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In recent years, prosecutions of public corruption have often centered on whether a government official committed an “official act.” The importance of that question derives from the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2355 (2016), in which the Supreme Court held that commission of an “official act” is required to sustain a conviction for honest services fraud and Hobbs Act violations. The Second Circuit has addressed the issue in several high-profile prosecutions of state officials. See, e.g., United States v. Silver, 948 F.3d 538 (2d Cir. 2020).
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By Jacqueline C. Wolff
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
this second edition contains some new “hypotheticals” — facts of actual cases the DOJ finds important enough to focus on — and, in keeping true to its name, has included additional resources and links for chief compliance officers looking to design and audit their companies’ anticorruption compliance programs.
By Robert J. Anello and Richard F. Albert
United States v. Napout
The U.S. government’s lead role in the prosecution of corruption within the Zurich-based FIFA may be a paradigmatic example of U.S. law enforcement acting as the world’s policeman. If corruption is based on foreign executives violating their duties of loyalty to foreign private entities, how does that translate into a violation of U.S. criminal law? Does it matter that the conduct in which the foreign executive engaged — commercial bribery — may not be illegal under the law of the executive’s home country?
By Telemachus P. Kasulis
For a moment there, it really looked like it was going to happen. After a long and winding road, insider trading reform had reached the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote. The Insider Trading Prohibition Act (ITPA) had support on both sides of the aisle and on Dec. 5, 2019, the House voted to pass the ITPA. Then the bill went to the Senate and vanished. We should take this opportunity to learn what lessons we can from the successes and failures of the ITPA as a bill with an eye toward fashioning the best possible legislation next time — whenever that may be.
By Nekia Hackworth Jones
The government appears to be fulfilling its commitment to rooting out PPP fraud, even when the amount at issue falls below the $2 million threshold. No matter the size of the loan, a company that obtained PPP funds is not immune from a possible government investigation or audit. Borrowers have already started to submit loan forgiveness applications, and many more will be submitted in the weeks ahead, and both lenders and the government will be scouring these submissions for red flags.