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THE LATEST ON GOVERNMENT INQUIRIES AND ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Group

Alex J. Brackett

Photo of Alex J. Brackett Alex's practice focuses primarily on advising and supporting corporate and individual clients in the areas of white collar criminal defense and internal investigations. He has a particular focus on export control laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), in addition to general white collar defense and corporate compliance matters. His client work has taken him to 21 countries on six continents.

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Brazilian Airline to Pay Millions in Coordinated Foreign Bribery Resolution

Anti-Bribery and Corruption
On September 15, 2022, GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A. (GOL), Brazil’s second largest domestic airline, resolved long-running parallel investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The São Paulo-based company, whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, consented to a cease-and-desist order with the SEC… Continue Reading

Proposed Federal Rule Signals Remote Form I-9 Inspection of Employee Documents Will Likely Become Permanent Option

Immigration and Worksite Enforcement
On August 18, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Proposed Rule titled Optional Alternatives to the Physical Document Examination Associated With Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). The Proposed Rule would formalize the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security to extend certain COVID-19 rules permitting remote inspection of employee documents presented for… Continue Reading

Less is More? DOJ Signals Shift to More Targeted Evidence Collection

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
For a corporation receiving a grand jury subpoena, the most difficult (and expensive) part of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) inquiry is often sifting through corporate data to find relevant material. That is proving to be increasingly burdensome to prosecutors as well—not just because it costs DOJ time and resources to review extensive data… Continue Reading

DOJ and SEC Kick Off the Second Quarter with Major FCPA Settlement with International Waste Management Company

Anti-Bribery and Corruption
On April 20, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) separately announced that Stericycle Inc. (Stericycle), an international waste management company headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, has agreed to pay more than $84 million to resolve parallel investigations by authorities in the United States and Brazil. The investigation is… Continue Reading

New Revelations in Ukraine Lead to Tightening Global Sanctions

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
As the world watched in horror over the atrocities occurring in the war zones of Ukraine this week, global leaders re-doubled their efforts to bring increasing sanctions pressure to bear on Russian industry, the Russian economy and the sphere of influence surrounding Russian President Vladimir Putin.  The U.S., UK and EU rolled out a series… Continue Reading

Western Companies Starting to Feel Impact of Russian Sanctions

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Financial Institution Regulation, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
RELATED UPDATE: New Revelations in Ukraine Lead to Tightening Global Sanctions (April 8, 2022) As we approach the thirty day mark since the United States, and other Western countries began imposing a series of rigorous sanctions on the Russian economy and key components thereof, we are starting to see real evidence of their broad impact. … Continue Reading

FinCEN Encourages “Increased Vigilance” and Highlights Red Flags for Evasion of Russian Sanctions including Use of Virtual Currency

Anti-Money Laundering, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Financial Institution Regulation, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
RELATED UPDATES: New Revelations in Ukraine Lead to Tightening Global Sanctions (April 8, 2022) Western Companies Starting to Feel Impact of Russian Sanctions (March 24, 2022) The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued an alert encouraging all financial institutions to be “vigilant” against efforts by their customers to evade recent sanctions and other restrictions… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Amends “Buy American” Rules to Increase Domestic Content Requirements

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
On March 7, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council promulgated a final rule aimed at increasing federal government preferences for goods and construction materials that are domestically manufactured and increasing the required domestic content threshold for purchases governed by the Buy American Act. Read on for highlights from the rule and next steps for government contractors… Continue Reading

DOJ Launches “Task Force KleptoCapture” in Response to Russian Invasion

Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
RELATED UPDATES: New Revelations in Ukraine Lead to Tightening Global Sanctions (April 8, 2022) Western Companies Starting to Feel Impact of Russian Sanctions (March 24, 2022) FinCEN Encourages “Increased Vigilance” and Highlights Red Flags for Evasion of Russian Sanctions including Use of Virtual Currency (March 16, 2022) Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)… Continue Reading

U.S. and Allies Significantly Expand Sanctions and Related Restrictions on Russia and Belarus

Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
RELATED UPDATES: New Revelations in Ukraine Lead to Tightening Global Sanctions (April 8, 2022) Western Companies Starting to Feel Impact of Russian Sanctions (March 24, 2022) FinCEN Encourages “Increased Vigilance” and Highlights Red Flags for Evasion of Russian Sanctions including Use of Virtual Currency (March 16, 2022) DOJ Launches “Task Force KleptoCapture” in Response to… Continue Reading

Additional Sanctions on Russia and the Importance of Business Contingency Planning

Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
RELATED UPDATES: New Revelations in Ukraine Lead to Tightening Global Sanctions (April 8, 2022) Western Companies Starting to Feel Impact of Russian Sanctions (March 24, 2022) FinCEN Encourages “Increased Vigilance” and Highlights Red Flags for Evasion of Russian Sanctions including Use of Virtual Currency (March 16, 2022) DOJ Launches “Task Force KleptoCapture” in Response to… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Issues Initial Ukraine Sanctions

Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
RELATED UPDATES: New Revelations in Ukraine Lead to Tightening Global Sanctions (April 8, 2022) Western Companies Starting to Feel Impact of Russian Sanctions (March 24, 2022) FinCEN Encourages “Increased Vigilance” and Highlights Red Flags for Evasion of Russian Sanctions including Use of Virtual Currency (March 16, 2022) DOJ Launches “Task Force KleptoCapture” in Response to… Continue Reading

What Significant Russian Sanctions Could Look Like, and How to Prepare

Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
RELATED UPDATES: New Revelations in Ukraine Lead to Tightening Global Sanctions (April 8, 2022) Western Companies Starting to Feel Impact of Russian Sanctions (March 24, 2022) FinCEN Encourages “Increased Vigilance” and Highlights Red Flags for Evasion of Russian Sanctions including Use of Virtual Currency (March 16, 2022) DOJ Launches “Task Force KleptoCapture” in Response to… Continue Reading

The Perils of Global Expansion: World’s Largest Ad Agency Sanctioned $19 Million for FCPA Violations, Insufficient Controls

Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls, Securities and Commodities
Global expansion without adequate controls is asking for trouble. That’s the lesson of a $19 million settlement between WPP, the world’s largest advertising agency, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). According to an SEC order memorializing the settlement, WPP’s trouble began when… Continue Reading

Sanctions and Export Compliance Strategies for Supply Chains

Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
The following is an excerpt from McGuireWoods’ recent contribution to the Global Investigations Review’s (GIR’s) The Guide to Sanctions – Second Edition published in July 2021. Authors Alex Brackett, Pat Rowan and Jason Cowley, each partners in the firm’s Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation department, penned a chapter on the Impacts of Sanctions and… Continue Reading

Biden Administration Orders Comprehensive Review of U.S. Supply Chain

Government Contracts
On Feb. 24, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order (EO) triggering a comprehensive review of U.S. supply chains, ordering agencies to identify ways to secure the American economy against shortages of critical and essential goods. As noted by the White House, this EO requires federal agencies to conduct a two-phase review of U.S. supply chains. First,… Continue Reading

Price Gouging Enforcement in the Wake of COVID-19: Where is the FTC?

Fraud, Deception and False Claims
The contours of price gouging enforcement continue to evolve rapidly within the rip current of the coronavirus pandemic.  As we previously reported, the Department of Justice and state attorneys general have spearheaded price gouging investigations, and private litigants have turned to the courts with price gouging-related class action lawsuits.  Yet one potential authority remains on… Continue Reading

The Tip of the Iceberg Emerges: Initial Wave of Class Actions Reflect How Private Causes of Action Will Add Significantly to Price Gouging Litigation

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
As pandemic response task forces at the federal and state levels ramp up price gouging investigations and enforcement actions across the country, civil plaintiffs attorneys have jumped to the forefront by utilizing private causes of action to file price gouging-based class action lawsuits against dozens of major retailers and food supply companies.   Senate Majority Leader… Continue Reading

Price Gouging Investigations Are Coming: What Industry Needs to Understand

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
Update: please see our May 14 post for information on private causes of action to file a series of price gouging-based class action lawsuits against several dozen major retailers and food supply companies. In response to the national coronavirus health crisis, federal and state Attorneys General have elevated the investigation and prosecution of COVID-19-related crime,… Continue Reading

What the Venezuela Sanctions May Mean for Future Sanctions Programs

Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
When the Trump Administration designated Venezuelan state-owned oil producer Petreoleos de Venezuela (“PdVSA”) on January 28, 2019, pursuant to preexisting sanctions relating to the political situation created by the Maduro regime, it sent a significant but not unanticipated ripple through the global petroleum markets.  The impact of the sanctions for commodities traders and petroleum refiners—particularly… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Clarifies Limits of FCPA’s Extraterritorial Reach

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit narrowed the reach of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA” or “the Act”) in ruling that the government cannot use aiding and abetting or conspiracy statutes to charge a defendant with violating the FCPA if the defendant is not in the category of persons directly covered… Continue Reading

Series of DOJ Enforcement Policy Announcements Provides Promising Guidance

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Fraud, Deception and False Claims
In a series of key policy announcements between November 2017 and May 2018, the Department of Justice has demonstrated an increasingly coherent perspective on how it will handle key aspects of white collar criminal enforcement. The policies largely reiterate a message federal prosecutors have delivered for years regarding what they want to see from companies… Continue Reading

Congress Votes to Disapprove SEC’s Resource Extraction Disclosure Rule

Compliance, Election and Political Law
In previous posts, we discussed the potential impact of the SEC’s Resource Extraction Payment Disclosure (Rule 13q-1), including possible FCPA implications and the development of an appropriate compliance plan. After the election, much attention has been given by Congress to the so-called “midnight” agency rules that were adopted in the final months of the Obama… Continue Reading

Big Changes Come With The New Form I-9 Published by USCIS

Immigration and Worksite Enforcement
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has officially published the long awaited revised Form I-9.  The new Form I-9 and instructions can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9. The clock is now ticking— While employers may begin using the new Form I-9 immediately, all employers are required to implement use of the newly revised Form I-9… Continue Reading

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