White Collar Watch (September 2018 • No. 2)

Download the full September 2018 edition of White Collar Watch

Welcome to the September 2018 edition of Blank Rome’s White Collar Watch. As we head into the last days of summer, this edition covers some of the hottest white collar issues in the areas of finance, data security, and international business.

On the finance front, we explore the buzz phrase “Initial Coin Offering” (“ICO”) and the potential tax penalties to which many individuals may now be exposed due to undeclared capital gains on coin investments. Regarding the always-important and evolving issue of data security, we continue our “FinTech Revolution” series and discuss how data breaches can result in regulatory enforcement actions.

From an international perspective, we provide important updates from the ever-expanding world of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, taking a look at its enforcement under the Trump administration, and we also discuss new U.S. Treasury regulations that impact foreign individuals with interests in the United States.

We wish you and yours a healthy and happy remainder of your summer and beginning of autumn! Please reach out if you have any questions about the topics discussed in the enclosed newsletter, or if you have suggestions for future White Collar Watch editions. It is our pleasure to be a resource to you.

With warm regards,

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


FCPA Enforcement under the Trump Administration: No “Piling On,” but Otherwise Business as Usual
by Carlos F. Ortiz, Shawn M. Wright, and Mayling C. Blanco

In 2012, Donald Trump called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) “ridiculous” and a “horrible law” that made it more difficult for U.S. companies to compete abroad. While President Trump’s private thoughts on the FCPA may not have changed, reportedly telling then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in February 2017 that the FCPA unfairly penalizes American businesses, his administration has continued to enforce it at rates comparable to the Obama administration and has provided incentives for companies to comply with the FCPA.  Read More »

The FinTech Revolution: How Data Breaches Can Result in Regulatory Enforcement Actions
by Bridget Mayer Briggs and Ariel S. Glasner

As news reports of corporate data breaches have become commonplace, companies must be proactive in preventing security breaches and prepared to take appropriate action in the event one occurs. This mantra is particularly true for FinTech companies that, by the very nature of their business, regularly collect customers’ personally identifiable information (“PII”) and other sensitive data. Read More »

Cryptocurrency: The Tax Man Cometh Again
by Carlos F. Ortiz, Mayling C. Blanco, and D. Morgan Barry

In the wake of the success of its “Swiss Bank Program,” the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) Tax Division and the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Criminal Investigation Division are gearing up for a similar initiative aimed at taxpayers using virtual currency to evade taxes. In public statements, key officials at the DOJ and IRS have made no secret of their intention to crack down on the use of cryptocurrency to evade taxes. Read More »

New Treasury Regulations Impose Conflicting Requirements on Foreign Persons with U.S. Interests
by Jed Silversmith and Jeffrey M. Rosenfeld

Few Americans consider the United States to be a money laundering haven, but it is. Earlier this year, the European Parliament wrote: The USA is seen as an emerging leading tax and secrecy haven for rich foreigners, when in parallel it has reprimanded other countries for helping rich Americans hide their money offshore. It is difficult to estimate how much revenue the United States loses from tax avoidance and evasion, but some have suggested that the annual cost of offshore tax abuses may be around US $100 billion per year. Read More »


Chambers USA 2018 Ranks Blank Rome White Collar Attorneys • Attorneys Honored for Their Commitment to Pro Bono • Ariel Glasner Elected to D.C. Bar’s Attorney/Client Arbitration Board. Read More »


Cryptocurrency: Trash or Treasure?

Co-sponsored by Blank Rome LLP and the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers White Collar Practice Committee

Wednesday, October 10 • 6:00–8:00 p.m.

Blank Rome's Philadelphia Office
One Logan Square | 130 North 18th Street | Philadelphia, PA 19103

Click here to register

This complimentary CLE will cover the latest information on cryptocurrency, including:

  • Introduction to blockchain, cryptocurrency, and ICOs/token offerings
  • Update on the SEC's new cyber unit and recent SEC enforcement actions
  • Discussion on what other regulators are doing

Please contact Marianne Talbot for more information about this event.


Mayling C. Blanco served as a panelist for Leave Your Wallets at Home! Legal Trends Surrounding the Emergence and Regulations of Cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings & Distributed Ledger Technologies at the 2018 Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention (September 6, 2018).

Bridget Mayer Briggs presented on Using Electronic Evidence at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Skills of the Successful Lawyer 2018 (August 16, 2018).

Mark M. Lee (along with numerous Blank Rome attorneys) presented on The #MeToo Minefield: From Privilege to Punitives at a Blank Rome webinar (May 8, 2018).

Nicholas C. Harbist moderated The Intersection of Compliance and Risk Management at a Rutgers School of Law CLE (April 13, 2018).

Carlos F. Ortiz and Shawn M. Wright (along with numerous Blank Rome attorneys) presented on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Litigation Concerns: Concerns: Class Actions, Criminal Exposure, and Criminal Tax Implications at a Blank Rome webinar (April 11, 2018).

© 2018 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.