Enforcement Actions Penalties

News & Analysis as of

Employer’s confidentiality agreement triggers SEC action and penalty - review and revise agreements now

Consistent with its prior announcements that it will protect and encourage whistleblowers, the SEC recently announced its “first enforcement action” against a company for using allegedly restrictive language in an agreement...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC settled another action this week based on admissions of fact and that the Federal securities laws were filed, this time involving Oppenheimer. The action was based on the fact that the firm permitted an off-shore and...more

Former Compliance Officer Assessed Million Dollar Penalty For Role In Company's Money Laundering Violations

Corporate officers with compliance duties, take note: you may face personal liability for your role in failing to prevent your company's violations of federal law. This new reality comes courtesy of the U.S. Department of the...more

An Instant Message from the CFTC: Preserve Communications – Enforcement Is Up!

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) released its annual enforcement review for 2014. The results—an impressive list of enforcement action success coupled with record fines. There were over $3.27 billion in...more

The High Cost of Whistleblowing

In a number of recent posts, we have highlighted the SEC’s whistleblower program, which offers awards of 10%-30% of the money collected where a whistleblower provides high-quality, original information that results in an SEC...more

Commissioner’s Concerns About Civil Penalties Temper SEC’s Release of FY14 Enforcement Results

On October 16, the SEC publicized its preliminary enforcement results for fiscal year 2014. In what it described as a “successful enforcement year,” the Commission brought a record 755 actions and obtained $4.16 billion in...more

SEC Settlement: The FCPA Risks of Entering New Markets

Entering into new, international markets may be good for developing business, but it also carries certain risks. This is particularly true in many countries where doing business may include making gifts, paying gratuities and...more

Guns and More Guns: SEC Hits Smith & Wesson for FCPA Violations

One thing the SEC likes to do is bring cases with a lot of deterrent value. That is, cases that it hopes will scare other people and companies into complying with the law. Often that means cases with large price tags...more

IRS Announces Changes to the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

As you may have read, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recently announced changes to its offshore voluntary disclosure programs and announced new options for taxpayers to come into compliance with their U.S. tax...more

Don’t try this at Home or Abroad: Export Controls and Sanctions Violations Lead to $21 Million in Penalties for Dutch Company...

We frequently discuss enforcement actions in this blog, because understanding enforcement is a key aspect of trade compliance. From a fifty-thousand foot view, each enforcement case serves as a cautionary tale about the...more

DEP Provides New Guidance on Community Environmental Projects in Lieu of Civil Penalties

Recently revised guidance issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (the Department or DEP) concerning use of community environmental projects (CEPs) in lieu of civil penalties warrant the attention...more

Department of Justice Cites Poor Compliance Program and Lack of Cooperation in Extracting Significant FCPA Penalties in Marubeni...

The importance of a company’s response to a Department of Justice (“DOJ”) investigation into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) was highlighted last week when Marubeni Corporation (“Marubeni”)...more

US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Upholds Fraud Penalties for Ex-GlobeTel Executives

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently upheld a summary judgment decision granted in favor of the US Securities and Exchange Commission against three former GlobeTel Communications Corp. (GlobeTel)...more

DOJ Secures $200,000 Lobbying Disclosure Act Penalty

A default judgment secured in U.S. v. Biassi Business Services Inc., D.D.C. may be indicative of a more aggressive Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) enforcement policy, and the U.S. Attorney's Office is considering pursuing...more

What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been – The Bilfinger FCPA Settlement

Earlier this week the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it had resolved an ongoing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) with German entity Bilfinger SE (Bilfinger). This case involved the same background facts and events...more

Federal energy enforcement: $304 million in penalties in 2013

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has released its report on its enforcement activities in fiscal year 2013. The FERC's 2013 Report on Enforcement (69-page PDF) gives the public insight into how the Commission's...more

SEC Targets More Firms for Custody Rule Violations

On October 28, 2013, the SEC sanctioned three registered investment advisers for, among other things, violating Rule 206(4)-2 under the Advisers Act (the “Custody Rule”). These settled actions, the subject of a special SEC...more

Small businesses beware: IRS deploys "big data" to scrutinize cash transactions

In Brief - The IRS has signaled its intent to prosecute more small businesses for relatively low-value tax violations. - In doing so, the IRS has increased its reliance on data-driven analyses of the...more

OCR Delays Required Changes to Notices of Privacy Practices for Laboratories

The HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has granted certain clinical laboratories a temporary reprieve from the requirement to update their Notices of Privacy Practices (NPPs) by September 23, 2013, the deadline imposed by the...more

The New Normal: Taking Responsibility for Your Vendors  [Video]

As financial institutions continue to strive for reduced costs and greater efficiencies, they are increasingly turning to third-party vendors to handle a wide variety of tasks, from marketing and sales to payment processing....more

What’s The Message From BizJet? Self-Disclose And Cooperate

Over the past week there has been a plethora of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement actions released. One group was the four enforcement actions involving individuals concerning BizJet. While I cannot say that...more

Lessons Learned from the BizJet Executives FCPA Enforcement Actions [Video]

BizJet self-disclosed to the DOJ, engaged in what the DOJ termed “extraordinary cooperation” and remediated the people and conduct in question. Further, DuBois and Uhl not only offered themselves up but actively worked with...more

The National Energy Board’s New System of Administrative Monetary Penalties

On February 16, 2013, draft Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (AMP Regulations) were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, setting out necessary details for a new enforcement tool in the form of administrative...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That the Government Does Not Have an Unlimited Amount of Time in Which to Bring Civil Penalty Actions

In a unanimous decision written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the Government does not have an unlimited amount of time to bring civil penalty actions based on fraud. In...more

Supreme Court in Gabelli: Clock Starts Ticking When Fraud Occurs, Not When It's Discovered

The law requires the SEC to bring enforcement actions seeking penalties against individuals who violate the securities laws within five years. The Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling today that rejects the SEC’s argument...more

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