Second Circuit Lays Out New Rules for Restitution

February 2015

On February 6, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decided an appeal, United States v. Cuti, which interpreted the restitution provisions of the Victims and Witnesses Protection Act (VWPA). The decision is significant because it seems to place a notable limitation on the ability of a victim of white-collar crime to recover expenses incurred in the course of investigating and reporting the defendant’s criminal activity. Namely, the Court suggests that fees incurred by the company’s counsel and by counsel for a board audit or special committee cannot, in some cases, both be fully recovered. This ruling does not take into account how internal investigations are typically conducted when the allegations concern wrongdoing by senior management.

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