Bienert Katzman Littrell Williams LLP Secures Significant Victory For Client in CAN-SPAM Act Federal Fraud Suit
Sunset Blvd. Investigations (SBI) were hired by Bienert Katzman Littrell Williams LLP as their chief investigators. SBI’s investigator’s, Steve Polak and Hannah Kim first began working the case in 2014 and concluded their investigation in late 2022!
At the conclusion of the trial Steve and Hannah received this note from the firm’s founder, Thomas Bienert, Esq. Partner:
“Steve, and Hannah, thanks as always for your terrific help. Great result by all four defense teams. Only regret is not getting to spend more time actually in trial for what would’ve been a lot of fun cross-examinations with the great info you guys found for us. That’s the problem — you and the others set us up too well and the government could see it coming, so they gave us the deal we couldn’t refuse earlier in the case. Very favorable settlement. Misdemeanors with no time. Onto other cases. Thanks again.”
A BKLW trial team consisting of attorneys Whitney Z. Bernstein, Thomas H. Bienert, Jr., and Carlos A. Nevarez and paralegal Leah Thompson secured a misdemeanor and no-jail time resolution in the middle of a multi-felony complex trial on behalf of the firm’s client, a non-resident technology professional working in the United States on an employment visa. The client and three others were charged in the indictment with one felony count of conspiracy, four felony counts of wire fraud, and five felony counts of electronic mail fraud on charges relating to the alleged theft of “IP netblocks” used to send large amounts of emails through the internet. He faced a potential sentence of decades in prison, an alleged loss of over $70 million, and certain deportation from the United States if convicted of the charges. Led by Ms. Bernstein, a few days into trial the BKLW team secured a global misdemeanor settlement for the client that limited the loss amount to $9,700 and called for no jail time. At sentencing, after argument by Ms. Bernstein, the court not only adopted the $9700 loss amount and gave no jail time, but also reduced the client’s fine, over the government’s objection, from $100,000 to $25,000.
The trial result was the culmination of a multi-year defense effort by a larger team that also included BKLW attorneys James D. Riddet, Sandra C. Lechman and Anne A. Uyeda and paralegal Garrison Giali. Defending the case required review of millions of pages of documents and assessment of many unusual issues due to the government’s prosecution of defendants under a relatively new federal law, the CAN SPAM Act. BKLW engaged in significant motion practice attacking the government’s broad charges, as well as it’s investigative practices, including a successful motion to suppress the client’s statements, a motion to dismiss the charges as constitutionally void for vagueness, and motions challenging the novel treatment of IP netblocks as property under the wire fraud statute. BKLW also successfully fought to exclude improper evidence and preclude expert testimony and prejudicial terms in the government’s case.
“Whitney adeptly led and coordinated a large BKLW team for years to successfully navigate and defend against complex, technical charges that threatened to destroy our client’s life,” said senior partner Thomas Bienert. “I’m so proud of Whitney and the entire team, whose professional and tenacious advocacy secured this incredible result and garnered the respect of the federal prosecutors and District Court. The case demonstrates the depth of our firm, where older, senior attorneys with decades of trial experience like Jim Riddet and me work with a combination of exceptional trial attorneys hitting their prime and talented up-and-coming more junior attorneys and paralegals in a coordinated effort that increases the likelihood of success for our client.”
BKLW specializes in white-collar criminal defense and investigations, complex civil ligation, and bankruptcy and insolvency matters. The firm’s trial results include both complete defense verdicts and multi-million dollar plaintiff victories. In cases resolved short of trial, the firm has secured numerous dismissals in defense cases and settlements in plaintiff cases totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Bienert Katzman Littrell Williams LLP – 903 Calle Amanecer, Suite 350, San Clemente, CA 92673
Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. provides seasoned and effective private investigation services for clients throughout the United States and Internationally. Our combined 80 plus years as law enforcement officers, coupled with our private investigative experience, distinguishes us from all other investigation businesses. If you’re in need of a private investigator, we’re here to assist you in any way we can.
Meet our investigators: http://www.sunsetblvdinv.com/Our-Team.aspx
- The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) https://thepbsa.org/
- Southern California Fraud Investigators Association (SCFIA) https://scfia.org/
- World Association of Detectives (WAD) https://www.wad.net/
- California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI) https://www.cali-pi.org/
- California Narcotics Officers’ Association (CNOA) – https://www.cnoa.org/
Need a private investigator?
Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. provides seasoned and effective private investigation services for clients throughout the United States and Internationally. Our combined 80 years as law enforcement officers coupled with our private investigative experience distinguishes us from all other investigation businesses. If you’re in need of a private investigator, we’re here to assist you in any way we can.