Friday, May 11, 2018

WHITE COLLAR CRIME DEFINED

[Photo of Sociologist Edwin Sutherland from wikipedia]

In 1939, famous sociologist Edwin Sutherland defined white collar crime as crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.

This definition has been criticized by many other the years since then.  For example, as a part-time criminal justice professor, I have often taken issue with Sutherland's definition because it requires that the crime must have been committed by a person of "high social status" in order to be classified as white collar crime.  In my opinion, even an embezzlement committed by a low level bank teller would constitute white collar crime.

Do you agree? What is your opinion about Sutherland's definition of white collar crime?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

BLAGOJEVICH APPEAL DENIED AGAIN

[Blagojevich photo from wikipedia]

     According to news reports, the appeal to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been denied a second time.

     As you recall, Blagojevich was convicted for, among other things, trying to sell the former Senate seat of former President Obama.

     Blagojevich will reportedly be eligible for release in 2024.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

DOJ INSPECTOR GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE FISA ABUSES

[Image from wikipedia]

     It finally has been confirmed by various news reports today that the D.O.J. Inspector
General has opened an investigation into the FISA abuses by top members and agents of the D.O.J. and F.B.I.  You will, of course, recall that, according to the Nunes memo, a small group of top D.O.J. and F.B.I. officials, among other alleged abuses, used the "salacious and unverified" dirty Steele dossier to obtain FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. If substantiated, this would be the first reported time in American history that one candidate (and top administration officials) have spied on the opposing party's candidate during an election year.

     As a former federal prosecutor, I cannot imagine a larger, more serious white collar crime! Here's hoping that justice will be served and that such abuses never occur again. Here's also hoping that the guilty are brought to justice!

     What is your opinion?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS REMAIN CONCERNING FISA ABUSES

[Photo from wikipedia]

Many questions remain concerning the alleged abuses of the FISA court process by top DOJ lawyers and FBI agents during the 2016 presidential campaign and thereafter.

For example, will Attorney General Jeff Sessions appoint a special prosecutor to investigate this abuse of power? In an interview yesterday with Fox journalist Shannon Bream, Sessions again indicated that the FISA abuses would be investigated and that he has also appointed an experienced DOJ attorney from outside Washington to look into it.

How does the FISA Court feel about reportedly being abused in this manner?

But I also wonder how much information was obtained by federal agents?  How far did this corruption extend, after they allegedly abused the FISA court to spy on the opposition candidate during an election year, while using opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC? In other words, has anyone investigated how many tape recordings were made and with whom, or how many emails were tracked, and on whose private conversations did agents eavesdrop?

Many questions remain and yet there are so few answers! Here's hoping that somebody, perhaps the Inspector General or maybe Mr. Session's unnamed attorney friend, will shake some trees and get some answers!



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

LAWYER UP AND SHUT UP!

[Image of the U.S. Constitution from wikipedia]

Let's assume, hypothetically, that you have been approached by a federal agent who wants to interrogate you about alleged crimes.  Do you know which Amendments to the Constitution guarantee your rights to "lawyer up and shut up?"

The Fifth Amendment guarantees you the right not to say anything which would incriminate
you.

The Sixth Amendment has been interpreted by the courts to guarantee you the right to counsel.

These are the important Constitutional Amendments and rights which allow each of us to "lawyer up and shut up!"

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

DOJ AND INSPECTOR GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE FISA ABUSES


Did you hear the news? Attorney General Jeff Sessions has confirmed today that the Department of Justice, through its Inspector General, will investigate the alleged abuses involving the FISA applications submitted by senior members of the Obama D.O.J. along with their cohorts in the F.B.I.

We have all had time, now, to digest the "Schiff memo," released on Friday.  In it, the attack dog Democrat Congressman did his best to defend those who had submitted the questionable FISA applications. 

But incredibly, even after the Schiff memo, the undisputed facts appear to be that partisans in the D.O.J. and F.B.I. did not disclose, in the FISA applications, that the "salacious and unverified" Trump dossier had been paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  

In short, incredibly, we have witnessed the weaponizing of our nation's spy tools by one candidate to spy on an opposing party during an election year!

As a former federal prosecutor, I would never have imagined not disclosing such salient facts to the Court! 

If these allegations are proven, heads will surely roll! What do you think?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

COOK COUNTY ILLINOIS JUDGE FOUND GUILTY OF MORTGAGE FRAUD

[Scales depiction from wikipedia]

Have you heard the news about the mortgage fraud conviction of Cook County Circuit Judge 
Judge Jessica Arong O’Brien?  Last week, she was found guilty in federal court of two fraud counts related to false statements she made in loan applications years before she took the bench. She reportedly lied about her income while purchasing two investment properties and then paid kickbacks to a straw purchaser who subsequently defaulted on the loans.

As Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Madden told the jury in closing argument, "she used lies to buy and sell these properties." Sentencing for Judge O'Brien will be reportedly be held at a later date.