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Colin Ceriello has experience representing private companies, foreign sovereigns, and international financial institutions in complex commercial litigation and international arbitration.

During a keynote speech on March 7, 2024 at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on White Collar Crime, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will launch a pilot program offering financial incentives for individual whistleblowers to report corporate wrongdoing to the DOJ. According to DAG Monaco, the pilot program intends to use “carrots to wield larger sticks” on a full range of corporate misconduct and reinforces the DOJ’s commitment to implementing policies aimed at promoting cultures of corporate compliance. While DAG Monaco’s announcement invoked past images of law enforcement incentivizing reporters with “Wanted” posters, the anticipated pilot program will have significant ramifications on the future of companies’ existing internal compliance reporting channels.Continue Reading Whistle While You Work: DOJ Announces Whistleblower Rewards Program

On April 28, 2023, a federal court in Connecticut dismissed the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) Antitrust Division’s latest—and largest—criminal anti-poach case brought to trial. After a 15-day jury trial in United States v. Patel—but before the jury could deliberate—U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden granted the defendants’ joint motion for acquittal, finding that based on the evidence presented by the prosecutors, no reasonable juror could convict the six accused aerospace and staffing company executives of engaging in criminally anti-competitive behavior.

The acquittal marks the latest trial defeat for the DOJ, which began in 2020 to prosecute similar no-poach and wage-fixing deals under Section 1 of the Sherman Act but has yet to secure a jury conviction on these charges.

The Antitrust Division charged the Patel defendants in December 2021 with engaging in a long-running conspiracy to suppress competition and prevent labor costs from rising by agreeing not to recruit away from one another engineers and other skilled laborers working on aerospace projects. The defendants initially moved to dismiss the indictment, but the court denied that motion on the ground that the DOJ successfully alleged a per se conspiracy to restrict hiring and to allocate (or divide) labor markets to minimize competition—a theory of automatic liability typically reserved for the most obvious anti-competitive conduct. The case then proceeded to a jury trial in March 2023. After the government rested, the district court found that, even assuming defendants had agreed to restrict hiring, the prosecution had failed to establish per se anti-competitive conduct. Specifically, the evidence revealed that “the alleged agreement itself had so many exceptions that it could not be said to meaningfully allocate the labor market” and that “hiring among the relevant companies was commonplace” notwithstanding the agreement. Accordingly, the court granted the executives’ motion for acquittal before the case reached the jury.Continue Reading Antitrust Division Dealt Another Setback in No-Poach Prosecutions