Journal of Regulatory Compliance
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?
The U.S. Department of Treasury Steps in to Patrol Petroleum
The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned nine entities involved in the production, sale, and shipment of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum to buyers in Asia, in violation of US sanctions. Six Iran-based petrochemical manufacturers and three firms in Malaysia and Singapore have been targeted for facilitating the sale and shipment of petroleum and petrochemicals on behalf of Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd., which OFAC previously designated for facilitating the sale of Iranian petroleum products. The sanctions are aimed at targeting Tehran’s sources of illicit revenue, and all property and interests in property of the targeted entities must be blocked and reported to OFAC.
Coinbase Global Inc. Settlement Raises More Questions for Financial Regulators
On January 4th, 2023, the New York State Department of Financial Services made public that a $100 million settlement with the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. (Coinbase) has been agreed to. The settlement follows an enforcement action imposed this past August aiming to regulate cryptocurrencies. With a lot of discussion happening given the recent collapse of FTX and anti-money laundering violations by Robinhood Markets, this action begs the question: should the digital currency industry be regulated nationwide and, if so, what should these regulatory agendas look like?
The Case for Expanding Privacy Protections in a Post-Roe World
In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (Dobbs), the US Supreme Court ruled that abortion is not a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. This decision resulted in additional abortion protections in California, Michigan, and Vermont, and prompted many patients, providers, regulators, and tech companies to rethink data privacy. However, because most abortions are still banned in at least 13 states, this patchwork of state abortion laws, combined with the lack of any sufficient national privacy law, puts patient privacy at risk.
Google Becomes the First to Agree to Compliance Monitoring by the DOJ
In an action to keep company executives in check, the Justice Department (DOJ), created a policy where executives and compliance chiefs sign and personally attest to the effectiveness of their compliance programs. The individuals would therefore be held personally liable for their roles in the company’s wrongdoing. The DOJ and Google had a pending dispute, which was due to Google’s non-compliance with assisting authorities in an investigation. The DOJ and Google reached an agreement, with a stipulation attached, resolving the dispute over Google’s loss of data responsive to a 2016 search warrant. In the stipulation, Google has said that it has spent over 90 million dollars on additional systems and resources to improve its compliance programs, including an agreement to allow an Independent Compliance Professional to serve as a third party to monitor that Google is fulfilling its compliance legal obligations. This policy, as already seen in the settlement with Google, is forcing compliance to become a top-tier concern for big companies or face serious consequences.
Big Tech & Its Algorithms: Is It Time to Hold Them Accountable?
It’s no secret that companies like Google, Alpha, Meta, and Twitter use and sell our data. However, in recent years, the content that companies display to us while we use their platform, from the ads we see to the websites that we find on search engines, has become a major contentious issue. While Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act shields Big Tech and other online platforms from liability for user-generated content, the Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear Gonzalez v. Google. The outcome of this case could have a huge impact on tech policy and could fundamentally change the type of content that we see online.
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.