Second Circuit Narrows Reach of Wire Fraud and Insider Trading Prohibitions

February 1, 2023

On Dec. 27, 2022, the Second Circuit published its long-anticipated decision in United States v. Blaszczak, which had been argued more than 18 months earlier. The Circuit vacated defendants’ convictions on multiple counts arising out of a scheme to appropriate information regarding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ reimbursement rates, which information the Court held was not “property” or a “thing of value” for purposes of the relevant statutes.

This decision will limit the government’s ability to bring fraud or insider trading prosecutions where the information used to achieve an advantage is regulatory information held by the government. Also, the Second Circuit is now in greater alignment with the Supreme Court’s wire fraud jurisprudence in Kelly and other recent cases. Finally, a concurring opinion raises important questions about the current landscape for insider trading prosecutions and demonstrates why only Congress can resolve these issues by finally passing an insider trading statute.

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