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Federal Criminal Law Archives

Anatomy of a Federal Criminal Law Case - Part One: Investigation

A federal criminal law case starts with an investigation, triggered in one of a number of ways: unlike a bank robbery where the event itself triggers the investigation, in most white collar criminal cases a federal regulatory (the SEC, one or another Medicare program safeguard contractor, the IRS, etc.) gets wind of improper conduct, or a federal criminal law investigative agency - FBI, DEA, ATF, ICE, etc. - comes across information about criminal conduct. That can happen in one of a number of ways. First, some citizen might see or hear about criminal conduct and report it. Sometimes federal criminal law cases begin with the arrest of someone caught engaging in a criminal act and, in order to save himself, he tells the authorities that he knows of some far more serious criminal conduct.

Federal Criminal Law - FBI Hair Comparison "Experts" - Part 2

More on FBI misdeeds in the realm of junk science in federal criminal law. These so-called experts claimed at trial after trial that the hair comparisons were near-certain "matches" to defendants charged in the cases.  To make matters worse, to butress their phony testimony, they described misleading statistics culled from their own work.  In other words, they claimed the hairs matched, and used their own history of "matching" samples as support for their own - self-seving - conclusions.  

Federal Criminal Law - FBI Hair Comparison "Experts" - Part One

Finally, after years of federal criminal law (and state) defense lawyers' complaints that the FBI hair analysis "experts" used in state and federal prosecutions for decades, were making it up as they went along, the truth is out: they were making it up as they went along. Now they have admitted it, though very reluctantly.

Federal Criminal Law - The Federal Code - Money Laundering

The federal criminal law is sometimes a very dangerous, and absurd beast.  In the federal criminal code, Title 18, Sections 1956 and 1957, the goverment has convinced Congress over the years to make it very easy to convict someone of "laundering" proceeds of what used to be certain criminal offenses, but which has expanded to cover virtually every single federal crime.  

Federal Criminal Law - RICO (Racketeering)

In all of Federal Criminal Law, one of the toughest statutes is the one referred to as Racketeering (Title 18 §1962) is one of the most burdensome of all federal criminal laws, in that it operates more than anything to dramatically increase sentencing guidelines.