Subject to Inquiry

Subject to Inquiry

THE LATEST ON GOVERNMENT INQUIRIES AND ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Group
Securities and Commodities

A New Avenue for Defendants in Securities Fraud Class Actions: Supreme Court Holds “Generic” Nature of Statements Is “Important Evidence” of Price Impact at Class Certification

Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a highly anticipated ruling holding that the generic nature of an alleged misrepresentation may be important evidence of price impact to rebut the Basic presumption of reliance and thus should be considered at class certification. See our post on the Class Action Countermeasures blog.

Financial Institution Regulation

Taxpayer Protection Taskforce Aims to Recover £1 billion from Business

This alert is a continuation from a March 3, 2021 post.

On 3rd March 2021, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £100 million Taxpayer Protection Taskforce (Taskforce) to scrutinise claims made under Government financial business support schemes designed to help companies and individuals navigate their way through the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Government Contracts

President Biden Announces Findings of Critical Supply Chain Assessment

On June 8, the White House released the findings of a 100-day assessment of critical supply chains, identifying actions needed to bolster domestic manufacturing of critical goods, reduce dependence on foreign nations for supply chain needs, create jobs and address unfair trade practices.

For highlights of the report detailing structural weaknesses in supply chains for semiconductor manufacturing, critical minerals, active pharmaceutical ingredients and large-capacity batteries, please read our alert.

Government Contracts

Biden Administration Orders Improvements to Cybersecurity and Federal Networks Amid Cyberattacks

On May 12, President Biden signed an executive order mandating that the federal government significantly improve cybersecurity within its networks and modernize federal cyber defenses. This move follows a series of cyberattacks on private companies and federal government networks over the past year, including a recent incident that resulted in gasoline shortages along the U.S. East Coast.

To learn about new standards for federal information systems, which will trigger wide-reaching changes for federal contractors and private sector industry participants, see the full alert on our website.

Government Contracts

Biden Administration Orders $15 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

On April 27, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order (EO) requiring federal contractors performing service, construction or concession contracts to pay a $15 minimum wage to those employees who are working on such contracts.

As noted in the White House Fact Sheet, this EO will build on Executive Order 13658 (signed in February 2014), under which the government required federal contractors to provide a $10.10 minimum wage starting in in 2015. The EO imposes five substantive provisions with the stated goal of “promoting economy and efficiency” in federal contracting.

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Fraud, Deception and False Claims

The Perils of Pleading the Fifth in the Corporate Fraud Context

“Pleading the Fifth” is one of the most commonly known phrases in our legal system, and the right against self-incrimination is one of the Constitution’s most meaningful protections. That said, in the corporate fraud context, exercising that right often entails risks and costs that may outweigh the potential benefits. As such, companies—particularly those that contract with the federal government—and their senior executives should be aware of the limits and potential high costs of exercising the right against self-incrimination in corporate fraud investigations and actions.

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Fraud, Deception and False Claims

U.S. Attorney’s Office Settles with Urgent Care Providers to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Related to Credentialing Issues

On April 8, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina announced a $22.5 million settlement with a network of urgent care providers, Doctors Care, P.A. (Doctors Care), and its management company, UCI Medical Affiliates of South Carolina, Inc. (UCI), for alleged False Claims Act (FCA) violations.

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Government Contracts, Uncategorized

NSCAI Recommends $40 Billion Investment in Artificial Intelligence, R&D and Innovation

Congress stood-up the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) to make recommendations to the President and Congress “to advance the development of artificial intelligence [AI], machine learning, and associated technologies … to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.” The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Section 1051 further instructed the NSCAI to focus on issues including global competition, research and development, risks and ethical concerns.

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Compliance

DOJ Announces Plan for Coordinated Civil Rights Response to COVID-19

On April 2, 2021, Pamela S. Karlan, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ), issued a public statement regarding the Division’s intent to lead a coordinated civil rights response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The statement, which attached a resource guide, is intended to assist Federal agencies, state and local governments, and recipients of Federal funds, including healthcare providers, in addressing ongoing civil rights challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement advised healthcare providers and long-term care facilities (LTCs), among other entities, that the DOJ intends to “vigorously enforce Federal civil rights,” and that civil rights obligations still apply during emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement addressed the need to combat disability discrimination by ensuring that all people with disabilities have equal access to healthcare. The statement cited to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the need for healthcare providers to comply with these laws “when making decisions about who will receive medical care, including vaccines and hospital beds.” Furthermore, the statement discussed that providers must comply with disability laws when “crafting and implementing policies such as crisis standards of care, visitation rules, and vaccine distribution plans.”

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Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

Courts Adopt Varying Approaches to Implementing Due Process Protections Act

In a December 2020 article, we highlighted in this blog the amendment of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 5(f) in the new Due Process Protections Act (“DPPA” or “the Act”). The Act requires federal courts to enter a Brady order at the outset of all criminal cases and may prompt courts to enter orders setting specific disclosure rules, making it easier to hold prosecutors in contempt for violating such orders. In the five months since the Act went into effect, Courts have varied in their implementation of Rule 5(f), suggesting that discovery orders under the new rule will vary based on the leanings of each particular judge, district, or circuit, and the requirements of each individual case. To date, some courts have decided to succinctly recite the language of Rule 5(f) in their initial orders, essentially reminding the prosecution of its pre-existing discovery obligations. Others are taking a more expansive view in implementing the revised rule, issuing specific and detailed orders addressing the timing, order, and scope of the prosecution’s discovery obligations. Continue Reading

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