Lots of national white collar stories in recent weeks.
But first, why no thoughts (yet) on the Mueller Report? First, it’s been and will continue to be widely covered elsewhere. Second, it’s been a busy two days, and I haven’t finished reading it yet. You probably shouldn’t trust the analysis of anyone else who hasn’t done so either. There are lots of other white collar happenings, though:
- Part 234 of our ongoing series, “Don’t Lie to Federal Agents,” features former Obama White Counsel Greg Craig’s indictment for lying about work for the Ukrainian government, a subject we’ve covered before.
- And speaking of conduct that implicates the Foreign Agents Registration Act, convicted FARA violator Sam Patten awkwardly asked a question of a panel featuring the head of the DOJ’s FARA unit.
- Meanwhile, in my old stomping grounds of Santa Ana, California, a federal grand jury has added sweeping new charges of tax evasion and bilking clients against very bad lawyer/person Michael Avenatti.
- Noted non-legal-expert Edward Snowden thinks that the conspiracy charges against Julian Assange represent a “dark moment for press freedom.” As with so many other topics, Snowden is wrong.
- Closer to home, there’s a wire fraud and money laundering indictment in Portland for allegedly persuading victims to deposit bitcoins into an investment scheme promising “zero risk” and 20 to 50 percent returns. Those promises are what some call red flags . . .
- A top Aequitas executive pleaded guilty yesterday to federal mail and wire fraud charges in Portland.
- Yet more fraud action in Portland, with an indictment for allegedly avoiding millions of taxes and various bank fraud schemes.
- And by way of update on my favorite fraud story of 2019 to date—a man posing as a British billionaire to lure investors—a federal judge in Seattle has approved the seizure of $600,000 from a bank account owned by a third-party who allegedly rented a mansion to the fake Brit to help him keep up appearances.
- Former Manhattan U.S. Attorney and legal podcast star Preet Bharara was in Seattle a few weeks ago promoting his book. It was a great talk, and the book is thus far a great read.