White Collar Law & Investigations

The Foley Hoag White Collar Law & Investigations blog addresses the developing regulatory environment that confronts businesses and individuals in virtually any industry.  Whether federal or state investigations, enforcement actions, changing enforcement priorities, criminal prosecutions or related civil proceedings, the White Collar Law & Investigations blog will provide regular coverage and updates that draw on the deep experience of Foley Hoag’s White Collar Crime & Government Investigations practice.

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released an advisory regarding potential sanctions risks related to facilitating ransomware payments, as covered in this post from Foley Hoag’s Security, Privacy, and the Law blog. OFAC is the federal agency responsible for implementing and enforcing U.S. sanctions against individuals, entities, and foreign governments involved in terrorism, narcotics trafficking, activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,…
Just before the close of its fiscal year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought three noteworthy financial reporting cases against issuers that resulted from the agency’s increasingly sophisticated use of risk-based data analytics to detect disclosure violations.  On September 28, 2020, the SEC filed settled actions against two issuers, as well as two officers of one of them, for falsifying their reported earnings per share (EPS).  These actions, against Interface Inc., an Atlanta-based carpet…
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts is ramping up its effort to combat fraud related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) through an agreement to work with the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (“SIGPR”), an office established by the CARES Act to audit and investigate loans and investments made under the CARES Act. The two offices entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on the…
Following up on previous guidance, Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC Division of Enforcement (“Enforcement”), provided updated detail on Enforcement’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a virtual keynote address last month at the Securities Enforcement Forum West 2020.  (We discussed Enforcement’s prior statements here and here.)  In his remarks, Peikin affirmed that Enforcement will continue to prioritize COVID-19-related fraud – in particular, microcap fraud, insider trading and market manipulation, and false or misleading…
Federal prosecutors continued to quickly respond to PPP loan fraud, bringing two additional cases that allege clear misuse of the funds intended for small businesses.  In one case, prosecutors in Georgia charged reality TV personality Maurice Fayne, aka “Arkansas Mo” of “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” fame, with bank fraud for allegedly using $1.5 million of a $2 million PPP loan to maintain his luxury lifestyle.  Fayne allegedly used the funds on a Rolls- Royce,…
On Tuesday, May 5, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed charges in the federal District Court of Rhode Island against David A. Staveley and David Butziger for conspiracy to make a false statement and conspiracy to commit bank fraud in connection with loan applications made under the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP).  The Complaint alleges that Staveley of Andover, Massachusetts, and Butziger of Warwick, Rhode Island, misrepresented that they were seeking to use over…
The United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts is proactively seeking to find, investigate, and prosecute unlawful attempts to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic and is asking hospitals to assist.  U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling sent a letter to leaders of Massachusetts hospitals asking them to report any “individuals and companies that may have acquired vital medical supplies in excess of what they would reasonably use, or for the purpose of charging exorbitant prices.”  The Secretary…
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a criminal complaint last Friday in the most significant COVID-19 fraud prosecution to date.  A complaint is a charging document usually submitted to a court to obtain an arrest warrant.  It is not an indictment, and, unless an early resolution is reached, in order to pursue the case further DOJ will have to present the case to a grand jury to vote on charges (whenever grand juries are once…
The recently-reported sales of stock by several U.S. Senators following private briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic, apparently allowing them to avoid significant losses before the markets plummeted, have focused attention on the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.  The Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2012, followed the public outcry resulting from a “60 Minutes” report on lucrative trades by members of Congress during the debate over the Affordable Care Act and…