In four high-impact decisions Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court significantly limited the scope of federal laws used by prosecutors and plaintiffs in pursuing alleged corporate fraud.

In the post-Enron case of Skilling v. U.S. and the related cases of media mogul Conrad Black and Alaska legislator Bruce Weyhrauch, the high court re-defined the “honest services” criminal fraud statute to cover only bribes and kickbacks, instead of the range of illicit activities prosecutors have used the law to punish.

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