Category: DOJ

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How Will Criminal Trade Secret Prosecutions Fare Under President Trump?

Analysis of public sources indicates that under the Obama administration, the U.S. government has made substantial efforts to combat trade secret theft through an increase by the U.S. Department of Justice in the number of criminal trade secret prosecutions.  In this update, we review statistics relating to criminal trade secret cases brought by the Obama administration, … Continue Reading

Unanimous Supreme Court Rejects Second Circuit’s Limitations on Insider Trading Cases

For those watching in the trading world, the U.S. Supreme Court has confirmed that your friends can, indeed, pass on a gift of non-public information about a company that could leave you criminally liable for insider trading, even if they gain nothing concrete in return. This morning the Supreme Court released its unanimous opinion in … Continue Reading

JPMorgan Chase Will Pay $264 Million to Settle FCPA Charges Relating to Improper Hiring Practices

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPMorgan”) and its Hong Kong-based subsidiary, JPMorgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited (“JPMorgan-APAC”), agreed to pay over $264 million to settle charges that JPMorgan violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) by providing jobs and internships to … Continue Reading

FBI Director Comey Takes Baton in DOJ’s Continuing Push for Access to Encrypted Data

At various times over the last several years, the DOJ has pushed for updates to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) that would include greater access to encrypted information stored on electronic devices. This week, FBI Director James Comey once again pressed for changes that would provide law enforcement with greater access to encrypted data, … Continue Reading

Will the Panama Papers Lead to Criminal Charges Against U.S. Taxpayers?

The massive Panama Papers leak has attracted attention to the use of offshore business entities and implicated 2,400 U.S.-based clients of Mossack Fonseca. U.S. taxpayers with offshore assets should be wary of increased scrutiny by federal regulators, which may lead to criminal cases brought by U.S. Department of Justice. In this update we detail the … Continue Reading

DOJ Brings Largest Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Action For Over $1 Billion Misappropriated From 1MDB

In the largest action brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, the DOJ seeks to recover over $1 billion in assets bought with laundered funds misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”), a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. 1MDB was created by the Malaysian government to promote economic development through international partnerships and foreign direct investment. The … Continue Reading

DOJ’s Increased Focus on Environmental Criminal Cases

Recently, John C. Cruden, DOJ’s Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environmental and Natural Resources Division (ENRD), which oversees DOJ’s environmental litigation, voiced a heightened commitment to enforcing environmental laws through criminal prosecution.  In the May-June 2016 issue of The Environmental Forum, in a piece presented alongside a separate article entitled “Time for Environmental … Continue Reading

Silicon Valley in the Cross-Hairs

SEC and DOJ Targeting Fraud Involving Pre-IPO Companies Historically regulators have been reluctant to interfere with the complex world of pre-IPO  financing and private market transactions, which tend to involve the most sophisticated investors.  However, several recent public statements make it clear that both the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Securities and … Continue Reading

DOJ’s Focus on Food Safety and Corporate Executives

On April 29, 2016, Dole Foods Company announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had launched an investigation concerning listeria outbreaks at certain Dole plants.  The investigation comes on the heels of a number of high profile DOJ probes into outbreaks of food-related illnesses, most recently Blue Bell Creameries, and continues the DOJ’s recent trend towards … Continue Reading

DOJ Seeks to Boost Voluntary Disclosures Through FCPA Pilot Program

In a move that follows long-standing complaints from the corporate community and the FCPA defense bar concerning the Government’s vague assurances of “cooperation credit” in FCPA resolutions for self-reporting companies, on April 5, 2016, DOJ officials announced a new one-year FCPA “pilot program” that outlines a concrete set of standards defining what constitutes cooperation and what credit … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Restricts Pretrial Freezing of Untainted Assets

On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Luis v. United States, No. 14-419, slip op., that the pretrial restraint of legitimate, untainted assets needed to retain counsel of choice violates the Sixth Amendment. Accordingly, the Court overturned an Eleventh Circuit ruling permitting the government to prevent a criminal defendant from using … Continue Reading

Freedom of Access or Freedom to Investigate? Uncertainty Remains Concerning the Discoverability of Materials Provided to the Government

Several recent rulings have highlighted the uncertainty surrounding the discoverability of information provided to the government, either as a part of a government investigation or subsequent proceedings. The decisions suggest that the views of courts on such issues may vary widely, which creates uncertainty for companies interacting with the government. On March 14, 2016, the … Continue Reading

AAG Caldwell Dispels Rumors of “Yates Certification” Requirement

On March 3, 2016, DOJ Criminal Division’s Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell addressed recent media reports claiming that companies under investigation by DOJ will soon need to certify their full disclosure of certain documents as a prerequisite to obtaining a settlement agreement with the Department.  Caldwell addressed—and dismissed—the rumored certification requirement while speaking on a … Continue Reading

New DOJ Guidance on Self-Disclosure in FCPA Cases?

The Washington Post reported last week that the DOJ is considering an internal policy that could give some companies a “free pass” if they voluntarily disclose violations of the FCPA, including information regarding culpable employees.  The proposed policy—which is under review and has not yet been adopted—strongly recommends that prosecutors decline to bring criminal charges … Continue Reading

SEC Enforcement:  Self-Reporting is Prerequisite to Deferred and Non Prosecution Agreements in FCPA  

In his keynote address at the ACI 32nd International Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Washington, DC on November 17, 2015, SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney announced to the in-house compliance officials and corporate defense attorneys in attendance that, going forward, any public company that fails to self-report a potential FCPA violation to … Continue Reading

DOJ Memo to Prosecutors Calls for More Aggressive Pursuit of Corporate Executives

The U.S. Department of Justice—widely criticized for the perceived lack of cases brought against corporate executives—issued a new directive yesterday to all U.S. Attorneys designed to hold more individuals accountable for illegal corporate conduct.   The memorandum, written by Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, first acknowledges the challenges involved in pursuing individuals for corporate crimes, … Continue Reading

Why We Should Expect More Criminal Cases Charging Illegal Coordination Between Campaigns and Super PACs

Note: An earlier post on Perkins Coie’s In the Arena: Law and Politics Update discussed, from a campaign finance lawyer’s perspective, why the prosecution in United States v. Harber signals greater jeopardy in the future for operatives in down-ballot races who coordinate with hastily-formed “super PACs.” And an earlier version of this post, which offers … Continue Reading

DOJ and SEC Dig In After Judicial Blow to SEC’s Home “Court” Advantage

As observed in this blog and elsewhere, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has aggressively pursued enforcement actions in administrative proceedings before its own Administrative Law Judges (ALJs), rather than before federal judges in the U.S. District Courts.  In response, defendants have begun raising constitutional challenges to the SEC’s administrative proceedings, claiming that the SEC’s … Continue Reading

Call to Arms from White House and DOJ on Spyware Sanctions

Last week, DOJ’s Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell took to the Justice Department’s blog to rally support behind recent White House proposals that would bolster law enforcement tools for prosecuting those who create, sell or advertise malicious “spyware.”  Spyware refers to software that allows users to surreptitiously intercept communications on their victims’ electronic devices such … Continue Reading

Holder Takes “First Step” in Comprehensive Review of Federal Asset Forfeiture Program

Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder took an important first step towards reforming the DOJ’s federal Asset Forfeiture Program.  Under the program, state or local law enforcement authorities may ask federal agencies to take or “adopt” assets that have been seized under state law.  Federal agencies then sell the assets and return a significant portion … Continue Reading

DOJ’s “Top 10” for Effective FCPA Compliance Programs

At the American Conference Institute’s 9th Annual Houston Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Boot Camp, January 27-28, 2015, Deputy Criminal Chief Jason Varnado, from the Major Fraud Section of the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Texas, offered the audience of compliance and audit professionals insight into what the Department of Justice (DOJ) expects … Continue Reading

General Counsel’s Secret Recordings Ruled Admissible Against CEO

Last week, a judge in the U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey ruled that prosecutors can use secretly recorded conversations between Joseph Sigelman, the former chief executive officer of PetroTiger, and the company’s former general counsel, Gregory Weisman, in Sigelman’s upcoming trial.  Judge Joseph E. Irenas explained that the mere existence of an attorney-client … Continue Reading
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