By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 19, August 2019

What Constitutes a Legitimate Threat of Violence?

Last week an 18 year old Boardman, Ohio resident instructed followers to attack federal agents on social media. In a recent article on Cleveland.com, attorney Chris Georgalis discussed challenges prosecutors face in these types of matters balancing First Amendment rights and criminal violations regarding online threats: https://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/2019/08/ohio-mass-shooting-threat-what-is-the-fine-line-between-lulz-and-legitimate-threats-of-violence.html Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 12, August 2019

DOJ and DEA Use Aggressive Tactics to Combat Opioid Epidemic

The Department of Justice is combating the opioid crisis by now holding opioid distributors and manufacturers criminally liable. An Ohio-based drug manufacturer was recently indicted for Conspiracy to Distribute and Dispense a Controlled Substance. In the past, the DOJ imposed administrative fines and penalties against distributors and manufacturers to enforce drug laws, but due to the overwhelming number of opioid related overdoses and deaths, the DOJ and U.S. Attorney’s Offices are moving toward more aggressive tactics. In addition, the DEA… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 29, July 2019

IRS Issues Virtual Currency Warning Letters

Last Friday, the Internal Revenue Service began issuing letters to taxpayers who trade virtual currency warning that they may have failed to report income and pay taxes owed. “Taxpayers should take these letters very seriously by reviewing their tax filings and when appropriate, amend past returns and pay back taxes, interest and penalties,” said IRS commissioner Charles Rettig in a statement. The tax implications vary depending on whether an individual sold, received, were paid in, or mined cryptocurrency. The IRS… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 25, July 2019

Ohio Task Force Examines Bail System

The Supreme Court of Ohio Task Force to Examine the Ohio Bail System recently submitted to Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor a 25-page Report proposing nine recommendations to Ohio’s current bail system. The 30 member Task Force comprised of highly regarded members of the Ohio criminal justice community proposed recommendations designed to make a more fair and cost-effective jail system. The recommendations include judicial access to quality risk-assessment tools, representation at initial appearances and additional education and training… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 11, July 2019

The ILLICIT CASH Act

The Senate is discussing a new piece of legislation to enhance and modernize federal anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) laws. The Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings Act (the “ILLICIT CASH Act”) proposes new reporting requirements for beneficial ownership information as well as improving resources available to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Currently, the onus is on financial institutions to identify beneficial owners (“BO”) at the… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 28, June 2019

House Bill 1

Recently, the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation that re-emphasizes rehabilitation over incarceration. Ohio House Bill 1 broadens the scope of “Intervention in Lieu of Conviction” by requiring an eligibility hearing in any case where the offender alleges that drug or alcohol usage was a factor leading to the underlying offense. Further, H.B. 1 expands the sealing/expungement eligibility by removing the eligibility cap on fourth and fifth degree felony offenses: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/leg…/legislation-documents… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 25, June 2019

The Taxpayer First Act

The Taxpayer First Act (TFA), which the House passed on June 10, 2019, and the Senate passed on June 13, 2019 will enhance the IRS’ ability to combat tax fraud. The whistleblower provisions in the TFA protect whistleblowers from retaliation and improve the IRS whistleblower program by authorizing the IRS to communicate with whistleblowers during the processing of their claims, while also protecting taxpayer privacy. The TFA also includes several provisions protecting taxpayers and modernizing and reforming the IRS. Those… Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 17, June 2019

Emily Mikes Featured in the June 2019 Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal

Check out Emily Mikes article "Smile, You're on Camera" which discusses the implications of Government usage of facial recognition software: https://lnkd.in/efup8QR Read more

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 06, June 2019

Department of Justice Updates Manual regarding False Claims Act

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) recently updated its Manual to include formal guidance on False Claim Act matters. The DOJ may apply cooperation credit to companies for voluntarily disclosing misconduct unknown to the government, cooperating in an ongoing investigation, or undertaking remedial measures in response to a violation. The credit will take the form of a reduction in the damages multiplier and civil penalties. To read more about the policy click here: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr...

By: Carrie Bennice / Date: 24, May 2019

Department of Justice Updates Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs

The Department of Justice recently published an updated version of the Criminal Division’s 2017 guidance publication “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs.” The update is intended to harmonize the former Fraud Section publication with other Department legal standards. The updated guidance primarily focuses on three sections: 1. Is the corporation’s compliance program well designed? 2. Is the program being applied earnestly and in good faith? 3. Does the corporation’s compliance program work in practice? The publication provides additional support in answering… Read more