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Your conversations aren't privledged
Old 01-11-2007, 12:54 PM   #21
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Your conversations aren't privledged

I just want to point out that FinanceDude's conversations with his client are not privledged and he can be called on to testify to what he was told by his client. I would even bet that this post could be subpeoned.

If I were FD, I would only give advice to his client in the presence of an attorney so that the entire conversation would privledged and not discoverable.

Prosecutors play hard ball and don't assume that you can't be one of those uninvolved people going to jail for doing nothing.

Ray
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............
Old 01-11-2007, 02:24 PM   #22
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............

Since there are attorneys and law enforcement people here... let me ask.. with a quick story first...

I saw a program where they had a video of this guy coming out of a bathroom... and later another guy coming out... the second guy had killed a boy... but the prosecutor could do nothing to the first guy because he left before anything was done... but he KNEW what the othe guy was going to do, heard that it had been done but never came forward to the police... it was said that there is no obligation on a citizen to report a crime in progress or even tell about one after the fact...

Is this true And if it is.. and the lady is not doing anything illegal like the people did at Enron (an accountant making illegal entries even if they are told to do so is doing something...) then why would she have any legal issues

She could say "I didn't KNOW for sure there was something illegal going on... and I did nothing illegal"... thoughts
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............
Old 01-11-2007, 02:44 PM   #23
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............

The client needs to consult with her own attorney pronto. Between the lines I see a licenced professional. If she fails to comply with the standards of her profession her license to practice is at risk. As a result, not only is her job on the line so is her capacity to work in her profession in the future.

I agree with others, call her in for a brief discussion. Tell her that the two of you need to talk together in the future with HER lawyer present.
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............
Old 01-11-2007, 03:29 PM   #24
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Is this true And if it is.. and the lady is not doing anything illegal like the people did at Enron (an accountant making illegal entries even if they are told to do so is doing something...) then why would she have any legal issues

She could say "I didn't KNOW for sure there was something illegal going on... and I did nothing illegal"... thoughts
Not all states have laws that make it a crime to not report a felony that you are aware of. It's applicable to the person in question because money laundering offenses are federal crimes - some states have money laundering laws, but it's usually something that is prosecuted federally. The feds do prosecute people for Misprison of Felony and I've used it as a hammer to convince a less culpable person to "roll over" and testify against the real crooks in an organization. I've seen some people refuse to testify and find themselves in court as a defendant.

Quote:
Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
Misprison has died out in a lot of jurisdictions, generally except when there is some kind of duty implied in the role/profession that the offender occupies. Not sure how it works elsewhere, but in my state they have generally defined specific offenses that apply only to people in occupations that have a special duty, or for anybody who has knowledge of a specific category of a crime (like child abuse).

There is a fundamental difference between local prosecution and the federal system. The local guys have a workload that they have to work because they are the ones ultimately responsible for prosecuting criminals. They can pick and choose to some degree, but in general, if a law enforcement officer walks in with an investigation that supports prosecution they will file charges. The feds have a lot more leeway to pick and choose cases. So, with a much larger workload on the average D.A.'s office, they tend to go for the quick kill and spending time prosecuting every person who knew the details of a crime - but committed no other offense - would be seen as a waste of their time. The special duty or class of crime thing being an obvious exception to that rule. The feds however, because of the luxury of being able to exercise greater control over the cases they take, tend to go for home runs. They don't want to drag a Misprison case into court either, but if they sit across the table from someone and make them the offer and it gets rejected, I've seen Asst US Attorneys walk out of the room and take a hike over to the grand jury to get an indictment for Misprison.

Modified to ad:

Back OT:

The Federal system is different than most states in that there are sentencing guidelines. Those used to tie the judge's hands when it came to sentencing, but it has changed and I'm not up to speed exactly how it works now. But, the way it worked back then was that once you were convicted of an offense the Probation people prepared a sentencing report for the judge. The only real shot anybody had was to cooperate and testify against co-conspirators. What happens is that eventually almost all defendants figure it out and they rush to talk and they rat out everybody. The best deals go to the small fish who get on board early and the big fish who offer the most. Everybody else just goes to trial and takes what they get at sentencing. And federal sentencing is tough. We use to encounter a lot of small fish who decided to cooperate way too late. Unless there was something they had that we couldn't get from anyone else, we told them go hire an attorney and we would see them in court.
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............
Old 01-11-2007, 04:08 PM   #25
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............

The other issue to put into the pot is the source of the money shuffled. If it is in any way tainted with drug proceeds the interest of law enforcement increases by factorials of 10, be they ATF or local law enforcement. Those folks are in the confiscation business and the action takes place without a lot of critical examination by the judiciary.
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............
Old 01-11-2007, 04:24 PM   #26
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
The other issue to put into the pot is the source of the money shuffled. If it is in any way tainted with drug proceeds the interest of law enforcement increases by factorials of 10,
I was assuming that it was drug related, but didn't really factor that into what I posted. If it is drugs, and the money laundering is wrapped up into a drug conspiracy investigation/prosecution, not only does the heat increase but everybody in the conspiracy is potentially culpable for everything the other conspirators did. The thing I loved about the federal conspiracy law is the thing that gives it all its teeth - just being involved in the conspiracy is a criminal offense. An individual does not have to commit any other offense, or even an act in furtherance of the conspiracy, in order to be guilty of being a conspirator. Generally, we only prosecuted people who actually commited an act (not necessarily a criminal act) to further the conspiracy. Examples would be a guy who sold cars to a drug transportation group, or another guy who provided cell phones in false names, or a woman who rented apartments in her name for drug organizations to use. They all knew what they provided was being used to further a criminal conspiracy. Even though they never touched any drugs they were members of the conspiracy and acted in its furtherance. They all got prosecuted.
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............
Old 01-11-2007, 04:36 PM   #27
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............

I find this interesting....

You quote

"Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."

So, who defines 'having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony' I might suspect they are doing something criminal, but don't know for sure it is a crime... they might just have clients who don't want to be known.. blah blah blah.. wouldn't you have to prove this knowledge to win

BTW.. I think Fastow started to sing very very early and got only 7 years.... I think he was the main guy who did all of the stuff and the others got it worse.. so, sing early and sing often when you get caught is my new motto... (that is if you are doing this kind of stuff.. which I am not...)
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............
Old 01-11-2007, 05:10 PM   #28
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
So, who defines 'having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony' I might suspect they are doing something criminal, but don't know for sure it is a crime... they might just have clients who don't want to be known.. blah blah blah.. wouldn't you have to prove this knowledge to win
Yes, the elements of the offense have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. But, and this is especially true in conspiracy cases, sometime between arrest and trial date there is a moment where almost all of the defendants realize that it is time to sing early and sing often. It usually comes about the time that their defense attorney realizes his client is going to go down in flames and the best thing to do is to cooperate. Once they get rolling, they spill their guts and talk about everything. That's when we pull out all of our notes, surveillance reports and documents we seized in search warrants and start asking questions. Like, "...explain who Gladys Jones is and why you were using an apartment in her name to store drugs/money?" he will eventually testify that Gladys rented him a $800 a month apartment for $10,000 for three days use and talk about all the conversations he had with Gladys that illustrate that she knew he was committing a crime and used the apartment to help get that done. Then we testify about all the things that we saw, overheard or seized that corroborate what he is testifying to. The jury makes the final decision.

I don't know the specifics of Fastow's case, but if he did cooperate early, and his information was worthwhile, then he probably did get a significant reduction in sentence. We arrested about thirty bad guys one morning that were involved in a heroin conspiracy. We gave all of them "the offer" before we took them to jail. Most of them at that time, and this is typical, lied and denied any involvement in criminality. But the head of the organization was smart, he said he wanted to think about the offer overnight and would talk to us the next day. We had them all together briefly as we were loading them into vans to transport them from our office to the jail, he used that time to tell all of them "Nobody talks to the cops until you hear from me." The next morning he agreed to talk and testify against everyone in his organization. He also lured his source of supply into the US so we could arrest him with a kilo of heroin, but his real value came in that he made it so there was no use in any of the defendants to try and fight their cases. We had a few trials of small fish that were stupid, but everybody else rolled over and went to sentencing. By singing early, and telling everyone else to keep quiet, he also maximized his usefulness, although in the process he screwed over all his lieutenants because none of them could outshine his knowledge and testimony. He turned a life sentence into 12 years. He continued to sing after being incarcerated, a fact that drove the US Marshals crazy because we had put him in their witness protection plan. Every time he called us to give us info he learned behind bars, they had to change his name and move him to yet another prison. He stopped calling when they told him they were going to stop protecting him if he called us again.
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............
Old 01-11-2007, 05:19 PM   #29
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............

Curious...and sure theres no sure answer but...

Given the suggestion that these sorts of activities rarely conclude without 'someone' talking to 'somebody', is it rare that people actually get away with it?
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............
Old 01-11-2007, 05:44 PM   #30
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............

Back a few postings ago there was a discussion about a hierarchy of crimes as viewed by the justice system. The Enron case didn't have drugs or terrorism elements, it was all about greed. Same could be said about most other securities 'crimes'. White collar crime doesn't get the attention it deserves IMHO. One of the difficulties for prosecutors is to explain the financial dodge & weave to jurors.

Let's watch to see how many folks go the the slammer for mortgage fraud, for example.
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............
Old 01-12-2007, 09:53 AM   #31
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Re: Moral Dilemna......Whistleblowing.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
I tuned the rest of the meeting out and started doodling a picture of a sailboat on my notepad. Dreams of being a retired sail bum filled my thoughts as I came to grips with my future.
Sailboat? Did somebody said a sailboat?
Don't leave us hanging there - what kind of a sailboat?
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