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Current Attempts to Define Regulator Roles in Cryptocurrency Enforcement Actions

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Description: In March 2021, John McAfee was charged by the DOJ with fraud and money laundering in connection to his cryptocurrency activities in the past few years – specifically his social media statements about cryptocurrencies and purchase and sale of those same cryptocurrencies. In doing so, the DOJ seems to be applying market manipulation laws in a novel way in the crypto space, alleging that McAfee had the ability to manipulate the cryptocurrency market in the same way that stocks can be manipulated in pump-and-dump schemes. This case and the expected upcoming congressional task force on cryptocurrencies are likely to provide the market with much more clarity on how coins and projects will be treated in investigations, including whether they can be treated as securities and the relative roles of the SEC and CFTC. The objectives of this program are to explore why cryptocurrencies are unique and not easily defined using existing regulations, to examine the cases that have thus far defined regulator roles, and to review the pending matters that are likely to provide more insight on how cryptocurrencies can and will be treated in future enforcement actions.
Kenneth Breen is a partner in the Litigation Department of Paul Hastings and, having completed a 10-year term as Global Chair of the Investigations and White Collar Defense practice, now serves as Head the New York White Collar Defense practice. Mr. Breen defends corporations and executives in high-stakes investigations and trials involving a myriad of issues including securities fraud, consumer protection issues, money laundering, and anti-corruption allegations. Prior to private practice, Mr. Breen served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he was Deputy Chief of the Business and Securities Fraud Section; prior to that, in the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division. Mr. Breen is consistently recognized as a leading white collar defense and government investigations lawyer by Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
Phara Guberman is a partner in the Litigation Department of Paul Hastings, defending clients in high-stakes and sensitive regulatory enforcement and white collar criminal investigations. She has successfully handled a wide array of investigations, trials, and appeals involving all aspects of white collar crime, including allegations of corporate and accounting fraud, securities fraud, tax fraud, insider trading, misappropriation of trade secrets, consumer protection, money laundering, and anti-corruption issues. She was recognized by Global Investigations Review in 2021 as one of 100 notable “Women in Investigations” around the world and by Law360 in 2018 as one of five national “Rising Stars” in White Collar.

Practice Areas: Administrative Law & Regulation, Banking & Finance Law
Online Media Type: Audio
Production Date: 07/13/2021
Level: Intermediate
Category: Standard
Duration: 1 Hours, 4 Minutes
Online Format: On Demand

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Total Credits: 1
Specialty Credits: 
Status: Reciprocal Credit Available
Expiration: 07/12/2024
Training Type: Online

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Kenneth Breen, Esq. - Paul Hastings, LLP
Phara Guberman, Esq. - Paul Hastings, LLP
This product is designed to provide information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

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