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Elections have consequences, and the election of President Trump has resulted in a significant shift in law enforcement priorities. Corporate enforcement activity is at lows not seen in decades, despite an overall increase of almost 40% in federal criminal cases. This is a product of a change in priorities, both in terms of types of offenses and types of offender: more focus on prosecuting individuals instead of entities and more emphasis on drug, violence, and immigration offense rather than business crimes. In a couple of areas where there may be increased business crime enforcement activity reflected in some of the aggregate numbers — Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and crypto currency — the actual cases nonetheless reflect the administration’s reordered priorities. So, for the time being, there will be almost unprecedented opportunity to achieve favorable resolutions for corporate clients.
By Jonathan S. Feld and Katie J. Welch
Despite the historical trend of reduced government involvement in qui tam actions, the government is sending “mixed messages” regarding its view of FCA relators.
By Johanna Fricano
Following the Delaware Chancery Court’s ruling in In re Trulia, Inc. that effectively closed the door to 14(a) disclosure-based settlements in Delaware state court, federal courts saw an influx of 14(a) “merger objection” litigation. More often than not, these suits are quickly dismissed following the company’s issuance of a supplemental proxy with additional disclosures and the parties negotiate a mootness fee. The transaction closes and all parties move on — or so we thought. An emerging trend suggests that exposure to 14(a) claims may coming back from the near dead.
By Robert J. Anello and Richard F. Albert
The significance of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA), which is intended to guarantee crime victims a role in federal criminal proceedings, has been highlighted in the case of Jeffrey E. Epstein, the financier accused of sexually trafficking underage girls. Because the government’s noncompliance with the CVRA in negotiating Epstein’s plea deal in 2008 led to Alexander R. Acosta losing his cabinet position as Secretary of Labor, practitioners can expect prosecutors and judges to be more focused on the CVRA going forward.
By Juliet Gunev
Microsoft and Hungarian Subsidiary Agree to Pay $25 Million to Resolve FCPA Investigations in Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Thailand