White Collar Watch (July 2017 • Vol 1, Issue 2)

White Collar Watch

To view the July 2017 edition of Blank Rome's White Collar Watch, please click here.

Welcome to the July 2017 edition of White Collar Watch, Blank Rome’s White Collar Defense & Investigations group quarterly newsletter.


Welcome to the summer edition of Blank Rome’s White Collar WatchIn a world that seems to bring new challenges daily—such as the global cybersecurity attacks that were launched in late June—this newsletter is designed to provide content that we hope will assist you in areas of continuing and growing importance.

This edition of White Collar Watch includes articles about cybersecurity, changes in whistleblower laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) under the Trump administration, enforcement actions against FinTech companies, and an overview of IRS penalties for individuals with foreign bank accounts. We also are pleased to introduce you to two new attorneys who have joined our practice—Mark M. Lee and Jane F. Barrett—who bring a wide range of experience in white collar matters, including criminal defense, environmental issues, and corporate investigations.

Blank Rome’s white collar defense & investigations practice group is comprised of seasoned, nationally recognized attorneys who represent companies and individuals facing criminal and regulatory investigations, congressional inquiries, whistleblower accusations, and self-discovered misconduct. This newsletter will continue to discuss key industry topics and provide insightful analysis on a wide range of issues potentially impacting companies and individuals within numerous industries. We welcome your feedback, as well as any suggestions for articles in areas that may impact your business, and encourage you to share this newsletter with friends and colleagues. We are here to be of service to you, and your companies, in every way possible.

Our team wishes you and your families a happy and healthy summer! 

Joseph G. PolukaInbal P. Garrity, and William B. Shields
Editors, White Collar Watch


The FinTech Revolution: Enforcement Actions Brought against FinTech Companies and Their Implications 
by Ariel S. Glasner and Bridget Mayer Briggs

As law enforcement authorities and government regulators have developed a greater understanding of the FinTech industry, various government agencies have brought enforcement actions against FinTech companies in an effort to protect the integrity of our financial system. This article surveys these actions and discusses the implications that they may have on the FinTech industry as a whole.

At the Intersection of Cybersecurity and White Collar 
by Inbal P. Garrity and Nicholas R. Tambone

The global “ransomware” cyberattack in early May 2017 resulted in tens of thousands of computer systems being taken hostage by hackers and, in the instances involving hospitals, put lives at risk. Companies that suffered breaches are exposed to liability, and many of the breaches reportedly could have been solved with an act as simple as downloading the latest updates to Windows operating systems. 

FCPA under the New Administration
by Mayling C. Blanco, Carlos F. Ortiz, Shawn M. Wright, and Ariel S. Glasner

The single most frequently asked question by our international clients over the past several months is whether there will be changes in white collar prosecution priorities under the new administration, specifically with respect to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). The FCPA, which criminalizes the payment of bribes to foreign officials around the world, has been subject to enforcement trends and scrutiny during its 40-year history. 

The Sessions Memo: A Significant Reversal of Policy?
by Nicholas C. Harbist and Melissa Fundora Murphy

In May 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to U.S. attorneys, ordering all federal prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” as a “core principle” of charging and sentencing policy. The memorandum defines the most serious offenses as “those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.” 

Record-Setting Prosecutions in the Money Transmitting Business: Ways to Avoid Compliance Violations 
by Mayling C. Blanco and D. Morgan Barry

In the first several months of 2017, we have seen significant anti-money laundering settlements and penalties in the money transmitting business arising from lax compliance programs, including the record-setting Western Union settlement and the various individuals facing personal exposure. From each of these there are lessons to be drawn. 

Overview of IRS Penalties for Individuals with Foreign Bank Accounts and Investments 
by Jeffrey M. Rosenfeld and Jed M. Silversmith

Earlier this spring, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Large Business and International Division identified several “campaigns” or areas where it plans to focus its audit resources. One campaign involved taxpayers who opted out of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (“OVDP”). 

Blowing the Whistle: Employers Must Properly Respond to Employee Allegations of Wrongdoing 
by Nicholas C. Harbist and Lauren E. O'Donnell

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various federal laws. Examples of the types of conduct that these laws protect include (1) participating in safety and health activities; (2) reporting a work-related injury or fatality; or (3) reporting a statutory violation. 


Mark M. Lee Joins Blank Rome as Partner in White Collar Defense & Investigations Group 
Mark M. Lee has joined the Firm as a Partner in the White Collar Defense & Investigations practice. He joins from Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP where he was chair of the firm’s white collar defense and corporate investigations practice group. 

Jane F. Barrett Joins Blank Rome as Of Counsel in White Collar Defense & Investigations Group 
Jane F. Barrett has rejoined the Firm’s Washington, D.C., office as Of Counsel in the White Collar Defense & Investigations group. She rejoins Blank Rome after serving as a professor and the director of the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. 

Chambers USA 2017 Recognizes Blank Rome White Collar Defense & Investigations Attorneys 
Chambers USA 2017 recognized the following members of the Firm’s white collar defense and investigations group as "leaders in their fields” in the area of “Litigation: White Collar Crime and Government Investigations.”

Who’s Who Legal 2017 Recognizes Blank Rome White Collar & Investigations Attorneys 
Who’s Who Legal 2017 recognized the following Blank Rome white collar defense and investigations attorneys in the area of “Business Crime Defence.”


Nicholas C. Harbist:
The Perils of Dealing with Whistleblowers under the False Claims Act at the Seton Hall Law U.S. Healthcare Compliance Certification Program, June 12, 2017, in Newark, NJ.

Joseph G. Poluka and Jed M. Silversmith:
AML, KYC, and Conflict Minerals: Current Issues at the International Precious Metals Institute’s Annual Conference, June 12, 2017, in Orlando, FL.

Shawn M. Wright:
Yes! You Can Have It All at the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation Women’s Excellence & Leadership Luncheon, June 8, 2017, in Oxon Hill, MD.

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© 2017 Blank Rome LLP. All rights reserved. Please contact Blank Rome for permission to reprint. Notice: The purpose of this update is to identify select developments that may be of interest to readers. The information contained herein is abridged and summarized from various sources, the accuracy and completeness of which cannot be assured. This update should not be construed as legal advice or opinion, and is not a substitute for the advice of counsel.