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Afternoon Briefs: Strip club not eligible for PPP loans, court says; lawyer pleads not guilty in bank embezzlement plot

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2nd Circuit says gentlemen’s club not eligible for PPP loans

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York has ruled that a Buffalo-area gentlemen’s club in New York is not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program under an exclusion for businesses offering “live performances of a prurient sexual nature.” Pharaohs GC Inc. had claimed that the exclusion amounted to content discrimination in violation of its constitutional rights. (Law360)

Lawyer pleads not guilty in scheme to embezzle bank funds

Chicago lawyer Robert M. Kowalski has pleaded not guilty to accusations that he conspired with other defendants to embezzle at least $31 million from a bank before it closed. Kowalski, 58, is accused of receiving money from the Washington Federal Bank for Savings in loans that were never properly documented or repaid. He was a friend of the bank president, who has since died. Kowalski is representing himself in the case. (Law360, the Chicago Sun-Times, the third superseding indictment)

Sanctions against environmental lawyer to be recalculated

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York has ordered a court to recalculate $4.1 million in sanctions imposed against a lawyer for violating an injunction after he was found to have fraudulently obtained a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron in Ecuador. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York had ordered lawyer Steven Donziger to pay $3.43 million in attorney fees and $666,476 in sanctions for violating an injunction that barred him from profiting from the Ecuador judgment or trying to enforce it in the United States. Kaplan said Donziger had violated the injunction by selling interests in the Ecuadorian judgment to six investors. In its opinion Thursday, the appeals court said a later order by Kaplan had made the injunction unclear, and it wasn’t unreasonable for Donziger to think he could monetize the judgment. (Reuters Legal, Law360)

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