Feds Fine Web Hosting Firm in Kids Insurance Site Hack

HIPAA/HITECH
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Standards, Regulations & Compliance

DOJ: Vendor Failed to Patch, Secure Systems for 7 Years

Feds Fine Web Hosting Firm in Kids Insurance Site Hack
Federal prosecutors say Jelly Bean Communications Design failed to secure the Florida Healthy Kids website for kids’ medical and dental insurance.

A Florida company will pay nearly $300,000 to settle allegations stemming from a 2020 hacking incident that revealed the personal identifying information of hundreds of thousands of minors. The settlement with Jelly Bean Communications Design is part of a federal crackdown on lax cybersecurity.

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The $293,771 settlement resolves civil litigation initiated by the federal government against Jelly Bean Communications Design and Jeremy Spinks – the company’s co-owner, manager and sole employee – after hackers gained access to half a million insurance applications for low-cost health and dental insurance for children aged between 5 and 18.

The Jelly Bean settlement is part of the Department of Justice’s Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative launched in October 2021.

The effort targets federal contractors “when they fail to follow required cybersecurity standards,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said at the time.

The state of Florida contracted with Jelly Bean in 2013 to manage the healthykids.org website for the Florida Healthy Kids Corp., the state-created entity that runs the national Children’s Health Insurance Program through a combination of federal and state money.

The settlement comes from allegations that Spinks submitted false claims – the falsity being that Jelly Bean asserted it would safeguard data covered by HIPAA.

Jelly Bean “knowingly failed to properly maintain, patch, and update the software systems, leaving the HealthyKids.org site and its data vulnerable to attack,” the Justice Department says.

“Billing

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Prosecutors seek to question Trump lawyer before grand jury in classified papers case | Donald Trump

Federal prosecutors involved in the criminal investigation of Donald Trump’s retention of classified documents argued to a US judge on Thursday that one of the former US president’s lawyers should answer more questions before a grand jury over objections of attorney-client privilege.

US prosecutors have been seeking to invoke the so-called crime-fraud exception that allows them to compel testimony about communications between an attorney and a client when they have evidence to suggest legal advice was used in furtherance of a crime.

In the sealed hearing before the chief US district judge for the District of Columbia Beryl Howell, prosecutors argued that they had reason to believe that legal advice to Trump from his lawyer Evan Corcoran was used by Trump to obstruct the classified-marked documents investigation.

The development is the latest incident in the ongoing saga around Trump’s retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago Florida resort related to his time as president. The papers were discovered after an FBI search of the property amid accusations that Trump was seeking to obstruct an investigation into how and why the documents ended up there.

Subsequent investigations have also turned up documents at properties linked to Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, and the Democratic president Joe Biden, relating to his time as vice-president to Barack Obama.

The prosecutors in Trump’s case broadly cited to Howell the same evidence it included in the affidavit used to obtain the warrant to search Mar-a-Lago, sources familiar with the matter said, which alleged potential retention of national security material and obstruction of justice.

Howell did not rule on Thursday on whether to grant the justice department’s motion to compel testimony from Corcoran, the sources said, after Corcoran previously appeared before the grand jury and declined to answer some questions on the basis of

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Trump drops attorney-client claims over Mar-a-Lago documents

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump dropped his initial claims of attorney-client privilege governing nearly 100 pages of documents seized at his Mar-a-Lago estate, but disputes about executive privilege remain for three records, according to a filing Monday from Trump and the Justice Department.

The disputes are what the special master, U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, aims to resolve while reviewing about 11,000 documents. FBI agents seized the records from Mar-a-Lago while searching for evidence of violations of the Espionage Act or obstruction of justice.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon appointed Dearie to determine whether to withhold documents from the Justice Department’s criminal investigation because they were personal records or fell under attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.

Trump withdrew his claims of attorney-client privilege for nine documents totaling nearly 100 pages, according to the joint filing from lawyers on both sides. Trump and government lawyers agreed the documents could be turned over immediately to investigators, according to the filing.

Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug. 30, 2022, in response to a request from the legal team of former President Donald Trump for a special master to review the documents seized during the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, are photographed early Wednesday, Aug. 31. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were seized during the search.

Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug. 30, 2022, in response to a request from the legal team of former President Donald Trump for a special master to review the documents seized during the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, are photographed early Wednesday, Aug. 31. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were seized during the search.

The joint filing Monday came after a dustup at a hearing Tuesday, when Dearie encouraged lawyers from both sides to determine where they truly disagree about the status of documents.

Government lawyers said in a filing Thursday that Trump contested nine documents as personal records, including two about immigration he argued also fell under executive privilege.

Six of the nine documents deal with clemency requests, two with immigration and one with a sports program at a

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US seeks reform of war crimes law amid ‘shocking crimes’ by Russia in Ukraine -official

WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) – The US Justice Department on Wednesday urged Congress to close legal gaps that make it hard for the United States to prosecute non-US citizens for war crimes, saying such changes could pave the way for the prosecution of Russian human rights crimes in Ukraine.

Eli Rosenbaum, the department’s counselor for war crimes accountability, pitched the legal changes during a hearing before the US Senate Judiciary Committee, telling lawmakers that the four primary federal agencies involved in war crimes policy issues have already agreed on “technical solutions” to close what he described as major gaps in war crimes statutes.

“Given the shocking crimes being perpetrated by Russia during its unprovoked war against Ukraine, this hearing could not possibly be held at a more appropriate, urgent, or, frankly, terrifying time,” he said in prepared testimony.

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“The Justice Department is committed to holding the perpetrators of such grave crimes fully accountable.”

A United Nations-mandated commission found last week that war crimes including rape, torture, executions and confinement of children were committed by Russia in areas it occupied in Ukraine. Russia denied the allegations.

The law allows war crimes prosecution only when a victim or perpetrator is a US citizen or resident, so it does not apply to most of the war criminals who have come to the United States, Rosenbaum said. The US torture statute does not allow criminal prosecution unless the perpetrator is a US citizen or in the country, he said.

The third gap involves lack of a statute criminalizing crimes against humanity including mass murder or a widespread attack on a civilian population, Rosenbaum said. “War crimes and genocide statutes alone are simply not sufficient to address the full and tragic array of large-scale atrocity crimes

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Trump’s troubles worsened: 6 legal landmines facing the ex-president

NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s myriad of legal problems have intensified after a whirlwind week of lawsuits and court decisions that went against the embattled former president — including a civil suit filed by the New York attorney general that partially seeks to prohibit him or his adult children from ever running a company in their home state again.

It was just one of several new setbacks for Trump, as the probe into his handling of classified documents continues and unsealed court papers revealing that a writer already suing him for defamation plans to file a second lawsuit alleging he raped her, under a historic new law passed by New York legislators.

The new week only promises to bring more troubles for Trump. The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection of the US Capitol indicated the final televised hearing set for Wednesday will be an explosive event featuring new witness testimony.

Here’s an update on the biggest legal threats facing Teflon Don in state, federal, and congressional investigations.

DOJ probe of missing White House records

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s investigators continue to investigate Trump’s handling of highly sensitive classified documents in a probe that could result in a federal indictment.

Trump scored a point when Judge Aileen Cannon tasked a well-respected Brooklyn judge with examining more than 10,000 hidden documents as a special master in the DOJ probe. He lost one when an unimpressed Judge Raymond Dearie put his lawyers on the hook by forcing them to take a position on whether he declassified documents and detail his unfounded claim the FBI planted evidence.

“My view is you can’t have your cake and eat it,” Dearie told Trump’s lawyers when they appeared before him on Wednesday.

In another blow, the 11th Circuit ruling that gave the Justice Department

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Candidates for top Arizona election job spar in debate

PHOENIX (AP) — A Republican Arizona lawmaker who embraces election conspiracies and has former President Donald Trump’s endorsement sparred with the Democrat who helped oversee the 2020 election in Maricopa County in a debate Thursday evening as they each seek the state’s top elections post.

The two vying to be the next secretary of state — Republican Rep. Mark Finchem and Democrat Adrian Fontes, the former Maricopa County recorder — had vastly differing views on the outcome of the 2020 election, the violent attack on Congress and how to run elections going forward.

Finchem said he would not have certified the 2020 results in two of Arizona’s 15 counties because he said they were “irredeemably compromised.” He pointed to Yuma County, where two women have pleaded guilty to illegally collecting a few ballots and await sentencing.

He said that was just one example of the problems that he believes merited not allowing that small county and those in the state‘s most populous, Maricopa, to be certified. No evidence has been uncovered to show that the problems were large enough to change the results that saw then-President Donald lose in Arizona.

“I’m not talking about overturning an election. I’m talking about declaring one county’s election as irredeemably compromised,” Finchem said. “Now if that alters the outcome of the election, that’s a different story.”

Fontes, who lost his 2020 reelection bid, said the courts are the place for those issues to be hashed out, as they often are.

“What we now have is an entire set of fiction that has somehow managed to make a lot of money for some people outside of the regular norms that we expect,” Fontes said. “This is a chaotic way of reading-dressing a political loss.”

Fontes said voters need stability and predictability in elected

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For Trump’s Lawyers, Legal Exposure Comes With the Job

A dark joke has begun circulating among lawyers following the many legal travails of former President Donald Trump: MAGA actually stands for “making attorneys get attorneys.”

Over six years and nine major investigations by Congress, the Justice Department and local prosecutors, as Trump has managed to avoid removal from the presidency and indictment, it has become clear that serving as one of his lawyers is a remarkably risky job — and one that can involve considerable legal exposure. Time after time, his attorneys have been asked to testify as witnesses to potential crimes — or evaluated as possible criminal conspirators themselves.

While the consequences his lawyers faced were extraordinary when Trump was in the White House, the dangers have only intensified since he left office and have become increasing acute in recent weeks, as the former president has come under scrutiny in two different Justice Department investigations and has been forced yet again to find lawyers willing to represent him.

Last week, a Justice Department filing revealed that Trump’s lawyers had misled federal investigators about whether he had handed over to the Justice Department all the classified documents he took from the White House when he left office. That raised questions about whether the lawyers, M. Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb, could be prosecuted themselves and might ultimately be forced to become witnesses against their client. (Bobb recently retained a lawyer, according to a person familiar with the situation.)

The revelation capped a summer in which a team of lawyers that had been advising Trump as he tried to overturn the 2020 election faced a range of repercussions across the country from federal investigators, local prosecutors, state bar associations and government accountability groups.

One of Trump’s highest-profile lawyers, Rudy Giuliani, was named as a target in a state criminal investigation

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Trump’s legal team critical of documents investigation calling it ‘misguided’

Former president Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally to support local candidates at the Mohegan Sun Arena on September 03, 2022 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A criminal investigation into the presence of top-secret information at trump-documents-probe”former President Donald Trump’s Florida home has “spiraled out of control,” his lawyers said Monday in urging a judge to leave in place a directive that temporarily halted core aspects of the Justice Department’s probe.

The Trump team also referred to the documents that were specialized as “purported” classified records, suggesting his lawyers do not concede the Justice Department’s contention that highly sensitive, top-secret documents were found by the FBI in its Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago. The lawyers also asserted that there is no evidence any of the records were ever disclosed to anyone, and that at least some of the documents belong to him and not to the Justice Department.

RELATED: Trump documents probe: US appeals special master ruling

The 21-page filing underscores the significant factual and legal disagreements between lawyers for Trump and the US government as the Justice Department looks to move forward with its criminal investigation into the illegal retention of national defense information at Mar-a-Lago and into the potential obstruction of that probe.

The investigation hit a roadblock last week when US District Judge Aileen Cannon granted the Trump team’s request for the appointment of an independent arbitrator, also known as a special master, to review the hidden records and prohibit for now the department from examining the documents for investigative purposes.

The Justice Department has asked the judge to lift that hold and said it would appeal her ruling to a federal appeals court.

RELATED: Judge grants Trump’s legal team a special master in Mar-a-Lago case

The

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Trump legal team responds to Justice Department on Mar-a-Lago documents review

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team on Monday responded to the Justice Department in the latest round of court filings regarding the review of materials specifically at his Mar-a-Lago country club last month.

Federal prosecutors on Thursday requested US District Judge Aileen Cannon to stay the portion of her ruling enjoining the government from further review of abut 100 documents bearing classification markings taken during the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago Aug. 8.

The government cited the risk of “irreparable harm” to national security and its ongoing criminal investigation if she declined to grant its request for a stay.

PHOTO: Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug.  30, 2022 are photographed early Wednesday, Aug.  31, 2022. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were hidden during the search.

Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug. 30, 2022 are photographed early Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were hidden during the search.

Jon Elswick/AP

Cannon had required law enforcement to disclose those materials to a special master — an independent third-party — for review.

The DOJ said in Thursday’s court papers that if Cannon doesn’t grant a stay by Sept. 15, it will “intend to seek relief from the Eleventh Circuit” — a federal appeals court.

The Trump legal team began its brief Monday calling the DOJ’s investigation of Trump “both unprecedented and misguided,” claiming it was “a document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control.”

His lawyers describe Cannon’s order appointing a special master as a “sensible preliminary step towards restoring orders from chaos” and urge her to reject the department’s motion for a stay that would prevent the handover of classified records that DOJ says has hampered their criminal investigation and the intelligence community’s national security risk assessment.

Trump’s lawyers argue there’s no evidence any “purported “classified records” were disclosed to anyone,” while describing Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club as a “secure, controlled access compound.”

They

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For Trump’s Lawyers, Legal Exposure Comes With the Job

A dark joke has begun circulating among lawyers following the many legal travails of former President Donald Trump: MAGA actually stands for “making attorneys get attorneys.”

Over six years and nine major investigations by Congress, the Justice Department and local prosecutors, as Trump has managed to avoid removal from the presidency and indictment, it has become clear that serving as one of his lawyers is a remarkably risky job — and one that can involve considerable legal exposure. Time after time, his attorneys have been asked to testify as witnesses to potential crimes — or evaluated as possible criminal conspirators themselves.

While the consequences his lawyers faced were extraordinary when Trump was in the White House, the dangers have only intensified since he left office and have become increasing acute in recent weeks, as the former president has come under scrutiny in two different Justice Department investigations and has been forced yet again to find lawyers willing to represent him.

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Last week, a Justice Department filing revealed that Trump’s lawyers had misled federal investigators about whether he had handed over to the Justice Department all the classified documents he took from the White House when he left office. That raised questions about whether the lawyers, M. Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb, could be prosecuted themselves and might ultimately be forced to become witnesses against their client. (Bobb recently retained a lawyer, according to a person familiar with the situation.)

The revelation capped a summer in which a team of lawyers that had been advising Trump as he tried to overturn the 2020 election faced a range of repercussions across the country from federal investigators, local prosecutors, state bar associations and government accountability groups.

One of Trump’s highest-profile lawyers, Rudy

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