Thursday, June 4, 2020

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FEMA Official Accused of Bribery, Fraud Following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

Ahsha Tribble, a former top FEMA official tasked with restoring power to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, was arrested for allegedly taking bribes from Donald Ellison, then president of Cobra Acquisitions, which received more than $1.8 billion in contracts to conduct infrastructure repairs on the island. Ellison and former FEMA staffer Jovanda Patterson were also […]
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Foreign National Charged With Fraudulently Applying for $20 Million in COVID-19 Loans

Muge Ma, a Chinese national also known as “Hummer Mars,” has been arrested for allegedly making misrepresentations to the Small Business Administration and five banks, in an attempt to fraudulently obtain more than $20 million in forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. He allegedly claimed that his […]
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Court Enters Judgment Totaling More Than $32 Million on Mississippi Jury’s $10.8 Million Verdict,...

Shortly before jury proceedings were suspended for the pandemic, a Mississippi jury returned a $10.8 million verdict against Stone County Hospital and several affiliates for false Medicare claims submitted in violation of the False Claims Act. The qui tam suit alleged the defendants submitted false records to secure Medicare payments for services not actually performed. […]
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Compliance Layoffs, Budget Cuts Raise Prospect of Looser Internal Oversight

Corporate compliance departments are finding themselves in the crosshairs of corporate cost-cutters, raising concerns about the potential for mistakes or misbehavior to go undetected. Layoffs and furloughs in compliance departments have arrived in sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, according to consultants, researchers, and compliance officers. Companies less affected by the downturn are trimming […]
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Citgo Sues FCPA Defendant For Bribing Its Employees

In 2019 José Manuel González Testino pleaded guilty to conspiracy and violating the FCPA for providing things of value to Citgo Petroleum Corp. (a subsidiary of state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.). Recently, Citgo turned plaintiff and sued González and his associated company Petroleum Logistics Service Corp. for bribing its employees. The suit alleges breach of […]
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Evidence Presented in Patent Hearing Triggers Public Disclosure Bar; United States District Court for...

The district court dismissed a qui tam complaint alleging healthcare fraud, finding the action foreclosed by the public disclosure bar. The relator was an...

Fraud Enforcement and Policing COVID Relief: What Businesses Need to Know

With $3 trillion of stimulus money already disbursed and $3 trillion more scheduled to be distributed to the American people in the near future, Sheppard Mullin’s Nota Bene podcast takes a look at CARES Act oversight provisions that allow the federal government to police COVID relief money. Joining Michael P.A. Cohen for this 40-minute conversation […]
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CFTC Stresses Compliance Programs

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has updated its enforcement manual for the first time in 26 years, with attention paid to the importance of corporate compliance programs when firms are looking to reduce potential monetary penalties. The four-page memo says enforcement staff “will take into account the gravity of the violation, any mitigating and aggravating […]
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CROOK Act Unlikely to Reduce Pressure to Pay Bribes Overseas

Mike Koehler looks at the Countering Russian and Other Overseas Kleptocracy Act (CROOK Act) which would authorize the Secretary of State to establish an “Anti-Corruption Action Fund” to help foreign states prevent and fight public corruption and develop rule of law-based governance structures. Calling it “little more than ‘feel-good’ legislation,” Koehler argues that the Anti-Corruption […]
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SEC Fines Ares Management $1 Million for Compliance Failures

Ares Management LLC has agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegations that it bought stock in one of its portfolio companies while an Ares employee sat on that company’s board and had access to inside information. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement, saying the stock purchases violated the private-equity firm’s compliance policies. […]
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