White Collar Crime

Guilty as Charged: The Yates Memo - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
James R. Copland, Paul J. Larkin, John G. Malcolm October 26, 2015

On September 15, 2015, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates issued a much-talked about memo, directing federal prosecutors to focus their efforts on individual corporate wrong-doers, not just corporate entities. Unclear in the minds of many is just how much effort will now be expended on corporate entities vs. individuals. Some assert that prosecution of corporate entities is rarely a good idea, since the punishment negatively effects the shareholders, who were often the victims of the initial wrongdoing. Others note that it can be near impossible to prove what should be a required guilty state of mind in an individual operating within a corporate structure. More complications arise when individuals rely in good faith on legal advice from in-house or outside counsel.


  • James R. Copland, Director, Center for Legal Policy, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
  • Paul J. Larkin, Senior Legal Research Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
  • Moderator: 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

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Blockbuster Insider Trading Case: What’s Next After United States v. Newman? - Podcast

Corporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice Group Podcast
James M. Burnham, Peter M. Thomson October 20, 2015

On October 2, 2015, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in United States v. Newman, a high-profile case dealing with the prosecution of two hedge fund managers for alleged insider trading. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned their convictions, and the Department of Justice urged the Supreme Court to take the case and claimed the Second Circuit’s approach to insider trading would greatly reduce the government’s ability to prosecute insider trading. What is the current state of insider trading law? Will the Supreme Court eventually be forced to intervene and provide clarity?


  • James M. Burnham, Associate, Jones Day
  • Peter M. Thomson, Special Counsel, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC

Criminalizing Reasonable Interpretations of Regulatory Schemes: Clay v. United States - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Paul D. Kamenar, John F. Lauro, John G. Malcolm July 29, 2015

Is Clay v. United States, currently pending in the 11th Circuit, a case study of overcriminalization and abusive federal prosecution? The case raises basic notions of due process, fair notice, the rule of lenity, mens rea, and actus reus. What began as a highly publicized raid by some 200 FBI agents on a Florida health care company over an accounting dispute of how to interpret a provision in Florida’s Medicaid reimbursement statute with no clarifying administrative regulations, ended in the indictment, conviction, and prison sentences for the company’s top executives for fraud. This case is particularly important for all regulated industries, where there are numerous and ambiguous laws and complex regulations governing conduct subject to administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement. John Lauro, counsel in the case, discussed the lawsuit, with Paul Kamenar joining to offer questions and comments.

  • Paul D. Kamenar, Washington, D.C. Attorney and Senior Fellow, Administrative Conference of the United States
  • John F. Lauro, Principal, Lauro Law Firm
  • Moderator: John G. Malcolm, Director and Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Yates v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 3-17-15
Todd F. Braunstein March 17, 2015

On February 25, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Yates v. United States. This case concerns whether Mr. Yates’ order to his crew to throw undersized fish back into the Gulf of Mexico during the course of a government wildlife investigation violated the "document shredding provision" of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it a crime for anyone who “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object” with the intent to impede or obstruct an investigation.

Justice Ginsburg announced the judgment of a divided Court, and delivered a plurality opinion concluding that for purposes of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a "tangible object" refers to an object used to record or preserve information.  Justice Alito concurred, on somewhat narrower grounds.

Justice Ginsburg was joined by Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Breyer and Sotomayor. Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. Justice Kagan filed a dissenting opinion, which Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas joined. The judgment of the Eleventh circuit was reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.

To discuss the case, we have Todd Braunstein who is Counsel at WilmerHale.

Florida Fisherman off the Hook for Sarbanes-Oxley Violation: Supreme Court decides Yates v. United States - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Todd F. Braunstein March 11, 2015

In a 4-1-4 decision issued on February 25, 2015, the United States Supreme Court held that a federal criminal law prohibiting the destruction of corporate records and other “tangible objects” could not be used against a commercial fisherman who threw undersized fish overboard to avoid prosecution. The decision featured an unusual lineup of justices, wave after wave of fishing metaphors, and a citation to Dr. Seuss. Todd Braunstein covered the November oral arguments on a Teleforum conference call, and he returned to wade through the complicated decision.

  • Todd F. Braunstein, Counsel, WilmerHale