Enforcement Actions

News & Analysis as of

DOJ Emphasizes Role of Criminal Prosecution in Addition to Regulatory Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Justice, through the Assistant Attorney General in charge of its Criminal Division, spoke forcefully on Tuesday regarding “the role of criminal law enforcement in prosecuting conduct that may also be...more

SEC Launches Investigation into Employment Contracts that Prevent Whistleblowing

A February 25 article in the Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will begin investigating the kinds of agreements that certain companies make with their employees. The article...more

CFPB Continues Focus on Mortgage Lender Advertising

Last week, the CFPB announced an enforcement action against RMK Financial Corporation d/b/a Majestic Home Loans (RMK) related to deceptive mortgage advertising practices....more

Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions - April 2015

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes an overview of the FAA’s new contract maintenance rules, DOT and FAA notices on flight prohibitions in conflict zones, the latest news on the integration...more

Data Privacy and Security Insider Update - April 2015

Target Corp. announced yesterday that it has settled the claims of MasterCard International Inc. (MasterCard) against it to reimburse MasterCard and its card issuers for the losses it sustained in issuing new credit and debit...more

FTC Scrutinizes Two Companies For Falsely Reporting Compliance With E.U. Safe Harbor In Privacy Policies

On April 7, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that two companies have agreed to settle claims that the companies failed to update their privacy policies to reflect lapsed compliance with the U.S.-E.U. and...more

Is Telecommuting A Reasonable Accommodation, Or Is It Not?

In the context of a lawsuit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a recent court decision says that “regular attendance” is an essential function of the job. But what is “regular attendance”?...more

Five Key Issues Confronting Financial Services Industry Employers

Employers in the financial services industry are faced with a growing number of employment law challenges. Whistleblower complaints are on the rise as regulatory agencies become more aggressive in their efforts to encourage...more

"Facilitation": A New Tool for Extraterritorial Sanctions Enforcement?

Recent OFAC and DOJ actions have focused on certain entities – overseas financial institutions – and particular conduct – US dollar clearing and associated “stripping.” The DOJ’s recent $232 million settlement and negotiated...more

EEOC Issues Important Transgender Rights Ruling, Finding that Restroom Use Should Match Gender Identity

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) forged new ground earlier this month when it ordered the U.S. Army to pay damages to a transgender employee based on a discriminatory restroom policy. We have reported in...more

FTC settles with two companies over misrepresentations of safe harbor compliance

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced last week that it is settling investigations against American International Mailing, Inc. and TES Franchising LLC alleging that each were misrepresenting to consumers that they...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

Microcap fraud, misappropriation by investment advisers and offering fraud cases were the focus of SEC enforcement this week. The Commission filed a microcap fraud action centered on blank check companies involving ten...more

Landowners, Developers Win Big In Wetlands Case

Building on a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Eighth Circuit ruled on April 10th that Clean Water Act jurisdictional determinations made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can be challenged in a “pre-enforcement”...more

FDA Issues First E-Cigarette Warning Letters

While FDA’s tobacco products “deeming rule” is pending, the Agency issues Warning Letters to e-cigarette and e-liquid companies for the first time....more

SEC Applies Whistleblower Protections to Confidentiality Arrangements

Public companies should review their confidentiality arrangements for any provisions that may result in unintended violations of the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower protections....more

EEOC Consent Decrees are its Most Powerful Enforcement Mechanisms

The vast majority of settlements between an employer and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) take the form of a court-approved consent decree. This document is a public record designed to highlight and...more

Washington State AG Sues Student Loan Debt Adjustment Firm

The Washington State Attorney General recently filed an action in state court against a student loan debt adjustment firm and its individual principal alleging that the firm charged illegal fees and failed to provide required...more

SEC Secures Victory on Fraud Allegations Against Technology Executive

The US District Court for the District of Columbia took the unusual step of granting summary judgment against a technology company executive who the Securities and Exchange Commission accused of various violations of the...more

SEC Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced an enforcement action against KBR, Inc., alleging that a form of confidentiality agreement used in internal investigations violated an SEC whistleblower rule. To...more

SEC Blows the Whistle on Confidentiality Agreements

Thanks to a recent enforcement action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it may be time to review and revise the confidentiality provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements, employee...more

Remote Tippees Beware: Even if the DOJ Can’t Reach You After Newman, The SEC Can

The fall-out from the Second Circuit’s decision in U.S. v. Newman continued last week in SEC v. Payton, when Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff denied a motion to dismiss an SEC civil enforcement action against...more

AT&T Pays $25 Million in FCC Settlement

In the largest ever data security enforcement action taken by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), AT&T agreed to pay $25 million to resolve an investigation into consumer privacy violations at its call centers in...more

U.S. Army Loses Battle to Regulate Bathroom Selection of Transgender (Civilian) Employee

On April 1, 2015, the EEOC ordered the Army to pay damages for discriminating against a transgender employee when it prevented her from using the common women’s bathroom and routinely demeaned her by calling her “sir” and...more

FCC Imposes Record Penalty for Data Breach

On Wednesday, April 8, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) entered a consent decree and levied a $25 million civil penalty against AT&T to settle a data breach that exposed the information of nearly 280,000 customers....more

SEC Files Offering Fraud and Ponzi Scheme Cases

A staple of SEC enforcement in recent years has been offering fraud and Ponzi scheme cases. This week the Commission filed two more of these actions, one an offering fraud targeting military personnel and a second and...more

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