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By Andrea L. Moseley Have you ever wondered why so many seasoned trial lawyers excel at Tennis? In my view, as a former Division III collegiate tennis player and a White Collar litigator, it is not a coincidence. Especially in the midst of this unusual pandemic Tennis season, I have been thinking more and more about how the singles tennis player must deal with many of the same struggles that most trial lawyers encounter. In…
By Sara Kropf There are a few fundamental constitutional rights for a criminal defendant. The right to a lawyer. The right to confront witnesses. The right not to incriminate yourself. And the right to a jury trial. One disappointing part of law school was learning how limited these rights are in real life. For example, you can be under criminal investigation for years and be interviewed by the government repeatedly—all without a lawyer. The right…
By Sara Kropf The First Amendment gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so. The last clause, however, is often ignored. It says that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging . . . the right of the people peaceably . . . to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Federal government employees’ rights to “petition the government” are somewhat restricted. In fact, Congress has made it a crime for federal…
By Andrea L. Moseley There are very few sui generis innovators when it comes to alleged criminal schemes. Steve Bannon may be a headliner but he is no pioneer as he becomes the new government flagship for alleged donor fraud. In recent times, Southern District of New York (SDNY) prosecutors have made no secret about the Department of Justice’s intent to intensify its efforts to combat the abuse of vulnerable political donors. This summer I…
By Sara Kropf Many—perhaps most—of my clients who are targets of Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigations think the process is not fair. They are right. In an OIG investigation, the same entity is the investigator, the prosecutor, the judge, and the jury. There’s no separation of power. There’s no right to appeal. Once the findings are made, you are stuck with them forever. Let’s start with the basics: There is nothing illegal about this…
By Andrea L. Moseley Over the last few months, I have provided insight into how individuals and small businesses can mitigate risk related to pandemic fund fraud allegations. In this article, I will include an enhanced reference guide with five simple tips on how to protect your business if you have been the recipient of pandemic relief funds. First, I want you to be aware of some significant recent developments. On July 28, 2020 (cover…
By Sara Kropf Many of the clients we represent in Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigations are facing allegations that they violated federal ethics regulations or internal agency ethics rules. Here’s how it usually plays out. An OIG agent knocks on the employee’s door (yes, literally) and says they have a few questions about a potential conflict of interest. Thinking “oh, it’s just an ethics violation,” the employee agrees to the interview. In her mind,…
By Andrea L. Moseley If you applied for pandemic relief funds and your business is in Virginia, you should be aware that civil and criminal fraud investigations and prosecutions are going to intensify in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA).  Shown above, this geographic region includes the counties to the east of the red line.  Remember back in April, when the government vowed to audit any company that received more than $2 million in stimulus…
By Sara Kropf It’s July 2020. One day we’ll look back at this time with some perspective. We’ll tally with certainty how many people died from a pandemic that could undoubtedly been stopped sooner. We’ll evaluate whether the Black Lives Matters protests led to meaningful police reform. We’ll know if the voters made big changes in the November elections. For now, though, we’re in the thick of it. It’s a stressful time for everyone. I’ve…
By:  Andrea Moseley Your company applied for money under the terms of the CARES Act: Are you at risk of facing scrutiny from DoJ because of your application?  To understand the answer to this question, you must be aware of DoJ’s fleet-footed approach to snuffing out Paycheck Protection Program fraud (PPP).  As I recently noted here, trends have begun to emerge in the investigation and prosecution of PPP fraud.  Staying on top of these…