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Category Archives: Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

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Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Financial Institution Regulation

CFPB: For-Profit School Misrepresented ISAs, Made False Claims About Grads’ Employment Rates

On April 17, 2024, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau entered an order against a for-profit vocational school and its CEO for mischaracterizing the school’s income-share agreements (ISAs) and misrepresenting its graduates’ employment rates. The CFPB said the school drove students to finance their training programs with promises of high graduate employability. To finance students’ education,… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

Deputy Attorney General Monaco Announces New DOJ Whistleblower Program

On March 7, 2024, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco gave remarks at the American Bar Association’s 39th National Institute on White Collar Crime in San Francisco, California. Monaco provided updates on the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ or the Department) corporate criminal enforcement efforts and announced a handful of new Department initiatives, including a… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Government Contracts, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls

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

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
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

BIS Continues Enforcement Policy Ramp-Up

On January 16, 2024, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued new guidance to incentivize voluntary self-disclosure (“VSD”) of possible violations of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). This new guidance—which was announced in conjunction with a speech by BIS’s top enforcement official indicating the EAR enforcement is an increasingly important priority… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls

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

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
Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

DOJ Announces Safe Harbor Policy for Mergers and Acquisitions

In the U.S. Department of Justice’s continuing efforts to incentivize voluntary disclosure of corporate misconduct, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced the Criminal Division’s latest corporate self-disclosure policy this week, aimed at mergers and acquisitions specifically (remarks Here).  Pursuant to DOJ’s new Mergers and Acquisitions Safe Harbor Policy (the “Policy”), acquiring companies that promptly and… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

Massachusetts Attorney General Increasing Enforcement in Car Repossession Space

The Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) is increasing its enforcement in the motor-vehicle-repossession space. In a January 17, 2023 Assurance of Discontinuance (AOD), the AG stated that it is “conducting an investigation” into “entities collecting, servicing and/or funding” motor-vehicle-secured retail-installment contracts. The AG is focused on two primary areas of compliance:… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls

Disruptive Technology Strike Force Initiates Federal Prosecutions Targeting Trade Secret Theft

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
Energy Enforcement, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Fraud, Deception and False Claims

CFTC: Calling All Whistleblowers in Carbon Markets

With an “alert” issued June 20, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is targeting carbon markets by asking whistleblowers to come forward with information about fraudulent or manipulative trading of carbon credits and other environmental commodities as well as related derivatives. Read on for details about the CFTC’s alert and implications for entities that trade in… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

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

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
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

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

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
Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

U.S. Attorneys’ Offices Adopt Policy Incentivizing Self-Disclosure of Corporate Misconduct

On Feb. 22, 2023, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country adopted a new policy that incentivizes corporate voluntary self-disclosure of misconduct.  Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco’s Sept. 15, 2022 memorandum (“Monaco Memo”) instructed all DOJ sections to review their policies incentivizing corporate voluntary self-disclosure or, if no formal written policy existed, to draft and publish… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

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

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
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Sanctions, Trade Embargo, and Export Controls

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

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
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

New Incentives Added to the Criminal Division’s Corporate Enforcement Policy

UPDATE: U.S. Attorneys’ Offices Adopt Policy Incentivizing Self-Disclosure of Corporate Misconduct (Feb. 27, 2023) On January 17, 2023, Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. delivered remarks to an audience at the Georgetown University Law Center, announcing changes to the Criminal Division’s Corporate Enforcement Policy (CEP). These changes to the CEP follow the September… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule to Bar Almost All Non-Compete Agreements in Contracts With Workers

On Jan. 5, the Federal Trade Commission proposed a sweeping rule that would bar almost all non-compete clauses in contracts with workers and in other agreements. A notice-and-comment period provides an opportunity for stakeholders to comment on the proposed rule. If adopted, the rule, which would not take effect for several months, would upend longstanding… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

33 State Attorneys General Urge Federal Trade Commission to Take Action on Corporate Surveillance

A bi-partisan coalition of 33[1] state Attorneys General sent a comment letter[2] to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) highlighting the risks to consumers from corporate surveillance and data collection. The November 17, 2022, letter was filed as part of the FTC’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Commercial Surveillance and Data Security.[3] The Attorneys General… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

California Signs New Bill Prohibiting CA-based Tech Companies from Disclosing Data for State Abortion Investigations

Compliance with out of state investigative requests, like warrants, just got a little trickier for California companies. Under existing law, California technology and communications companies are required to produce specified user data in response to an out of state warrant as if that warrant was issued by a California court. But now there is one… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Securities and Commodities

SEC Speaks 2022: Ongoing Efforts to Restore Public Trust, Aggressive Enforcement Agenda

Securities and Exchange Commission officials highlighted a commitment to restoring trust in the agency and aggressive enforcement during the recent SEC Speaks conference. See our alert for analysis of their comments and stated enforcement priorities, which addressed crypto markets, aggressive use of remedies, creditworthy cooperation, the Wells process, aggressive litigation, disgorgement efforts, municipal securities, gatekeeper… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

New DOJ Guidance on Corporate Criminal Enforcement

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
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends, Miscellaneous

DOJ’s Public Struggles with Electronic Evidence Highlights the Need for Counsel to Formally Demand Discovery Early and Often

DOJ’s dismissal last week of a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case in Boston is the latest in a string of bad outcomes for the government due to discovery mishaps. While the government works to revise its discovery policies and seek resources to collect, review, and analyze the vast amount of electronic evidence attendant to nearly… Continue Reading
Enforcement and Prosecution Policy and Trends

Twitter to Pay $150M for Violating 2011 FTC Order Regarding Misrepresentation of its Privacy and Security Practices

On May 25, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it, along with the Department of Justice, fined Twitter $150 million for violating a 2011 agreement the company had with the Commission. Under the 2011 FTC order, Twitter agreed that it would protect the integrity of nonpublic consumer information, including users’ phone numbers and… Continue Reading

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