Defendant, convicted under 18 U.S.C. 371 of conspiracy to defraud the United States while serving as in-house general counsel to the company involving the company's filing of false tax returns with the IRS. He was sentenced to 41 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution to the IRS. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. The jury instructions adequately addressed the elements of conspiracy. There was no need for mention of the attorney-client privilege or of an attorney's potential obligation to report illegal activity. The government’s theory of liability was not dependent on whether defendant had an affirmative duty to inform, yet failed to do so; conviction did not turn on whether defendant's actions were governed by the attorney-client privilege. There was sufficient evidence to support the conviction. View "United States v. Fisher" on Justia Law
Posted in: Corporate Compliance, Criminal Law, Legal Ethics, Tax Law, U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, White Collar Crime
Plaintiffs alleged that corporate officers committed securities fraud (15 U.S.C. 78j, 78t) by making false statements about about the corporation's financial health and controlled other persons regarding false statements by the corporation and other employees. The district court dismissed; the Sixth Circuit remanded. The district court again dismissed and the Sixth Circuit reversed. The complaint adequately alleged scienter by alleging that the defendants received internal reports and information showing financial distress, yet continually made false, positive statements regarding financial health. The court noted allegations concerning temporal proximity between false statements and corrective statements, defendants' financial motivations, the retirement of one defendant, and that the SEC investigated the company's accounting practices.