Articles Tagged with Criminal Law

A former Chairman of the the Advisory Board of a professional mutual fund pleaded guilty today in federal court to a series of charges in a $13 million conspiracy to defraud in investors by falsely claiming that Praetorian Global Fund Ltd. privately owned pre-IPO Facebook and Groupon stock before each of the social media start-ups went public. In reality, the British Virgin Islands-based fund did not.

According to documents in the case, Mattera spent nearly $4 million of approximately $13 million illegally acquired in the conspiracy so that he and his family could have the accoutrements of a luxurious life: buying jewelry, expensive cars, and interior decorating projects.
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Before the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice (CCFAJ), then California Chief Justice Ronald George testified that “California’s death penalty system is dysfunctional.” A review of year-end statistics certainly confirms the former Chief Justice’s conclusion.

While the death penalty appears to be waning across the country, California remains somewhat of an outlier. In 2010, California courts sentenced 34 persons to death, which accounted for nearly a third of of the death judgments nationwide. And within the state, Los Angeles County, Riverside County and Orange County have become, as the ACLU put it, “killer counties.” They accounted for 83% of the death sentences in 2009, while representing 41% of the population. That year, Los Angeles County sentenced more people to death than any other state, much less any other California county. Of the 34 death cases, almost 62% were from these three counties.

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Last week, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California unsealed the indictment in the United States of America v. Paul Shin Devine and Andrew Ang. The indictment alleged that defendants violated 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343, 1346 (wire fraud), 18 U.S.C. § 1349 (wire fraud conspiracy), 18 U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) (money laundering), 18 U.S.C. § 1957 (monetary transactions in criminally derived property), 18 U.S.C. § 2 (aiding and abetting), and 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(C) (criminal forfeiture).

The indictment alleged that defendant Paul Shin Devine, a Global Supply Manager at Apple, used his position to obtain confidential Apple information, which he then transmitted to suppliers and manufacturers of Apple parts, including defendant Andrew Ang. In return, the suppliers and manufacturers allegedly agreed to pay Devine kickbacks, including payments determined as a percenage of the business they did with Apple. Devine then shared a portion of the kickbacks with Ang.

US v. Paul Devine and Andrew Ang

Hi Friends,

For those following the Floyd Landis arbitration at Pepperdine Law School… the blog to read is Trust But Verify — News, Research and Commentary About the Floyd Landis Doping Allegations — from David Brower. Pepperdine Law Professor Roger Alford also has some thoughts on witness tampering on Opinio Juris.

Trust But Verify – Floyd Landis Doping Allegations Blog


Federal regulations affect the practices of a broad spectrum of lawyers. For corporate counsel, federal regulations may directly touch on their company’s core business, or they may impose additional general compliance requirements, such as in human resources, as an example. Attorneys in both private practice and public interest law face a similar impact whether they practice labor and employment, immigration, criminal law or in a completely different area.

Here are some federal regulations that attorneys in the corresponding practice areas or industries may find of interest:

Regulatory Agency Practice Areas / Industry
US Citizenship and Immigration Services Immigration, Employment
Internal Revenue Service Estate Planning, Tax
Patent and Trademark Office Intellectual Property
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Energy, Government Relations
Food and Drug Administration Personal Injury, Pharmaceutical, Government Relations
Department of State International Law, Immigration
Thrift Supervision Office Financial Services
Securities and Exchange Commission Financial Services, Securities, Consumer Law
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Labor and Employment, Employee Benefits
DOJ Antitrust Division Antitrust, Business, Consumer Law

If you practice in an area affected by federal regulations, you probably already recognize that keeping abreast of new regulatory developments is essential. To assist you, Justia has released the free Justia Regulations Tracker, found at (currently in beta). Justia Regulations Tracker allows a user to focus on regulations originating from a specific federal agency and subscribe to an RSS feed of those regulations.

Better yet, you can further refine the RSS feed by specifying the type of regulation or stage in the regulation making process (i.e., rules, administrative orders, notices, proposed rules, executive orders, and proclamations) or even defining certain search terms, such as all regulations that mention bovine spongiform encephalitis.

If you aren’t already on the RSS bandwagon, now is a great time hop aboard. RSS feeds allow you to take a particular set of data and view it using your RSS reader. So, instead of opening a print newspaper and reading the articles that the editors have selected for you, and RSS reader allows you create your own custom news and information source from data sources that you select. For lawyers, this means reading the federal regulations, court filings, legal commentary and other resources that you decide are worth tracking. Enjoy!

Justia Regulation Tracker

Justia Regulation Tracker

What do you think of when someone mentions the USA PATRIOT Act? Fahrenheit 9/11? Long lines at the airport? Domestic spying by the NSA? Well, I have a new item to add to that list. As the winter cold season takes its toll, honest citizens trying to buy some nasal decongestant will discover that Sudafed® has been replaced by Sudafake—courtesy of the USA PATRIOT Act.

I found the original Sudafed at a local Walgreens. Had to take a product card to the pharmacist behind the counter and exchange it for the actual contraband. Oh, and they asked for my driver’s license. I could see all my personal information being zapped into some database for the government to data mine. Thanks! And, if I somehow end up on the No-Fly List…

Walgreens doesn’t offer all cold products in their original formulation. For example, Robitussin only comes with Phenylephrine HCI and not Pseudoepedrine HCl (the active ingredient in the original Sudafed). So, buy accordingly. Personally, I think Sudafake is really a placebo pill, because it had no effect. Hence, my search for the tried and true.