Category: DOJ

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The First 100 Days: Uncertainty in FCPA Enforcement

President Trump’s 2012 criticism of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is well-documented. At the time, news outlets reported that business mogul Trump commented on Wal-Mart’s alleged facilitation payments in Mexico to obtain various licenses and permits, opining that FCPA was a “horrible law and it should be changed,” and adding that it put U.S. … Continue Reading

March Madness in the Municipal Bond Market – A Focus on Gatekeepers

The month of March has brought with it the first-ever criminal municipal bond securities fraud conviction, the resolution of enforcement actions targeting banks and senior executives accused of shirking duties to oversee municipal bond issuances, and proposed rule amendments intended to improve municipal securities disclosures—continuing a trend of intensified regulatory enforcement that targets industry “gatekeepers” … Continue Reading

FCPA Pilot Program Extension Not Necessitate “Rush to Disclose”

On March 10, 2017, at the annual ABA White Collar Conference in Miami, Kenneth Blanco, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Criminal Division, announced that the FCPA Pilot Program would stay in place beyond its current April 5, 2017 expiration date so the DOJ could “begin the process of evaluating the utility and the … Continue Reading

DOJ Officials Offer Guidance for Food Company Execs Looking to Minimize Criminal Exposure

For many corporate executives in the food industry, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ’s) increasing focus on prosecuting “responsible corporate officers” under the criminal misdemeanor provision of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) has warranted rapt attention, particularly in light of criminal investigations arising from nationwide contamination outbreaks at companies like ConAgra and Blue Bell … Continue Reading

Anti-Corruption Scrutiny in Mexico Expands

Mexico’s new anti-corruption system, which was signed into law by President Enrique Peña Nieto on July 18, 2016, builds on constitutional reforms passed in May 2015 and is designed to increase oversight of public officials to deter corruption at all levels of the Mexican government. The laws establish new responsibilities and stricter penalties applicable to … Continue Reading

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
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