On 8 July 2022, the Department of Justice announced a settlement of cybersecurity fraud charges against Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. (Aerojet) following an action under the False Claims Act. Aerojet agreed to pay USD 9 million to the US government to settle allegations that it misrepresented its compliance with cybersecurity requirements when entering into federal government contracts with NASA and the Department of Defense.
In one of the first cases in Hong Kong in which the court has granted freezing injunctions over bitcoins, the Court of First Instance has now handed down judgment in the trial of Nico Constantijn v Stive Jean-Paul Dan  HKCFI 1254. The court held that the defendant acted as the plaintiff’s sales agent in respect of the plaintiff’s bitcoins. The court found the defendant had breached his fiduciary duties in failing to account to the plaintiff for the bitcoins and the relevant sales proceeds. Consequently, the court held that the defendant held on trust for the plaintiff the unsold bitcoins, the proceeds from the sale of the bitcoins and the fruits thereof.
Annual Compliance Conference
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In this edition of In the Know, we will provide a “primer” in respect of the developments in the digital bond space, using the European Investment Bank bond as a potential bellwether event for future development in our markets and then try and address some fundamental questions — what does all this mean for our market? Where are we headed now?
The June edition of the China employment law update includes developments such as measures to prevent social insurance fraud being formally implemented, new guidelines being issued on the handling of employment dispute arbitration and litigation, and guidance on employment disputes relating to pandemic control measures.
In 2008, Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal issued a landmark judgment in Koon Wing Yee v Insider Dealing Tribunal deciding that if a regulator is seeking a financial penalty, the individual or company being investigated is, for human rights purposes, facing a criminal charge and entitled to fundamental Bill of Rights protections.
Hong Kong’s competition law was being drafted at the time. The enforcement framework and law were fundamentally rewritten because of Koon. The Administration said that appropriate criminal safeguards, including fair trial, protection against self-incrimination and standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt, must be in place both during investigation and trial to meet the requirements of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights. In 2019, in the first case to come to trial, Hong Kong’s Competition Tribunal agreed.
The IRS did not follow notice-and-comment procedures when it issued Notice 2007-83. A theme underlying a number of court decisions since the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo Foundation is that the Administrative Procedure Act does apply to the IRS – just like it applies to every other administrative agency. The IRS appears to be slowly coming to recognize this reality, but for many, many years, the agency acted as if the APA did not apply to its actions. The Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in Mann Construction, Inc. v. United States illustrates the importance of the IRS’ prior failures in this regard, in this case in the context of listed transactions.
There have been three important changes to OFSI’s enforcement powers: for breaches of financial sanctions that are committed after 15 June 2022, OFSI will be able to impose civil monetary penalties on a strict civil liability basis; there will be greater flexibility on challenging OFSI’s decisions to issue monetary penalties for sanctions violations; and OFSI will now have the power to publicise details of financial sanctions breaches in cases where a breach has been found, but it has not imposed a monetary penalty. These changes are introduced by the SI 2022/638 – The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (Commencement No. 2 and Saving Provision) Regulations 2022.
On 2 June 2022, ASIC published the updated ePayments Code which it states will strengthen and clarify a number of existing protections for consumers relating to various forms of electronic payments. The Code has generally been the benchmark for consumer protections for payments and transactions that were triggered within the world of online and mobile banking. It has been an added level of regulation for its subscribers which include most banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia.
The Regulator has responded to its September 2021 consultation on three draft policies relevant to how it will exercise its new anti-avoidance powers, which are intended to help protect defined benefit savings. The most recent policies follow on from the policy on the investigation and prosecution of the new criminal offences, which was published in September 2021 and provide further guidance on three specific areas: overlapping powers, the new GBP 1million civil penalty and information gathering. Separately, the Regulator has also issued a new consultation on two policies consolidating and updating certain existing policies on enforcement and prosecution.