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Elizabeth Vicens’ practice focuses on a broad spectrum of securities enforcement, investigations and compliance, as well as securities litigation, with a concentration in complex, cross-border issues.

The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2024”.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) both accelerated their enforcement efforts in 2023, and seem poised to further intensify these efforts in 2024.  At the same time, the SEC disseminated new disclosure requirements across sectors, including disclosures related to cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI), and renewed its focus on the corporate and social aspects of environmental, social and governance (ESG) guidance.  Its Enforcement Division remained focused on litigating high-stakes cases in the digital assets space and expanded its sweep related to off-channel communications. Continue Reading 2023 Year-in-Review: Developments and Trends in White Collar Enforcement Litigation

At the September 21, 2023 Conference of the Global Investigations Review, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Marshall Miller announced actions by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to further incentivize companies engaged in M&A to prioritize compliance.  Miller affirmed that “acquiring companies should be rewarded—rather than penalized—when they engage in careful pre-acquisition diligence and post-acquisition integration to detect and remediate misconduct at the acquired company’s business.”[1] He noted that in practice, “… [Main Justice’s] Criminal Division has declined to take enforcement action against companies that have promptly and voluntarily self-disclosed misconduct uncovered in the mergers and acquisitions context and then remediated and cooperated with the Justice Department in prosecuting culpable individuals,” and that the DOJ “will be looking to apply that same approach Department-wide.”[2]  Continue Reading DOJ Announces Additional Guidance on Voluntary Self-Disclosure in M&A Context

On September 1, 2023, U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen of the Eastern District of New York granted a judgment of acquittal in the latest FIFA bribery prosecution, holding that the federal honest services statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1346, does not cover foreign commercial bribery in light of recent Supreme Court precedent.Continue Reading U.S. District Court Tosses FIFA Bribery Convictions, Finding Honest Services Statute Does Not Reach Foreign Commercial Bribery

On March 3, 2023, Assistant Attorney General (“AAG”) Kenneth A. Polite announced revisions to two Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) Criminal Division policies and the launch of a new pilot program, as well as a forthcoming re-issuance of the FCPA Resource Guide in Spanish later this month.[1]  His announcement follows a speech by Deputy Attorney General (“DAG”) Lisa O. Monaco the day before previewing the policy changes.[2]  In parallel, the DOJ published (1) a new Compensation Incentives and Clawback Pilot Program (the “Pilot Program”),[3] (2) revised Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs (“ECCP”) guidance,[4] and (3) a revised Memorandum on the Selection of Monitors in Criminal Division Matters (the “Corporate Monitor Memorandum”).[5]Continue Reading Department of Justice Announces Revisions to Criminal Division Policies

On February 22, 2023, the Department of Justice announced a new corporate Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy for U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide (the “USAO Policy”).Continue Reading U.S. Attorney’s Offices Issue Nationwide Corporate Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy

The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2023”.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) ramped up their enforcement efforts in 2022, often in highly coordinated actions, including with other regulatory agencies such as the Commodity

Following a speech by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite on January 17, 2023, the DOJ issued additional guidance on changes to the Corporate Criminal Enforcement Policy, focused on voluntary self-reporting.

The policy increases, and makes more explicit and concrete, the potential benefits for companies to self-disclose misconduct, cooperate, and remediate, as well as the

On December 1, 2022, at the American Conference Institute’s 39th International Conference on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) in Washington D.C., Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri (“DAAG Argentieri”) gave a special keynote speech highlighting developments in FCPA enforcement by the Department of Justice (“DOJ” or the “Department”), including with regard to the application of the DOJ’s announcement of corporate criminal enforcement policy priorities in September of this year.[1]  DAAG Argentieri focused on several policy changes and enforcement trends and initiatives using examples from this year’s FCPA resolutions and declination,[2] as well as from the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
Continue Reading DOJ Provides Updates on FCPA and Corporate Criminal Enforcement Trends at International Conference on the FCPA

On August 12, 2022, in United States v. Hoskins, No. 20-842 —F.4th—, 2022 WL 330357 (2d. Cir. Aug. 12, 2022) (“Hoskins II”), a three-judge panel from the Second Circuit upheld a lower court decision to overturn the foreign bribery conviction of a former Alstom SA executive, Lawrence Hoskins.  The Court concluded that the trial evidence did not support a finding that Defendant Hoskins was an “agent” of a U.S. subsidiary of the French multinational railway manufacturer Alstom (“Alstom U.S.”).  While highly fact-intensive and likely subject to narrow interpretation in the future, the decision is the Second Circuit’s most recent limitation on the extraterritorial reach of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”).  This follows a prior Second Circuit decision in this same case limiting the scope of the FCPA’s extraterritorial reach of conspiracy liability for certain foreign individuals acting abroad.
Continue Reading Second Circuit Upholds District Court’s Rejection of DOJ Attempt to Expand Extraterritorial Reach of FCPA Through Agency Liability