DOJ Increases Efforts to Combat Cyber Breaches by Targeting Government Contractors

The US Department of Justice is increasing its arsenal to pursue cyber-related fraud by government contractors and grant recipients. The program, called the “Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative,” was announced by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco on Wednesday. The initiative – along with other recent steps taken by the federal government – […]

Early SEC Enforcement Trends from Chairman Gary Gensler’s First 100 Days

Gary Gensler was sworn in as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 17, 2021. Chairman Gensler has promised to strengthen transparency and accountability in the financial markets. Under Chairman Gensler, we expect the SEC’s Division of Enforcement – led by Gurbir Grewal, who began work at the agency on July 26 – […]

US Supreme Court Narrows Scope of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in Van Buren, Remands LinkedIn

On June 3, 2021, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in Van Buren v. United States in the Court’s first-ever interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the federal anti-hacking statute. Van Buren presented the question of whether someone “exceeds authorized access” under the CFAA, see 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2), by accessing a computer […]

SPAC Enforcement Risks Increase with Enhanced SEC Scrutiny

What happened In a recent client alert, we discussed the dramatic rise in offerings of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and some of the attendant litigation and enforcement risks. A raft of recent public statements and actions by Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff reflect the agency’s enhanced scrutiny of […]

SEC Brings Rare Charges in Alleged Regulation Fair Disclosure Violation

What happened The SEC recently brought charges against AT&T and three mid-level executives for selectively providing information to Wall Street analysts in alleged violation of Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD). According to the complaint filed in the Southern District of New York, AT&T learned in March 2016 that a “steeper-than-expected” […]

DOJ Announces First Civil Settlement for PPP Fraud

After bringing dozens of criminal charges against Paycheck Protection Program loan recipients in recent months, on January 12, the US Department of Justice announced its first civil settlement resolving allegations of PPP loan fraud. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, SlideBelts, an internet retail company and debtor in bankruptcy, and its […]

New SEC Leadership to Focus on Enforcement

What happened President Joe Biden announced that he would nominate Gary Gensler to serve as the next chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Gensler formerly served as head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he developed a reputation as a tough regulator in the wake of the […]

PPP Lenders Beginning to Receive Scrutiny Alongside Borrowers

It is no longer only borrowers who are facing potential Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan scrutiny, although, as promised, SBA has indeed begun sending inquiries to borrowers who are seeking forgiveness of loans greater than $2 million. Increasingly, however, lenders also are attracting the attention of federal regulators and investigative […]

Department of Justice Updates Guidance on Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs

On June 1, the DOJ updated its guidance for evaluating a company’s compliance program when resolving corporate investigations. The updated guidance makes clear that prosecutors should consider a company’s particular circumstances when evaluating its compliance program. The updated guidance also emphasizes that a company must be proactive and continually assess […]

SEC Enforcement Investigating Potential Federal Securities Law Violations by PPP Borrowers

It’s not just the Justice Department that’s looking into PPP loans – although there appears to be plenty of that going on – the SEC’s Division of Enforcement is also conducting an investigation into certain PPP loan recipients to determine whether there have been violations of the federal securities laws. […]