A check-cashing company and its owner pleaded guilty to violations of the Bank Secrecy Act arising from their failure to follow anti-money laundering reporting requirements with respect to more than $19 million in check-cashing transactions, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced. The plea agreement requires defendants Craig Panzera and his check-cashing business, Belair Payroll Services Inc., to forfeit $3.2 million and Panzera to pay restitution of nearly $1 million.
The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI Council) issues new versions of the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) every three years based on input from credit card companies, merchants and others that handle consumer credit-card data. This month, the PCI Council issued version 3.0 of the standards. They take effect January 1, 2014, and businesses have until the end of 2014 to come into compliance.
Within the last decade, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has seen a surge in the filing of religious discrimination claims. In 2012, the EEOC received about 4,000 complaints, compared to just 2,500 in 2003. Despite the sharp rise in complaints, the number of lawsuits the agency has filed against employers has decreased by 50%. The decline stems from EEOC efforts to resolve complaints before the commencement of legal proceedings by educating employers and reaching mutually agreeable settlements.
In addition to being mindful of on-the-job challenges, companies also need to be conscious of employee use of social media inside and outside of the workplace. Ensure that your company's employees follow smarter social media practices.
The decision whether to self-report violations of the UK's Bribery Act 2010 can be a difficult one and the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is not making it any easier.
A jury recently awarded 15 firefighters $3.7 million in back pay and damages for age discrimination in their lawsuit against the city of San Francisco. The current and retired firefighters — all over the age of 40 — claimed that "irregular and/or questionable" issues with a written promotion test in 2008 hindered the promotion of older firefighters and favored younger ones.
Wage-and-hour class-action lawsuits have taken the lead in workplace litigation, according to the latest trends report issued by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. Between 2007 and 2012, wage-and-hour settlements reached almost $2.7 billion, with $467 million in settlements in 2012 alone. Statistics released by the Federal Judicial Center show the trend continuing into 2013 with a 10% increase in wage-and-hour litigation over a 12-month period ending in March 2013.
Omnicare — the nation’s largest pharmacy specializing in providing drugs to nursing-home patients — recently agreed to pay $120 million plus attorneys’ fees to settle allegations that it violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). The company was charged with engaging in illegal "swapping" arrangements by offering discounts and below-cost pricing on prescription drugs or supplies for Part A patients in nursing facilities in exchange for referrals of patients in the Medicare Part D prescription benefit program.
Two years after former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's arrest, Penn State University has agreed to pay a total of $59.7 million to 26 of Sandusky's victims. The university announced 23 signed agreements, three to be finalized within the next few weeks and several more that could be reached in the future. These settlement agreements end civil litigation for these 26 men, who have agreed not to sue anyone else, including Sandusky's charity, Second Mile. The amount of each settlement varies, depending on when the alleged abuse occurred.
Company executives are increasingly using social media to communicate to investors because of its ability to quickly disseminate information to a large audience. While this method is fast and cost-effective, companies must be careful not to disclose material, nonpublic information that could lead to costly legal problems, such as fraud or insider-trading claims.