The nation is slowly reopening. Businesses showcase signs that proudly announce “OPEN” in bright neon letters. But the legal landscape is different from the pre-COVID-19 days, and businesses should be aware of the inherent risks involved with re-opening and take the utmost care to ensure employee and customer safety to avoid or minimize government intrusion,

FraudOn March 20, 2020, the Attorney General ordered the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to prioritize oversight, investigation, and prosecution of misuse of federal funds distributed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1] Now, almost six months later, the DOJ continues to examine instances of “COVID-19 Fraud” for possible civil or criminal prosecution. The DOJ’s prioritization

moneyThe federal government has been handing out billions of dollars in stimulus money to individuals and companies. These funds have helped businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic by providing them with low or no-cost liquidity when they are not permitted to operate as they would normally. But stimulus money, like all government money, is a double-edged

courthouseOn July 2, 2020, a federal judge sitting in Manhattan sentenced disgraced entrepreneur Telemaque Lavidas to a year and a day in prison for insider trading. In addition to the prison term, the judge sentenced Lavidas to three years of supervised release including community service, restitution, and fines, which together could exceed $200,000. Lavidas’s conviction

WhistlblowerWhether attributable to the pandemic effect of remote work, layoffs and furloughs, or the slew of recent substantial awards, the SEC’s whistleblower tip line is lighting up with greater frequency. Companies are understandably focused on the panoply of challenges to their businesses posed by the pandemic and its economic impacts, but they ignore heightened whistleblower

Coronavirus CARES ActVarious federal agencies – particularly the FBI and the DOJ – have been vocal in announcing efforts to ferret out fraud and other criminal activity arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. As described in prior blog posts on this site (here and here), the government focused on pandemic profiteering, such as price gouging

nursing homeWith the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the U.S., nursing homes have been ground zero for infections and deaths. According to new data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), there were 29,457 U.S. nursing home deaths from COVID-19 through the first week of June 2020.

With COVID-19, the criminal enforcement landscape for nursing

HydroxychloroquineOn June 15, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew its emergency use authorization (EUA) to use hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. According to the FDA, there is “no reason to believe” the drug is effective against the coronavirus, and its use increased the risk of serious side effects, such as heart problems. The FDA’s

Price GougingFederal and state authorities are creatively using the Defense Production Act (“DPA”), state anti-price gouging and consumer protection statutes, and antitrust laws to go after alleged price gougers and hoarders. This article, the final in our series on anti-hoarding and price gouging enforcement efforts, takes a look at various ways businesses can avoid liability.

The

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, public pressure has led to increased efforts to investigate and punish those engaging in hoarding and price gouging of essential items across the country.

The Authorities and Civil Plaintiffs Have Relied on Creative Means to Target Perceived Price Gouging

On March 24, 2020, United States Attorney General William P. Barr