White Collar Law & Investigations

The Foley Hoag White Collar Law & Investigations blog addresses the developing regulatory environment that confronts businesses and individuals in virtually any industry.  Whether federal or state investigations, enforcement actions, changing enforcement priorities, criminal prosecutions or related civil proceedings, the White Collar Law & Investigations blog will provide regular coverage and updates that draw on the deep experience of Foley Hoag’s White Collar Crime & Government Investigations practice.

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Federal prosecutors continued to quickly respond to PPP loan fraud, bringing two additional cases that allege clear misuse of the funds intended for small businesses.  In one case, prosecutors in Georgia charged reality TV personality Maurice Fayne, aka “Arkansas Mo” of “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” fame, with bank fraud for allegedly using $1.5 million of a $2 million PPP loan to maintain his luxury lifestyle.  Fayne allegedly used the funds on a Rolls- Royce,…
Earlier today, the Supreme Court threw out federal program and wire fraud convictions for two former public officials who conspired to induce traffic jams in Fort Lee, New Jersey as political retaliation in 2013.  Bridget Anne Kelly and William Baroni were convicted of fraud charges in 2015 for their role in diverting lanes of traffic on the George Washington Bridge to “send [Fort Lee’s Mayor Mark Sokolich] a message” after Sokolich refused to support Governor…
On Tuesday, May 5, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed charges in the federal District Court of Rhode Island against David A. Staveley and David Butziger for conspiracy to make a false statement and conspiracy to commit bank fraud in connection with loan applications made under the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP).  The Complaint alleges that Staveley of Andover, Massachusetts, and Butziger of Warwick, Rhode Island, misrepresented that they were seeking to use over…
The United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts is proactively seeking to find, investigate, and prosecute unlawful attempts to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic and is asking hospitals to assist.  U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling sent a letter to leaders of Massachusetts hospitals asking them to report any “individuals and companies that may have acquired vital medical supplies in excess of what they would reasonably use, or for the purpose of charging exorbitant prices.”  The Secretary…
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a criminal complaint last Friday in the most significant COVID-19 fraud prosecution to date.  A complaint is a charging document usually submitted to a court to obtain an arrest warrant.  It is not an indictment, and, unless an early resolution is reached, in order to pursue the case further DOJ will have to present the case to a grand jury to vote on charges (whenever grand juries are once…
The recently-reported sales of stock by several U.S. Senators following private briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic, apparently allowing them to avoid significant losses before the markets plummeted, have focused attention on the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.  The Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2012, followed the public outcry resulting from a “60 Minutes” report on lucrative trades by members of Congress during the debate over the Affordable Care Act and…
In response to the widespread outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has granted some flexibility to issuers with respect to their obligations to file periodic reports and deliver proxy and information statements to shareholders under the Securities Exchange Act.  On March 4, the SEC issued an exemptive order granting affected public companies, subject to certain conditions, an additional 45 days to file or deliver those…
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Liu v. SEC, which concerns whether, or to what extent, the SEC may ask courts to disgorge defendants’ ill-gotten gains. As I discussed in a previous post, disgorgement accounts for most of the SEC’s money judgments, and its elimination would be a significant victory for defendants. Yet if oral argument is any indication, the Court might well curtail the practice, but is unlikely to…
District Court Finds Insufficient Evidence That He Acted As Agent of U.S. Subsidiary On February 26, 2020, a federal judge in Connecticut granted in part the motion for acquittal of a former senior executive with the French power and transportation company Alstom S.A., overturning a jury verdict that found him guilty on seven counts of violating or conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).1 As we reported in a prior alert,…