The Façade of COVID-19 Class Action Litigation Against China Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

In recent weeks, at least seven class action lawsuits have been filed in federal district courts throughout the United States against the government of the People’s Republic of China (the “P.R.C.” or “China”), all relating to China’s alleged liability for damages and injuries sustained in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Although plaintiffs in these lawsuits make broadly different claims, they all face the same highly formidable legal roadblock: a need to find exceptions that can pierce the presumptive immunity afforded to China and other sovereign nations under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1602, et seq., which would otherwise preclude their claims at the outset for lack of jurisdiction.

Why Is AMLO Trying to Roll Back Mexico’s Energy Reforms?

Greg Ahlgren, partner at Diaz, Reus: “Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s policy proposals seek to energize support for his party prior to the midterm elections in June. Consistent with his nationalist approach to economic matters, AMLO is promoting energy independence as a national objective. Not surprisingly from a government that frequently reminds world leaders of Mexico’s sovereignty, AMLO has made a point to consolidate a variety of functions under state-controlled institutions, and his current proposals in the energy sector exemplify this.

Southern District of Florida Takes Sweeping Action Against CARES Act Fraud

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, and representatives from their partner law enforcement agencies announced today an update on their criminal enforcement efforts in South Florida to combat fraud under the CARES Act, the relief legislation that Congress passed one year ago to help individuals and businesses financially survive the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the enforcement efforts announced today include prosecutions against defendants accused of trying to steal funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit program.

Exfuncionario de la administración de Maduro se declara culpable ante la Justicia de EEUU por cargos de soborno y lavado de dinero vinculado a CITGO

Un ciudadano estadounidense-venezolano y ex funcionario de Citgo Petroleum Corporation, bajo la administración de Nicolás Maduro, se declaró culpable por su papel en el lavado de millones de dólares en sobornos y la provisión de ventajas comerciales de manera corrupta.
Citgo es una subsidiaria con sede en Houston de la compañía energética estatal y controlada por el estado de Venezuela, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).

Former Citgo executive pleads guilty to accepting $7 million in bribes

A former Citgo official is the latest person to plead guilty in the federal investigation of bribery at Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. PDVSA, the state-run oil company that owns Houston-based Citgo.
Jose Luis De Jongh Atencio, 48, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering after accepting millions of dollars in bribes, the Justice Department said on Monday. De Jongh was indicted by a federal grand jury in July.

Former Venezuelan official pleads guilty in connection with international bribery and money laundering scheme

A dual U.S.-Venezuelan citizen and former official at Citgo Petroleum Corporation has pleaded guilty for his role in laundering millions of dollars in bribes and corruptly providing business advantages.
Citgo is a Houston-based subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).
Jose Luis De Jongh Atencio (De Jongh), 48, was the former procurement officer and manager in Citgo’s Special Projects Group. According to court documents, between approximately 2013 and 2019, he accepted over $7 million in bribe payments in exchange for assisting businessmen and related companies in procuring contracts with Citgo. De Jongh also provided them with other business advantages.