The Mail and Wire Fraud Statute’s Protection of Property Extends to Intangibles Such As Confidential Business Information: Carpenter v. United States, __ U.S. __, 108 S. Ct. 316, 98 L. Ed. 2d 275 (1987)
Tankersley, Scott C.
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Examines the recent Supreme Court decision in Carpenter v. United States, in which the Court held that the timing and contents of a newspaper column were protected from misappropriation by newspaper employees under the federal mail and wire fraud acts, and the possible impacts of that holding. The case involved a financial writer for the Wall Street Journal who was found to have colluded with two brokerage firm employees by providing them with advanced information regarding his influential column. The author reviews the history of the federal mail and wire fraud legislation, and asserts that this new application of the misappropriation doctrine will provide federal prosecutors with an invaluable tool in the fight against securities fraud by filling a gap in the law.