Every year, the numerous agencies of the United States Government send out letters to companies putting them on notice that the company is suspected of committing some serious violation. Usually, the letter or notice demands a written response within 30 days or the company will be subject to a penalty or fine. Knowing how to handle such letters, notices, or subpoenas is critical in terminating the investigation successfully, not paying a huge penalty, and even avoiding criminal prosecution.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is seizing a record number of bank accounts for money laundering. A Special Agent from ICE submits an Affidavit to a Federal Judge who signs a Seizure Warrant authoring the Special Agent to serve the Seizure Warrant upon the bank and seizure whateve money is in that account. Although the seizure of such accounts may accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose in attempting to stop the illicit sale of narcotics by taking the money generated from those sales, the process is too easily abused by the U.S. Government.
I am still troubled by the Wall Street Journal lead article on October 4, 2010 with the headline "Recession-Weary Americans Sour on Free Trade." I asked myself why would Americans who live in an economy built successfully on the principles of capitalism and free enterprise be against international trade? My bold prediction is that 2011 will be the year that the Obama Administration successfully finalizes free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia, and then Congress passes laws approving them.