The United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that the a number shipping companies have agreed to pay a total of US$3.4 million to "resolve allegations that they [breached] the False Claims Act by fixing the price of government cargo transportation contracts between the continental [US] and Puerto Rico".
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it has approved an Order (10 March 2014) that settles charges that rent-to-own retailer Aaron's Inc (Aaron's) "knowingly played a direct and vital role in its franchisees' installation and use of software on rental computers that secretly monitored consumers, including taking webcam pictures of them in their homes".
The United States (US) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made available a statement (12 March 2014) by SEC enforcement division director Andrew Ceresney that welcomes the recent Court ruling on sanctions imposed on former Goldman Sachs vice president Fabrice Tourre, who was found liable in 2013 for fraud in relation to the financial crisis (further information).
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that global investment bank and brokerage firm Jefferies has agreed to pay US$25 million to settle charges that it "fail[ed] to supervise employees on its mortgage-backed securities desk who were [misleading] customers about pricing".
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it has obtained a Court order to freeze accounts belonging to Mutual Wealth, which the SEC alleges (25 February 2014) has been "exploiting investors through a website and social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter, falsely promising extraordinary returns of [2-3%] per week for investors who open accounts with the firm".
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have jointly published the following documents (both undated) on how background checks may be performed for employment purposes:
The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that Ohio-based long-term care pharmacy Omnicare Inc (Omnicare) has agreed to pay US$4.19 million to settle allegations that it engaged in a kickback scheme in violation of the False Claims Act. Omnicare is alleged to have "solicited and received kickbacks from the drug manufacturer Amgen Inc in return for implementing 'therapeutic interchange' programs that were designed to switch Medicaid beneficiaries from a competitor drug to Amgen's product Aranesp".
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalised new emission standards for cars and gasoline as part of its Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Program, following extensive consultation with the public and a broad range of stakeholders. According to the EPA, the new standards "will significantly reduce harmful pollution and prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks".
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book for January - December 2013 (February 2014), which provides an overview of the complaints received by the FTC in 2013. The FTC received over 2 million complaints during the calendar year 2013, of which 55% related to fraud, 14% related to identity theft and 31% related to other types. Identity theft was the number one complaint category, 30% of which were tax- or wage-related.
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