Latest Articles

Five months after Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the US Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, presented five of the hallmarks of an effective sanctions compliance program, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has finally published long-awaited guidance for national and international organizations subject to its regulation (the Framework). OFAC is the organization responsible for administering and enforcing US economic and trade sanctions programs, and its inaugural “Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments” will likely be incorporated into compliance programs for entities…
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an update to its earlier guidance on how the DOJ will evaluate the effectiveness of a company’s corporate compliance program. The updated compliance guideline (“Updated Guidance”) is twice the length of the original, and utilizes a more instructive approach, serving as a roadmap to prosecutors, and prudent companies. Although not binding on DOJ prosecutors, the Updated Guidance will certainly impact the way the DOJ evaluates corporate compliance programs during…
Last week, the United States Supreme Court settled a circuit split regarding the constitutionality of the appointment of Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”).  In Lucia v. SEC, the Court held that the Commission’s five ALJs are “officers” subject to the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, which requires officers to be appointed by the President, “Courts of Law,” or “Heads of Departments.”  And because the SEC’s ALJs were hired…
Having looked comparatively at the approaches of certain authorities around the world to addressing and mitigating the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, our attentions now turn to the emerging position of regulators in the U.S., which is often considered the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency market. In the first two parts of this three-part post, we examined “cryptocompliance” in Asia, click here, and in Europe, click here.…
  In the first part of this three-part post, we examined “cryptocompliance” as an emerging focus of various Asian regulators, click here. Next, we analyze European (and intergovernmental) attitudes. As will become clear, there is perhaps a healthy blend on display between “cryptocaution” and “cryptofriendliness.” Countries such as the UK and France are making an effort not to unnecessarily repress the innovation that could potentially change our global economic system for the better and lead…
The first ever bitcoin transaction occurred in 2009. Despite bitcoin’s meteoric rise in value since then, from 1 cent per coin in May 2010 to USD 17,900 per coin in December 2017, governments around the world have been extraordinarily slow to respond and implement regulatory regimes. In this three-part post, we look at “cryptocompliance” as an emerging focus of various international regulators in Asia, Europe, and the U.S.…
In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the United States Supreme Court ruled on February 21, 2018 that the anti-retaliation provisions of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank” or the “Act”) only cover whistleblowers who report potential violations of the securities laws to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) and not those who only report internally.  The decision reversed an earlier ruling by the…
Annually, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) publishes its examination priorities for the new year.  Recently, OCIE announced five priorities that will inform its examinations moving in to 2018. OCIE is committed to “promoting compliance, preventing fraud, identifying and monitoring risk, and informing policy.” In support of these “pillars,” OCIE intends to focus on: Issues of importance to retail investors, such as fee disclosures, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds;…
2017 saw big changes regarding the way the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) considers and rewards cooperation. In January, 2017, the CFTC issued two Enforcement Advisories (one for companies and one for individuals) outlining the new factors the Enforcement Division of the Commission will consider in evaluating cooperation by those under investigation. In late September, the CFTC updated those guidelines to “provide greater transparency about what the Division requires from companies and individuals seeking…