This article appeared in Business Crimes Bulletin, an ALM/Law Journal Newsletters publication that features the news and analysis you need to stay on top of the fast-changing, multi-faceted world of financial and white-collar crime.

In an environment of aggressive federal prosecution and regulation both businesses and public officials are challenged to identify the permissible line between proper financial transactions — things like campaign contributions and business entertainment — and unlawful payments. And, in what the First Circuit called a “novel theory of Hobbs Act extortion,” public officials now have to struggle with the scope of permissible advocacy — when does advocacy for constituents become extortion? United States v. Brissette, 919 F.3d 670, 684 (2019).