As Donald Trump's hush money trial in Manhattan nears its end, experts say criminal defense attorney Robert Costello, who once advised the former president's ex-fixer and key prosecution witness Michael Cohen, has surfaced as a potentially bombshell witness for the defense.
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Analysis

Trump's Potential Witness Could Be Defense 'Dynamite'

By Phillip Bantz

As Donald Trump's hush money trial in Manhattan nears its end, experts say criminal defense attorney Robert Costello, who once advised the former president's ex-fixer and key prosecution witness Michael Cohen, has surfaced as a potentially bombshell witness for the defense.

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Judge Doubts 9th Circ. Ruling Upends VC's Fraud Conviction

By Dorothy Atkins

A California federal judge appeared skeptical Friday of convicted self-described "millennial" venture capitalist Michael Rothenberg's renewed request for a new trial or acquittal in light of a recent Ninth Circuit decision clarifying "materiality" in the federal criminal fraud statutes, doubting that Rothenberg was prejudiced by jury instructions addressing materiality.

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Paul Hastings Team Seeks $2.6M In New Kwok Ch. 11 Fees

By Ben Zigterman

With senior attorneys and Chapter 11 trustee Luc A. Despins billing close to $2,000 an hour, Paul Hastings LLP has filed two motions seeking court approval to be paid an additional $2.6 million in fees for work performed on Chinese exile Ho Wan Kwok's bankruptcy in January and February.

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NY Discovery Reform Feud Simmers Between DAs, Defenders

By Rachel Rippetoe

Four years after New York imposed new requirements on prosecutors to more promptly hand over evidence to defendants in criminal cases, data suggests that district attorneys’ offices are still struggling to comply. In the meantime, experts and advocates say many are quietly working to tweak the reforms or potentially scale them back.

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Baldwin Wants 'Rust' Case Tossed, Says Grand Jury Was Duped

By Phillip Bantz

Alec Baldwin's attorneys urged a New Mexico state judge during a hearing Friday to throw out involuntary manslaughter charges against the actor in the "Rust" movie shooting, arguing prosecutors misled the grand jury in the case.

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Judge Sets Hearing For Delay In Hunter Biden's Tax Trial

By Anna Scott Farrell

A California federal judge agreed Friday to consider Hunter Biden's request to push back his $1.4 million criminal tax trial, setting a hearing to address his claim that the dates interfere with his Delaware gun trial and threaten to prevent him from getting a fair shake.

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Analysis

Industry Emboldened After Justices Galvanize Agency Attacks

By Jeff Overley

In the year since the U.S. Supreme Court said "extraordinary" and "far-reaching" attacks on administrative enforcers can skip agency tribunals and go straight to federal district court, ambitious challenges to regulatory powers are rapidly gaining traction, and the high court is poised to put them on an even firmer footing.

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Good Behavior Can Shave Contempt Sentences, Judge Rules

By Danielle Ferguson

A Michigan federal judge on Friday said he would not ask the state's highest court to decide whether civil litigants held in criminal contempt in state court can get time off their sentences for good behavior, saying he was confident justices would agree with him that they can.

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UAW, Fiat Chrysler Say Ohio Workers' Bribery Suit Untimely

By Linda Chiem

The United Auto Workers and Fiat Chrysler told an Ohio federal judge Friday that a recent Sixth Circuit decision nullifies a racketeering lawsuit from plant workers trying to tie their claims of lost wages and benefits to an illicit bribery scheme involving former union and company officials.

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INVESTIGATIONS

Trump Hush Money Judge Warned For Biden Donation

By Frank G. Runyeon

The judge presiding over Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial was quietly cautioned after making a political campaign contribution to President Joe Biden and a Democratic group, disposing of an ethics investigation into the donation, it was confirmed Friday.

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COMPLIANCE

Koch-Tied Group Says Transparency Law Offends Federalism

By Kat Lucero

The Corporate Transparency Act is unconstitutional because it does not regulate interstate commerce yet mandates that state-registered entities disclose personal information, a conservative group affiliated with the billionaire Koch brothers told the Eleventh Circuit on Friday.

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SECURITIES

Judge Reluctantly Dismisses FirstEnergy Shareholder Suit

By Jessica Corso

An Ohio federal judge said Friday that he had no other choice but to dismiss a shareholder lawsuit filed against scandal-plagued utility FirstEnergy Corp., though his reluctance to do so was underscored by a lament that a $180 million settlement brokered in another courtroom left a "shroud of darkness" over a $1 billion bribery scandal. 

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Analysis

Crypto Cos. Take SEC Cases To The Court Of Public Sentiment

By Aislinn Keely

Mounting tension between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the cryptocurrency industry has led companies dealing in digital assets to toss the long-held practice of keeping notices of potential enforcement quiet and wear them as a badge of honor in the hopes of currying public favor.

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Two Guilty Of Wire Fraud And Conspiracy In Forex Case

By Daniel Ducassi

A Colorado federal jury on Friday found two men guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy related to their work soliciting tens of millions of dollars from investors for their foreign exchange investment business.

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SEC Can Try To Show Jurisdiction Over German In $3M Claim

By Julie Manganis

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will be allowed to pursue evidence to support its case for disgorgement of $3.3 million in allegedly ill-gotten gains from a German man whose son was implicated in a $150 million pump-and-dump scheme, a federal judge in Boston ruled on Thursday.

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PUBLIC INTEGRITY

Menendez Bribery Trial: 5 Things To Know About Week 1

By Carla Baranauckas

Explosive opening statements, closed-door jury questioning and an FBI agent's recount of the moment he found a treasure trove of gold bars and cash highlighted the first week of trial in the government's second corruption case against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

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Ex-Baltimore State's Atty Says 20-Month Sentence Too Harsh

By Emily Sawicki

Former Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has asked a federal judge to cut down prosecutors' requested 20-month prison sentence after she was convicted of abusing a COVID-19-era program to obtain money from a retirement fund and conning a lender to obtain a vacation home, arguing the proposal "stray[s] from the reality of this case."

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Judge Will Drop Some Charges For Convicted Atlanta Exec

By Chart Riggall

A Georgia federal judge moved forward Thursday with the government's request to drop four criminal counts against convicted Atlanta city hall official Mitzi Bickers after recent case law made the wire fraud charges nonviable.

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DC Circ. Affirms Ex-HUD Official's Conviction For False Docs

By Elliot Weld

The D.C. Circuit on Friday upheld the documents falsification conviction of a former high-ranking staffer within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of the Inspector General, rejecting his arguments that prosecutors had diverged at trial from the charges laid out in an indictment.

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BANK FRAUD

Scammer Cops To SIM Scheme Including $400M Crypto Theft

By Lauren Berg

A Colorado woman on Thursday pled guilty in D.C. federal court for her part in a SIM swapping scheme that appears to encompass more than $400 million stolen from the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

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Feds Say Crypto Scammer Gave Nod To 'Seinfeld' Gag

By Aislinn Keely

The lie that the character George Costanza told on "Seinfeld" appears to have inspired a New York City fraudster, as federal prosecutors announced Friday that a Brooklyn man admitted to running a million-dollar crypto and real estate scam in part through a phony company called Vandelay Contracting Corp.

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MONEY LAUNDERING

Feds Say Duo Ran $73M 'Pig Butchering' Laundering Scheme

By Emilie Ruscoe

Two Chinese citizens have been arrested on charges of being kingpins in a money laundering operation that processed more than $73 million of funds that were stolen in so-called pig butchering cryptocurrency schemes.

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HEALTH

Jury Convicts NC Provider In Medicaid, COVID Fraud Scheme

By Hayley Fowler

A clinical social worker in North Carolina was found guilty Friday of defrauding South Carolina's Medicaid program and falsely obtaining COVID-19 relief checks following a nine-day trial in Charlotte's federal courthouse, prosecutors said.

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IMMIGRATION

SD Gov. Says Cartels Operating On Tribal Lands Across US

By Crystal Owens

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told reporters Friday that drug cartels are operating on tribal lands, not only in her state, but in Indigenous communities throughout the country, calling for seven of the state's nine tribes that have banned her to banish the illegal operations she described instead.

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TAX

Feds Want Prison For Kiosk Salesman Who Faked Deductions

By Anna Scott Farrell

An electronic-sweepstakes kiosk salesman from Chicago should spend more than two years in prison for submitting false tax returns that fabricated more than $400,000 in business expenses and more than $60,000 in church donations, federal prosecutors told an Illinois federal court.

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COMPETITION

Calif. Man Who Cooperated In $5M Insider Case Avoids Prison

By Pete Brush

A Manhattan federal judge on Friday allowed a California information technology pro to avoid prison for his role in a $5 million insider-trading ring involving laser company Lumentum Holdings Inc.'s secret merger plans, citing his extensive cooperation with prosecutors.

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LEGAL INDUSTRY

Pa. Federal District Judge Gene Pratter Dead At 75

By James Boyle

U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter, who joined the bench in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 2004 and presided over several landmark cases, died Friday at the age of 75, according to a statement from the court.

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Menendez Texts With Wife A Legislative Promise, Judge Says

By Pete Brush

Emoji-laden texts between Sen. Robert Menendez and his wife about an arms sale constitute a legislative promise, a Manhattan federal judge reiterated Monday, as the government seeks to prove the power couple had a corrupt agreement with a New Jersey businessman.

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McElroy Deutsch Says Ex-Exec's Guilt Boosts Home Claim

By Emily Sawicki

McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP doubled down on its attempt to seize the home of two former firm executives following a guilty plea on criminal embezzlement charges earlier this month by one of them, the firm's former chief financial officer.

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LAW FIRMS IN TODAY'S NEWS

Arnold & Porter

Baker & Hostetler

Ballard Spahr

Benesch

Bernstein Litowitz

Bredhoff & Kaiser

Brouse McDowell

Buchalter APC

Cloppert Latanick

Cohen Milstein

Debevoise & Plimpton

Dickinson Wright

Duane Morris

Eastman & Smith

Edelson Lechtzin

Fletcher Fealko

Fox Rothschild

Gibbons PC

Herrick Feinstein

Hughes Hubbard

Jones Day

Kaplan Marino

Katten Muchin

Kohrman Jackson

Lape Mansfield

Lewis Baach

Marino Tortorella

Mayer Brown

Maynard Nexsen

McDermott Will & Emery

McElroy Deutsch

Miller Canfield

Moeel Lah

MoloLamken

Morgan Lewis

NechelesLaw

Nelson Mullins

Neubert Pepe

Outside Legal Counsel PLC

Paul Hastings

Perez Morris LLC

Quinn Emanuel

Ropes & Gray

Saxena White

Schertler Onorato

Seila Law

Skadden Arps

Tucker Ellis

Winston & Strawn

Zeisler & Zeisler

de Castro PC

COMPANIES IN TODAY'S NEWS

Alpine Securities Corp.

Americans for Prosperity Foundation

Amgen Inc.

Arthrex Inc.

Axon Enterprise Inc.

Chevron Corp.

Coinbase Global Inc.

FCA US LLC

FTX US

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.

FirstEnergy Corp.

Gucci Group NV

Harvard University

Home Box Office Inc.

Illumina Inc.

Kik Interactive Inc.

Lumentum Holdings Inc.

Mercedes-Benz USA LLC

Meta Platforms Inc.

Miami Dolphins

Pacific Legal Foundation

Ripple Labs Inc.

Robinhood Markets Inc.

SVB Financial Group

Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

Stellantis NV

United Auto Workers

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN TODAY'S NEWS

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Federal Election Commission

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Federal Housing Finance Agency

Federal Reserve System

Federal Trade Commission

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

Food and Drug Administration

Internal Revenue Service

Manhattan District Attorney's Office

National Credit Union Administration

National Labor Relations Board

New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct

Oglala Sioux Tribe

Rosebud Sioux Tribe

South Dakota Legislature

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

U.S. Attorney's Office

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California

U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado

U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of the Treasury

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Office of Government Ethics

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

U.S. Senate

U.S. Supreme Court

United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut

United States District Court for the District of Colorado

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio