Current DOJ Enforcement Priorities, Focus on CARES Act Fraud

At a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Institute for Legal Reform meeting, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Ethan Davis set forth the current enforcement priorities of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), clarifying for corporations accessing stimulus funds or otherwise dealing with government programs or acting in regulated industries how it is focusing its efforts to target fraud in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Davis underscored DOJ’s commitment to using the False Claims Act (FCA) and other “weapons in [its] arsenal” to fight fraud against the various pandemic stimulus programs, he also emphasized DOJ’s commitment to exercise enforcement discretion in cases lacking the hallmarks of bad corporate intent.


DOJ Updates Guidance on Evaluating Corporate Compliance Programs

On June 1, 2020, the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) publicized an updated version of its “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Program” guidance. This is the third version of the document, with the DOJ having issued the guidance in 2017 (which we analyzed here) and revised it in April 2019 (which we analyzed here). This further revision is another reminder of the DOJ’s heightened focus and increasing sophistication regarding evaluating compliance programs during investigations. While the overall structure of the guidance generally remains consistent with the last version, the revisions provide additional insight into the DOJ’s expectations for corporate compliance programs. More specifically, the revisions highlight the importance of an adequately resourced and empowered compliance department, a constantly evolving compliance program based on the company’s current risk profile and relevant compliance issues, and the use of key compliance metrics to test the effectiveness of a compliance program.


Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Discusses DOJ’s Corporate Enforcement Priorities, Focus on Corporate Compliance

At the recent Compliance Week Annual Conference, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Claire McCusker Murray delivered extensive remarks on DOJ’s corporate enforcement priorities.  Of particular note, Murray discussed a number of policy reforms focused on promoting and incentivizing corporate compliance and cooperation.


DOJ Publishes New Guidance on Evaluating Corporate Compliance Programs

On April 30, the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released a new guidance document titled “The Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs,” which updates a prior version of the guidance first issued in February 2017 (previously analyzed here). The new guidance provides additional insights into how DOJ will assess the effectiveness of a company’s overall compliance program in an enforcement action, focusing on the program’s design, implementation and effectiveness.


Acting Associate Attorney General Discusses Trump Administration FCA Enforcement Policy

On June 14, 2018, at the ABA’s National Institute on the Civil False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement, Acting Associate General, Jesse Panuccio, delivered wide-ranging remarks on the False Claims Act. Of particular interest, AAG Panuccio discussed several recent high profile enforcement priorities of the Trump Administration. (more…)

Department of Justice Publicizes Questions Used to Evaluate Corporate Compliance Programs

On Feb. 8, the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice (DOJ) publicized new guidance, titled “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs.” The guidance sets forth sample questions prosecutors may ask when evaluating a company’s compliance program in the context of a criminal investigation. This document is the latest direction released under the Fraud Section’s “compliance initiative,” which began when the Fraud Section hired Hui Chen as a full-time compliance expert in November 2015. This guidance provides insights into how the DOJ will assess the effectiveness of a company’s overall compliance program, with a specific focus on how the program will be viewed in the context of the underlying misconduct identified.  See