January 28, 2016

If you do business with the federal government, when does violating a statute, regulation, or contract provision become fraud? This is the question facing the U.S. Supreme Court in Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar, which examines the scope of the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA provides for treble damages and civil fines for anyone submitting false claims for payment to the federal government. Violations of the FCA must involve a “false or fraudulent claim” or “a false record or statement material to a false or fraudulent claim.” Traditionally, the falsity element of an FCA claim required a “factual falsehood” (e.g., submitting a claim for payment for 10 computers when only 5 were delivered) or an express false certification (e.g., certifying to a lack of organizational conflicts of interest when such conflicts exist). But does submitting a claim for payment, by itself, represent to the government that all applicable legal requirements were followed such that failing to comply with those requirements renders the claims “false”? Circuit Courts have split on this question, and now the Supreme Court will decide.

This case has significant implications for anyone doing business with the federal government. If the Court recognizes a so-called “implied certification” theory of liability, it could substantially increase contractors’ exposure to the FCA’s punishing statutory regime.

Featuring:

  • Shane B. Kelly, Associate, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Stephen J. Obermeier,Partner, Wiley Rein LLP

Free Speech, Anti-Corruption, and the Criminalization of Government Affairs - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Todd P. Graves, Edward T. Kang, Eugene Volokh, Peter R. Zeidenberg, Raymond W. Gruender, John G. Malcolm November 18, 2015

If we accept the premise that government, and government power, is growing, then the stakes for elective office have never been higher. With the levers of power at stake, are we seeing an increase in the use of the criminal justice system to attack legitimate political activity? Or are we perhaps seeing the proper policing of increased fraud and abuse by those in the political sphere? In a media climate in which a mere investigation can be fatal to a political campaign or career, what actions are political and what actions are criminal, and who should decide?

Criminal Law: Free Speech, Anti-Corruption, and the Criminalization of Government Affairs
12:00 noon – 2:15 p.m.
State Room

  • Mr. Todd P. Graves, Partner, Graves Garrett LLC
  • Mr. Edward T. Kang, Partner, Alston & Bird LLP
  • Prof. Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
  • Mr. Peter R. Zeidenberg, Partner, Arent Fox LLP
  • Moderator: Hon. Raymond W. Gruender, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • Introduction: Mr. John G. Malcolm, Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, and Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen on the FTC and Advertising Substantiation - Podcast

Corporations, Securities & Antitrust and Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Groups Podcast
Maureen K. Ohlhausen March 04, 2015

One of the Federal Trade Commission’s key duties is to protect consumers from deceptive advertising. The FTC does this, in part, by ensuring that advertisers can substantiate their claims. While executing this duty, the FTC generally seeks to prevent consumer harm while maximizing the amount of useful information available to consumers. Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen believes that, in some cases over the past several years, the FTC has required a heightened level of substantiation, thereby reducing the useful information available to consumers. In a recent decision, POM Wonderful, the D.C. Circuit offered additional guidance on striking the proper balance, echoing themes that Commissioner Ohlhausen has raised in debates with her colleagues at the FTC. Commissioner Ohlhausen discussed this and other recent cases and how the FTC should address deceptive advertising in the future.

  • Hon. Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Federal Trade Commissioner