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COVID Frauds of the Week: Unproven Tests, Nonexistent Equipment, Price Gouging, and $10 Million in SBA Loans

Posted  05/15/20
sample test tubes scattered around
Fraudsters continue to attempt to capitalize on anxiety and uncertainty during the pandemic by marketing unproven products and services for the prevention, treatment, or cure of COVID-19. This week, we highlight the massive FTC efforts to identify and shut down illegal activities via Warning Letters (around 100 issued to date); two new SEC actions; as well other government actions to quash sales of unproven or...

COVID Leaves Bags of Illicit Cash with Nowhere to Go

Posted  05/15/20
pinned money on a clothes line
Few people may have given much thought to the actual mechanics of money laundering beyond rooting (or not) for Skyler and Walt’s carwash business.  Many non-television criminals do, in fact, use otherwise legitimate small businesses to “launder” their money, mixing ill-gotten gains in with legitimate profits.  The shutdown of the international economy has thus had a surprising consequence: illicit funds have...

US to Recover More Than $49 Million in Assets Related to the 1MBD Embezzlement and Money Laundering Scandal

Posted  05/8/20
money in a laundry machine
The DOJ entered into a $49 million settlement this week in one of the civil forfeiture cases related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund scandal.  The 1MDB fund was created by the government of Malaysia to promote economic development in Malaysia through global partnerships and foreign direct investment, and its funds were intended to be used for improving the well-being of the Malaysian people. According to...

Keeping Our Eyes Open for COVID-19 Fraud

Posted  05/1/20
coronavirus-map
The COVID-19 pandemic is shaping the way we live around the world and dominating headlines.  Inevitably, it will be a major focus for government enforcement agencies.  The whistleblower team at Constantine Cannon is closely tracking reports of fraud in the Coronavirus response. This week, we launched a new webpage as a hub for COVID-19 fraud news.  We encourage you to visit this page, which will be updated...

COVID Frauds of the Week: Misrepresented Mask Inventories and Medicare Fraud

Posted  05/1/20
N95 Masks
Amid COVID-19-induced fear and hardship, fraud is on the rise. Already, the FTC has received over 18,000 reports of COVID-19 related fraud. In response, the SEC, CFTC, and other regulators announced they are on the lookout for pandemic-related fraud, and the DOJ warned would-be wrongdoers that it will not tolerate profiting off of public panic. This week, we focus on three enforcement actions brought by the...

In Norway, the Cozy World of Finance Collides with the Public Interest

Posted  04/22/20
piece-of-the-pie
Norway is often held up as the exception to the so-called “resource curse”—a successful, well-managed country that has managed to escape the corruption and inequality so often rife in other oil-rich nations.  An emerging scandal involving the $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, a Sting concert, and a private jet known as the “Crystal Skye” is now threatening that reputation. Last September, Yngve...

The Paycheck Protection Program is a Big Solution to a Big Problem, but it Needs Big Oversight

Posted  04/10/20
man-pocketing-cash-into-his-suit-pocket
It’s no secret that our local bodegas, corner nail salons, and go-to restaurants are in trouble. The unprecedented nationwide stay-home initiatives may be flattening the curve, but they’re also threatening to bankrupt millions of small businesses and their employees. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act aims to address this problem with numerous programs, including the Paycheck Protection...

SEC Starts 2020 with Almost $12 million in Whistleblower Awards

Posted  04/9/20
Business sign saying "Come In We're Open" in white on blue background
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the SEC whistleblower program is very much open for business: the SEC has announced seven whistleblower awards in the past four months, including an award of over $7 million to a “tenacious” whistleblower who provided extensive and sustained assistance in connection with serious financial abuses despite suffering hardship. Under the program, whistleblowers – regardless of their...

The COVID-19 Crisis, Whistleblowers, and the Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Team

Posted  03/19/20
Soapy hands under running water faucet
As Constantine Cannon announced earlier this week, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we have implemented contingency plans to work remotely.  While our work locations have changed, we remain dedicated to our whistleblower clients, and our team continues to provide whistleblowers with support and legal guidance. With offices in New York, D.C., San Francisco, and London, the Constantine Cannon...

Constantine Cannon Files Amicus Brief in Support of California’s Effort to Curb Private Prison Company Abuses

Posted  03/13/20
prison-silhouette
Constantine Cannon is proud to represent three leading immigrants rights organizations, Human Rights Watch, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and Freedom For Immigrants in filing a “friend of the court,” or amicus brief, in two cases related to California’s right to ban private prison companies.  Last year, California enacted AB 32, which barred private prison companies from operating within the state.  The...
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