Subject to Inquiry

Subject to Inquiry

THE LATEST ON GOVERNMENT INQUIRIES AND ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Group

John S. Moran

Photo of John S. Moran John Moran is a member of the firm’s nationally recognized Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation department. A former senior official at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the White House and an experienced litigator and counselor, John draws on his broad experience from private practice and government service to advise and represent clients in government enforcement, congressional investigations, high-stakes civil disputes, and regulatory litigation. He also serves as co-chair of the firm’s Congressional Investigations practice, representing both companies and individuals in congressional investigations and hearings and is a member of the firm’s Appeals & Issues group.

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Supreme Court Holds That SEC Must Seek Civil Penalties in Federal Court

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
In SEC v. Jarkesy, No. 22-859, 603 U.S. __ (2024), the Supreme Court held that the Seventh Amendment prohibits the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) from seeking civil penalties in certain enforcement actions when the Commission chooses to proceed in-house before its own administrative law judges (ALJs), rather than in federal court. In… Continue Reading

SBA Issues Interim Guidance After Ultima Decision Finds 8(a) Program Violates Equal Protection

Government Contracts
Influenced by the U.S. Supreme Court’s SFFA college affirmative action decision, on July 19, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee enjoined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from determining federal contractor eligibility for its 8(a) Business Development program according to a “rebuttable presumption” that individuals of certain racial groups are socially… Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Education Launches Secret Shoppers Program to Investigate Colleges and Universities

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
Federal Student Aid’s Office of Enforcement announced a “secret shoppers” program to evaluate a college or university’s recruitment, enrollment, financial aid and other practices. The secret shoppers program will focus on student recruitment and enrollment practices, which may include the practices of online program managers. Read on for details about this initiative, including types of… Continue Reading

DOJ Announces “Pilot Program Regarding Compensation Incentives and Clawbacks” with Significant Ramifications for Corporations Facing Criminal Investigations

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
The Department of Justice Criminal Division announced a “Pilot Program Regarding Compensation Incentives and Clawbacks” (the “Program”) this week with broad implications for corporations and their individual executives operating within the Department’s jurisdiction. During two keynote speeches delivered at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on White Collar Crime, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco (remarks… Continue Reading

Education Department to Hold Owners, Individuals, Board Members Liable for Higher Education Institutions

Securities and Commodities
Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced it will hold individuals representing corporations or other legal entities, including a member of the board of directors or a chief executive officer, personally liable for the institution of higher education in certain circumstances. Federal Student Aid will require them to sign an institution’s program participation agreement to… Continue Reading

Department of Education Guidance Expands Possible Liability for Private Companies That Contract With Higher Education Institutions

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
UPDATE (March 1, 2023): On February 28, 2023, the Department updated the Dear Colleague Letter regarding third-party servicers to expressly state: “the guidance in this Dear Colleague Letter will not become effective until September 1, 2023.” The Department also extended the public comment period on this Dear Colleague Letter to Thursday, March 30, 2023. Finally,… Continue Reading

New DOJ Guidance on Corporate Criminal Enforcement

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
RELATED UPDATE: DOJ Announces “Pilot Program Regarding Compensation Incentives and Clawbacks” with Significant Ramifications for Corporations Facing Criminal Investigations (March 6, 2023) On Sept. 15, 2022, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced important guidance and new actions from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ or the Department) on corporate criminal enforcement. Her remarks, delivered… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Signals Interest in Clarifying Pleading Requirements in False Claims Act Suits

Fraud, Deception and False Claims
The U.S. Supreme Court soon will decide whether to tackle a longstanding question regarding the applicability of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) pleading standards in False Claims Act suits. To satisfy the rule’s particularity requirement, plaintiffs generally have needed to detail specific false claims submitted by defendants. The question is whether plaintiffs instead may… Continue Reading

Tide Is Turning Against FCA Case Dismissals

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Fraud, Deception and False Claims
According to a July 28 article in Law360 by McGuireWoods lawyers Michael J. Podberesky, John S. Moran, Todd R. Steggerda, David Pivnick and Cassandra M. Burns, the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision declining to review an appeal of a Seventh Circuit case that could have resolved a three-way circuit split regarding the proper standard for… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Clarify False Claims Act Falsity Standard

Fraud, Deception and False Claims, Government Contracts
The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to address a circuit split regarding the standard for establishing that a statement material to a claim for payment is false under the False Claims Act (FCA); specifically, whether the FCA requires pleading and proof of an “objectively false statement,” or whether liability can be based on allegedly false… Continue Reading

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