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White Collar Posts

Talk Is Cheap: The Misuse of 'Speaking' Indictments >
November 14, 2016
By: Ronald H. Levine
I recently discussed the government's use of 'speaking' indictments and practical defense responses to them in ALM's November 2016 Business Crimes Bulletin. In white collar fraud, public corruption and other high-profile cases, DOJ prosecutors often go well beyond the Fed.R.Crim.P. 7(c)(1) notice requirement of a "plain, concise, and definite written statement of the essential facts" and draft thick indictments advocating the government's narrative...
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False Claims Act Update: The First Wave of “Materiality” Decisions Post-Escobar >
October 25, 2016
By: Carolyn H. Kendall
In our earlier post, we discussed the U.S. Supreme Court's implied false certification decision of Universal Health Services Inc. v. Escobar, in which the Court rejected a bright-line rule on the False Claims Act's (FCA) materiality standard and adopted a fact-specific standard that is being litigated on a case-by-case basis. We've now seen about a dozen FCA decisions on motions to dismiss or for summary judgment informed by the Court's opinion in Escobar.
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Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Law, Health Care Providers, and Enforcement >
October 13, 2016
With other members of our Firm's Regulated Cannabis Group, I recently co-authored an article for the Life Sciences, Pharmaceuticals, and Health Care Supplement of The Legal Intelligencer. We examined Pennsylvania's April 2016 medical marijuana law from four essential legal standpoints - professional liability, health care law, employment law, and enforcement - and the related implications for health care providers in the state.
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FCC Commissioner Seeks Investigation of Wi-Fi Hotspot Limitations at Presidential Debate >
September 28, 2016
By: Abraham J. Rein
At Monday's presidential debate, host Hofstra University ruffled feathers by reportedly moving to prevent journalists, attempting to file stories from the scene, from relying on their own wireless hotspots to get online. The move was seen by some as an effort to force reporters to use the venue's wireless service, said to cost $200, and caught the attention of the FCC. If correct, these factors may distinguish the Hofstra scenario from prior FCC enforcement actions, sufficiently to avoid an enforcement proceeding.
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The Lambis Case and the Future of 'Stingray' Evidence >
August 22, 2016
By: Abraham J. Rein
I recently examined for Law360 a federal court decision in U.S. v. Lambis that marked the first time a federal judge has suppressed evidence secured from a cell-site simulator, or "Stingray" device. These devices mimic cell towers for surveillance purposes and can locate a cell phone. The case and decision are part of the larger story of mounting attempts to constrain law enforcement's use of Stingrays and similar devices, the use of which remained largely unknown by the public as recently as 2011.
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Record $5.5 Million HIPAA Data Security Settlement: Lessons Learned >
August 8, 2016
By: Carolyn H. Kendall and Abraham J. Rein
On August 4, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced that Advocate Health Care Network, Illinois' largest hospital chain, agreed to pay $5.5 million to resolve multiple alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This settlement is the largest HIPAA-related settlement in OCR history, and comprises more than a quarter of the nearly $20 million that the government has collected in HIPAA-related enforcement actions in 2016 alone.
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False Claims Act “Materiality” After Escobar >
July 11, 2016
Along with my Post & Schell colleagues, Matt Newcomer and Carolyn Kendall, I recently co-authored an article for Law360 that examined the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Universal Health Services Inc. v. Escobar. We focused on the Court's rejection of a bright-line rule on the False Claims Act's materiality standard and adoption of a fact-specific standard that will need to be litigated on a case-by-case basis.
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DOJ's New FCPA Enforcement Plan and Crafting Due Diligence Programs >
July 8, 2016
The June 2016 issue of Business Crimes Bulletin includes Part II of our examination of recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement efforts related to the use of third-party intermediaries. Part II takes a detailed look at DOJ's April 2016 FCPA enforcement plan, which added ten prosecutors to DOJ's FCPA unit and initiated a pilot program through which companies may be able to avoid prosecution or achieve lower fines via voluntary disclosure to and cooperation with DOJ. The article also suggests seven keys to an effective FCPA due diligence system.
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Third Circuit Upholds Dismissal of FCA Suit Against Pottstown Memorial Medical Center >
June 22, 2016
By: John N. Joseph
On June 10, 2016, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2015 decision that dismissed allegations of kickbacks in violation of the False Claims Act (FCA) against Pottstown Memorial Hospital (Pottstown). The decision, concerning physician “on call” contracts, provides important guidance about the drafting of hospital-physician contracts in a competitive environment.
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Third-Party Intermediaries Present Increased FCPA Exposure for Companies Doing Business Abroad >
May 9, 2016
By: Ronald H. Levine
Mehreen Zaman of our Internal Investigations & White Collar Defense Group recently had published in the Business Crimes Bulletin the first of two articles examining recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement efforts as related to third-party intermediaries.
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Intent as an Essential Element When Prosecuting Environmental Crimes >
April 13, 2016
By: Ronald H. Levine
My partner Michael C. Gross from our Environmental Group recently authored a short response piece to accompany the article, "Time for Environmental Crimes,” by Rena Steinzor in the March/April issue of The Environmental Forum, the magazine of the nonpartisan Environmental Law Institute.
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Plan Ahead, Stay On Top of Government and Tech Changes, and Be Ready to Call the FBI: Key Lessons from the PHI Protection Network Conference >
March 22, 2016
By: Abraham J. Rein
Late last week, the health care data security community gathered in Philadelphia for the PHI Protection Network Conference. The diverse group of speakers included in-house data security officers, technology consultants, academics, attorneys, and a variety of influential federal government representatives. I was in the audience. A handful of key themes were reiterated in various ways throughout the two-day gathering.
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