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SEC Announces Largest Whistleblower Award of 2020 – Over $27 Million

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced a whistleblower award of more than $27 million, representing the largest SEC whistleblower award of 2020.  This is the sixth largest award overall since the inception of the SEC whistleblower program in 2011. Congress established the whistleblower program to incentivize whistleblowers to report specific, timely, and credible...… Continue Reading
April 24, 2020

CARES Act $2.2-Trillion Emergency Relief Fund Potential ‘Hotbed’ for Government Fraud, Abuse Investigations

With enactment of the CARES Act on March 27, Congress appropriated $2.2 trillion, the largest economic stimulus package in history, to combat COVID-19 and the serious economic damage it has wrought to all facets of the economy. Along with this mammoth government subsidy, however, comes the prospect of unprecedented fraud and abuse in sectors of...… Continue Reading
April 17, 2020

FBI Issues Warnings Regarding COVID-19 Fraud Schemes

The Special Agent in Charge of the Boston office of the FBI, Joseph Bonavolonta, has issued an advisory aimed at alerting and keeping individuals and companies safe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. His memo reported on emerging schemes and frauds being perpetrated by criminals looking to capitalize on the current crisis. The FBI...… Continue Reading
April 16, 2020

The Role of Company Directors During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the management of organizations, including throwing managers at all levels into an “all-hands-on-deck” reactive mode.  In large measure, the immediate focus of management-level employees has been on business continuity, particularly moving the organization to a work from home workforce, workforce management including reductions in force by...… Continue Reading
April 10, 2020

AG Barr: Prosecutors, BOP Should Consider COVID-19 Crisis in Determining Bail, Early Release

Several current and former federal officials recently sent letters to the President and the Attorney General urging action to protect persons in custody or facing arrest and detention during the COVID-19 crisis. In response, Attorney General Barr has issued separate directives to all U.S. Attorneys and DOJ Department Heads and to the Director of the...… Continue Reading
April 7, 2020

Investigating Complaints Containing Second-Hand Information in the COVID-19 Era

As the country faces a wave of COVID-19 closure orders, individuals are being encouraged to report violations.  Hypothetically, these reports could originate from just about anyone – employees, employees’ family members, customers, neighbors, the general public.  Given the wide range of potential complainants, these reports may not always be based on first-hand observations. When investigating...… Continue Reading
April 6, 2020

Beware! Internet Scammers Out to Capitalize on COVID-19 Scare

Law enforcement is alerting businesses and the public that during the ongoing COVID-19 federal and state emergencies and stay-at-home orders to be extremely vigilant about email and internet scams being perpetrated by wrongdoers trying to capitalize on the scare. According to the FBI: “Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal...… Continue Reading
April 3, 2020

FBI Warns of Teleconferencing and Online Classroom Hijacking During COVID-19 Pandemic

As large numbers of people turn to video-teleconferencing (VTC) platforms to stay connected in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, reports of VTC hijacking (also called “zoom-bombing”) are emerging nationwide. The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language. For example, two schools in Massachusetts reported...… Continue Reading
April 2, 2020

Maintaining Standard Procedures Related to Employee Complaints Amid COVID-19

Amid an everchanging legal landscape resulting from the spread of COVID-19, employers must remain mindful of properly responding to and addressing complaints expressed by employees. In response to the spread of COVID-19, many states have ordered non-essential businesses to close.  States are encouraging employers to allow employees to work remotely wherever possible.  Some employees with...… Continue Reading
March 26, 2020

Judges, Senators, DOJ Officials: Action Required by President, AG to Protect Inmate Population during COVID-19 Crisis

In a letter to the President dated tomorrow (March 27, 2020), several hundred federal judges, former U.S. Attorneys, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials are asking the government to implement a plan to dramatically reduce the number of incarcerated individuals in the federal prison system and to address “the threat of disastrous...… Continue Reading
March 26, 2020

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