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Price gouging enforcement and litigation is front and center for company counsel and business managers nationwide. Our weekly round up highlights some of the most relevant news and information to our clients and friends. Illinois Businessman Charged with Price Gouging Under the Defense Production Act On October 8, 2020, the U.S. attorney’s office for Chicago announced that an Illinois businessman was charged with price gouging protective masks during the height of the pandemic, in violation of the Defense Production Act. The businessman is accused of accumulating about 80,000 masks in March and April for approximately $5 each. The businessman allegedly…
Price gouging enforcement and litigation is front and center for company counsel and business managers nationwide. Our weekly round up highlights some of the most relevant news and information to our clients and friends. Department of Justice Continues Defense Production Act Enforcement On October 13, 2020, the Department of Justice announced that a Santa Monica women had been charged with price gouging N95 masks in violation of the Defense Production Act. According to the DOJ, the women sold the masks at vastly inflated prices sometimes nearly 1,100 percent over list price. The women admitted to charging inflated prices and pled…
Originally published on April 14, 2020. Last updated as of October 9, 2020. On October 8, the SBA simplified the forgiveness process for PPP loans of $50,000 or less.  If your PPP loan was $50,000 or less, and your affiliates together have not borrowed $2,000,000 or more, your PPP loan is exempt from forgiveness reduction due to reductions in full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or in employee salary or wages and you can utilize a new Loan Forgiveness Application – SBA Form 3508S. This up-to-date guide summarizes the key terms of the PPP, including with respect to the forgiveness aspect…
As of September 2019, 61,691 public charities and 11,529 private and public foundations were registered in New York, and one could expect that such numbers have increased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread protests against systemic racism. Most charities are community-based and focus on local needs. The pandemic has put immense strain on the resources of many charitable nonprofits at a time when their services are most desperately needed. Faced with the prospect of shutting or drastically reducing operations, nonprofits — particularly those that provide overlapping or complimentary services — may consider combining as a means to…
For private investment funds with limited or no remaining uncalled commitments, net asset value (NAV) and hybrid credit facilities can provide a useful source of liquidity to support underperforming assets or allow funds to engage in opportunistic acquisitions. These types of facilities are receiving renewed attention for funds seeking liquidity in light of the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 global pandemic. However, in the case of NAV or hybrid credit facilities that were put in place prior to the onset of the pandemic, more recent valuation reporting has created challenges for some funds in complying with the financial covenants under…
Price gouging enforcement and litigation is front and center for company counsel and business managers nationwide. Our weekly round up highlights some of the most relevant news and information to our clients and friends. New Jersey Attorney General Speaks Out On Efforts to Stop Price Gouging In a recent Law360 article, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal discussed the state’s approach to combatting pandemic-related price gouging. Prior to the pandemic, the state had declared a variety of states of emergency resulting from hurricanes and winter nor’easters. Accordingly, Attorney General Grewal stated that New Jersey’s “Division of Consumer Affairs anticipated an…
Employers across the country are restructuring business operations to mitigate the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Restructuring business operations—whether by complete shutdown, sale, or bankruptcy—implicates several employer-sponsored health and welfare plan issues. This article provides a high-level overview of common health and welfare plan scenarios that plan sponsors may encounter during a restructuring. Managing Health & Welfare Plans During Restructuring
Originally posted March 31, 2020. Last updated September 30, 2020. In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Securities and Exchange Commission and its Staff have provided temporary regulatory relief and guidance to assist a variety of market participants. This document summarizes the SEC’s actions that affect public companies, registered investment companies and registered investment advisors. The SEC Staff is monitoring developments closely and will consider additional relief and guidance from other regulatory requirements for those affected by the coronavirus as conditions warrant. We will update this summary as the SEC takes additional actions. The guide linked below should…
Price gouging enforcement and litigation is front and center for company counsel and business managers nationwide. Our weekly round up highlights some of the most relevant news and information to our clients and friends. AGs Defend Kentucky’s Investigation into Online Price Gouging On September 23, 2020, a bipartisan coalition of 30 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit urging the court to reverse the district court’s decision in Online Merchants Guild v. Cameron to preliminarily enjoin Kentucky from enforcing its price gouging prohibitions against merchants that sell their products on…
Price gouging enforcement and litigation is front and center for company counsel and business managers nationwide. Our weekly round up highlights some of the most relevant news and information to our clients and friends. Iowa Senators Send Letter to DOJ and FTC Urging Action On September 15, 2020, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) sent a letter to the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission urging the government agencies to take action in response to Iowa’s recent derecho. The senators requested that the “departments investigate allegations of wrongdoing, fraud and price gouging related to the Iowa derecho,…
Originally published on May 4, 2020. Last updated as of September 23, 2020. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston recently published updated Frequently Asked Questions and related documentation for the Main Street Lending Program’s Business and Nonprofit Facilities, to reflect that the Nonprofit Facilities are operational and to include multi-borrower loans. This client alert describes the main terms, issues and open questions for each of the five separate loan facilities available to eligible businesses and nonprofits under the Fed’s Main Street Lending Program.
Originally published on May 6, 2020. Last updated as of September 17, 2020. On August 14, 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (the “New York Fed”) published an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) concerning the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (the “PMCCF”) and the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (the “SMCCF,” and together with the PMCCF, the “CCFs”) established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). The PMCCF serves as a funding backstop for corporate debt issued by eligible issuers and the SMCCF provides liquidity to the market for outstanding corporate…
Price gouging enforcement and litigation is front and center for company counsel and business managers nationwide. Our weekly round up highlights some of the most relevant news and information to our clients and friends. Consumer Watchdog Accuses Amazon and Third-Party Sellers of Price Gouging According to a September 10, 2020, report from consumer rights nonprofit Public Citizen, Amazon listed its own products, including face masks, hand sanitizer, flour, and sugar at markups “ranging from 76% to more than 1,000%.” For example, Public Citizen reports that between April 1 and August 16, 2020, Amazon sold disposable face masks in packs of…
In a Law360 guest article published on May 26, we alerted employers to an anticipated flood of various types of COVID-19 health and safety-related whistleblower retaliation claims, including those filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as those filed in courts under common law and state and federal statutes. The predicted deluge of complaints to OSHA has been borne out by statistics released by OSHA showing a total of 2,660 COVID-19-related whistleblower complaints were filed between Feb. 18 and Aug. 25. This led to questions as to whether the agency could adequately address complaints in a timely…
Private equity M&A partner Andrew Wingfield alongside associate Katie Bunce and Caroline Rowlands, head of private equity at Howden M&A, have authored an article for Reuters Westlaw discussing issues surrounding the market for warranty and indemnity insurance during the coronavirus pandemic. M&A insurance: Changes, Impact and Opportunities for Investors Resulting from COVID-19
Originally published June 10, 2020.  Updated on August 27, 2020. On May 20, 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (the “New York Fed”) released the form of Master Loan and Security Agreement (“MLSA”) that will govern loans issued under its Term Asset-Backed Loan Facility (“TALF”) and published new Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) to provide additional clarity on the TALF program.  Additional FAQs were published on May 26, 2020 and June 8, 2020.  Together, the MLSA, the FAQs, and the previously released TALF Term Sheet constitute the current terms and conditions for the TALF program. The first subscription date…