White Collar Briefly

Insights into Developments in White Collar Law

During the financial crisis, government enforcement agencies started taking a hard look at Wall Street institutions, and these days a company must respond proactively and dynamically when addressing the challenges of government investigations and litigation.  Perkins Coie’s Adam H. Schuman and Kraft Heinz’s Prasanth R. Akkapeddi detail some key takeaways for both in-house and outside counsel. Click here to read the full article.  …
In United States v. Hoskins, 902 F.3d 69 (2d Cir. 2018) the Second Circuit held that a non-resident foreign national cannot be criminally liable for aiding and abetting or conspiring to violate the FCPA unless the government can establish that such an individual acted as an agent of one of the categories of persons subject to liability as a principal. Background The DOJ charged Lawrence Hoskins, a British national and former Alstom UK executive based…
Federal sentencing guidelines for economic crime have long been subject to criticism due to high dollar loss amounts that can produce eye-popping prison terms. Adding to the fodder, a new report issued by the United States Sentencing Commission found that securities and investment fraud offenders received the longest average sentences under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines—more than twice as long as the average sentence for all economic crime offenders.  The report, What Does Federal Economic Crime Really…
On December 26, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a settlement with communications technology firm Polycom, Inc. (“Polycom” or the “Company”) for violating the books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) in connection with a scheme to bribe Chinese government officials. Under the settlement, Polycom agreed to pay the SEC approximately $12.5 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest and a civil money penalty of $3.8…
This three-part series, written by recent in-house counsel and former federal prosecutors, aims to help legal and compliance teams avoid missteps that can lead to aggressive government responses.   In part three, the authors explain the tools for understanding the enforcement process and conducting internal investigations.  Click here to read the full article.  …
This series, written by recent in-house counsel and former federal prosecutors, aims to help in-house legal and compliance teams avoid the types of seemingly minor or inconsequential missteps that can lead to aggressive government responses, including parallel civil and criminal investigations. In part two, the authors explain what to do when a search warrant is served and how to prepare for government interviews with employees. Click here to read the full article.  …
On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (popularly known as the 2018 Farm Bill) into law. Among the broad-ranging provisions included in the law, it legalizes the cultivation and sale of hemp at the federal level, effective January 1, 2019. Hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) businesses have thrived in numerous state jurisdictions in which such products are legal. Federal legalization means that hemp producers and businesses that deal in hemp…
This series, written by recent in-house counsel and former federal prosecutors, takes a practical approach to helping in-house legal and compliance teams operating in a world of complex regulatory schemes and increased whistleblower activity.  It specifically aims to address how to avoid the types of seemingly minor or inconsequential missteps that can lead to aggressive government responses, including parallel civil and criminal investigations. In part one, the authors focus on the initial steps, including assuring…
On June 28, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proposed three rule changes to the Commission’s Whistleblower Program, including one that would authorize the SEC to “downward adjust” monetary awards in large actions for which an award might “exceed an amount that is reasonably necessary to advance the program’s goals”—in the view of the Commission.  The proposed change prompted an immediate response from Commissioner Kara Stein who issued a separate Statement on Proposed
On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated opinion in Lucia v. SEC, finding that the manner in which the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) selects its “in-house” administrative law judges (ALJs) violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.  In a 7-2 decision, the Court held that ALJs are “inferior officers” and must be appointed by the president or head of the agency, rather than hired by SEC staff through…