In the latest example of the Roberts court reining in the government’s use of broadly worded criminal statutes, on June 26, 2024, the Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Snyder that the federal bribery statute does not extend to after-the-fact gifts and gratuities. The Court held that 18 U.S.C. § 666 requires a corrupt

The federal wire fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1343, is one of the commonly used statutes in federal white-collar criminal cases. In our digital age, nearly any significant fraud or scheme could probably be charged as a wire fraud. But even expansive statutes have limits, as the Supreme Court held last year in an important

In November 2023, during her keynote address at the American Conference Institute’s international conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Nicole Argentieri announced that the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice (DOJ) intended to be more active in generating FCPA investigations and prosecutions. Rather than

As part of implementing a robust cybersecurity standard, we must understand how bad actors are intentionally targeting our older colleagues and loved ones. On April 30, 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against 16 defendants in connection with a scam that defrauded hundreds of elderly Americans out of millions of dollars. Just

The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines play an enormous role in federal sentencing. While courts are not required to follow the guidelines, the guidelines remain the starting point for determining a defendant’s ultimate sentence. For that reason, amendments to the guidelines are equally significant.

New Proposed Guideline Amendments

Recently, the United States Sentencing Commission — the body

At last week’s sentencing of Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, the government recommended a 36-month prison sentence. Despite the serious nature of Zhao’s crimes – failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, which enabled users to engage in transactions linked to narcotics, terrorist financing and child sex abuse, among others – the court imposed a

On April 17, 2024, the seven-member panel of the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to adopt an amendment prohibiting judges from using acquitted conduct in applying the federal sentencing guidelines. Previously, and consistent with the decision in United States. v. Watts, 519 U.S. 148, 157 (1997) (per curiam) (holding that “a jury’s verdict of acquittal

 On April 15, the U.S. Department of Justice released The Criminal Division’s Pilot Program on Voluntary Self-Disclosures for Individuals (the “Pilot”) designed to encourage individuals to report certain types of criminal activity in return for protection from prosecution. The Pilot follows the DOJ’s previously announced plan to create a new initiative expanding the existing whistleblower

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced this week to 25 years in prison for his role in an $10 billion cryptocurrency fraud, dodging the 40- to 50-year sentence requested by the government and the 110-year sentence recommended under the sentencing guidelines.

The 32-year-old former billionaire — who was convicted in November of defrauding customers and

When the Corporate Transparency Act took effect earlier this month, most commentary rightly focused on the obligations it imposed and the measures necessary to comply with its terms. As part of that analysis, commentators routinely noted the act contains criminal provisions providing for fines and imprisonment. From a defense perspective, the creation of new crimes