The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) recently announced its largest ever health care fraud and opioid enforcement action. In a coordinated effort, DOJ charged 345 defendants with more than $6 billion in fraud losses for submitting false and fraudulent claims to federal health care programs and private insurers.
In light of two new US Treasury Department advisories signaling increased oversight of ransomware payments, victim companies and their third-party response teams considering making payments should follow certain due diligence and compliance best practices, write Colin Jennings, Ericka Johnson, Dylan Yépez and Elizabeth Weil Shaw in an article for Law360.
Two U.S. authorities recently announced actions against four individuals and numerous entities associated with BitMEX, an online trading platform for futures contracts and other derivative products tied to the value of cryptocurrencies. Both actions allege that BitMEX failed to put in place required anti-money laundering programs and procedures, and serve as a reminder that institutions offering new and innovative financial products should assess the potential applicability of and compliance with U.S. anti-money laundering laws and regulations.
With cybercrime on the rise, two U.S. Treasury Department components, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), issued advisories on one of the most insidious forms of cyberattack – ransomware.
In remarks to the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (“ACAMS”), Kenneth A. Blanco, the Director of the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), covered a number of high-priority topics, including FinCEN’s response to the pandemic, the latest COVID-19 related fraud schemes, emerging cyber threats, virtual currency issues, and important regulatory updates. A theme throughout his speech was FinCEN’s commitment to increased and meaningful communication with the entities it regulates.
This week, in a 3-2 vote, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) approved significant changes to the rules governing its whistleblower program. The program, established by the Dodd-Frank Act in 2011, incentivizes those with information about possible securities law violations to report to the SEC. If the tipster provides “high-quality original information” that leads to an enforcement action where monetary sanctions exceed $1 million, the SEC will award a bounty equal to 10 to 30 percent of the sanctions. According to the SEC, whistleblower reports have already led to enforcement actions ordering over $2.5 billion in financial remedies and resulting in more than $500 million in whistleblower awards.
On May 19, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump signed Executive Order 13924, to provide regulatory relief for entities economically impacted by the pandemic. Section 6 of the Executive Order directed agencies to revise their procedures and practices in administrative investigations and enforcement in light of certain enumerated principles of fairness. It also required the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, to issue memoranda needed to guide implementation of the EO. On August 31, 2020, OMB issued such a memorandum, providing guidance on the implementation of Section 6.
On September 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued a final rule (“Rule”) requiring the minimum standards for anti-money laundering programs for certain institutions lacking a Federal functional regulator. The Rule applies to banks that lack a Federal functional regulator, including, but not limited to, private banks, privately insured credit unions, and certain trust companies. The Rule also extends customer identification program and beneficial ownership requirements to those institutions.
Every organization is at risk of a data breach, and can learn something from Uber’s data privacy missteps. In an article for Corporate Compliance Insights, Squire Patton Boggs lawyers Colin Jennings, Ericka Johnson, and Dylan Yépez offer key takeaways from the company’s high-profile data breaches and the criminal charges that followed.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) quietly released updated guidance on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) before the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Entitled A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Second Edition (“Guide”), the Guide is the first update to the original document published in November 2012.