Second Circuit Revives False Claims Act Suit Stemming from ‘08 Crisis, Finding Federal Reserve Banks Were “Agents” of U.S.

In United States ex rel. Kraus v. Wells Fargo & Co., No. 18-1746 (2d Cir. Nov. 21, 2019), two employees of banks later acquired by Wells Fargo alleged a “pervasive pattern” of fraud in connection with the securitization and sale of toxic mortgages.  When the economy imploded, Wells Fargo looked for help from the Federal Reserve Banks (“FRBs”).  In their False Claims Act suit,… More

SEC Division of Enforcement Issues 2019 Annual Report

On November 6, 2019, the SEC Division of Enforcement published its annual report for fiscal year 2019. The report provides valuable insight, not only as to the Division’s performance over the past year, but also about its current priorities and where it will be focused in the near-term future. Overall, Enforcement’s program since 2017, when SEC Chairman Jay Clayton assumed leadership of the agency, has been shaped by five “core principles”: (1) focus on the retail investor;… More

SEC Continues to Seek Disgorgement Despite a Looming Supreme Court Case that Could Invalidate the Practice

On November 6, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint, captioned SEC v. Pierre, against a New York investment advisor for allegedly operating a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. The SEC alleges that the defendant promised investors unreasonably high rates of return (20 percent every 60 days) and that he paid those investors, in the face of significant losses, with money from new investors.… More

Supreme Court to Decide Whether SEC Can Disgorge

The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to decide whether the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission can seek and obtain disgorgement from a court as a remedy for a securities violation. A decision that the SEC does not have disgorgement authority would have significant consequences for litigants.

In SEC v. Liu, a California District Court held that the defendants had defrauded Chinese individuals seeking to invest in a cancer treatment center to obtain visas under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.… More

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: DOJ’s Pursuit of Alleged Drug Co-Pay Kickbacks Extends to the Charities Themselves

Back in May, we wrote about substantial settlements totaling $125 million to resolve Department of Justice (DOJ) allegations that money donated by Astellas Pharma US, Inc. and Amgen Inc. to drug co-pay charities constituted illegal kickbacks under the False Claims Act (FCA).  At the time, we noted that the settlements were the seventh and eighth such resolutions in the District of Massachusetts since December 2017,… More

Biotech CEO Convicted of Securities Fraud and Obstructing SEC Investigation

The chief executive of a Boston-based biotech company, Frank Reynolds, was convicted of defrauding investors and obstructing an SEC investigation. Reynolds founded the biopharma startup PixarBio Corp. in 2013 and took the company public in 2016. By the next year PixarBio was in a tailspin and an SEC probe was opened. Reynolds is now facing possible jail time and millions in fines after he stoked the brief meteoric rise of PixarBio with promises of ground breaking inventions,… More

Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of the CFPB

The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  While the CFPB won in the Ninth Circuit, the agency has since changed its mind and now agrees that its structure, which makes the single director of an independent agency removable only for cause, is unconstitutional, and also asked the Court to grant certiorari. … More

Supreme Court Set to Re-Evaluate Pleading Standards for Claims Alleging Breach of Fiduciary Duty of Prudence Under ERISA

On November 6, 2019, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument for Retirement Plans Committee of IBM v. Jander to expand on its “more harm than good” pleading standard articulated in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer.  Both Dudenhoeffer and Jander deal with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), retirement plans which primarily invest in the stock of the company that employs the plan participants. … More

Trump Signs Executive Orders To Limit Use of Informal Guidance

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed two executive orders (titled Promoting the Rule of Law Through Transparency and Fairness in Civil Administrative Enforcement and Adjudication and Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents) that require agencies to publish all informal guidance online and to limit its use in enforcement actions. In his Oval Office signing ceremony,… More

Watch: Cybersecurity Regulation and Enforcement

As data breaches are seemingly reported on a daily basis, cybersecurity has emerged as a top enforcement priority for federal and state regulators and a key concern for companies of all sizes in a diverse range of industries. For example, compliance with federal cybersecurity regulations is required by nearly every government contract and the New York Division of Financial Services adopted a vast set of regulations that is applicable to all entities operating under NYDFS licensure. In short, ensuring that a company has effective cybersecurity policies and procedures in place is essential to both protecting customer information and avoiding unwanted attention from federal and state regulators.

Foley Hoag presents a webinar offering guidance for in-house counsel, compliance officers and other professionals on the cybersecurity regulatory and enforcement landscape.

Speakers