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Federal Appeals Court in New York to Clarify When Seizures of Computers are Unconstitutional

When federal agents execute a warrant for paper documents during an investigation of a company, they generally seize only the documents in the warrant and leave the rest of the physical documents behind. Where it is not practical to search on site, the law permits them to take all the records and review them later.... Continue Reading
July 20, 2015

Circuits Split on Government Warrantless Search of Electronic Data

Companies and other private parties acting on their own are not regulated by the Fourth Amendment’s restriction on search and seizure.  A company can reconstruct a prior computer search for the government, without implicating the Fourth Amendment, to show the police what the company observed on the device.  However, if the government asks the company … Continue reading Circuits Split on Government Warrantless Search of Electronic Data
June 16, 2015

Recent Enforcement Action Against Virtual Currency Signals Sea Change

The U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued a groundbreaking enforcement action against Ripple Labs, Inc., a Northern Californian virtual currency company. FinCEN announced on May 5th that Ripple Labs has been ordered to pay $700,000 in penalties and fines for violating FinCEN’s money transmitter regulations. The company has been charged with acting … Continue reading Recent Enforcement Action Against Virtual Currency Signals Sea Change
May 19, 2015

Commission Proposes Changes to Sentencing Guidelines for Fraud

The United States Sentencing Commission has voted to change the sentencing guidelines for persons convicted of fraud. The proposed changes, which remain subject to congressional approval, are intended to better account for harm to victims, individual culpability, and the offender’s intent. Three changes proposed by the Commission are especially noteworthy: Offenders would receive harsher penalties … Continue reading Commission Proposes Changes to Sentencing Guidelines for Fraud
April 21, 2015

SEC Action Impacts Employer Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently settled its first administrative proceeding and enforcement action under the Dodd-Frank Act involving an employer’s use of a form confidentiality agreement.  The SEC found the agreement, which prohibited employees from discussing aspects of internal investigations without prior law department authorization, could interfere with the employee’s ability to communicate with the Commission regarding … Continue reading SEC Action Impacts Employer Confidentiality Agreements
April 3, 2015

Judicial Rules Committee’s proposal would expand FBI’s surveillance capability and hacking of companies’ computers and smartphones

The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules has voted 11-1 to modify Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to greatly expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s authority to obtain electronic information from a private computer. Currently, judges can only approve search warrants for materials within their own judicial district. With this … Continue reading Judicial Rules Committee’s proposal would expand FBI’s surveillance capability and hacking of companies’ computers and smartphones
March 24, 2015

Utah Legislature Approves White Collar Crime Registry

In an unprecedented move, the Utah Legislature has approved a measure to create the country’s first white-collar crime offender registry. Similar to convicted sex offenders registries, the measure calls for the publication of white-collar offenders’ names and aliases, a recent photograph, a physical description, and a list of their crimes. Pointing to the trusting nature … Continue reading Utah Legislature Approves White Collar Crime Registry
March 17, 2015

Nondisclosure agreements prevent local law enforcement from acknowledging it can search cell phone without a warrant

With the pervasive use of smart phones in business and with those phones often containing confidential personal and business information, employers should be aware that law enforcement may not only conduct a warrantless search of that information, but also may take that information without the public even knowing it has that ability. In January 2015, … Continue reading Nondisclosure agreements prevent local law enforcement from acknowledging it can search cell phone without a warrant
March 16, 2015

Insufficient Evidence of Actual Losses Frustrates Company’s Restitution Bid under MVRA, Court Rules

The Mandatory Victims Restitution Act of 1996 (“MVRA”) provides that defendants convicted of crimes committed by “fraud or deceit” to compensate victims for the full amount of their losses. The federal court of appeals in Denver has held that mere estimates of a company-victim’s expenses in investigating the defendant’s theft of approximately $50,000 worth of … Continue reading Insufficient Evidence of Actual Losses Frustrates Company’s Restitution Bid under MVRA, Court Rules
February 25, 2015

FBI Announces New Focus on FCPA Violations

By:  David Jimenez, Bob Peabody, Paul Kelly and Shawn Kee An official of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) recently reported that the Agency has established three new squads of enforcement officials and stands ready to deploy them to the FBI’s three largest field offices.  Jeffrey Sallet, the head of the Agency’s public corruption and … Continue reading FBI Announces New Focus on FCPA Violations
January 16, 2015

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