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What is Juneteenth?

I’ll admit I didn’t know. I hadn’t heard of it until a couple years ago, and when I did, I thought it was something newfangled. It wasn’t that I didn’t care. I just didn’t know. So I read up on it, and now I do. Juneteenth is a combination of the words, “June” and “nineteenth.” Read More

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FTC and FDA Warn Against False Covid Claims

As federal courts slowly begin to reopen in phases, the government’s pursuit of Covid fraud continues apace. In particular, two agencies—the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration—are issuing warning letters to businesses selling or marketing products that purport to treat or prevent Covid-19. Think oils, herbs, vitamins, minerals, or supplements. But it can Read More

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FTC Warns Nursing Homes Not to Take People’s Stimulus Checks

The Federal Trade Commission has clarified something for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities: their residents’ stimulus checks belong to them, not the facility, so you can’t take it from them. Reportedly, some facilities have requested or required that people on Medicaid sign over the checks. Don’t do that. As the FTC’s notice explains, these checks are, by law, personal Read More

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Dude Catches Federal Case for Lying about Covid

Consider the juxtaposition. Last week, we wrote about people whose convictions were reversed because their conduct, while wrong, didn’t quite fit the crime. They made a mistake and lied—rather egregiously—but it wasn’t wire fraud because they didn’t do it to obtain money or property from the other side. Fair enough. This week, we couldn’t help but Read More

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Bridgegate, Reversed

Once upon a time, you might recall, there was another kind of lockdown. For four days in September 2013, three public officials shut down two traffic lanes on one bridge from New Jersey to New York. It wasn’t just any bridge, though, but the busiest motor-vehicle bridge in the world. And it wasn’t just for Read More

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The SBA’s FAQs on the PPP

Here’s the government’s FAQ sheet on the Paycheck Protection Program, current as of today. It may not have all the answers, but it gives relatively simple answers to 47 questions by lenders, borrowers, and others. Here’s a sampling: Do payments to independent contractors count toward payroll? No. See Question 15. Do part-time employees count? Yes, for eligibility but no, Read More

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Motive Meets Opportunity

Well, that didn’t take long, either. Yesterday, the Justice Department charged the very first case of fraud against the relief program set up to help small businesses weather the lockdown. Prosecutors charged two businessmen with fraudulently seeking over $500,000 in forgivable loans meant to defray the cost of their payroll, rent, utilities, or mortgage interest. Allegedly, the two Read More

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The Feds Prioritize Covid Fraud

Well, that didn’t take long. Amid all the madness surrounding coronavirus, the U.S. Justice Department has ordered all 93 of its federal districts to do two things: Prioritize the prosecution of Covid-related scams in general; and Create special task forces that target fraud, waste, or abuse in the provision of goods or services. In this Read More

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Fight On

Boxing isn’t litigation either, but another hero of mine is another son of Philadelphia, albeit a fictitious one. The story of Rocky Balboa is the story of a nobody who got a shot at the world heavyweight championship and lost. That’s right, he lost. It’s the unconventional story of an underdog who took his shot Read More

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If Only

There are other things besides the law, after all. For seven years, we’ve published this blog on a regular schedule, but after losing a close friend to cancer last week, we’re taking a break again this week and perhaps longer. We’ll be back soon to cover civil and criminal litigation in the 21st century—in your Read More

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