Public Investment Fund Launches "Savvy Gaming Group"    KSrelief Supervisor General Meets with Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister    Diriyah E-Prix 2-Time Champion Sam Bird Sets His Sight on More Triumph in 2022 Diriyah E-Prix    Minister of Islamic Affairs: Kingdom seeks to serve Islam and Muslims around world    Ministry of Health Reports 4,526 New COVID-19 Cases, 5,772 Recoveries in Saudi Arabia    Asian Shares Mixed    [email protected]: Set to become world's technological and economic powerhouse    Royal Commission in Yanbu Achieves Arab Award for Operation and Maintenance    IPA organizes 'Innovation and the Future of Government Work' conference on February 9    NDMC clears 43% of debts due for payment in 2022    Flying car cleared for takeoff, but you'll need a pilot's license    Crown Prince, Chan-o-cha reaffirm need to open a new chapter in Saudi-Thai relations    Dozens feared lost as 'smuggling' boat capsizes off Florida    Netherlands to ease Covid restrictions despite rising case numbers    What the grand Republic Day parade means to India    Unvaccinated man denied heart transplant by Boston hospital    Deputy Ruler of Sharjah witnesses premiere of 'Narratives of the Place'    Sir Elton John postpones US shows after positive Covid-19 test    Bollywood's Shilpa Shetty cleared of obscenity over Richard Gere kiss    Egypt Records 1809 New Cases of COVID-19    Weather Forecast for Wednesday    Commerce Minister: Prime Minister of Thailand visit comes within Saudi Arabia's keenness to strengthen relations with countries of world    Minister of Justice Meets with His British Counterpart    Non-oil exports in Saudi Arabia increase by 26.1%    At least six killed in Cameroon stadium stampede    Al Hilal pays tribute to departing star striker Bafetimbi Gomis    Mauritania Condemns Houthi Terrorist Attacks on Saudi Arabia and UAE    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Higher at 12,108 Points    General Court of Audit President Inaugurates 8th Conference for Internal Audit with Int'l Participation    UN chief calls for Olympic Truce to build 'culture of peace' through power of sport    Taylor Swift slams Damon Albarn over songwriting comments    Australian Open: Peng Shuai T-shirt ban reversed after outcry    Cirque du Soleil to establish an academy and regional office in Saudi Arabia    Omani National Football Team Arrives in Jeddah to Meet Saudi National Team    'Bab Al Hara' Director Bassam AlMulla passes away at 65    Saudi Handball Team Loses to Qatar in Main Round of 2022 Asian Men's Handball Championship    Eighth Season of ABB FIA Formula E World Championship to kick off in Diriyah    Riyadh's Qualitative Events Enrich its Winter, Attract World Attention    SFDA: Fat is a Source of Energy and Its Abundance is Linked to Chronic Diseases    Reflections on celebration of Christmas    Royal Commission for AlUla to Hold Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup 2022, Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo    Saudi Arabia's Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai Organizes a Dance Theatrical Show for Children    Saudi Arabia rebuffs UN resolution on 'sexual orientation'    Kabir Khan eyes on joint Indian – Saudi film projects    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Tough battle against white-collar crimes
By Grant McCool
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 26 - 06 - 2010

A Supreme Court decision siding with two imprisoned former corporate executives is another reminder to a US public angered by financial scandals that prosecuting white-collar criminal cases can be a lot tougher than it looks.
Federal prosecutors, who have suffered setbacks in the past year in probes stemming from the financial crisis, were dealt a blow Thursday in two cases that many people thought were long over.
The high court said prosecutors had gone too far in using an “honest services” law against convicted former Enron Corp CEO Jeffrey Skilling and ex-media mogul Conrad Black, who both are behind bars for corporate fraud. The law is a favorite tool in public corruption and corporate cases where there are allegations of bribery and kickbacks.
“It's going to have an impact on essentially all phases of commercial and public life because it affects public officials and it impacts executives,” said Kelly Kramer, a partner at the law firm Nixon Peabody who focuses on government investigations and white-collar defense.
“It impacts anybody who has any fiduciary responsibilities,” Kramer said. “It's a significant limitation on the government's ability to prosecute such cases.”
Thursday's ruling came as President Barack Obama's administration has boosted the prosecutorial ranks, partly because of public pressure and expectations that some individuals or corporations should be held accountable for the financial meltdown in which middle-class citizens lost their homes and savings.
During the past two years, the government has prosecuted a host of executives from Wall Street financial advisory firms to small city mortgage lenders and brokers to millionaires charged with avoiding taxes.
Thursday's unanimous opinion of the nine high court justices does not mean Skilling or Black will be released from prison.
However, it does give them leverage in trying to shorten their sentences in return for not pressing for what would be a costly and time-consuming rehearing of their cases at the trial court level, according to criminal law experts.
Skilling's appeal was the third Enron case to reach the high court. In 2005, it unanimously overturned former Enron auditor Arthur Anderson LLP's obstruction of justice conviction, saying vague jury instructions allowed jurors to convict without finding criminal intent.
Experts said the court's ruling Thursday had left the heart of the honest services statute intact.
“This is certainly not a huge surprise,” said Andrew Liepold, a law professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign. “The honest services law has been controversial since it was passed 22 years ago.”
Academics and other lawyers said prosecutors still had other powerful tools in the securities laws that are traditionally available for white-collar cases.
“The implication is it will be a fairly narrow ruling for Skilling and Black and for future prosecution,” said Eric Sussman, the Chicago head of white-collar crime defense at the Kaye Scholer law firm.
Sussman said the Obama administration had to grapple with determining whether there were any crimes committed during the financial meltdown or just mistakes, not how to prosecute those cases.
“They still are not out of the starting blocks,” he said.
In the last five weeks, federal prosecutors and the US Securities and Exchange Commission dropped criminal and civil probes of AIG's Financial Products unit and some of its executives over the giant insurer's near collapse in 2008. The AIG meltdown led to a $182 billion government bailout.
Last November, a New York jury acquitted two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers in a closely watched case brought amid the liquidity crisis in which the investment bank folded and was bought by rival JPMorgan Chase & Co.
One New York white-collar criminal defense lawyer, Glenn Colton of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, said he did not believe prosecutions were necessarily becoming more difficult.
“There is always a reevaluation and prosecutors are always weighing how to most aggressively do what they think is right in prosecuting and investigating activity versus doing something so aggressive that it risks being deemed illegal or unconstitutional,” Colton said.
“Reasonable minds can differ ... and sometimes the judge sides with the defense saying they pushed the envelope too far.”

Clic here to read the story from its source.