SANTA MONICA, CA – In light of recent controversy surrounding the freezing of “untainted” assets belonging to defendants facing trial in government fraud prosecutions, the United States Supreme Court has stepped in to rule on the practice. This important ruling, expected by June, will have important ramifications for US citizens, leading renowned California-based lawyer William Rothbard to take action. A veteran business litigator, he specializes in advertising law, with a specific focus on Federal Trade Commission regulation, and has over thirty years of experience in the field. When news broke that the issue was before the Supreme Court, Rothbard felt compelled to apply his expertise in explaining the situation to those most affected.
Writing on his website, www.FTCAdLaw.com, Rothbard described how freezing untainted assets held by a defendant facing trial could leave the individual unable to pay for legal counsel of his choice, violating the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution in a criminal case and basic fairness in a civil one. Untainted assets are those held by the defendant, which are not believed to be the “fruits” of the offense. Rothbard warns how depriving a person of the right to use “clean” funds in his defense gives the government a huge unfair advantage in criminal and civil prosecutions.
The Supreme Court’s debate over the legal and equitable implications of asset freezing arises in the case of Luis v. United States. The case saw Silva Luis – a nursing services and home-based healthcare provider – standing accused of fraudulently bilking the Medicare program of millions of dollars. After Luis was indicted, the federal government sought and obtained an injunction to freeze all her assets, including even untainted funds, for purposes of protecting a post-conviction recovery. In oral argument before the Supreme Court, Luis argued that a freeze on her untainted assets violated her Sixth Amendment right to have counsel of her choice. A number of Justices appeared to sympathize with her, although whether a majority do will not be known until the Court issues its decision. Depending on how the Court rules, Rothbard explains that the decision could have significant ramifications for the ability of defendants to challenge asset freezes in Federal Trade Commission cases.
William Rothbard has an over 30-year career in advertising law and served as an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission from 1977 and 1984. During that time, he served as Attorney-Advisor to then FTC Chairman Michael Pertschuk, as well as in several other positions within the agency. He later served as Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Rothbard’s expertise and credentials make him extremely well-qualified to counsel and represent clients in federal and state law enforcement matters involving advertising issues and to comment on current developments and matters of public interest in the field of advertising law and FTC regulation. A complete copy of Rothbard’s article is available to view at FTCAdLaw.com
William Rothbard – On Avoiding FTC Actions: Presentation at Affiliate Summit West: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSnMKWS1L4qa+1e8+MKW20150713
William Rothbard – Identifies Issues Affecting Merchant Processors During Merchant Acquirers’ Committee Webinar: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/william-rothbard-identifies-issues-affecting-001426920.html
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