PUBLISHED:September 27, 2010

Buell testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 28

Professor Samuel W. Buell testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Sept. 28. A former federal prosecutor and member of the Enron Task Force, Buell addressed the fate of fraud prosecutions in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Skilling.

In Skilling, the Supreme Court narrowed the application of the federal “honest services” statute to situations involving bribes and kickbacks, finding that it does not apply to cases of fraud involving breaches of fiduciary duty. Buell testified that the ruling “risks leaving important forms of abusive deception outside the scope of federal criminal law.” He suggested alternatives that Congress can consider to craft a fraud law “flexible enough to deal with serious, novel forms of intangible harm, but confined enough to allay fears about overbroad application in the hands of imprudent prosecutors.”

Buell writes and teaches in the fields of criminal law, securities regulation, fraud, and corporate crime. Prior to entering the legal academy he served for nine years as an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting complex federal criminal cases in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Houston. As a member of the Enron Task Force in the U.S. Department of Justice, Buell led the two-year investigation that produced the initial indictment against former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling.

To schedule an interview with Buell, contact Forrest Norman at (919) 613-8565.

Download testimony.