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On February 16, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a civil complaint against Morningstar Credit Ratings LLC (“Morningstar”), a credit rating agency, alleging violations of the disclosure and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws based on Morningstar’s ratings of commercial mortgage-backed securities (“CMBS”).

February 24, 2021
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In a striking rebuke, the U.K. Supreme Court found that the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) overstepped its authority when it tried to access corporate documents from the United States.

February 19, 2021
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A new decision from the First Circuit upholding the federal government’s authority to search the electronic devices of anyone entering the United States — in some instances without a warrant, probable cause, or even reasonable suspicion — presents various data-security challenges for companies and organizations of all sizes.

February 18, 2021
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Two weeks ago, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced two significant enforcement actions and shut down NetWalker and Emotet, powerful tools that had been used by alleged criminal networks engaging in widespread ransomware extortion schemes.

February 11, 2021
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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) recently released its annual Risk Monitoring and Examination Activities Report (the “Report”).

February 10, 2021
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To settle enforcement matters, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) often seeks to require non-monetary conditions on top of civil monetary penalties from companies that have allegedly violated federal securities laws.

February 4, 2021
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On January 13, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (“the EPA”) announced its enforcement results for fiscal year (“FY”) 2020.

January 28, 2021
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It was only a matter of time. On January 12, 2021, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it had reached its first civil settlement regarding allegations of fraud related to the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).

January 27, 2021
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In early January 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice’s (“the DOJ”) Antitrust Division (“the Division”) announced a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (“DPA”) with Argos USA LLC (“Argos” or “the Company”).

January 25, 2021
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On January 1, 2021, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 became law. Section 6501 of the NDAA includes amendments to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), expanding the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (the “SEC”) ability to obtain disgorgement and other equitable relief in cases involving securities fraud.

January 13, 2021
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division has obtained its first criminal indictment based on an illegal conspiracy between two companies that agreed not to solicit each other’s employees — a so-called “no-poach” agreement.

January 13, 2021
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Update: On January 1, 2021, the Senate voted to override President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (“NDAA”).

Government Investigations Update

January 4, 2021