February 25, 2020

Top enforcement officials from DOJ, SEC, CFTC to speak at white-collar crime conference

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2020 —  Brian Benczkowski, U.S. attorney general for the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice, along with the division’s assistant attorney general Joseph H. Hunt; Steven R. Peikin, director of Enforcement Division at the Securities and Exchange Commission; and James M. McDonald, director of Enforcement Division of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will be featured speakers at the American Bar Association 34th National Institute on White Collar Crime to be held March 11-13 in San Diego, Calif.

Benczkowski, Peikin and McDonald will participate in a special session, “A Conversation with the Enforcers & Regulators,” to be held on Wednesday, March 11, from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.

The three-day conference will also feature two keynote speakers. On Thursday, March 12, Judge Richard M. Gergel of the U.S. District Court of South Carolina will deliver a keynote speech at 9:20 a.m. Professor Eugene F. Soltes of the Harvard Business School will give the keynote on Friday, beginning at 9:15 a.m.

What:  
National Institute on White Collar Crime
Sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section

When: 
Wednesday-Friday, March 11-13

Where:
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
333 W Harbor Dr.
San Diego, Calif. 92101

This institute brings together leading federal and state judges and prosecutors, law enforcement officials, defense attorneys, in-house counsel and members of the academic community to discuss the latest updates on new developments and strategies in white-collar law.

Topics to be covered at this year’s conference include:

  • How some leading federal judges handle white collar cases
  • How leading general counsel approaches potential white-collar issues
  • The current focus of enforcement at the DOJ, SEC and CFTC
  • Recent enhanced enforcement efforts in traditionally self-regulated sectors, including sports and academia
  • How to deal with ethical challenges presented in white-collar cases, and how corporate investigations have been impacted by the changing landscape created by US v. Connolly
  • The impact of investigations and prosecutions on white-collar defendants and in-house lawyers for companies from those who have faced such charges

Program highlights include:

“The Foreign Agents Registration Act: An Old Statute Roars Back to Life” — The Act, which imposes criminal penalties on agents of foreign principals who fail to register and disclose their lobbying, political and public relations activities in the United States, was enacted in 1938 but largely slipped into disuse after World War II. Over the last few years, it has been used more aggressively, and the DOJ now has appointed a criminal prosecutor to lead the FARA Unit. This panel will explore the uptick in enforcement, recent cases and key issues in defending clients.
Wednesday, 4:15-5:15 p.m.

“The Challenge of Judging in the 21st Century” — Five federal judges will consider some of the personal and professional challenges and difficult substantive issues they confront in the daily administration of justice, in particular white-collar cases. Panelists are U.S. Circuit Judge Amy J. St. Eve, Seventh Circuit, Chicago; Chief Judge Larry Alan Burns, Southern District of California, San Diego; District Judge Brian M. Cogan, Eastern District of New York, Brooklyn; District Judge Sara L. Ellis, Northern District of Illinois, Chicago; Chief Judge Denise Page Hood, Eastern District of Michigan, Detroit; District Judge Amit P. Mehta, District of Columbia, Washington; and Chief Judge Virginia Anne Philips, Central District of California, Riverside.
Thursday, 10 a.m.-Noon

“Sentencing and the New First Step Act Risk and Needs Assessment System” — The panel will discuss the DOJ’s recently unveiled Risk and Needs Assessment System pursuant to the First Step Act. Depending on how defendants score under this complex system, they may have their prison time reduced. The panel will discuss how this new system works, provide tips for effective sentencing advocacy and discuss other recent developments. Speakers include Antoinette T. Bacon, associate deputy attorney general, DOJ, Washington, D.C; William M. McSwain, U.S. attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and John E. Wetzel, secretary of corrections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Thursday, 2:45-3:45 p.m.

“Ethics: Privilege Issues Post-Mueller Investigation” — The panel will discuss a series of recent high-profile ethics issues, including the repercussions experienced by professor Ronald S. Sullivan, director of Harvard Law School’s Criminal Justice Institute, as a result of his representation of Harvey Weinstein; several post-Mueller issues such as the dilemma of White House witnesses summoned before congressional committees; and the DOJ outsourcing investigations of companies to the firms representing them, turning private lawyers into prosecutors. Speakers include U.S. attorneys general Robert S. Brewer, Jr., Southern District of California; and G. Zachary Terwilliger, Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria.
Friday, 9:45-11:45 a.m.

The complete schedule can be viewed online.

This event is open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Robert Robinson at Robert.Robinson@americanbar.org.

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