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Counterfeit and Illicit Lables Under Section 2318 Much like the Copyright Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2318 is a criminal statute designed to protect creative works. It prohibits knowingly trafficking in counterfeit or illicit labels, or counterfeit documentation and packaging for protected classes of copyrighted works.[1] Section 2318 is not, however, a pure copyright statute—it provides protections that vary from those under the Copyright Act and the Trademark Counterfeiting Act.[2] Section 2318 differs from civil and criminal trademark law.  Indeed, section 2318 does not address the use of counterfeit trademarks themselves.[3] Moreover, § 2318 penalizes only…
Criminal Copyright Infringement When does a copyright violation rise to the level of criminal copyright infringement?  We address this issue below.  Federal prosecutors have a number of statutory tools available to combat this common white-collar crime.  In using those tools, prosecutors often combine charges of criminal copyright infringement with more common white-collar criminal charges, such as wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, or RICO. Congress has the constitutional power “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”…
Ordinarily, taxpayers file their income tax returns each year with the IRS and hear nothing more.  Rather, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) simply processes the tax return, assesses the reported amount of tax due, and accepts and credits the taxpayer’s payment against the reported tax amount.  In this manner, life moves on until the same process is repeated again the next year. But, there are times in which the IRS disagrees with the amount of tax reported on a taxpayer’s return.  In these instances, the IRS must utilize so-called “deficiency procedures” to communicate to the taxpayer the IRS’ belief that…
The IRS and Treasury Department issued a new and finalized version of Treasury Regulation § 301.7602-1. The regulations took effect on September 7, 2021, and shine a new light on nongovernment contractors’ participation in IRS audits and other proceedings. Specifically, these regulations dictate new rules regarding the persons who may be provided books, papers, records, or other data obtained pursuant to section 7602 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) for the sole purpose of providing expert evaluation and assistance to the IRS. Moreover, these regulations adopt further limitations on the types of non-governmental attorneys to whom, under the authority of…
Background.  The House Committee of Ways and Means (the “House”) has been busy the last few days.  Indeed, the House continues to mark up and work through potential revenue raisers (i.e., tax increases) to help pay for recent legislative proposals.  Although these proposals are not yet law, tax professionals should keep a careful eye on the proposals to ensure that they do not potentially interfere with their client’s tax planning.  At a very minimum, tax professionals should be knowledgeable enough to discuss the proposals with their clients and how such proposals (if eventually enacted into law) would impact their clients’…
The False Claims Act (FCA) was passed by Congress during the Civil War to punish defense contractors for fraud. Under the FCA, a government contractor who submits fraudulent invoices or induces the government to grant a contract through fraud may face substantial monetary damages. The FCA poses a challenge for businesses that perform work or supply goods to the U.S. government. These government contractors must implement internal controls and conduct periodic investigations to identify potential fraudulent claims. This obligation, of course, increases both the cost and risk of acting as a government contractor. Acts Prohibited by the False Claims…
No one intends to get behind on their bills. You could be dealing with unexpected expenses such as a car repair, unexpected health bills, or another life-altering event. We understand what you are going through. Unfortunately, debt collectors become successful by filing lawsuits and utilizing intimidation tactics. Cavalry Portfolio Services lawsuits can be intimidating and financially devastating. If Cavalry Portfolio Services has sued you, it is important to note that you have rights as a consumer. You need a debt defense attorney to advocate on your behalf and advise you through this process. Trust the experienced attorneys at Ciment Law…
Accuracy-related penalties under section 6662 are among the most common penalties in the Tax Code.  As a result, they are often at issue in tax litigation against the IRS.  That raises the question: What are the burdens of proof and production when it comes to accuracy-related penalties? Accuracy Related Penalties under Section 6662 of the Code The Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) section 6662 addresses rules applicable to accuracy-related penalties for the underpayment of tax. Generally, I.R.C. § 6662 allows the IRS to impose an accuracy-related penalty of 20% of a portion of underpaid tax. See I.R.C. § 6662(a). This rule…
In July of 2021, the Department of Justice announced that it entered into a settlement agreement with two Texas companies, Alliance Parent, Inc. (“Alliance”) and Anchor Holdings LP d/b/a Anchor Capital Partners (“Anchor”), for their violation of the False Claims Act after several qui tam actions were filed against the companies.  The case is notable given that the government’s theory for liability under the False Claims Act deviates from its historical positions because Anchor was not actively involved in the alleged misconduct. Rather, the government alleged that Anchor failed to stop past wrongdoings that it had knowledge of. Alliance provides…
The statute of frauds is an affirmative defense in a breach of contract suit that, where applicable, renders a contract unenforceable.[1] It exists to “prevent fraud and perjury in certain kinds of transactions by requiring agreements to be set out in a writing signed by the parties.”[2] In order to be enforceable, a contract that is subject to the statute of frauds must be in writing and signed by the person to be charged with the promise or agreement (or by someone lawfully authorized to sign for them). The statute, in other words, bars claims arising out of…