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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 As a member of the firm’s nationally recognized Government Investigations and White Collar Litigation department, Pat's practice focuses on criminal and civil enforcement proceedings and internal investigations. He has substantial experience in international and national security matters. He has represented individuals and companies in a variety of federal criminal investigations, as well as civil enforcement actions. He also advises corporate clients on compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, OFAC sanctions, the ITAR, the EAR and CFIUS regulations. He has conducted numerous internal investigations for large companies with significant international operations.

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Disruptive Technology Strike Force Announces Its First Declination to Prosecute Under the National Security Division’s Voluntary Self-Disclosure Program

Government Contracts, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
On May 22, 2024, the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (“NSD”) announced its first declination of prosecution for a company under the voluntary self-disclosure program established by the National Security Division Enforcement Policy for Business Organizations (“NSD Enforcement Policy”). An individual who worked for a United States-based biochemical company, along with his co-conspirator, each… Continue Reading

Disruptive Technology Strike Force Continues Focus on Trade Secret Theft, Export Control Enforcement

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Government Contracts, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
During a summit celebrating its one-year anniversary, the Disruptive Technology Strike Force provided updates on its efforts to prevent authoritarian regimes and hostile nation-states from acquiring critical technologies. Read on for details about a new expansion of the effort, recent prosecutions and the group’s continued focus on cases involving theft of trade secrets and export… Continue Reading

Recent Sanctions Enforcement Actions Demonstrate Importance of  Incorporating All Available Data into Screening

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
For U.S. businesses, sanctions compliance has never been more challenging or more important.  The U.S. has responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with a broad range of sanctions targeting the Russian government, its officials, oligarchs and Russia’s financial and energy industries, among others.  Indeed, since the invasion of Ukraine, the agency that administers sanctions, the… Continue Reading

Departments of Justice, Commerce and Treasury Issue Tri-Seal Compliance Note on Voluntary Self-Disclosure of Potential Violations

Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
On July 26, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, and U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a Tri-Seal Compliance Note (the Note) detailing updates to the three agencies’ voluntary self-disclosure policies applicable to violations of U.S. sanctions, export… Continue Reading

Disruptive Technology Strike Force Initiates Federal Prosecutions Targeting Trade Secret Theft

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
In early 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Commerce launched the Disruptive Technology Strike Force to target illicit actors, strengthen supply chains and protect critical technology assets from theft by nation-state adversaries. Read on to learn about recent federal prosecutions initiated by the Strike Force, targeting theft of trade secrets and… Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Justice and Partners Increasing Enforcement of Sanctions and Export Controls

Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
It has been a little more than a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the war continues to rage.  In an effort to deter the Russian government and weaken its military capabilities, the United States has imposed significant sanctions and export controls targeting Russia.  Recognizing that these sanctions and export control laws merit aggressive… Continue Reading

FinCEN Alert Highlights Potential U.S. Real Estate Investments by Sanctioned Russian Elites

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network recently issued an alert cautioning all financial institutions about potential investments in the U.S. commercial real estate sector, by or on behalf of Russian elites and their proxies. FinCEN’s communication complements U.S. efforts, in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, to isolate sanctioned Russian persons from the international financial system.… 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

New Revelations in Ukraine Lead to Tightening Global Sanctions

Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
RELATED UPDATE: FinCEN Alert Highlights Potential U.S. Commercial Real Estate Investments by Sanctioned Russian Elites and Their Proxies (January 30, 2023) 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… 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 UPDATES: FinCEN Alert Highlights Potential U.S. Commercial Real Estate Investments by Sanctioned Russian Elites and Their Proxies (January 30, 2023) 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… Continue Reading

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

Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls
RELATED UPDATES: U.S. Department of Justice and Partners Increasing Enforcement of Sanctions and Export Controls (March 6, 2023) 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… 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

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