Last month’s decision from the Supreme Court in McDonnell v. United States takes federal prosecutors to task for applying federal criminal corruption
On June 24, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court pared down what has been commonly referred to as the “honest services” law, a federal criminal statute often used by federal prosecutors in corruption and fraud cases.
In Skilling v United States, 2010 WL 2518587 (US Jun 24, 2010), the United States Supreme Court significantly limited the scope of a criminal statute used frequently by federal prosecutors to criminalize a wide range of behavior by business executives and public officials.
In a post-Enron world, the reins have tightened on prosecutorial vigilantism.
In one of the most significant white-collar crime rulings in recent memory, the Supreme Court last Thursday in Skilling v. United States, 561 U.S. ___ (2010) (Case No. 08-1394) held that 18 U.S.C. 1346, the so-called “honest services” statute, covers only bribery and kickback schemes, considerably limiting the scope of the statute, which, for years, has been considered among the most powerful weapons available to federal prosecutors.