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Imagine that it’s Spring 2020 and you run a warehousing company and you discover that your warehouse contains containers of goods that could help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus — masks, medical gowns, gloves or other personal protective equipment (PPE). Or imagine you own a trucking company and learn that your drivers are delivering pallets of hand sanitizer and disinfectants to a residential address. What, if any, liability might you have if it turns out a customer is hoarding PPE?
Imagine that it’s Spring 2020 and you run a warehousing company, in which it is common for your customers to store container-loads of goods in both the short-term (while awaiting a move to the container’s next destination) and long-term (perhaps while the entity holding title to the goods in the container finds a buyer). Now imagine you discover that your warehouse contains containers of goods that could help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus — masks, medical gowns, gloves or other personal protective equipment (PPE).
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By Robert J. Anello and Richard F. Albert
When federal prosecutors focus their attention on high profile misconduct that is not an obvious violation of federal criminal law, they often cannot resist the attractions of broadly worded “catch-all” fraud statutes. From time to time, however, the U.S. Supreme Court has pushed back on efforts to further expand the boundaries of these statutes, leading to reversals of some well-publicized criminal convictions.
By Margaret A. Dale and Mark D. Harris
Given the current turmoil in the markets, an increasing number of plaintiffs are bringing shareholder class action suits, citing corporate statements about COVID-19. As first-quarter earnings season draws to a close, now is a good time to reflect on the shareholder class actions that have been brought to date related to COVID-19, and others potentially yet to come.
By Terence M. Grugan, David L. Axelrod and Emilia McKee Vassallo
For more than 10 years, federal investigators have investigated criminal conduct in connection with the 2008 recession-era TARP program. From those investigations, U.S. Attorneys across the country brought cases and earned convictions for offenses spanning the federal criminal code. We can expect that these same agencies will use the same techniques and strategies to investigate crimes and bring cases involving fraud related to the COVID-19 stimulus packages.
By Russell Koonin and Adam Schwartz
In the midst the current COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC is paying attention. The Division of Enforcement has made clear that it will act, and act quickly, to stop fraudulent conduct that falls under its jurisdiction related to the pandemic.