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Whistleblower Programs Booming at SEC and CFTC

The two federal regulators recently submitted their annual reports to Congress for the fiscal year that ended September 30. And, well, business is booming. In the last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission awarded more money to whistleblowers than it had in all prior years combined. Since 2012, it has awarded $326 million, and more than half Read More

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‘Tis the Season for Healthcare Enforcement

Speaking of health care, the federal government brought the heat again this summer. As it has for several years, it announced major, coordinated raids and arrests of healthcare providers and professionals around the country. We covered the government’s raids in 2015 and 2017, and they’re getting bigger and badder each year. This year’s takedown set new records Read More

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California Just Says No to Medical Pot Prosecutions

Last week pit state law against federal law. This week, it’s state law versus local law in the cities or counties. Under state law, there is a defense to criminal prosecution for a medical-marijuana collective or dispensary that is run on a nonprofit basis for people who have state medical-marijuana cards or a physician’s recommendation. Read More

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Buckets of Money

If you’ve lost a case against the SEC recently, and it was heard by an administrative law judge (or ALJ), you may want to call your lawyer. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court sent back a case because the SEC hadn’t appointed the ALJ the way the Constitution required. The decision marked the culmination of years-long legal challenges to the Read More

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Iran Sanctions Look to Snap Back

By now you’ve heard the news, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like. Following a wind-down period of 90 or 180 days, the U.S. government will restore the economic sanctions that it lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. These sanctions generally affect foreign businesses who do business with Iran. After the wind-down periods, they Read More

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Medical Board Metes Out Discipline Based on a Police Report

If you’re a doctor or other licensed healthcare professional in California, remember. Your board or agency can discipline you for alleged conduct in a police report even if you’re never charged with or convicted of anything. Just this week, the California Court of Appeal ruled that the medical board could discipline a doctor based on a police Read More

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New Year’s Resolutions

Speaking of compliance, here are two businesses that ended the year resolving charges they violated U.S. trade sanctions by dealing with blocked countries, people, or entities. Both cases show how the government enforces its sanctions regime, and they illustrate how an ounce of prevention can beat a pound of cure. Both cases were brought by the Office of Read More

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Happy 2018, California

Let’s celebrate because the new year marks the dawn of the state’s licensing program for commercial, recreational cannabis. It follows the voters’ approval of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which we wrote about last year. But hold your horses, too, because it’s just the beginning. Earlier this month, the state launched its online application system, and two weeks Read More

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SEC Chair Offers Advice on Bitcoin and Its Ilk

This week, the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission weighed in on crypto-currencies as well as ICOs or initial coin offerings. With the price of bitcoin nearing $20,000, it probably comes at the right time. You may have been wondering yourself: What are the rules for this stuff? Are they being followed? And what are the risks Read More

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Expunging Criminal Records in California

It ain’t just for kids, after all. Anyone who’s eligible can petition to expunge a criminal conviction in California. Here’s what you need to know. Like we explained last week, the term “expungement” is a misnomer because it doesn’t erase the conviction or wipe the slate clean. But that’s still how lawyers and judges will refer to Read More

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