Bitcoin and Virtual Currency: Innovation and Enforcement

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Virtual currency is growing in use and acceptance across the world, and it has appealed to consumers, businesses, and investors alike. Its significance has not escaped the attention of government agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Justice. These agencies recently have imposed regulations on, or sought to curb some of the excesses of, virtual currency, and anyone who uses or accepts virtual currency or who has clients who do so must be aware of these government steps. Anyone in a traditional financial industry also should educate themselves on this emerging technology.

The faculty presenting this program will address, among other issues, the ongoing question of whether virtual currency can remain a viable form of legal monetary exchange, or will increasing regulation deprive virtual currency of the innovation—and perceived anonymity—that so far has made it attractive.

Educational Objectives:
• Understand how virtual currency works.
• Learn about the regulation of virtual currency under the Bank Secrecy Act: current and what to expect in the future.
• Find out about the taxation of virtual currency by the Internal Revenue Service: current and what to expect in the future.
• Hear a discussion of the future of virtual currency and whether it is a risky fad or the future of finance.

Who would benefit most from attending this program?
Legal practitioners and finance and accounting professionals, particularly those involved with any of the following:
• Anti-money laundering compliance
• Banking and financial services
• Taxation
• White collar defense.



Peter Hardy is a Principal in the Internal Investigations & White Collar Defense Group of Post & Schell P.C. in Philadelphia. Previously, Mr. Hardy served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Philadelphia and as a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Section for the Department of Justice's Tax Division in Washington, D.C. He the author of a legal treatise entitled Criminal Tax, Money Laundering, and Bank Secrecy Act Litigation (Bloomberg BNA 2010). He also serves as an adjunct law professor for the Villanova University School of Law Graduate Tax Program, where he co-teaches a class on civil and criminal tax penalties, and he co-chairs the Forfeiture and Monetary Penalties Subcommittee of the Civil and Criminal Tax Penalty Committee of the ABA Section on Taxation, and is a member of the American College of Tax Counsel.

Mr. Hardy earned a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was awarded the Louis Honigman Award for Greatest Contribution to Journal of Law Reform and was Executive Note Editor of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, and a B.A., with highest distinction, from the University of Michigan, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania as well as before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Fourth Circuits.


Brian Klein is a partner at the Los Angeles-based litigation boutique Baker Marquart and volunteers as the chair of the Bitcoin Foundation's legal advocacy committee. He also teaches a federal criminal practice seminar at USC’s law school.

Mr. Klein is an accomplished trial attorney who has successfully litigated in federal and state court. His practice focuses on high-stakes criminal and regulatory defense and civil litigation, and he aggressively and effectively advocates for his clients in a wide variety of forums. He has extensive experience representing clients involved with Bitcoin, including the representation of a prominent early Bitcoin adopter in his recent settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Before joining Baker Marquart, Mr. Klein served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California for five years.

Mr. Klein graduated from New York University School of Law and earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington. He is admitted to practice in the states of California, Washington, and New York and before various federal courts.


Bryan Skarlatos, a partner with Kostelanetz & Fink, specializes in representing clients in sensitive matters, many of which involve negotiations with government agencies. He is experienced in all types of civil and criminal tax controversies, white collar criminal investigations, complex litigation, tax whistleblower claims and voluntary disclosures. He also provides clients with advice on a broad range of tax, estate, and business planning issues.

Mr. Skarlatos has been recognized by New York Super Lawyers as one of the Top 100 lawyers in New York, and he is listed in Best Lawyers in America, which named him Tax Litigator of the Year in New York for 2014. He also is ranked in Band One of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, which describes him as having a, "smart reassuring presence with insight into the government. . . extremely knowledgeable and very well connected to the various taxing authorities. . . Clients applaud him as being exceptionally brilliant at coming up with great outcomes."

Mr. Skarlatos is an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law, where he teaches a course on Tax Penalties and Prosecutions and he is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel where he serves of the Board of Regents. He speaks throughout the country on tax-related topics and he frequently is quoted in publications including Bloomberg BNA's Daily Tax Report.

Mr. Skarlatos earned an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law and a J.D. from Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. He is admitted to practice in New York and Texas as well as before the U.S. Tax Court, the Courts of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits, the Court of Federal Claims.


Mehreen Zaman is an associate the Internal Investigations & White Collar Defense Group of Post & Schell P.C. in Philadelphia. Ms. Zaman conducts internal investigations and defends corporations, officers and other individuals facing criminal and civil investigation. Her work relates to potential criminal tax and money laundering violations, as well as allegations involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), securities fraud, the False Claims Act, and other statutes. She is the co-author of an article in Bloomberg BNA’s White Collar Report on virtual currency and tax evasion.

Ms. Zaman earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania. She is admitted to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.