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Current Trends in Criminal Law: The Mechanics of Virtual Currency, From Legitimate Use to Misuse

(574 reviews)

Produced on September 07, 2017

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Course Information

Time 1h 31m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Criminal

Course Description

As the use of virtual currency and related technology continues to increase, the interests of law enforcement and regulators in virtual currency continues to evolve. Virtual currency is not inherently illicit and it is used by legitimate consumers every day to conduct legal transactions. Nonetheless, the supposed anonymous nature of virtual currency attracts simultaneously the attention of both individuals seeking to further illegal activities and the government.

This webcast, presented by Ballard Spahr partners Marjorie Peerce and Peter Hardy, focuses on the regulatory requirements related to legitimate use of virtual currency – including under the Bank Secrecy Act, the federal securities laws, and the tax laws. They will discuss the issues which may confront practitioners representing clients caught up in such cases, from investigation to sentencing as well as  the tools available to law enforcement interested in investigating and prosecuting the alleged misuse of virtual currency to further underlying criminality. Viewers will take away from the course the fact that virtual currency presents legal issues which range from unique challenges to those typical in any criminal case.  

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the mechanics of virtual currency, related enforcement actions, and the investigative techniques of the government
  2. Understand how and why the government may employ certain criminal statutes in cases involving virtual currency, including statutes against money laundering, drug distribution, terrorist financing, and ransomware
  3. Comply with regulatory requirements potentially applicable to virtual currency businesses, including under the Bank Secrecy Act and the securities laws
  4. Recognize the potential tax implications of virtual currency, for both proper tax reporting and to avoid potential tax evasion
  5. Know the status of enforcement and regulatory efforts by the States
  6. Explore potential pretrial and trial issues for both the defense and the government
  7. Consider the possible consequences of post-conviction sentencing and forfeiture 

Credit Information

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Marjorie J. Peerce

Ballard Spahr LLP

Marjorie J. Peerce is a litigator, with a practice focus on white collar criminal defense, regulatory matters, and complex civil litigation. In her more than 30 years practice, she has handled matters across the criminal and regulatory spectrum.


Ms. Peerce appears in New York state and federal courts, as well as in federal districts around the country. She has handled criminal and regulatory investigations concerning, for example, violations of the Internal Revenue Code, securities fraud, (including Bitcoins) the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Bank Secrecy Act, government contract procurement and subsidy fraud, mail fraud, bribery, accounting fraud, government contract procurement, government subsidy fraud, immigration fraud, health care fraud, environmental matters, commodities fraud, computer fraud and hacking, and criminal customs investigations. She has handled a significant number of matters with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as with FINRA and the CFTC. She has handled numerous matters with the New York Attorney General in a variety of areas. She also regularly represents individuals in myriad matters in the Criminal and Supreme Courts in New York City.


In her civil practice, Ms. Peerce has represented defendants in securities class actions, financial institutions in commercial and real estate disputes, employees involved in noncompete disputes, general commercial litigation, and matters for several major real estate companies in New York City. She has represented doctors under investigation with the Office of Professional Medical Conduct in New York, as well as lawyers with disciplinary matters pending before the Departmental Disciplinary Committees, state employees with the New York State Department of Professional Discipline, and a former state employee in a matter with the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics.


Ms. Peerce is past President of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, a premier defense lawyers' organization composed of 240 of New York's preeminent white collar lawyers. As the past Chair of the Council's Sentencing Guidelines Committee, she prepared regular submissions to the U.S. Sentencing Commission on the Guidelines and testified before the Commission on two occasions. Ms. Peerce is the current Co-Chair of the Sentencing Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is on the national Steering Committee of Clemency Project 2014, as well as on the American Bar Association Task Force to Reform the Economic Crimes Guidelines.

Peter D. Hardy

Ballard Spahr LLP

Peter Hardy advises corporations and individuals in a range of industries against allegations of misconduct— including tax fraud, financial crimes, money laundering, mortgage fraud and lending law violations, securities fraud, health care fraud, public corruption, identity theft and data breach.


Mr. Hardy has extensive trial and appellate court experience. He oversees internal investigations, advises in potential disclosures to the Internal Revenue Service, and has litigated complex criminal matters at the trial and appellate levels. He also counsels clients through every stage of a tax controversy – from audit through administrative appeal to litigation and collection.


Before entering private practice, Mr. Hardy spent more than a decade as a federal prosecutor. He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia, where he focused on fraud and tax cases. He also served as a trial attorney for the Department of Justice’s Tax Division in Washington, D.C., where he tried cases in a number of federal districts and helped write the Department's Criminal Tax Manual.


A national thought leader on the subject of criminal tax law, Mr. Hardy is the author of Criminal Tax, Money Laundering, and Bank Secrecy Act Litigation, a well-reviewed and comprehensive legal treatise on the litigation of criminal tax, money laundering, and Bank Secrecy Act cases, published by Bloomberg BNA. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Villanova University School of Law, where he teaches a class on criminal and civil tax penalties in the graduate law program.


Martin F.

I'm looking forward to the next edition of this course. I just wish there was a transcript.

Teresa H.


Joe P.

thanks for info

Diane R.

Excellent course.

Andrea R.

This was a great course with thoughtful, well informed presenters. I will be looking for additional offerings from them.

Jonathan Y.

Best course in this packet. Great job by the presenters.

Jennifer S.

Great review of a complex and ever-changing subject.

Marc K.

Again like the 2 presenter interaction

Rebekah R.

interesting introduction

Robert S.

Cryptocurrency topic was very helpful.

George M.

Excellent course. The speakers were very clear and easy to listen to.

Steven R.

Very interesting and informative.

Michael L.

Excellent presentation

Jason R.

well done

John C. T.

great in depth lecture with plenty of real examples

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