Anti-corruption

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FinCEN Director Blanco Encourages Increased Communication During Global Pandemic

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 … Continue Reading

SEC Approves Changes to Its Whistleblower Program

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 … Continue Reading

The White House Directs Federal Agencies to Focus on Fairness in Investigations and Enforcement

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 … Continue Reading

FinCEN’s New Rule Impacts Banks Lacking a Federal Functional Regulator

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 … Continue Reading

Executive Responsibilities and Consequences: A Case Study of Uber’s Data Breaches

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.      … Continue Reading

DOJ and SEC Release Second Edition to FCPA Resource Guide

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[1] (“Guide”), the Guide is the first update to the original document published … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Trims Wire Fraud Theory of Public Corruption in Bridgegate Decision

In Kelly v. United States, 590 U.S. — (May 7, 2020), the Supreme Court recently reversed the federal fraud convictions of former public officials Bridget Kelly and William Baroni arising out of the Bridgegate scandal.  The decision limits the applicability of the federal wire fraud statute to public corruption, and it will affect how such … Continue Reading

Judge Tosses FCPA Jury Verdict

On February 26, 2020, Judge Janet Bond Arterton, a federal judge for the District of Connecticut, overturned a former Alstom SA executive’s conviction under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) relating to a project to build power plants in Indonesia. Judge Arterton found that, despite a jury verdict to the contrary, prosecutors failed to prove … Continue Reading

2019 Year-end White Collar Updates

In 2019, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal regulators continued to emphasize the importance of effective compliance programs, self-disclosure of violations of the law and cooperation with regulators during investigations. In a new client alert out this week, we shed light on some of the updated guidance from various government agencies released last year, landmark state and … Continue Reading

False Claims Act Recoveries Back On The Rise

After a dip in the 2018 fiscal year, False Claims Act (FCA) settlements and judgments are back and climbing. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that it had obtained more than $3.05 billion from FCA settlements and judgments for the 2019 fiscal year. 2018 may have just been an aberration after the 2010s saw … Continue Reading

Recent South African Publication on Non-Profit Organizations and Financial Crimes

South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) recently issued a public compliance communication on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism relating to non-profit organizations (NPOs). The publication aimed to create “awareness within the NPO sector around the vulnerabilities that NPOs face,” and sets out Financial Action Task Force (FATF) principles relating to NPOs.… Continue Reading

Mexico Issues New Asset Forfeiture Law and Creates Special Forfeiture Unit

On August 9, 2019, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador passed legislation that added corruption to the catalogue of criminal conduct subject to asset forfeiture proceedings. Mexico’s new Ley Nacional de Extinción de Dominio (Asset Forfeiture Law), in conjunction with harmonizing amendments to the Código Nacional de Procedimientos Penales (National Code of Civil Procedure), empowers … Continue Reading

Inspector General Supports Whistleblowers

In his semi-annual report to Congress, Michael K. Atkinson, the intelligence community’s inspector general, expressed “hope that recent events will not have a chilling effect on the willingness of individuals within the Intelligence Community to continue to shed light on suspected fraud, waste, abuse, or malfeasance in an authorized manner.” In an article published in Corporate … Continue Reading

Congress Seeks Reform of Red Notice Abuse

A Red Notice allows for detention of an international fugitive. But the practice has been criticized for abuse. In response, a bipartisan group of Congresspersons have introduced the Transnational Repression Accountability and Prevention Act (“the TRAP Act”). This reform legislation, if enacted, will affect politically-motivated Red Notices and enforcement of them around the world.… Continue Reading

Can Artificial Intelligence Be Used as a Tool to Help Ukraine Fight Corruption?

With day four of public hearings in the President Trump’s impeachment proceedings, Ukraine is on everyone’s mind. In his public testimony on November 19, 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman mentioned several of Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts, including the establishment of High Anti-Corruption Court.  For the most part, however, consistent with the origin of the impeachment inquiry, the … Continue Reading

United Arab Emirates Financial Centers Enhance Economic Security and Business Viability

In an earlier post, here, we examined Law No. 20 of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organizations, the new Federal AML Law enacted by the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) to ensure best practice anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures. In this post, we consider how the UAE’s two … Continue Reading

Company May Characterize Employee as a Compliance Risk

In certain circumstances, a company’s statement that one of its employees poses a significant and unacceptable compliance risk is not defamatory. According to a recent federal appellate decision, such a statement (made by a company while complying with a deferred prosecution agreement relating to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations) had no “provably false factual … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Banking Committee Senators Introduce Anti-Money Laundering Reform Bill

On September 26, 2019, a bipartisan group of eight Senators introduced the Illicit Cash Act[1], which, among other proposed reforms, would require certain companies to disclose beneficial ownership information to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at incorporation and within 90 days of any change in beneficial ownership. Led by Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), co-sponsors … Continue Reading

United Arab Emirates Issues New AML Law in Context of FATF Evaluation

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization founded 30 years ago to develop and uphold policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, is conducting a peer review (or “mutual evaluation”) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this year. FATF last assessed the UAE in 2008, and found the country’s systems and frameworks … Continue Reading

Italy Scores Anticorruption Own Goal

The Italian Government recently approved a bill known as the Spazzacorrotti, or “Bribe Destroyer.”  The anti-establishment Movimento 5 Stelle, or Five Star Movement, which took office after campaigning to tackle bribery, has been championing the bill as a “revolution in the fight against corruption” that would allegedly save the country billions of euros. However, the same … Continue Reading

Fugitive Diamantaire Faces Extradition from UK to India

A UK court recently fixed a remand hearing in the extradition case of Nirav Modi, a fugitive diamond merchant and the prime accused in a USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case. After Vijay Mallya (Indian businessman) and Sanjeev Chawla (alleged cricket bookie), Mr. Modi’s case is the third in a series of … Continue Reading
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