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The V&E Report
Insights in Government Enforcement and Investigations

U.K.’s SFO Recognizes Expectation that Compliance Functions Will be Insulated from Routine Cost Cutting Pressures

Sarah Lawson, the General Counsel of the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”), recently emphasized that corporate compliance functions must be well resourced and that the SFO expects such programs should be insulated from routine cost-cutting pressures. This expectation parallels the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”)’s long-standing focus on corporate compliance programs and its own recent focus on ensuring that compliance functions are provided with sufficient resources.

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Data Without Borders: The U.S. and UK Sign CLOUD Act Agreement Making it Easier to Gather Electronic Evidence

The United States and the United Kingdom recently entered the first ever CLOUD Act Agreement, which aims to streamline the process by which either government can collect electronic evidence located in the other country. Under the agreement, designated authorities from the U.S. and UK will be able to issue orders for the collection of electronic data directly to covered providers in the other country.

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  • 20
  • June
  • 2019

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A New Day “Dawning”: Uptick in Dawn Raids by the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority

No matter the regulator, a series of enforcement officials and agents appearing unannounced to conduct an investigatory raid of a company’s place of business may be most companies’ worst nightmare. Although dawn raids still remain relatively rare, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) reported a significant increase in the use of this investigation tactic in 2018.

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Are Illegal Funds Fueling the Real Estate Market? Initiatives to Deter Money Laundering Lead to Increased Scrutiny and Higher Fines

On March 4, 2019, a British customs agency raided 50 real estate agencies and announced the largest fine ever imposed in the U.K. for money laundering violations in the real estate market. The fine, £215,000 (about $283,000), was issued to Countrywide estate agents for failing to conduct due diligence, proper verification and record keeping, and failing to ensure compliance with policies and controls in violation of U.K. money laundering regulations.

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The UK Says “Show Me the Money” with its Unexplained Wealth Orders

The British Government has begun using a powerful weapon it recently added to its anti-money laundering arsenal, the Unexplained Wealth Order (“UWO”). UWOs target foreign politically exposed persons or organized crime suspects, requiring them to disclose the source of their wealth if it is found to be disproportionate to their income.

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