Please join Steptoe for an interactive discussion with Congressman Jamie Raskin and current and former senior staff from Capitol Hill and the Department of Justice on congressional and DOJ investigations into fraud and waste related to the CARES Act and COVID-19 relief funds.

Date: Monday, September 14, 2020

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. EDT

We live in a world where, almost overnight, “social distancing” entered both our lexicon and our way of life. The constraints associated with keeping a minimum distance with one another have caused, and will continue to cause, significant difficulty for restaurants, pubs, bars, gyms, sporting events, concerts and more. Another established practice, however, also must address the reckoning that it too faces: the jury trial.

While the coronavirus pandemic temporarily brought jury trials in England and Wales to a grinding halt, jury trials had for some time prior been beset with pressures and challenges as a result of austerity measures. In January 2020, a report by barristers in the west of England found that Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service had cut the number of sitting days for courts in the region by 15%. This had led to “rocketing delays”, some courts being booked up for months on end. Amanda Pinto QC, chair of the Bar Council, noted that the problems were not confined solely to the west of England; indeed, at a national level, the average time from commission of offence to resolution at Crown Court increased from 392 days in 2010 to 525 days in 2019. According to Ms. Pinto, the issue was “fast becoming a national crisis.”


Continue Reading Trial by Jury: Inalienable Right or Anachronistic Practice?

Securities litigation and enforcement activity often surge in times of crisis. Indeed, bedrock federal securities regulations were borne out of an extended crisis: the stock market crash of 1929 and the decade-long Great Depression that followed.

COVID-19 has already set off a wave of securities litigation. These private lawsuits and putative class actions have been based on allegedly misleading statements in securities filings and public statements. But issues surrounding proof in the COVID-19 era, including demonstrating the “price impact” of alleged misrepresentations for purposes of reliance and loss causation, limit the viability of these claims.

As public companies anticipate the next wave of securities activity they should expect limitations on private lawsuits to prompt the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to ramp up civil enforcement. The Department of Justice (DOJ) may even launch related criminal investigations in high-profile cases.

We discuss below recent COVID-19-related securities litigation and enforcement trends, special issues with reliance and loss causation, and best practices to avoid the expected onslaught of SEC enforcement and DOJ investigations.


Continue Reading Securities Enforcement Activity in the COVID-19 Era: A Backstop to Private Securities Litigation

On May 20, 2020, panelists from the DOJ, SEC, and FBI participated in a virtual town hall to discuss the state of play of FCPA and healthcare fraud enforcement as the United States and the rest of the world navigate the wide-ranging challenges wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Government panelists included:

  • Robert Zink (Chief of the Fraud Section, Criminal Division, DOJ);
  • Daniel Kahn (current Senior Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section, and former FCPA Unit Chief, DOJ);
  • Joe Beemsterboer (current Senior Deputy Chief of the Fraud Section, and former Chief of the Health Care Fraud Unit, DOJ);
  • Charles Cain (Chief of the FCPA Unit of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement); and
  • Leslie Bakschies (Unit Chief at the FBI).


Continue Reading Key Investigation and Compliance Take-Aways from May 20, 2020 DOJ, SEC, and FBI Joint Town Hall Discussing FCPA and Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Efforts During COVID-19 Emergency

Much remains to be seen about the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing is certain: US congressional oversight of the public and private sector’s response – including, most particularly, the unprecedented federal spending on response efforts – will dominate Capitol Hill’s attention for many years.[1] Indeed, the US House of Representatives has already made oversight an institutional priority and committee chairs are initiating inquiries into the myriad of issues arising from the pandemic. Though COVID-19 oversight is in its very early stages, we outline below what Congress has done to date and forecast on the shape of Hill oversight for the balance of 2020 and beyond.


Continue Reading Congressional Oversight of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Early Look

UK law enforcement is not immune to the unprecedented levels of business disruption caused by COVID-19. While not all agencies have published specific guidance on how they propose to operate and conduct enforcement investigations during this crisis (including, for example, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, the Serious Fraud Office, and the National Crime Agency), a