Subject to Inquiry

Subject to Inquiry

THE LATEST ON GOVERNMENT INQUIRIES AND ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Group

Matthew Orso

Photo of Matthew Orso Matt is co-chair of the Bank Defense & Counseling team for the Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Department. He defends companies and individuals facing government investigations and helps them navigate these inquiries to resolution.

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At Long Last, FinCEN Issues Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Rule

Financial Institution Regulation
At long last, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a final rule establishing a beneficial ownership information reporting requirement for corporations and companies both large and small. In its announcement earlier today, FinCEN explained that the rule will require most companies and corporations registered to do business in the United States to report information about their… Continue Reading

FinCEN Leader’s Remarks Focus on Securing Digital Identity

Financial Institution Regulation
On September 7, 2022, Jimmy Kirby, the Acting Deputy Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), gave remarks during the 2022 Federal Identity Forum & Exposition (“FedID”) on the importance of securing digital identity. In his opening comments, Kirby emphasized digital identity as “fundamental to the effectiveness of every financial institution’s AML/CFT program.”… 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

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

First FCPA Settlement of 2022 – Enforcement on the Horizon

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Fraud, Deception and False Claims
On February 17, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the first Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) settlement of the year. Seoul-based KT Corporation (KT Corp.), South Korea’s largest telecommunications operator, will pay $6.3 million to resolve charges that it violated the FCPA by providing improper payments for the benefit of government officials in… Continue Reading

FinCEN’s Proposed Foreign Affiliate SAR Sharing Program — Key Considerations

Anti-Money Laundering
On January 25, 2022, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) solicited commentary regarding its proposed rule that would create a time-limited pilot program to expand the ability of financial institutions to share Suspicious Activity Reports (“SARs”) and SAR-related information.  (See 31 U.S.C. § 5318(g)(8)).  The proposed program would permit a financial institution with a SAR… Continue Reading

FinCEN Director Blanco Comments on Section 314(b)’s New Guidance

Financial Institution Regulation
On December 10, 2020, FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco delivered prepared remarks at the ABA’s annual Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference. At the outset, Director Blanco addressed the importance of U.S. national security amidst the unprecedented environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic. In his remarks, Director Blanco announced “important guidance” and “much needed clarity” concerning FinCEN’s voluntary… Continue Reading

FinCEN Rule Ends AML Program Exemption for Banks that Lack a Federal Regulator

Anti-Money Laundering
On September 15, 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) published a Final Rule bringing banks that lack a federal functional regulator further under its purview. The rule subjects these institutions to minimum standards for anti-money laundering (“AML”) requirements, including a BSA officer, AML policies and procedures, and regular employee training, among other obligations. It… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Determines Action to Rescind DACA was Arbitrary and Capricious

Immigration and Worksite Enforcement
On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) choice to rescind the immigration program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). The Court noted the question before it was not whether DHS may rescind DACA but rather, whether DHS followed proper procedure in rescinding the… Continue Reading

FinCEN Issues Statement to Financial Institutions on BSA/AML Compliance During COVID-19 Pandemic

Anti-Money Laundering, Financial Institution Regulation, Fraud, Deception and False Claims
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released a statement to financial institutions on March 16, 2020, concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement covered two main topics: Potential delays by financial institutions in filing required Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) reports Remaining alert to identify malicious or fraudulent transactions, which often arise during natural disasters First, FinCEN… Continue Reading

Employer Update: DHS Extends Temporary Protected Status and Work Authorization for El Salvador, Haiti, Sudan, and Nicaragua

Immigration and Worksite Enforcement
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on March 1, 2019, an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for qualifying individuals from El Salvador, Haiti, Sudan, and Nicaragua. DHS also announced a nine-month automatic extension of these TPS beneficiaries’ Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), allowing beneficiaries to work in the United States until January 2,… Continue Reading

Increased Immigration Worksite Enforcement Looming in 2018

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Immigration and Worksite Enforcement
 The days of speculation may have ended. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) acting director recently made clear that Form I-9 audits and worksite enforcement actions will surge in the coming year. In line with the Trump Administration’s tough position on immigration and its budget requests, most employers have anticipated increased immigration-focused audits and enforcement actions.… Continue Reading

H-1B Employers Face Increased Site Visits

Immigration and Worksite Enforcement
Employers using the H-1B visa program should take note as additional site visits may be on the horizon.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), part of the Department of Homeland Security, recently announced a new targeted approach to detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse and increased site visits of H-1B employers. In selecting worksite visits,… Continue Reading

FinCEN Opens 2017 with SAR Sharing Guidance for Casinos

Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance
Financial institutions’ ability to share suspicious activity reports (“SARs”) within the corporate organizational structure serves as an important tool for Bank Secrecy Act compliance and risk avoidance.  FinCEN began 2017 by reminding casinos of their ability to share information under this rule. Subject to certain limitations, casinos may share with domestic parents and affiliates suspicious… 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

Increased Fines on the Horizon for Immigration Law Violations

Immigration and Worksite Enforcement
The Department of Justice has raised the bar on penalties for violations of federal immigration law.  On June 30, 2016, DOJ issued an interim final rule that goes into effect on August 1, 2016.  This rule, implemented as an inflation adjustment, increases the fines for employing unauthorized workers, for Form I-9 paperwork violations, and for… Continue Reading

The Export/Immigration Dilemma: Don’t Let OSC Catch Your HR Department Unawares

Immigration and Worksite Enforcement, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
On March 31, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) issued a carefully worded technical assistance letter addressing the complex interplay between U.S. immigration and export control laws in the context of hiring and applicant screening. Although it provides limited new guidance, OSC’s letter is a… Continue Reading

Buyer Beware: Noncompliant Electronic I-9 Software Risks Customer Company Fines

Compliance, Immigration and Worksite Enforcement
Electronic I-9 software can be very attractive to companies looking for efficiency and ensuring compliance. Not to mention the elimination of file drawers that once housed these voluminous paper I-9 files. However, buyers beware, not all electronic I-9 software meets the federal regulations’ requirements. And the problem for well-meaning companies: ICE will still hold the… Continue Reading

Oral Arguments in PHH Case Signal Trouble for CFPB

Compliance, Financial Institution Regulation
The D.C. Circuit held oral arguments on April 12, 2016 in the case PHH Corp v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a case challenging the CFPB’s constitutionality as well as its interpretations of the Real Estate Procedures Settlement Act (RESPA), including its view that no statute of limitations applies to RESPA violations challenged by the… Continue Reading

Conducting Internal I-9 Audits – ICE and DOJ-OSC Provide Joint Guidance

Immigration and Worksite Enforcement
A company’s I-9 file, which often goes unnoticed by all but a few HR professionals, can carry significant risk.  Form I-9 files often serve as landmines for fines, penalties, and sanctions.  Companies can mitigate these risks by conducting periodic Form I-9 audits. This week, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Homeland… Continue Reading

Proposed Changes to Form I-9 Create New Compliance Questions

Compliance, Financial Institution Regulation, Immigration and Worksite Enforcement
Employers take note: a new Form I-9 is in the making.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the Department of Homeland Security, announced on November 24, 2015, that it is seeking public comment on the various proposed changes.  The proposed changes will have far-reaching impact because all employers are required to complete and… Continue Reading

FinCEN Proposes Rule Requiring Investment Adviser AML Compliance

Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance, Financial Institution Regulation
Investment advisers may soon face increased costs and scrutiny thanks to a proposed rule issued by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).  On Tuesday, August 25, FinCEN proposed a rule that would require many investment advisers to implement AML compliance programs, including the filing of suspicious activity reports (SARs) and currency transaction reports (CTRs). The CTR requirement comes… Continue Reading

CFPB’s TRID Rule Delayed Again – Uncertainty Persists for Good-Faith Grace Period

Compliance, Financial Institution Regulation
The CFPB announced on June 17 that it would delay the effective date of the “Know Before You Owe” rule until October 1, 2015. However, the proposed rule issued by the Bureau on June 25 now delays the effective date to Saturday, October 3, in part because it “may allow for smoother implementation by affording… Continue Reading

Rogue Agency or Champion of Consumers? House Votes for CFPB Transparency

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Financial Institution Regulation
A common complaint against the CFPB is that the agency wields too much power without enough accountability. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling recently described the CFPB as “the single most powerful and least accountable Federal agency in all of Washington.” And as U.S. Senator David Perdue has complained, “the CFPB is a rogue agency… Continue Reading

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