Prosecutors Build Case on Email

In another high profile case, federal prosecutors are using email in their case against senior managers of Bear Stearns. Two things are interesting here.

First is that the email in question is from a personal email account. Work email is understood to be the company’s property, but now it seems personal email is also subject to discovery. If you recall, this was also the case in the recent White House scandal where personal email accounts were used to communicate sensitive information.

The second interesting fact revealed in this case is that just because the accused wrote something in an email, it does not necessarily imply guilt. This article states that, “there is no guarantee that cases that rely on email exchanges and unclear states of mind result in jail time. In one prominent case involving email exchanges, for example, charges were ultimately dropped against Frank Quattrone, the high-level Credit Suisse banker accused of interfering with a government investigation.”

The lesson learned is be careful what you put in an email because it may come back to haunt you.

Bob Spurzem

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