On August 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued an opinion letter (cataloged as FCPA Opinion No. 20-01) stating that it did not intend to take enforcement action under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) against a U.S.-based investment advisor planning to pay something akin to a “finder’s fee” to a foreign
Perkins Coie’s award-winning White Collar & Investigations practice has teamed up with the ABA’s Global Anti-Corruption Committee to launch a podcast series as an extension of our White Collar Briefly blog.
Our first five episodes, linked below, feature fascinating, candid conversations with a variety of special guests, including:
- American “book of the year” author, editor, screenplay writer and publisher Dave Eggers
- Joel Esquenazi (defendant in the high-profile US v. Esquenazi FCPA case)
- Molson Coors’ Global Ethics & Compliance Chief Caroline McMichen
- Chicago-based U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall
- University of Colorado COO (and former GC) Patrick O’Rourke
- Avanos Medical Deputy GC Ross Mansbach
Note that all episodes are available on Spotify, Google Podcast, and Apple Podcast. Additionally, you can visit our blog and subscribe to receive each new podcast, including the highly-anticipated Dave Eggers podcast, in your inbox.
Continue Reading Introducing the White Collar Briefly Podcast
The U.S. Department of Justice has updated its guidance on corporate compliance programs. In its update, the DOJ offers practitioners further insight on how the DOJ evaluates compliance programs by refining key terms and providing more context. The DOJ has made clear that compliance should not be thought of as a static exercise. Instead, any …
As this blog has previously noted, the Coronavirus pandemic, like other crises before it, is likely to increase prosecutions for fraud, particularly under the Payment Protection Program (“PPP”) created by the federal government’s Coronavirus stimulus packages. Two new prosecutions announced by the Department of Justice mark some of the first prosecutions under the PPP, and signal where and how the government will be looking for wrongdoing.
Continue Reading Prosecutions Related to Coronavirus Stimulus Begin
On April 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice made a long-awaited move towards enhanced transparency into the corporate compliance monitorship selection process in launching a new webpage that lists the names of all independent compliance monitors for the Fraud Section’s thirteen active monitorships. Seven of the active monitorships are associated with the FCPA Unit,…
The U.S Department of Justice recently asked Congress to grant it emergency powers as the coronavirus outbreak begins to affect the timing of court proceedings and DOJ’s ability to conduct investigations. Perkins Coie attorneys explore DOJ’s request and the pandemic’s effects on the practice of white-collar criminal defense.
In this time of supreme uncertainty, companies have many urgent concerns. Recent actions by the Department of Justice give businesses another thing to focus on: investigations and enforcement relating to fraud, waste, and abuse sure to trail in the wake of Covid-19 relief.
Even if your company does not receive funds specifically tied to the…
In a recent decision showing how courts evaluate insider trading in the marital context, the First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Massachusetts real estate investor’s conviction on insider trading securities fraud and related conspiracy offenses arising from his role in passing information he learned from his corporate insider wife to two of his friends. The government’s theory of the case was that defendant Amit Kanodia violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 when he misappropriated material, nonpublic information obtained from his wife to whom he owed “a duty of trust and confidence that prohibit[ed] [him] from secretly using such information for [his] personal advantage.” On appeal, Kanodia argued that there was insufficient evidence to show that a legal duty of trust and confidence arose between him and his wife because their marital relationship did not involve a history, pattern, or practice of sharing confidences. The First Circuit, however, found that the government presented ample evidence for a jury to conclude that Kanodia and his wife shared confidences in the history of their marriage and also in their business and advisory relationships. …
Continue Reading First Circuit Considers a Spouse’s “Duty of Trust” to a Corporate Insider
The DOJ has raised the stakes in criminal spoofing enforcement, unveiling sweeping charges against three traders who allegedly conspired to manipulate the precious metals market. While the DOJ’s involvement in spoofing enforcement—an area previously dominated by civil regulators and SROs—has become more commonplace, the DOJ is using a new tactic in this latest enforcement action. In addition to the usual spoofing and other financial crime offenses, the indictment charges the traders with a racketeering conspiracy. The DOJ’s reliance on RICO increases the possible penalties for spoofing, while also potentially making the government’s case simpler to prove.
A Potential New Era of Spoofing Enforcement
After obtaining mixed results in its previous spoofing trials, the DOJ appears to be retooling its approach. Indeed, the indictment against these precious metals traders marks the first time the DOJ has alleged RICO violations against traders accused of spoofing electronic derivatives markets. Thus, while the alleged spoofing conduct may be familiar, the charges brought are significantly different and more serious than before. And so are the potential penalties. In addition to hefty incarceration sentences, RICO provides for the government to seek forfeiture of all proceeds derived from the racketeering activity.
Continue Reading DOJ Brings Novel RICO Charges Against Alleged Spoofers
The DOJ is increasingly using a “data focused approach” to identify economic crime and corporate misconduct, according to a DOJ official. In remarks to the 6th Annual Government Enforcement Institute, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matthew S. Miner recently shared that using data analytics to identify fraud improves efficiency, expedites case development, and makes program enforcement “more targeted.”
While Miner indicated that data analytics are being utilized across the DOJ’s white collar enforcement efforts, he pointed to the healthcare industry and financial sector as two such targets of the DOJ’s data-driven enforcement approach. The DOJ has already successfully used Medicare claims data to identify fraud. That success is attributed, in part, to the DOJ’s healthcare data analytics team which analyzes the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ payment database for health care fraud activity and trends. The financial sector—specifically the commodities and securities arena—represents an expanding “area of focus” for the DOJ’s data-driven enforcement. Miner indicated that the DOJ uses trading data to identify indicators or anomalies that are suggestive of market manipulation and other fraudulent activity.
Continue Reading DOJ Leveraging Data Analytics To Detect Fraud