Blog / White Collar
When an individual or a corporation receives a document subpoena from the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), from a US regulatory authority like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), or from any other law enforcement agency in the US, it is very important to know what to do next to ensure the first response serves the client’s legal interests and best defense. More importantly, the initial response must not compromise or harm the best possible legal strategy down the road.
In recent weeks, numerous news articles have reported on the arrests of Israeli citizens resulting from foreign investigations conducted abroad. In one instance, more than 20 employees of a Tel Aviv based company engaging in forex investment marketing were arrested following an FBI investigation.
With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States government enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The volume of assistance, totalling USD 2.8 trillion, provided financial aid to individuals and organizations facing economic hardship and access to loans with convenient terms for the purpose of paying salaries and other specific expenses under a program called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Many Israeli companies operating in the United States also submitted applications for grants and loans under the PPP. The initiative, while commendable, also opened the door for those seeking to exploit the government assistance to commit fraud and deceit.
By October, companies in the European Union employing at least 50 employees will be required to operate an internal reporting system for reporting misconduct that may indicate compliance violations. Furthermore, all companies in the EU, regardless of size, will be required to ensure the protection of whistleblowers from all types of retaliation. The EU Whistleblower Protection Directive originally came into force in October 2019. It gave EU member states two years to prepare to incorporate the directive into their national legislation. Prior to the enactment of the directive, no uniform binding legislation applied to all EU member states and only 10 member states had enacted national legislation in this regard. The upcoming inception of national whistleblower protection laws throughout the EU will naturally trigger a ripple effect.
Recently, United States federal courts have been more frequently approving the extra-territorial collection of testimony for use in criminal trials to be held in the United States. While the collection of such testimony for civil proceedings held in US courts is already commonplace, until now it has been a very rare occurrence in criminal proceedings.
Hoskins, a British national and former executive of Alstom SA, a French company was convicted by an American federal court of violating the Anti-Corruption and Bribery Law. This is an important red flag for any person or company conducting activity in the United States.