Mueller To Be Honored in Boston

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Save the date: the NAFUSA annual conference will be held in Boston on October 9-12, 2014 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. Member Registration is now open and each NAFUSA member will receive an invitation via email with the registration form attached. You will be able to book your room at the Copley through this registration process, at the special conference rate of $319 a night.

NAFUSA members: click here to register

President Don Stern chairs the Boston Planning Committee, which includes Zach Carter, Kevin O’Connor, Bill Leone, Karen Hewitt and Rich Rossman. In addition, Stern chairs a Boston Host Committee with Wayne Budd, Mike Sullivan, Bob Corrente, Jeff Taylor, Bill Weld and Rich Rossman. President Stern promises an outstanding program. The conference will open with Thursday morning, October 9, golf at Belmont Country Club.

Robert Mueller

Thursday evening will feature a cocktail reception at the Copley, honoring NAFUSA’s newest member, Robert S. Mueller III, who completed 12 years last fall as the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a position he took one week prior to the September 11 attacks and held under two presidents.

Mueller was a United States Marine Corps officer, an Assistant United States Attorney in three different offices, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, and the longest-serving Director of the FBI since J. Edgar Hoover.

Mueller currently is a partner in the Washington office of WilmerHale. He holds a teaching appointment at Stanford University, and spends time in WilmerHale’s West Coast offices. He also serves as Executive-in-Residence for Georgetown University. From 1993-1995, he was a partner at Hale and Dorr LLP, before the firm combined with Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP a decade ago.

Mueller earned his law degree in 1973 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served on the Law Review. He received an MA in international relations from New York University in 1967, and graduated from Princeton University with an AB in 1966.

Friday and Saturday mornings will feature the usual CLE programs, with details to be announced. On Friday afternoon a boat cruise and lunch is planned in the Boston Harbor. The conference will close on Saturday evening with a closing reception and dinner.

The conference will be held on Columbus Day weekend with several offices closed on Monday, October 12. The fall is a great time in the East and a fine time to plan some extra days to watch the leaves turn.

NAFUSA Members Remember Johnnie Mac Walters

As reported here on June 26, 2014, long time NAFUSA member Johnnie Mac Walters died on June 24. NAFUSA arranged for an American flag to be flown over the Department of Justice in Mac’s honor, and NAFUSA member Walt Wilkins (South Carolina 2008-2010), currently the Circuit Solicitor in Greenville, presented the flag to Mac’s four children at a memorial service in Greenville, South Carolina on July 19. Walt reports that the children were very grateful and sincerely appreciated the gift from NAFUSA. Letters to the family were also sent by NAFUSA members Bill Sessions and John Clark.

Clark shared his “refreshed recollections” contained in his letter. He recalled the assistance Walters gave to Sessions and Clark in ensuring that their requests for timely decisions on matters crucial to their 1972 grand jury investigation did not get bogged down in the bureaucracy. Clark’s reference to “George” refers to George Parr, the notorious South Texas political boss under investigation for income tax evasion. The reference to “my book” refers to Clark’s non-fiction book The Fall of the Duke of Duval (Eakin Press, 1995), chronicling the year-long grand jury investigation and the multiple prosecutions that grew out of it.

Clark writes:

After re-reading the Times piece and thinking further about the chronology of events, it’s my recollection that Scott Crampton succeeded Johnnie as Ass’t AG – Tax Division in 1971, when Johnnie became IRS Commissioner. We knew Johnnie, of course, as well as Scott.  We knew at the outset of our investigation in the Spring of 1972 that we had a tight Statute of Limitations deadline for George’s 1966 tax year ; and when we needed an expedited decision on an immunity grant for Karl Stautz to help us meet that deadline, Scott (at DoJ), and Johnnie (at IRS) helped to accomplish getting the facts reviewed and the decision made promptly.  When we needed assurance a little later in 1972 that the mandatory review by IRS Regional Counsel of the proposed indictment wouldn’t get bogged down in needless bureaucratic delays, Johnnie assured us that it wouldn’t, and it didn’t.  Johnnie believed in us and in the validity of our investigation, and he was helpful to us in ensuring that key decisions were made after proper review and without unnecessary delay. As you may recall, we were concerned because Regional Counsel reviews and decisions had a reputation among US Attorneys’ offices as needlessly slow, as did immunity requests at DoJ. Our District Director, Bob Phinney, was also concerned about the potential delay we might encounter at Regional Counsel level.  I.A. Filer told me that he thought George Stephen (the Chief of Intelligence in Phinney’s office) was the one who selected the team of agents that was assigned to our investigation.  We had three Special Agents (I.A. Filer, Jerry Culver, and Charlie Volz) and crack Revenue Agent Ed Watts. As I wrote in my book, I never worked with a more professional or a more capable team of investigators.

John

 

At the time of the Parr investigation, Sessions was the United States Attorney for the WD of Texas (1971-1974) and Clark was the First Assistant. Sessions later became a United States District Judge for the WD of Texas and the Director of the FBI. Clark succeeded Sessions as U.S. Attorney (1975-1977) and is currently of counsel with the San Antonio law firm of Goode Casseb Jones Riklin Choate & Watson. He is also a past president of NAFUSA and one of the founders. Sessions is currently a partner at Holland & Knight in Washington.

Clark says, “Johnnie Mac Walters truly believed, as the oft-quoted maxim puts it, that ‘A public office is a public trust.’ I felt privileged to know him.”

Johnnie Mac Walters

MacBride Says Prosecutorial Power Shifting From NY to DC

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In an interview published today in Corporate Crime Reporter, Davis Polk Partner Neil MacBride On the Shift of Prosecutorial Power from New York to DC, NAFUSA member Neil MacBride, who served as the United States Attorney for the ED of Virginia 2009-2013, talks about his perception that the center of the corporate crime universe is shifting from New York to Washington and northern Virginia.

In MacBride’s view, a paradigm shift occurred in the national security area with 9/11and the Patriot Act and other statutes began to tear down artificial walls and federal agencies began to share information. According to MacBride, the shift spilled over into the enforcement and regulatory space.

The result has been a consolidation of enforcement authority in Washington. You have this proliferation of regulatory and enforcement agencies that just didn’t exist a decade ago.

 

When I was U.S. Attorney, I created the Virginia Financial Securities Fraud Task Force. That brought together criminal law enforcement agencies like the FBI, the Postal Inspection Service, the IRS on the one side. And then we brought in civil regulators like the SEC, the CFTC, state securities commissions. We brought them together in a way that allowed them to share information with the goal of detecting and disrupting financial frauds when they were relatively small, before they ballooned into Madoff style billion dollar ponzi schemes.

We stole the playbook from the national security counterterrorism side and have now applied it in the financial fraud and regulatory space. Companies increasingly have a sense that the locus of power has shifted from New York to Washington and northern Virginia. The regulators and enforcers here are much more active and will soon, if they haven’t already, eclipse New York as being the center of the U.S. government’s efforts against financial fraud.

The interview also discusses the”rocket docket” created during MacBride’s era in the Eastern District of Virginia- rules were created to speed cases on both the civil and criminal side. MacBride also discusses his view that the pendulum is swinging back from deferred and non prosecution agreements toward more guilty pleas in corporate cases. He is also quoted on the “rocket docket” in the July 15th posting of Legal Bisnow (DC).

Johnnie Mac Walters Dies, 94

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Long time NAFUSA member Johnnie “Mac” Walters, died at his home in Greenville, South Carolina, on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. He was 94. See the full obituary from today’s New York Times. He served as assistant attorney general (1969-1971) and as commissioner of Internal Revenue (1971-1973) in the Nixon Administration.

As described in his memoirs, Our Journey, published in 2011,

In 1971 embattled President Richard M. Nixon sought to use the Internal Revenue Service as a weapon to investigate and punish his “enemies.” Tapes of White House conversations reveal that Nixon wanted as Commissioner “a ruthless son-of-a-bitch that he will do what he is told; that every income tax return I want to see I see; that he will go after our enemies and not go after our friends.”

Attorney General John Mitchell recommended Assistant AG Johnnie Mac Walters. Apparently no one checked with Walters who was “shocked” when White House Counsel John Dean presented him with an “enemies list.” Walters resisted pressure from the White House and told Secretary of the Treasury George Schultz that he could “have my job anytime he wanted it.”

Walters earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He served in World War II in the U.S. Army Air Force as a navigator, flying fifty bombing missions. He was awarded a Legion of Honor award from the nation of France in 2012.

Walters is survived by his wife, Donna Hall Walters, and his sons Hilton and John Roy; and his daughters, Donna Diane Gent and Betsy Kukorowski; five grandchildren and one great-grandson. A memorial service will be held at the  First Baptist Church in Greenville at 2 p.m. on July 19, 2014.

Our Journey

 

At NAFUSA’s request, an American flag was flown over the Department of Justice on June  27, 2014, in honor of Johnnie Mac Walters and will be presented to his family as a token of the appreciation in which he was held by his colleagues.

Flown over the Department of Justice on June 27, 2014, in honor of Johnnie Mac Walters

Flown over the Department of Justice on June 27, 2014, in honor of Johnnie Mac Walters

Johnnie Mac Walters flag case

 

 

Thornburgh in Hospital With Mild Stroke

Dick Thornburgh

According to a report in Reuters on Sunday, June 22, 2014, NAFUSA member Dick Thornburgh, a former U.S. attorney general, two-term Pennsylvania governor, and U.S. Attorney for the WD of Pennsylvania, 1969-1975, has been hospitalized in Pittsburgh.

Thornburgh, 81, who served as U.S. attorney general under President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, suffered a mild stroke on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported, citing Thornburgh’s wife, Ginny Thornburgh.

“He is resting comfortably and receiving excellent care at UPMC Presbyterian,” Thornburgh’s family said in a statement released through the hospital. “He is awake, alert and looking forward to a full recovery.”

On July 10, 2014, Dick Thornburgh’s assistant at K&L Gates provided this update:

Dick Thornburgh is undergoing rehab at UPMC/Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh.  He is doing well and he is receiving excellent care from dedicated and caring professionals and his condition appears to be on an upward trajectory.  Within the next ten days or so he expects to have a better fix on his future prospects.

Vaira Joins Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores

Peter Vaira

NAFUSA member Peter F. Vaira (E.D. Pennsylvania, 1978-1983) joined the Philadelphia law firm of Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores (GPEFF) in March, 2014. Vaira will serve as special counsel. In announcing his joining the firm, GPEFF stated:

Peter’s over 50 years of practice, during which he has handled the most complex criminal and civil matters in state and federal court, has earned him a reputation as one of the most respected attorneys in the region. Mr. Vaira is also a widely sought after arbitrator, mediator, special master, and independent hearing officer with numerous years of experience in the field of alternative dispute resolution.

Mr. Vaira will direct GPEFF’s alternative dispute resolution practice while also working alongside Michael J. Engle who leads our white collar practice group. We are honored to have such a tremendously accomplished attorney practicing law with our talented team of trial lawyers.

 

Founded over 20 years ago as an aggressive criminal defense law practice, GPEFF  has since become an established, full-service law firm, with offices in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. www.gpeff.com.

Vaira has written many fine articles in The Legal Intelligencer. Click here The Legal Intelligencer, June 17, 2014 (1) to read his most recent, Protecting Law Firms From Increasing Cyberattacks.

NAFUSA Board Meets in Napa

Napa Board Meeting

NAFUSA officers and board members met in Napa Valley on June 6-7, 2014 for their annual spring meeting. The meeting was held at the Villagio Inn and Spa in Yountville, California. As is the custom, members paid their own travel and hotel expenses.

Executive Director Emeritus Mahlon Brown and Pat Brown joined the board for the weekend, and local members Joe Russinello and Chuck Stevens, along with their wives, Moira and Ann, also attended as guests. Joe Russinello hosted a golf outing at Silverado as well.

President Don Stern reported on the early plans for the Boston conference to be held on October 9-11 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. The Thursday evening cocktail reception will honor Bob Mueller. Registration is expected to begin in July. NAFUSA has the support of $85,000 in sponsors, with more sponsors expected. A full list of sponsors can be found on the website and in each monthly newsletter.

Executive Director Rich Rossman reported that NAFUSA has 261 active members,  including 53 life members and 20 seniors (over 70 and fully retired). Unfortunately 42 members have yet to pay their 2014 dues, which were payable February 28, 2014. The present dues structure is not sufficient to pay operating expenses, and NAFUSA relies upon its sponsors. Nevertheless, the board voted to retain the present schedule of annual dues at $150, seniors at $50 and lifetime dues at $1500. The board also voted to maintain the conference registration fees at $400 per member and $300 for a spouse. These rates have been the same for several years.

For the past three years, the executive director has been assisted by his nephew, Ken Rossman, for technical support. With Ken’s support, the webpage and the newsletter have been significantly upgraded. Ken has decided to step down, and the board approved the hiring of John Steele of Denver, Colorado, as Ken’s replacement. John will be a first year law student in the fall and has significant technical experience. He will continue in the IT field during the day and attend law school at night. The board is hopeful that John will establish a model we can use in the future and when he graduates law school we can find another IT consultant/law student to take his place.

President Elect Matt Orwig confirmed that the 2015 conference will be held on October 15-18 at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. Vice President Greg Vega advised that the 2016 conference will be in San Diego.

ABA Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute

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NAFUSA member Joe Whitely, shown above at the 2013 NAFUSA conference in Washington, will co-chair the program for the September 11-12, 2014 ABA Criminal Justice Section Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute. It will be held at the Chateuau Elan Inn in Brasselton, Georgia, and will feature several NAFUSA members as speakers: Bart Daniel, Rick Deane, Tom Dillard and Jack Selden.

Click here to view the program and registration information: ABA CJS Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute 2014 (as of June 18, 2014).

Leone To Head Norton Rose Fulbright NY White Collar Practice

Bill Leone 2013 DC

NAFUSA member Bill Leone (Colorado 2004-2006) has been chosen to lead the white collar and government investigations practice in the New York office of Norton Rose Fulbright. Bill served as US Attorney in Colorado and led  several high profile, complex white collar investigations including the prosecution of Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio. 

Norton Rose Fulbright, one of NAFUSA’s sponsors, is the 3rd largest law firm in the world following the combination of Norton Rose LLP and Fulbright & Jaworski, with 55 offices around the globe, including North and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia. Bill will continue to spend time in Denver where he maintains his practice and has led the litigation group for the past three years. Bill’s practice includes investigations in the energy, medical device, health care and technology sectors, as well as a portfolio of white collar cases and civil and criminal trials.