Third Circuit Clarifies Public Disclosure Bar in False Claims Act

Third Circuit Clarifies Public Disclosure Bar in False Claims Act

In United States v. Omnicare, Inc., the Third Circuit clarified the operation of the public disclosure bar in the False Claims Act (FCA). The court held that publicly available information “could not have reasonably or plausibly supported an inference” of fraud. This information included government reports of known fraud schemes and a 10-k financial disclosure by the defendant company. The Third Circuit rejected application of the bar because the relator used non-public information to “make sense of publicly available information.”

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Hoskins May Limit Extraterritorial Enforcement of U.S. Sanctions

The Second Circuit’s recent decision in United States v. Hoskins may impact enforcement of U.S. economic sanctions programs. The Hoskins decision precludes the government from charging a foreign national acting abroad with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) through theories of conspiracy and accomplice liability. This holding is equally applicable to U.S. sanctions law.

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Britain Lifts Veil of Financial Secrecy for Overseas Territories

The UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act signifies major changes to the UK’s anti-money laundering and sanctions regimes. Britain’s overseas territories, often criticized as tax havens, are now required to establish public registries of beneficial corporate ownership by December 31, 2020. The Act also includes a Magnitsky Amendment, modeled on U.S. law, enabling sanctions against foreign government officials implicated in gross human rights abuses.

 

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Switzerland Proposes Relaxed AML Rules for New FinTech License

In an effort to stimulate innovation in Switzerland’s financial markets, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (“FINMA”) announced its plans to relax anti-money laundering requirements for certain smaller financial technology firms. If implemented, these plans would go into effect on January 1, 2019.

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Circuit Rejects Expansive Use of Conspiracy for FCPA

Judge pronouncing sentence to manThe Second Circuit issued its judgment on the case we have been monitoring, U.S. v. Hoskins. The court held that the “government may not expand the extraterritorial reach of the FCPA by recourse to the conspiracy and complicity statutes.”

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The Yacht Equanimity: a Symbol of Corruption?

This month, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who served from 2009 to 2018 as Malaysia’s sixth Prime Minister, pleaded not guilty to three new money-laundering charges related to the alleged multibillion-dollar looting of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”), a Kuala Lumpur-based strategic development company that is wholly owned by the Malaysian Ministry of Finance. The scandal and related public furor led to two significant outcomes. First, a historic defeat for Razak’s Barisan Nasional coalition of right-wing and central parties in the 14th Malaysian general election on May 9, 2018. Second, Razak’s arrest by the Malaysian Anticorruption Commission on July 3, 2018.

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DPA Regime a Landmark Change to Singaporean Law

Flag of Singapore

A recent landmark change to Singapore’s criminal justice system providing for Deferred Prosecution Agreements (“DPAs”), or voluntary alternatives to adjudication, should increase corporate accountability for acts of bribery, corruption, and money laundering.

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Does C Plea Mean Corporate Plea?

Many conclude that a C plea means a Corporate Plea. Used infrequently, a C plea restricts discretion of a federal district judge to sentence a criminal defendant. By expressing his concerns about a proposed C plea for a company, one federal judge changed the result. In an article published by the American Health Lawyers Association, Rebecca Worthington and Tom Zeno analyze the case. Additional posts about this case can be found here and here.

Judge Kavanaugh Supports Strong Attorney-Client Privilege

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh proves a staunch defender of attorney-client privilege for companies.  In FTC v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharms., Inc., one of his final opinions before stepping away from casework because of his Supreme Court nomination, Judge Kavanaugh solidified his stance taken in the 2014 case In re Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc. Continue Reading

Amendments to U.S. Rules of Criminal Procedure

The U.S. Supreme Court has adopted three amendments to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (“Rules”). They affect Rule 12.4 (Disclosure Statement), Rule 45 (Computing and Extending Time), and Rule 49 (Serving and Filing Papers). The changes do not reflect particularly large shifts in criminal procedure, but attorneys should be aware of them since, as any good litigator knows, a failure to follow proper procedures can severely prejudice a client.

The Court transmitted these amendments to Congress in April. They will take effect on December 1 this year, assuming Congress does not enact legislation that rejects, modifies, or defers the proposed rules. The new Rules will govern in all proceedings commenced after that date, and, “insofar as just and practicable, all proceedings then pending.”

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