The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced significant changes to its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (ECCP) on March 2, 2023, at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on White Collar Crime. By investigating deeper into companies’ compliance programs, DOJ now provides new stricter guidelines and emphasizes its vigilance and the level of commitment expected from companies. The latest announcement illustrates DOJ’s continued emphasis on company policies regarding compliance incentives and disincentives in executive compensation and the preservation of company communications made via personal devices and instant messaging applications.
Exactly one year since the invasion of Ukraine, on February 24th 2023, the White House, in coordination with other G7 leaders (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom), announced the newest round of sanctionsagainst key revenue generating sectors for Russia. In efforts to further degrade Russia’s economy and diminish its ability to wage war against Ukraine, the action newly targets over 200 individuals and entities including Russian firms, banks, manufacturers, and officials that helped Russia evade earlier sanctions throughout the war. Including members of the European Union, more than 30 countries representing more than half the world’s economy have already imposed unprecedented sanctions on the Russian economy, making it the most sanctioned nation in the world.
From “How are institutions and companies investing in crypto” and “Sequoia Capital launches $500 million fund to invest in crypto” to “FTX files for bankruptcy” and “Sequoia Capital marks down its $210 million crypto investments to $0” – the crypto market capitalization skydived from $3 trillion in November 2021 to $881 billion, experiencing a 71% freefall in just one year.
Major household names such as FTX, BlockFi, Celsius, Genesis, TerraLuna, Three Arrows Capital, and Voyager all evaporated within days after public recognition of corporate issues including capitalization and intra-firm lending. Last summer’s TerraLuna and Voyager bankruptcies foreshadowed the debacle to come. However, enthusiasts remained naively optimistic until the shockwave of FTX’s evaporation led to the collapse of an entire market. Investors rushed to withdraw their investments only to see their accounts already frozen or funds already missing. Before it is too late, either the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or the agencies jointly together, should take action on this volatile decentralized market.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) temporarily lifted the Ryan Haight Act’s mandate that imposes federal prohibition on online prescribing of controlled substances. The DEA waived its in-person medical examination requirement and set forth different criteria for controlled substances. For as long as the duration of the public health emergency (which was extended through January of 2023 this month), a patient can receive a controlled substance prescription without an in-person examination if the communication was conducted in a two-way, audio-visual, and real-time interactive communication. Covid highlighted the increased use of telehealth and digital health platforms. However, as telehealth surged, public policy has failed to move at the same speed.
* Content warning: This piece contains references to sexual assault and harassment.
In an article entitled Reality or Fiction, Nina Jane Patel shared her experience with sexual harassment in the Metaverse. She repeatedly asked fellow users to stop and tried to move away, but they followed her, continuing their verbal assault and sexual advances. In part, she writes, “they touched and groped while they took selfies. They were laughing, they were aggressive, and relentless. I froze. It was a nightmare.” As she tried to escape the situation, she could still hear them – “don’t pretend you didn’t love it, this is why you came here.” After the assault, she couldn’t report it to the police, and no suit was filed against the group of four men.
On June 22nd, ten-year-old Yuna was reported missing by her teachers. Just one week later, the police discovered a sedan in the southernmost coast of South Korea, two hours away from Yuna’s home. The three bodies recovered belonged to Yuna and her parents, both in their thirties. The police suspected suicide. Among the parent’s last online searches included “LUNA,” “sleeping pills,” and “how to commit suicide.” Evidence further suggested that Yuna’s parents were unemployed, invested their lives savings into the cryptocurrency market, and struggled from financial debt of $100,000.