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SEC Continues Crackdown on Initial Coin Offering Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission has continued to prioritize ICO fraud in recent enforcement actions. In today's action against Tomahawk Exploration LCC and its founder David Laurance, the SEC pointed to the danger of traditional fraud schemes, such as a oil and gas investment schemes, dressed up as an ICO. As a result of the SEC's enforcement action, Laurance consented to a permanent officer and director bar, penny stock bar, and a $30,000 penalty. 

New federal task force to target financial crimes against consumers

Trump administration spokespersons say that labeling federal regulators as being progressively softer and unattuned to financial wrongdoing committed against American consumers is an unfair criticism. As a recent Wall Street Journal article notes, they counter that they are pursuing a strategy that emphasizes “punishment of bad actors even as it pursues deregulatory policies welcomed by the financial industry.”

Those two aims are not contradictory, say government officials. Rather, they up the odds for obtaining better consumer protections against fraud while simultaneously creating a leaner and more robust business environment.

Dallas a spotlighted locale for health care fraud irregularities

Federal authorities reportedly ratcheted up their focus on the Dallas area as a hotbed of health care fraud activity some time ago. The heightened scrutiny commenced as an offshoot of federal investigatory efforts that The Dallas Morning News states have been ongoing “for the past few years.”

What the FBI and other federal entities have lasered in on regarding Texas pharmacies and testing laboratories (again, especially in the Dallas metro) can be summed up in two words: illegal kickbacks.

What is required to convict someone of embezzlement?

Imagine you've been working for an accounting firm for many years. You and your coworker manage several large accounts for multi-million dollar business clients. Suddenly, your boss calls you to his or her office and asks you to account for $50,000, which he says is missing from one of the accounts you manage.

The next thing you know, you're being interviewed by law enforcement officials about the matter and being accused of embezzlement. It's time to start organizing your defense.

FHA chief to big banks: we lost you and we want you back

Recently incoming Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Brian Montgomery refers to a “bright line” when discussing FHA lending programs to the country’s consumers.

Bottom line: He laments that it is, well, not bright. In fact, he stresses that transparency and certainty surrounding FHA loans has been murky and misguided at best over the past several years. That has in turn, he stresses, driven high numbers of prominent lenders out of the government loan market.

What is the link between bribery and the federal FCPA?

Many American residents, U.S. businesses, foreign companies involved in securities trading in the United States and additional persons and entities that deal with foreign officials in business matters run across the acronym FCPA in due course.

Spelled out, that shorthand designation stands for the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. For some individuals and company principals, the legislation’s particulars are merely clarifying and instructive. For others, their details are directly applicable to personal conduct and can be instrumental in subjecting some persons to lengthy prison terms and/or hefty fines.

Federal authorities announce massive health care fraud crackdown

If more evidence was needed to make the following even clearer than it already is, it came courtesy of the U.S. Department of Justice last Thursday.

To wit: If you are even remotely suspected of engaging in any activity linked with health care fraud, criminal investigators – likely well-financed and comprehensively staffed task forces – are closely scrutinizing you.

New software to help companies fight financial fraud

Senzig, an IBM spinoff business, has created a new software product that allows companies to fight fraud, locate internal threats and identify external vulnerabilities that may affect their systems. The product uses artificial intelligence to scan large amounts of corporate data and ferret out issues. The analysis also reveals things like who is accessing a company's data and whether the company is in federal compliance.

The Senzig software could be a huge boost for financial services companies, medical organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and any other businesses that suffer from financial fraud issues. MarketsandMarkets estimates that U.S. fraud detection and prevention market is worth about $14.37 billion.

Defending yourself against white collar crime allegations

When you earn a high income, there is always a risk that someone will accuse you of crimes just because you're successful. There is the potential for people to accuse you of corruption or of accepting bribes due to your place in a company or the government.

It's important not to let accusations get out of hand. An accusation between coworkers or employees could quickly lead to a police investigation where you have to defend yourself legally.

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Contact Houston White Collar Lawyers for Experienced Representation

If you or your company is under investigation, charged or indicted for federal or state crimes, or you want to ensure future compliance, contact Hilder & Associates, P.C., for more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Houston white collar criminal defense lawyer.

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