Honest Services Fraud and Antitrust: Will the Supreme Court Rewrite the Rules for “Competition Crimes”?

The trio of honest services fraud cases to be decided by the Supreme Court this term—U.S. v. Black, U.S. v. Skilling and U.S. v. Weyhrauch—have the potential to effect a major change in criminal enforcement policy at the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. The Division has increasingly used the honest services fraud statute to prosecute competition crimes involving bribes and kickbacks. While the Division has had success using this broadly worded statute, it has not, to date, provided much guidance to the business community regarding the boundaries to which the statute extends. With these cases, the Supreme Court is poised, at last, to provide guidance to both prosecutors and the business community on what it means to violate the honest services fraud statute.

Please click here to read the white paper, authored by J. Brady Dugan and Mark J. Botti, that was published by the Washington Legal Foundation.

Mr. Dugan appeared at a recent briefing that examined the prosecutors’ interpretation and enforcement of the honest services fraud statute in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in Weyhrauch and Black. To view an archive of the briefing, sponsored by the Washington Legal Foundation and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, please click here.


If you have questions regarding this alert, please contact— 

J. Brady Dugan bdugan@akingump.com 202.887.4152 Washington, D.C.
Mark J. Botti mbotti@akingump.com 202.887.4202 Washington, D.C.