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Recent Blog Posts

  • Branding Concerns Rise Amid Cryptocurrency Proliferation New cryptocurrencies and tokens have been popping up all over the place, leading the SEC to set up an initial coin offering (ICO) section on its website and to promote recent enforcement actions in the digital currency space. The proliferation of new tokens offers a growing opportunity for cross-over and cooperation between different federal agencies. The SEC representative at a recent Bar Association of San Francisco panel last week noted that the SEC’s cyber unit is currently looking at dozens... More
  • FCPA in the Trump DOJ: Continuing Down the Same Path, with a Little More Heft Next week marks the 40th anniversary of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – it became effective December 19, 1977. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein marked the occasion this month by providing an update on the FCPA Pilot Program announced in spring 2016 and detailed in this Compliance Gap blogpost. Bottom line: the FCPA policy now provides for a presumed declination of prosecution for companies that complete a fulsome self-disclosure disgorgement, and remediation program. AG Rosenstein’s update amounted to a repeated endorsement... More
  • Municipal Bond Securities Fraud Case Heads to Trial Ramapo, New York Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence heads to trial this week on federal securities fraud charges. St. Lawrence is one of two city officials charged in the case; his codefendant N. Aaron Troodler pleaded guilty earlier last month. The SDNY U.S. Attorney’s Office promoted the Troodler conviction as the first time municipal bond fraud has been successfully prosecuted under federal securities laws. The St. Lawrence trial is expected to draw lots of attention; St. Lawrence is an elected... More
  • Kickback Prosecutions Expanding Beyond Drugs and Devices to Care Networks The DOJ has recently showed some new muscle by applying anti-kickback laws to care facility owners rather than drug manufacturers. The uptick in federal healthcare fraud prosecutions in 2016 has been well-documented, but all the high profile prosecutions have thus far focused on drugs and devices. Salespeople have been convicted for paying kickbacks to physicians in exchange for prescribing specific drugs, and executives have been charged for allegedly overseeing improper medical device promotion practices within their company. These prosecutions have not... More
  • SEC Spotlight Hits Emissions Issues When the Volkswagen emissions scandal hit the press last year, we wondered which agency would manage the subsequent investigations. We are still waiting on the car company’s plan to remedy the emissions testing software and waiting to see if criminal charges will be filed—and if so, who specifically will be in the DOJ’s criminal crosshairs (DOJ filed a mammoth civil suit in January). The DOJ isn’t the only agency stepping up enforcement in the emissions space, however. This past week... More
  • DOJ Amping Up FCPA Prosecution Efforts While Offering New Cooperation Benefits The Department of Justice’s white collar and fraud sections have been focused on domestic issues as of late, and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prosecutions fell out of the limelight. Lest any corporation or defense counsel get too comfortable in that assumption, however, the DOJ issued a new guidance memo circling back to the FCPA and announcing a number of changes that signal a renewed focus on FCPA violations – and an increased focus on settlement. The DOJ announced new hires... More