Safeguarding Technologies through the Disruptive Technology Strike Force
On February 16, 2023, the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Department of Commerce (DoC) announced the launch of the Disruptive Technology Strike Force. Under the leadership of Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division and Matthew Axelrod, the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement in the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the strike force will bring together various agencies throughout the government, including the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and 14 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, to “target illicit actors, strengthen supply chains and protect critical technological assets from being acquired or used by nation-state adversaries”.
Healthcare Bribery Whistleblower Receives the Highest SEC Award in 2022
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that they have awarded upwards of $37 million to one whistleblower in 2022. This individual gave important information to the SEC that led to a successful enforcement action against a large European healthcare company. This award took the cake for being the highest payout to a whistleblower in 2022. What does a whistleblower program look like from the regulator’s point of view and why is it important?
New Incentives from the DOJ to Urge Companies to Self-Report Crimes
In an action meant to incentive companies to self-report their wrongdoings, the Justice Department (DOJ), has announced big changes to its Corporate Enforcement Policy (CEP). The Department of Justice has long been fighting against corporate criminality in its pursuit to maintain the integrity of the financial market. On January 17, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr., announced revisions to the Criminal Division’s Corporate Enforcement Policy. Some of the revisions include up to a 75 percent reduction in fines for companies that voluntarily report their wrongdoings and fully cooperate with investigations and up to a 50 percent reduction for companies that fully cooperate with investigations even if they do not voluntarily disclose the crime. These incentives further soften the aggressive stance that the Biden administration originally took against Corporate America in 2021.
Largest Alleged Violation in FEC History – Investigation Blocked, Case Closed
In June, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) announced that they would not investigate allegations that two of former President Trump’s campaign committees illegally misreported hundreds of millions of dollars in spending. If true, these allegations would constitute the “largest alleged violation in FEC history” according to FEC Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub. The initial complaint alleged that the committees failed to disclose payments to friends and family members of the former President, such as Lara Trump, who is Trump’s daughter-in-law, and Kimberly Guilfoyle – Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancé. In it’s decision, the FEC’s Republican Commissioners voted not to investigate the matter, which is therefore no longer being pursued. This situation illustrates how the FEC has consistently failed to investigate the Trump reelection campaign for alleged violations of campaign finance law.
DOJ Renews Efforts to Prosecute White-Collar Crime
In October of 2021, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced it would ramp up its enforcement against corporate repeat offenders of white-collar crimes and prioritize action against individual actors to promote accountability. The new measures implemented permit the DOJ to consider all prior wrongdoing by a corporation when deciding how to resolve a new investigation. Leniency programs of the past will not be extended to wrongdoers unless all believed participants, whether employees or executives, are disclosed. There has also been a shift from financial penalties to probationary settlements, which require companies not only to admit fault and pay fines but also to improve their monitoring of employees to deter crime. This may require outside monitoring to verify compliance, which can be burdensome and expensive.
Could Anna Delvey Have Gotten Away with It? Bank Vetting for a $22 million Loan
Anna Delvey, the alleged scammer who attempted to obtain financial backing of anywhere from $22 million to $40 million in loans, is once again the subject of much debate due to the new Netflix series chronicling her alleged crimes and other actions. The question this article attempts to answer is whether she ever had a chance of realizing her goal of creating an exclusive, members-only, art club much like Soho House. This question hinges on whether she ever had a real chance to secure the funding to make it possible.
The ATF Has Become Too Weak to Do its Job
On January 19, 2022, a searchable database of inspection reports from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) became publicly accessible. The ATF carries out firearms compliance inspections to ensure that federal firearms licensees (FFLs) are complying with federal gun control regulations, as well as local laws. Brady, the organization responsible for compiling the inspection database, reports that even when FFLs have violated regulations, the ATF only rarely revokes their licenses.
Insider Trading Isn’t Illegal if You Are a Member of Congress
Jon Ossoff, the freshman Senator from Georgia, has made it clear that he intends to put forth a bill that would ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks. This is a policy that seems likely to fail, but that doesn’t make it any less necessary. It is estimated that members of Congress and their families bought and sold over $500 million worth of assets. That’s not to say that all these trades were based on information not available to the general public, but it is clear that there is a massive conflict of interest in allowing law makers to trade stocks when their job is intrinsically tied to making decisions that affect the price of stocks.
Concert Venues Crowd Control Regulations
On November 5, 2021, Travis Scott performed a concert at the Astroworld Festival in Austin to a crowd of fifty thousand people. In the hour that he performed, eight people were killed in a deadly crowd crush (another concert goer losing their life days after), and hundreds were injured. Multiple lawsuits have been filed against Travis Scott himself, as well as the production companies that organized the show in response to the tragedy. In the wake of the devastating event, regulations concerning crowd control and management must also be considered, as well as whether these regulations were complied with by the organizers of Astroworld.
The Pandora Papers and the Bank Secrecy Act
The recent Pandora Papers leak in October 2021 shined the light on the massive and intricate web of offshore accounting that allows for insurmountable amounts of wealth to be hidden throughout the world. One of the most shocking revelations of these Papers was how heavily the United States was implicated in creating and perpetuating this system. As such, legislators have been pressured to find a way to crackdown on this sort of offshore money. One way that they have proposed addressing the problem is by amending the United States’ current criminal financial legislation, the Bank Secrecy Act.