U.S. Congressional Investigations of COVID-19 Federal Aid Likely to Go Global

June 15, 2020

Publication: Global Investigations Review

Recipients of the US $2 trillion aid package passed by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including airlines, banks and other U.S. multinationals, should prepare for the likelihood of U.S. congressional investigations stretching beyond U.S. borders, as Kobre & Kim’s Scott Hulsey, Lara Levinson and Hartley West wrote for Global Investigations Review.

Just like after the 2008 financial crisis, recipients of federal aid often find themselves under the spotlight of congressional scrutiny. In some past investigations, U.S. congressional reach has extended beyond its borders, obtaining testimony and documents from foreign companies through informal pressure or collecting evidence by subpoenaing U.S. affiliates of global companies.

With certain industries receiving billions of dollars, particularly airlines, together with the global economic impact of the COVID-19 recession, many companies are likely to face cross-border investigations by Congress. Hulsey, Levinson and West advised these companies should take several strategic steps to reduce their exposure, such as undertaking a risk analysis, augmenting controls and training, identifying information sources, and considering spillover investigations in other jurisdictions.

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