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As Regulators Continue to Provide Guidance During These Unprecedented Times, Some is Easier to Interpret Than Others – A Focus on OFAC

May 6, 2020 | Compliance

Various regulators have recognized in guidance, press releases, and the like, that financial institutions and other corporations may need to adjust some or all of their compliance operations to handle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Some guidance is easier to interpret and adhere to than others.  Examination timing and logistics continue to be adjusted on a case by case basis and firms have been working directly with their primary regulators to make appropriate adjustments as needed.  Some guidance … Read More

Post-COVID-19 Investigations and Healthcare Fraud

May 4, 2020 | Compliance

As we continue to work through the new world of COVID-19, it’s important not to lose sight of what is almost certainly on the horizon – post-COVID investigations. The federal government has poured trillions into not only containment and treatment, but also financial stimulus. In order to facilitate greater flexibility for healthcare providers attending to the onslaught of pandemic-related needs, the feds are waiving certain requirements. Nevertheless, healthcare facilities should be implementing careful compliance practices to help avoid potential claims … Read More

The CARES Act Auditors are Coming! Will you be Ready?

April 30, 2020 | Compliance

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) and three other coronavirus related acts, Congress provided emergency relief to individuals and businesses adversely affected by COVID-19. With this legislation, Congress funded over $2 trillion in relief in lending programs, grants to businesses, and support for American workers.

 

Many of these loan and grant programs have specific limitations and restrictions on how loan proceeds and grant funding may be used. Some require participants to submit certifications and
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USCIS Issues Updated M-274 (I-9) Handbook for Employers

April 28, 2020 | Compliance Immigration + Border Services

Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued an updated version of the M-274 I-9 Handbook for Employers.  The updates follow the changes that resulted from the release of the revised I-9 Form on January 31, 2020. It also includes additional guidance for commonly asked questions and issues raised by employers.

The M-274 is the “go-to” manual for questions regarding I-9 completion and its continued updates are an extremely helpful way for the regulatory agencies to ensure that employers have … Read More

NYDFS to Industry: NY Means Business When it Comes to Having a License to do Business

April 24, 2020 | Compliance

The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has taken several high-profile enforcement steps in recent months against entities alleged to have taken advantage of doing business in New York State without the necessary regulatory license.  Enforcement activity against the National Rifle Association (NRA), Athene Holding Ltd., as well as Trinity Healthshare and Aliera, serve as reminders that NYDFS takes very seriously the obligation to abide by New York statutory licensing requirements.

This is for good reason — businesses … Read More

NYDFS Issues Enforcement Action Against the Industrial Bank of Korea

April 21, 2020 | Compliance

The New York State Department of Financial Services yesterday issued an enforcement action against the Industrial Bank of Korea (“IBK”) for violations of New York’s anti-money laundering and recordkeeping obligations. It is the first of these type of BSA/AML enforcement actions issued by the Department in some time; this is not surprising, given that NYDFS, like other regulators, has been consumed with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Significant elements of the Consent Order include:

  • a $35 million penalty to be
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NYDFS Issues Additional COVID-19 Guidance Regarding Cybersecurity

April 16, 2020 | Compliance

The New York State Department of Financial Services has been issuing a stream of orders and guidance for regulated institutions concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. This week it issued another one directed at cybersecurity.  DFS is widely known for its first-in-the-nation mandatory and comprehensive cybersecurity regulation (23 NYCRR Part 500), and this new guidance is intended to inform licensees that DFS has “identified several areas of heightened cybersecurity risk as a result of this [health] crisis.”

 

The DFS guidance
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Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the Art Community

April 7, 2020 | Compliance

Although perhaps not as brazen as the recent theft of a Van Gogh from a museum in the Netherlands, fine art can be an attractive target for accused money launderers like Nazem Said Ahmad. Mr. Ahmad was recently named a “designated person” by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). OFAC pointed to the use of a Beirut art gallery by Ahmad to launder money in support of Hizballah (a/k/a Hezbollah) just as it issued … Read More

Compliance for Government Contractors

March 5, 2020 | Compliance

Anyone who has been involved in U.S. government contracting knows that applicable rules and regulations have increased consistently over the years.  Congress has used federal contracts to implement a wide range of policies, regulations, and laws, from labor laws to environmental concerns to subcontracting requirements to cybersecurity matters.  This accumulation of federal regulations, along with state and local laws and regulations, creates a nest of complicated and often interdependent compliance-related obligations that the federal contractor must perform in connection with … Read More

Is Your Antitrust Compliance Program Robust and Effective?

February 27, 2020 | Compliance

At the ABA’s annual International Cartel Workshop, Antitrust Division Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers reinforced the department’s new policy on evaluating and crediting effective compliance programs when considering prosecutions. While discussing the Leniency Program (which provides complete immunity for the company first to report) as the division’s most important tool in fighting domestic and international cartels, he emphasized that the policy on compliance programs will play an important role as well. His remarks drew the connection between leniency to
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