SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations that a defendant gained access to copyrighted electronic design automation (EDA) software through fraud in violation of the Copyright Act are adequately pleaded, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 15 in denying a motion to dismiss (Synopsys Inc. v. Ubiquiti Network Inc., et al., No. 17-561, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130070).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 10 held that two medical assistants who filed a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act (FCA) against a podiatrist they worked for could not intervene in a criminal forfeiture action brought by the federal government seeking $1.2 million for false billing to Medicare because the employees lacked standing (United States v. Neil A. Van Dyck, et al., No. 16-10160, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14780).
DENVER - A Colorado appeals panel on Aug. 10 affirmed a man's convictions for first-degree arson, criminal mischief, theft and attempted theft for intentionally setting fire to a house he lived in with his mother and then-girlfriend to obtain insurance proceeds, finding that the trial judge did not err when allowing evidence regarding his previous insurance claims (People v. Christopher Wesley Welborne, No. 14CA2242, Colo. App., 5th Div., 2017 Col. App. LEXIS 1004).
BOSTON - Three former pharmacists who worked for New England Compounding Center (NECC) during a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak on Aug. 9 told the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it should not reverse dismissal of certain criminal claims against them (United States of America v. Alla V. Stepanets, Nos. 16-2402, 16-2403 and 16-2404, 1st Cir.).
NEW YORK - In what the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is calling the first criminal appeal related to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) to reach a federal appellate court, the appeals court on July 19 overturned the convictions of two former employees of Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. (Rabobank), ruling that a district court erred in allowing compelled testimony because it is not allowed in U.S. criminal cases even when it was compelled by a foreign sovereign (United States of America v. Anthony Allen, et al., Nos. 16-898-cr and 16-939-cr, 2nd Cir.).
BOSTON - The former head of New England Compounding Center (NECC) on July 7 appealed his conviction on mail fraud and racketeering charges to the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-10363, D. Mass.).
BOSTON - A day after sentencing a defendant for his role in the fungal meningitis outbreak, a Massachusetts federal judge on June 27 scheduled the next criminal trial in the case for Sept. 15 (United States of America v. Glenn Chin, No. 14-10260, D. Mass.).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on June 22 denied a judgment of acquittal or a new trial for Barry J. Cadden, the former head of the compounding pharmacy at the center of a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-10363, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96223).
ST. LOUIS - In a criminal fraud case, an Arkansas trial court correctly denied, based on a lack of authority, a request by an insolvent insurer's owner to be released from any further obligations of restitution once payment of $300,000 was made to the insurer's receiver, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 15 (United States of America v. Frank Whitbeck, No. 16-1720, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10606).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent's experience alone is sufficient to qualify him as an expert, and his use of a gun-tracing report prepared by other ATF employees does not violate a criminal defendant's confrontation rights, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found June 12 in affirming the defendant's conviction (United States of America v. Jarelle McLean, No. 16-4673, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10380).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York appellate panel on June 9 reversed a jury's verdict finding a woman guilty of arson, attempted insurance fraud and conspiracy after finding that the prosecutor's questioning of her husband about his criminal history and comments about the defendant's financial condition were prejudicial (People of the State of New York v. Shallamar L. Hayward-Crawford, No. 405 KA 14-01824, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. LEXIS 4506).
CINCINNATI - A federal judge in Michigan's failure to make a factual finding as to whether the government properly calculated the amount of loss Medicare, Medicaid and other insurers incurred as part of a health care insurance fraud scheme violated Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 1 in vacating the sentence (United States of America v. Vinod Patel, No. 15-1666, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9851).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 31 affirmed a seven-count criminal conviction against Ross William Ulbricht, the founder of online criminal marketplace Silk Road, and upheld a trial court's imposition of a life sentence, finding that it was not unreasonable given the magnitude of criminal conduct (United States of America v. Ross William Ulbricht, No. 15-1815, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9517).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on May 16 found that a junior high student's violent Facebook post was properly deemed a criminal threat under state law because it reasonably communicated a threat of death or bodily injury to identified targets, leading it to affirm a juvenile court's conviction and sentence (In re A.F., No. B270864, Calif. App. 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3323).
GALVESTON, Texas - The Texas Department of Criminal Justice on April 26 filed an amended complaint against the Food and Drug Administration, asking a Texas federal court to declare that the FDA's impoundment of a drug for lethal injections is unlawful (Texas Department of Criminal Justice v. United States Food and Drug Administration, et al., No. 17-1, S.D. Texas).
DETROIT - Consumers who purchased Volkswagen vehicles with software designed to cheat emissions tests cannot seek restitution from the auto manufacturer as part of criminal proceedings brought by the federal government against the company because it would unduly prolong the sentencing process, a federal judge in Michigan ruled April 21 (United States of America v. James Robert Liang, et al., No. 16-cr-20394, E.D. Mich.).
ATLANTA - A fingerprint specialist may testify based on his qualifications and reliable method on the identification of a man charged with the violation of procuring naturalization and citizenship contrary to U.S. law, a Georgia federal judge held April 18 (United States of America v. Olu Kanni Sanyaolu, No. 16-cr-126, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59294).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - In a criminal case, a Drug Enforcement Agency special agent may not provide expert opinion testimony regarding drug code generally because the agent was not properly designated as an expert witness, a New Mexico federal judge ruled April 17; however, the special agent may provide lay opinion testimony "limited to his personal perceptions of the investigation and intercepted communications" (United States of America v. Fidal Abdeljawad and Ashley Watson, No. 15-cr-3394, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58122).
DEERFIELD, Ill. - Baxter International Inc. on April 14 reported that an employee has received a grand jury subpoena pursuant to an antitrust criminal investigation taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Stipulations of dispositiveness are binding in appeals from conditional no contest pleas, the Florida Supreme Court ruled April 13, allowing a man to appeal the denial of his request to exclude testimony about the results of chemical field tests under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (Roger Dennis Churchill Jr. v. State of Florida, No. SC16-654, Fla. Sup., 2017 Fla. LEXIS 829).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York State Court of Appeals majority on April 4 upheld an appeals court's ruling that Facebook Inc.'s motion to quash warrants seeking user information per the Stored Communications Act (SCA) was properly denied, finding that the order, which was in conjunction with a criminal investigation, was nonappealable (In the Matter of 381 Search Warrants Directed to Facebook Inc., No. 16, N.Y. App., 2017 N.Y. LEXIS 767).
LOS ANGELES - In reversing a lower court in part, a California appeals panel on March 8 held that although a directors and officers liability insurance policy's "Willful Misconduct Exclusion" barred coverage for losses brought about by fraud or criminal acts, the exclusion did not apply to defense expenses (Mitchell J. Stein v. Axis Insurance Company, et al., No. B265069, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 1, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1628).
NEW YORK - Convicted hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam has failed to show that his trial counsel in his criminal proceedings was ineffective by failing to bring certain arguments on appeal of Rajaratnam's conviction for insider trading, a federal judge in New York ruled March 3 in denying a pair of motions to vacate Rajaratnam's sentence and civil forfeiture (Raj Rajaratnam v. United States of America, No. 15-5325, related to: 09cr1184, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30726).
DETROIT - Takata Corp. on Feb. 27 pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in Michigan federal court and agreed to pay $1 billion in criminal penalties in a case in which the air bag maker was charged with misleading consumers into believing that their air bags were safe when the air bags were prone to exploding during car crashes, leading to deaths and injuries, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (United States of America v. Takata Corp., No. 2:16-CR-20810, E.D. Mich.).