Category Archives: Government Enforcement

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A Few Thoughts on DOJ’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force

This month, and with great fanfare, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its creation of a Procurement Collusion Strike Force.  We know what you’re thinking, and no – this Strike Force will not be starring in the next Avengers movie. Rather, DOJ created the Strike Force to combat antitrust crimes in Federal procurement. The … Continue Reading

Regulatory Moves Show Financial Watchdogs Working Smarter, if Not Harder

To gain insight into where the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) have been focusing their oversight and what their priorities will be in 2020, look no further than their recent words and deeds. A common thread running through the recent public statements and enforcement activity of both agencies is … Continue Reading

Spoofing Enforcement Intensifies

U.S. regulators, in particular the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), are intently pursuing market manipulation enforcement. The September 30 end of the 2019 fiscal year brought with it a flurry of press releases from four different agencies announcing settlements of spoofing-related enforcement actions against trading firms, banks, interdealer brokers, and traders.… Continue Reading

New York’s Department of Financial Services: the Self-Styled “Regulator of the Future”

Under its new leader, the New York Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) has staked out high ground for itself by self-identifying as the “regulator of the future” DFS’s pronouncement came in a July press release issued about a month after Linda Lacewell was confirmed as the agency’s third superintendent. The press release, issued to announce … Continue Reading

How to Prevent or Defend Against Business Crimes, including Trade Secrets and Human Trafficking

The C-Suite rarely wants to consider, much less worry about, the impacts of criminal conduct on their business. The reality is, however, companies can and do get pulled into criminal and quasi-criminal enforcement actions as both victims and (albeit unintentional) perpetrators. Two areas of criminal conduct that perhaps do not receive the amount of C-Suite … Continue Reading

New York DFS Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement Division: New Name, New Look, Old Mandate

On April 29, 2019, just months into her new job at the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”), acting DFS Superintendent Linda Lacewell announced a significant reorganization within the financial and insurance regulator. The new Consumer Protection and Financial Enforcement Division (the “CPFED”) combines seven previously separate divisions and units – Enforcement, Investigations … Continue Reading

Resurrecting the Spare Parts Bogeyman – A Refresher on Why the Government Gets It Wrong

The April issue of National Defense Magazine brought a well-written article by Susan Cassidy and her colleagues at Covington & Burling LLP on a recent DOD IG report analyzing (and criticizing) spare aviation parts pricing, even though the report concluded that the contractor in question had complied with the Truthful Cost or Pricing Data Act. … Continue Reading

SEC Enforcement’s Annual Report Prioritizes Retail Investors, Cryptocurrency, Cybercrime, and Individual Accountability

The Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently released its annual enforcement report (“Report”) for fiscal year 2018. The Report reflects an increased focus on retail investors, cryptocurrency, cybercrime, and individual accountability. Further, it showcases that SEC enforcement continues to be robust under the Trump administration, despite industry and media … Continue Reading

Fool Me Twice…SEC’s latest Cyber-Fraud ROI Indicates Future Enforcement Against Hacker Victims

In the aftermath of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) latest Report of Investigation (“Report”) regarding cyberattacks via “spoofed or manipulated electronic communications,” companies should prepare to adjust and update their internal controls or face possible enforcement actions for violation of federal securities law.  Released as a warning to public companies about recent cyberattacks, the Report’s … Continue Reading

Look Before You Leap – Pitfalls and Trip Wires Inherent in Government Contracting

Accepting money from the Government, whether through a contract, grant, or other transaction, does not come for free. In the commercial world, companies typically engage in a cost/benefit analysis when they make major decisions, such as whether to enter a new line of business, extend their product line, open new facilities, or expand globally. To … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Severely Limits “Rogue Employee” Exception for Corporations in Securities Fraud Cases

In an issue of first impression, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a rogue corporate officer’s fraudulent intent can be imputed to a corporation even where the defrauding officer acted against the corporation’s interest, known as the “adverse interest exception.” In re ChinaCast Educ. Corp. Sec. Litig., — F.3d  –, 2015 WL … Continue Reading

Suspension and Debarment: A New Government Approach

Contractors and government contracts attorneys are likely to see (if they haven’t already) a rise in the number of cases in which individuals, rather than corporate entities, are targeted by government officials for suspension and debarment.  This is significant because, under the FAR, the misconduct of an individual can be imputed to the contractor, causing … Continue Reading

Suspensions and Debarments on the Rise – A Brief Review of the ISDC’s FY 2014 Stats

The upward trend of suspensions and debarments continued in FY 2014.  According to the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee (“ISDC”) Report to Congress, released March 31, 2015, while referrals to the suspending and debarring officials decreased 12% from FY 2013, suspensions, debarments, and proposed debarments increased, Government-wide, by almost 8%. Since the ISDC began collecting … Continue Reading

“How Dare You Charge That for a Spare Part!” – The Untold Story of the X27 Interface Assembly

The pricing of spare parts has been a subject of Government criticism for decades.  Pick up any DCAA or IG audit report relating to spare parts or any intra-agency memorandum on the topic and you will sense the dudgeon with which the Government reacts to the prices of those parts.… Continue Reading

Corporate Internal Investigations: Best Practices

A CEO receives an anonymous call claiming that someone is stealing company trade secrets or that an employee is taking kickbacks from a vendor.  A GC gets a call from the HR director who has an employee accusing the company of submitting false bills to a government agency.  You are served by a government agency … Continue Reading

WE’RE BEING SEARCHED!

If Government Agents Arrive, Follow These Steps: Ask for identification of the agent-in-charge and the prosecutor. Get business cards. Contact your company’s inside or outside counsel. Ask the agents to talk to your counsel. Request the agents not begin the search until counsel can be present. Read the search warrant to learn what areas may … Continue Reading
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