Scales of JusticeAll too often, corporations and executives trying to “do the right thing” find little preventative guidance coming from the Department of Justice. Companies seeking to ensure their corporate compliance programs are robust enough to withstand government scrutiny frequently must resort to reviewing the United States Sentencing Guidelines or prior Non-Prosecution Agreements or Deferred Prosecution Agreements for guidance.

Recently, though, the DOJ Fraud Section quietly issued additional information about how DOJ prosecutors evaluate a company’s compliance program in “conducting an investigation of a corporate entity, determining whether to bring charges, and negotiating plea or other agreements.” The guidance was issued on February 8, 2017, and was not accompanied by so much as a press release or other public statement. Titled “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” it can be found in full here.

Continue Reading DOJ’s New Guidance on Compliance Programs

taxAs party goers rang in 2017 this past holiday weekend, owners of Bitcoins had additional reason to celebrate as the value of the digital currency soared past $1,000 USD on Monday. The surge in Bitcoin price, up from just $200 USD in January 2015, may provide additional fodder for the IRS, who has its crosshairs set on Bitcoin users who do not properly report their income related to the buying, selling, and/or exchanging of the digital currency.

Continue Reading Bitcoin Value Surpasses $1,000: A Two-Sided Coin for Users

On December 17, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that its Environmental and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) will increase efforts to work with the mining U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to investigate and prosecute crimes related to workplace violations. According to the DOJ’s Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, “On an average day in America, 13 workers die on the job, thousands are injured and 150 succumb to diseases they obtained from exposure to carcinogens and other toxic and hazardous substances while they worked.” As such, Ms. Yates said the DOJ is “redoubling its efforts to hold accountable those who unlawfully jeopardize workers’ health and safety.”

Continue Reading DOJ Looks to Increase Criminal Prosecutions for Workplace Violations

In an unprecedented dedication of resources by a law firm, Husch Blackwell launched the Human Trafficking Legal Clinic to maximize efforts in the fight against human trafficking. The legal clinic is the first of its kind in the country.

Through the clinic, the firm represents all types of human trafficking victims — international and domestic, adults and children — in commercial sex and forced labor trafficking cases referred to the firm by the U.S. Department of Justice, state prosecutor’s offices, and law enforcement.

More than 40 of the firm’s partners and associates volunteer to provide services for the clinic on a pro bono basis. In addition, the firm provides outreach and training on topics of human trafficking.