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Unanimous Ruling Finds That Prosecutors Have Flexibility on Forfeiture Orders
The United States Supreme Court recently held that federal courts can issue criminal forfeiture orders outside the prescribed deadline set by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, resolving a circuit split on the issue. Although the Rules require that the courts enter forfeiture orders before sentencing to allow the defendant to submit revisions or modifications, the recent Court’s ruling effectively states that this rule is not absolute and allows flexibility by the government to bring forfeiture orders at a later date. In the case before the Court, Louis McIntosh was
Continue Reading Supreme Court Refuses to Set Hard Deadline in Criminal Forfeitures

Video Evidence Exonerated Retired NFL Superstar
Michael Irvin, the Hall of Fame wide receiver turned NFL Network analyst, was abruptly taken off the Super Bowl coverage for the network in 2023 after it was alleged that he sexually assaulted a hotel worker at an Arizona Marriot in the days leading up to the championship game. However, he denied the allegations and sued the hotel chain and several workers for defamation, seeking $100 million in damages, after security video footage showed that the allegations were unfounded. The video, which Marriot attempted to prevent from being released, shows Irvin returning to the
Continue Reading Michael Irvin Files $100 Million Lawsuit Against Marriot Over False Sexual Assault Report

DOJ Announces AI-focused Initiatives
In a recent speech, Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced an artificial intelligence (“AI”) initiative that will see the government seek stricter sentences for crimes perpetuated by individuals using artificial intelligence tools. Recognizing the potential dangers and risks in our ever-changing world and how AI could shape its future, she also announced the creation of Justice AI, an initiative that will convene individuals from various areas of expertise and experience on the subject to “understand and prepare for how AI will affect [DOJ’s] mission and how to ensure we accelerate AI’s potential for
Continue Reading Government and Police Agencies Focus on Artificial Intelligence and Crime

Tipsters Could Receive Payment for Reporting Criminal Misconduct on Corporations
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a pilot program to launch later this year that would see non-culpable whistleblowers receive monetary payments in exchange for information of corporate malfeasance. The program was revealed recently by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco at a legal conference. While there are already avenues for whistleblowers to report to other federal agencies already in place, Monaco stated that the existing programs “are limited in scope,” and “don’t address the full range of corporate and financial misconduct that the department prosecutes.” The program will appear to
Continue Reading Department of Justice Announces New Program to Incentivize Whistleblowers

Prosecutors Dismisses Charges Against Three Men Accused of Stealing Hand Written Notes Containing Hotel California Lyrics
Earlier this week, prosecutors abruptly dismissed a case, in the middle of trial, against three men accused of stealing the hand written notes of Eagles co-founder Don Henley that contained the original lyrics for popular songs such as “Hotel California” and others by the band. On trial were three, well-established figures in the collectibles world, who had come into possession of the notes after Henley give them to a writer from a never published Eagles biography, who later sold them to one of the
Continue Reading Charges Dropped Mid-Trial in Eagles Memorabilia Case

Retired Veteran Accused of Leaking Sensitive Information to Ukrainian Woman
A retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, David Franklin Slater, 63, was recently arrested and is accused of leaking highly sensitive information to a purportedly Ukrainian woman he had met online and conversed with via an unnamed dating site. Slater had a Top-Secret Security clearance while he was employed as a civilian Air Force employee assigned to United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), the U.S. military combatant command responsible for nuclear deterrence and nuclear command and control headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. He is accused of communicating with an unnamed
Continue Reading Classified Information Exchanged on Dating Site

Federal Government Seeks to Extend Authorization of Warrantless Surveillance
The Biden Administration announced that it would seek will ask a court to renew the certification necessary to conduct surveillance authorized by a controversial surveillance program, set to expire in April, referred to colloquially as Section 702, a Justice Department (DOJ) official said. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is a provision that was added in 2008 that authorizes the U.S. government to target non-U.S. persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States to acquire “foreign intelligence information.” This includes the interception of electronic communications, such as
Continue Reading Biden Administration Asks Court to Allow Extension of Controversial Surveillance Program Before April Expiration

US Supreme Court to Review Potential Limits of Statute
A case pending before the Supreme Court, Snyder v. United States, is set for oral arguments on April 14, 2024, with a ruling expected in the following months which could impact how and when the federal government prosecutes individuals under what is titled Theft or Bribery Concerning Programs Receiving Federal Funds or section 666 of Title 18 of the United States Code. At issue is whether the statute encompasses conduct other than a “quid-pro-quo” for an official act from a public official. In other words, does an after-the-fact reward that
Continue Reading Supreme Court to Weigh Scope of Federal Bribery Statute

Convicted Bank Robber Arrested for Valentine’s Day Robbery
Donald “Doc” Bennett, an 83-year-old convicted felon who served more than thirty years in prison for a string of robberies in the 1980s, was arrested by the F.B.I. in connection with a recent series of robberies in the Chicagoland area. Bennet was arrested, along with his alleged accomplice Edward Binert, after the two are accused of robbing a Chase bank in Hickory Hills, Illinois on Valentine’s Day and taking around $7,000 from the financial institution. Binert apparently admitted to the robbery after his arrest, stating that he had met the now-octogenarian while
Continue Reading 83-Year-Old Arrested for Bank Robbery Spree

Proposed Rule to Curb Money Laundering Through Real Estate
As we have previously discussed, the United States Treasury Department has recently implemented or proposed new rules to crack down on money laundering through corporate ownership interest and is now seeking to provide more information to law enforcement through the implementation of new rules related to real estate transactions. The proposed rule would require businesses engaged in real estate transactions and transfers to flag and report any entirely cash residential purchases made to an entity or trust. Experts point out that there is currently no rule that requires reporting to
Continue Reading New Rule Proposed by the Government to Further Monitor Possible Money Laundering

Michigan Mother Convicted of Manslaughter
A Michigan mother was convicted of manslaughter due to her son, Ethan Crumbley, shooting and killing four classmates in a 2021 school shooting when he was 15 years old. Jennifer Crumbley and her husband James, who has a separate trial scheduled in March, are believed to be the first parents to be charged with manslaughter in connection to a mass shooting committed by their child, as prosecutors grapple with increasing levels of school and mass shootings across the country. Prosecutors say she and her husband had a duty to stop her son from harming others,
Continue Reading Parents Increasingly Held Responsible for Conduct of Their Children in Shootings

Rapper Accused of Killing Run-DMC Member Jam Master Jay Will Not Have Rap Lyrics Read at Trial
A federal judge in New York City ruled earlier this week that rap lyrics performed by Karl Jordan Jr, aka “Yadi” or “Young Yadi,” will not be admissible at his trial because they lack a “factual nexus” between the content of the lyrics and the accused conduct. The rapper is accused of conspiring to kill Jason “Jay” Mizell, or Jam Master Jay of the rap group Run-DMC, in 2002 with Ronald Washington over a dispute about a drug deal, shooting Jam Master Jay
Continue Reading Judge Rules Rap Lyrics Inadmissible at Trial

Ruling Could Have Massive Implications for Drivers in Illinois
In an update to our previous blog about law enforcement’s ability to search a driver’s vehicle in cases in which officers claim to smell marijuana to effectuate a vehicle search, the Illinois Supreme Court this week heard the consolidation of two cases in which the defendant’s are challenging the rationale for said stops that have led to convictions for marijuana possession. In both cases, People v. Molina and People v. Redmond, law enforcement claimed to smell cannabis to search the car and, upon finding marijuana, charged the individuals for essentially failing
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Hears Consolidated Marijuana Driving Cases

New Guidance Commissioned in Wake of Memphis Man’s Death at Hands of Police
The Department of Justice released a new guide meant to assist law enforcement agencies oversee and manage special units on the one-year anniversary of the death of Tyre Nicols, who was beaten by five police officers after he fled from a traffic stop and eventually died due to his injuries. All police officers were members of the Memphis Police Department’s “SCORPION” unit, a specialized force meant to target crime suppression, auto theft, and criminal activity. One of the officers has pled guilty for his involvement in the
Continue Reading Department of Justice Release New Guidance on Specialized Police Units

Legislation to Authorize Independent Oversight Stalls in the Senate
The Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) has faced mounting criticism after conditions have slowly deteriorated over decades, culminating in the federal government settling up a hotline for incarcerated individuals at one facility to report civil rights abuses after media reports surfaced detailing the health and safety issues facing current inmates. Some congressional members have sought to address some of the underlying issues facing the BOP, such as authorizing independent oversight by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General under The Federal Prison Oversight Act, though the bill has stalled in the Senate.
Continue Reading Federal Bureau of Prisons in Need of Overhaul as Issues Mount

In Contrast to Illinois Supreme Court, Utah Rules that Police Cannot Compel Suspect to Turn Over Password to Cell Phone
In an update to our prior coverage of an Illinois State Supreme Court decision earlier this year, the Utah Supreme Court has reached the opposite conclusion and reversed the conviction for a Utah man convicted of kidnapping and assaulting his ex-girlfriend because prosecutors relied on his refusal to give the police his cell phone passcode in closing arguments, stating that said refusal undermined his defense. The Supreme Court said that this violated his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination because the
Continue Reading Utah Supreme Court Rules Fifth Amendment Protects Cell Phone Passwords