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Can a Private Person Defraud the Public of Honest Services?

Last month in Percoco v. United States (U.S. May 11, 2023), the Supreme Court reversed the petitioner’s judgment of conviction for conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud for allegedly accepting $70,000 from a developer in return for asking a state agency to drop its labor peace agreement requirement. Joseph Percoco had previously served as Executive … Continue Reading

Sports Betting and the NCAA: What You Need to Know

“If you put something at risk (such as cash, entry fee, dinner or other tangible item) on any amateur and/or professional sporting event with a chance to win something in return, you violate NCAA sports wagering rules.”[1] Once the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the federal law[2] prohibiting sports betting in Murphy v. Nat’l Collegiate Athletic … Continue Reading

Investigations Involving Alleged Redlining

Perhaps the signature initiative of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under the current Administration has been its Combatting Redlining Initiative. By “redlining,” the Department means that a lender has avoided providing access to home mortgage loans to homeowners and prospective homeowners in majority-minority census tracts, in violation of the Fair Housing and Equal … Continue Reading

Rule 10b5-1 Application and Enforcement

On March 1, 2023, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) demonstrated continued interest in investigating insider trading by company executives who possess material non-public information when they unsealed an indictment and filed a civil complaint, respectively, in the Central District of California. Though a Rule 10b5-1 plan—an investment device … Continue Reading

Women’s Sports on the Rise

The 2023 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball national championship averaged 9.9 million viewers, becoming the most-watched women’s college basketball game and ESPN platforms’ most-viewed college basketball game (men’s or women’s) on record, and it was not even playing in a prime-time slot. This shows a tidal shift in the interest and growing opportunity in women’s … Continue Reading

Healthcare Companies and Companies Doing Business with the US Government – Supreme Court Appears Likely to Clarify False Claims Act (FCA) Knowledge Requirements

The Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in the appeal of two False Claims Act (FCA) cases from the Seventh Circuit that called into question the level of intent, or scienter, required to establish corporate liability under the FCA for “knowingly” overbilling the government for goods or services.  The Court’s eventual decision may have widespread … Continue Reading

Updates to the Department of Justice Corporate Monitorship Policy: A Potential Increase in New Monitorships

At the American Bar Association’s 38th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, Assistant Attorney General (“AAG”) Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. announced the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Revised Memorandum on Selection of Monitors in Criminal Division Matters (the “Revised Policy”), the culmination of a two-year process to revise and update policies regarding the selection, appointment … Continue Reading

Proposed Changes to Federal Rule of Evidence on Expert Witness Testimony

Expert testimony can play a crucial role in the trial process. Consequently, parties often file motions to disqualify the opposing side’s expert witnesses. The success of these motions in federal cases is controlled by the Federal Rules of Evidence (“FRE”), which stipulate that expert testimony must meet certain standards of reliability to be admissible. In … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Limits Anti-Kickback Claims Brought Under False Claims Act

Last week, the Sixth Circuit issued an important decision limiting the scope of claims alleging violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute that are brought under the False Claims Act.  See Shannon Martin, M.D., et al. v. Hathaway, et al., No. 22-1463 (March 28, 2023).  Chief Judge Sutton wrote the opinion for the Court, which Judge Siler … Continue Reading

DOJ Announces New Compensation Incentives and Clawbacks Pilot Program

As we recently discussed, the Department of Justice released new guidance covering a multitude of topics, including employees’ use of personal electronic devices and third-party messaging platforms, financial compensation incentives and clawbacks.  At the American Bar Association’s 38th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced the launch of the … Continue Reading

Another False Claims Act Salvo in DOJ’s “Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative”

We previously offered insight into two False Claims Act (“FCA”) enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) as part of its “Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative” (“CCF Initiative”).  Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco announced the CCF Initiative in October 2021, stating that “[t]he initiative will hold accountable entities or individuals that put U.S. … Continue Reading

Pandemic Watchdogs Could Soon Get a Bigger Bite

There has been no shortage of news this month, so it is understandable that a major presidential proposal garnered relatively little attention at the time.  On March 2, the President proposed a sweeping pandemic anti-fraud initiative that is designed to give key oversight bodies additional tools to investigate and prosecute those who defraud the pandemic … Continue Reading

Department of Justice Continues to Stress Importance of Robust Corporate Compliance Programs

At last week’s American Bar Association’s 38th Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, both Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. provided additional insight into the DOJ’s continued focus on corporate criminal enforcement. Our previous blog post details the expansion of DOJ’s National Security Division and the … Continue Reading

Department of Justice Initiatives Prioritize Economic Sanctions Enforcement

On March 2, 2023, the Department of Justice announced several new initiatives that prioritize the investigation and enforcement of economic sanctions evasion, export control violations, and similar economic crimes.  Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced a “surge of resources to address a troubling trend: the intersection of corporate crime and national security.”  In particular, DOJ’s … Continue Reading

DOJ Announces New Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy for U.S. Attorney’s Offices

On February 22, 2023, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the new United States Attorneys’ Offices Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy (“VSD Policy”).  Following on the heels of the Criminal Division’s revised Corporate Enforcement Policy, the VSD Policy was also developed in response to the “Monaco Memo,” which directed each component of the DOJ that prosecutes corporate … Continue Reading

New DOJ/Commerce ‘Disruptive Technology Strike Force’

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced the creation of a “Disruptive Technology Strike Force.” The strike force will be co-led by DOJ’s National Security Division and Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, with support from 14 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in 12 major metropolitan areas across the … Continue Reading

The Federal Reserve Acts on BSA Failures Related to PPP Loan Fraud

On January 24, 2023, the Federal Reserve Board (“FRB”) assessed a second-tier[1] civil penalty of $2.3 million against New York-based Popular Bank (or the “Bank”) for unsafe and unsound practices related to six Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans.  According to the FRB, the Bank processed and funded these loans despite detecting significant indicia of fraud … Continue Reading

FTC Signals More Criminal Referrals for Negative Option Fraudsters

Our colleagues at Privacy World blog have been monitoring negative option marketing (or dark patterns) for some time.  Last week, the FTC delivered its 2022 Criminal Liaison Report where it detailed its success referring FTC consumer fraud cases to prosecutors for criminal prosecution.  Again, our Privacy World colleagues are there to discuss what this Report means … Continue Reading

Congressional Scrutiny of ‘Big Tech’ Builds on Bipartisan China Focus

About this time last year, we offered some insight on Economic Espionage and Theft of Trade Secrets, which included a primer on economic espionage, case examples, and avoidance strategies.  We observed that “[w]hile the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has identified China, Russia, and Iran as the three states most capable of committing … Continue Reading

Congress Continues to Expand Bank Secrecy Act Whistleblower Program

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 amended the Bank Secrecy Act’s whistleblower provisions, setting a floor on the monetary award a whistleblower may receive, allowing whistleblowers to receive awards relating to successful enforcement of certain economic sanctions statutes such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and establishing a fund from which to pay whistleblowers.  Following … Continue Reading

DOJ’s Criminal Division Announces Revised Corporate Enforcement Policy

On January 17, 2023, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division (“AAG”) Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. announced significant revisions to the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, corporate criminal enforcement policy (“CEP”).[1] The new CEP changes offer additional incentives to companies for voluntary self-disclosures, cooperation, and remediation.  The new CEP reflects an increased emphasis on … Continue Reading

Analysis of Expected and Recent Developments in Congressional Oversight & Investigations in the 118th Congress

This month, the 118th Congress convened in Washington, D.C., ushering in a return to divided government. Republicans now hold a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, while Democrats have retained their slim Senate majority. With few opportunities likely for bipartisan compromise, Congress is expected to engage in more frequent and more partisan congressional investigations. … Continue Reading

Corporate and White-Collar Enforcement in 2023–24

As 2022 comes to a close, is it possible to predict a trend for corporate and white-collar enforcement by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2023? Yes: enforcement will increase in 2023, and it will increase yet more in 2024. Understanding the Department as a dispersed, human institution that responds to incentives explains why.… Continue Reading

Increasing US Enforcement Action for Sanctions Violations by Crypto Exchanges Likely to Have Ripple Effect in UK and Europe

The investigation and enforcement of potential sanctions violations by crypto exchanges is an area of focus in the US at present.  The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) recent settlement with Kraken, a global virtual currency exchange, is the most recent OFAC case demonstrating the risks for virtual currency platforms … Continue Reading
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