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”).
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.
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.
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”).
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.
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.
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”).
On December 16, 2020, the SEC passed a new rule which will require publicly traded companies operating in the oil and gas industries to disclose payments that they make to foreign governments.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) recently hit the founder and primary operator of both Helix and Coin Ninja with a $60 million civil monetary penalty.
During a roundtable at the Fifth International Debarment Colloquium last month, Joseph Mauro, a spokesperson for the Compliance Unit of the World Bank Group’s (“World Bank”) Integrity Vice Presidency (“INT”), announced recent changes to the manner in which the World Bank will evaluate borrowers’ compliance programs in future corruption investigations.
In 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) estimated that business email compromises, often carried out via email scams that trick businesses into making wire payments, have caused an estimated $1.7 billion in losses for businesses that fell victim to these schemes, which amounts to the highest out-of-pocket losses incurred from any class of cybercrime.
On October 22, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or “Commission”) announced a $114 million whistleblower award—by far the largest amount ever awarded and more than doubling the previous record of nearly $50 million.