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Corporate & White Collar Crime

Stephen P. Friot

United States District Judge
May 14 - 25, 2019

For more information, call +7-495-649-2273

In today’s times, where the world has become a village due to the advances in internet and social media communication technologies, international business transactions and contracts has become the norm rather than the exception. Accompanying this growth in transnational business transactions comes the darker side of business and commerce, and that is the fraud, corruption, bribery, money laundering and other crimes associated with big business. It is essential for any commercial lawyer or businessman today to have at least a basic understanding of white collar crime and other crimes associated with corporate and business law:

  • Bilateral extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties often raise questions of “dual criminality,” the resolution of which requires a sophisticated understanding of the criminal law of multiple countries. 
  • The U.S.’ famous “RICO” laws relating to organized crime often serves as a model for other countries developing their regulatory framework. 
  • It is common practice today for local and multinational corporations to have a Compliance Officer, dedicated to ensuring that the company in the execution of its daily operations are at all times complying with the various laws regulating the way they conduct their business locally as well as on foreign soil.

Knowledge of global white collar criminal laws are especially important for Russian lawyers.  For example, in 2009, a $22 billion lawsuit against the Bank of New York in the Moscow Arbitrazh Court, raised the question of whether the U.S. RICO law could be applied in a proceeding in Russia.  Prominent Russian companies and individuals, including Russian Aluminum and Oleg Deripaska, have been sued in the United States under the RICO law, and in England under various fraud allegations.  In 2012 the Lord Mayor of London acknowledged that over ½ of the High Court cases brought in London involve a Russia/CIS aspect.  Finally, others, including Semyon Mogilyevich and former Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeniy Adamov, were criminally indicted in the United States for fraud.  Regardless of their merits, all of these cases have required Russian lawyers to master the intricacies of global white collar crime.     

This course will provide an introduction to the most important legal issues in white collar and corporate crime. It will focus on corporate criminal liability, fraud, insider trading, money laundering and counter-terrorism financial enforcement, antitrust, export control and economic sanctions, transnational corruption and transnational organized crime (RICO).  The class may also discuss procedural aspects of international white collar crime, namely extraterritorial jurisdiction, evidence gathering, obstruction of justice and extradition.

Course overview.  The holder of a business-oriented L.L.M. degree must have at least a working familiarity with U.S. law and practice in the sphere of corporate and white collar crime.  This course is intended to give you that familiarity, from a theoretical standpoint, and, of equal importance, from a practical standpoint.  Many of the subjects we will address could, standing alone, justify twenty-four hours of lecture.  Consequently, in class, we will cover some topics quickly and others in more detail.

What we will cover .  All of the topics (and related readings) will fall into one of two broad areas: (i) substantive law of corporate and white collar crime and (ii) practical considerations (including such matters as investigations, the pre-indictment stage, plea bargaining, and supervision of criminal litigation).

After a brief refresher on some constitutional basics and a look at the allocation of investigative jurisdiction among U.S. investigative agencies, we will address a variety of fraud offenses, the Foreign Corrupt Practices

Act, RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) prosecutions, intellectual property offenses, economic espionage, price fixing, violations of economic sanctions and export controls, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, money laundering, conspiracy law, criminal forfeiture, and the various forms of obstruction of justice.  We will also address how sentencing law applies to various types of corporate and individual offenses, as well as the extraterritorial application of U.S. criminal law.

Obviously, with this much ground to cover, some of the topics will be addressed in detail and some, in contrast, will be addressed with the thought in mind that you will at least need to know where to start looking when you are confronted with a problem.  Your course materials will help you with that.

Course schedule.  The eight class sessions will be from 19:00 to 22:00 on Tuesday through Friday, beginning May 14, 2019.  A detailed course outline, with the reading assignment for the first class (as well as my contact information), is available on the course Moodle.

Background information. See http://russianamericanbusiness.org/main/content/judge-stephen-friot-%E2%80%9Ci-have-high-opinion-my-russian-friends%E2%80%9D