News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Lawyer is accused of $20M money laundering scam; BigLaw firm trims salary cuts

  • Print

money laundering concept

Image from

Lawyer is charged in alleged $20M cryptocurrency scam

Lawyer Scott Hughes, 44, of Newport Beach, California, has been accused of helping launder at least $20 million in an alleged cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme. The indictment unsealed Tuesday claims that Hughes and four other defendants promised guaranteed returns for phantom investments in cryptocurrencies through a company called the AirBit Club. Hughes is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. (The New York Law Journal, Southern District of New York press release, the indictment)

Sheppard Mullin trims salary cuts

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has trimmed salary cuts by half because the law firm is outperforming expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pay cuts will be trimmed from 12% to 6% for associates, staff attorneys and special counsels. Pay cuts of 5% to 10% for staff members will become cuts of 2.5% to 5%. The firm also said two of 51 furloughed employees have returned to work. (, Bloomberg Law, Above the Law)

Federal judge rules for transgender athlete

U.S. District Judge David Nye of the District of Idaho has blocked an Idaho law that banned transgender women from playing on women’s sports teams. Nye is an appointee of President Donald Trump, who nominated Nye after his nomination by President Barack Obama failed to get a Senate vote. (The Hill, the Idaho Statesman, American Civil Liberties Union press release, Nye’s Aug. 17 decision)

Ex-prosecutor’s jury selection video resurfaces on comedian’s TV show

Comedian John Oliver took aim at a former Philadelphia prosecutor’s jury selection video in his Sunday TV show on HBO, Last Week Tonight. The 1986 video made by then-Assistant District Attorney Jack McMahon advised prosecutors picking jurors to avoid “real educated” Black people and young Black women. McMahon told the PhillyVoice that he clearly states in the video that a biracial jury is best because it eliminates bias from the deliberative process. He also said he discussed reasons to strike or select white people on the video. (The PhillyVoice)

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.