Subject to Inquiry

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THE LATEST ON GOVERNMENT INQUIRIES AND ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation Group

Patrick Rowan

Photo of Patrick Rowan Pat’s practice focuses on criminal and civil enforcement proceedings and internal investigations. He has substantial experience in federal law enforcement, as well as international and national security matters. He also advises corporate clients on compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the ITAR, the EAR and OFAC regulations.

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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

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

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

The Perils of Pleading the Fifth in the Corporate Fraud Context

Fraud, Deception and False Claims
“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… Continue Reading

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

Government Contracts
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… 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

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

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

Congressional Investigations: Beyond Sensational Headlines — Incoming House Leaders Announce Broad Investigative Priorities Targeting Business Community

Election and Political Law, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends
In the politically explosive atmosphere of Washington, the talk of the town is focused on congressional investigations: who will be called before Congress, and when. Newspaper headlines blare the latest controversy — from use of personal emails for government business, to numerous investigations alleging corruption of current and former government employees, including several cabinet secretaries,… 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

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

FinCEN Associate Director for Enforcement Delivers Remarks at Title 31 Conference, Stresses Importance of Culture of Compliance

Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance, Financial Institution Regulation
On the day after his appointment in August 2016, the Associate Director for Enforcement for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Thomas Ott, addressed the National Title 31 Suspicious Activity & Risk Assessment Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.  In his remarks, he (1) covered recent enforcement actions, (2) sought to dispel myths or misconceptions about… 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

Casino AML: FinCEN Fines Former Sparks Nugget Management $1 Million

Anti-Money Laundering
Attributing observed deficiencies to a lack of a culture of compliance, FinCEN has again targeted a casino for willful violations of the anti-money laundering (“AML”) provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”).  This time the casino in FinCEN’s sights is the Sparks Nugget, Inc. d/b/a John Ascuaga’s Nugget (“Sparks Nugget”), located in Sparks, Nevada.  In… Continue Reading

Iran Sanctions and the Implementation of the JCPOA: Lots of Changes, but Little Impact on U.S. Businesses?

Compliance, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
In recent days, the news has been full of stories referring to the “end” or “lifting” of U.S. sanctions against Iran, actions that were taken after the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed on January 16, 2016, that Iran has met its obligations under the July 14, 2015, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in connection… Continue Reading

FinCEN Announces First Card Club AML Enforcement Action

Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Financial Institution Regulation, Fraud, Deception and False Claims
Just in time for Christmas, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the financial industry (including casinos and card clubs) regulator, announced its first-ever enforcement action against a card club, California’s Oaks Card Club (Oaks). The enforcement action, which carried a penalty of $650,000, is the latest in a string of actions against gaming enterprises and is… Continue Reading

FinCEN Announces Caesars Penalty After Multiyear Investigation

Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Financial Institution Regulation
This week the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a Consent Agreement that imposed an $8 million civil penalty against Desert Palace, Inc. d/b/a Caesars Palace. Caesars first disclosed the investigation in SEC filings in late 2013. The investigation grew out of a 2012 audit performed by FinCEN’s examiner, the Internal Revenue Service Small Business/Self-Employed… Continue Reading

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