This seminar will focus on contemporary issues in the federal prosecution of white collar crime, with special attention to crimes committed within corporations and other large organizations. The initial focus will be on the substantive law and the primary federal "white collar" statutes: mail and wire fraud, the Hobbs Acts and related public corruption statutes, the federal securities laws, the False Statements Act, and the various obstruction of justice statutes. Special attention will also be given to insider trading prosecutions.
A recurrent concern will be on the proper scope of prosecutorial discretion: how much latitude does (and should) the federal prosecutor have to determine whether dubious, unethical or simply surreptitious conduct is also illegal? Recent efforts by the Supreme Court to limit broader theories that criminalize breaches of fiduciary duty will be considered. Some attention will be given to the enforcement practices and policies of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A second focus will be on process. Here, the new practice of using deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements in preference to formal prosecutions will be examined, as will the procedural issues that arise in this context, such as simultaneous civil and criminal proceedings, cooperation between civil and criminal enforcers, and the impact of the sentencing guidelines. Focusing on the "real world" of white collar criminal prosecutions, this course will regularly read and analyze current indictments, motions, pleadings and other litigation documents in addition to appellate decisions.
Grading will be based on a combination of class participation and a seminar paper.