The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed a civil enforcement action on May 17 seeking to compel Steve Wynn, a casino magnate and associate of former President Trump, to register as an agent of China under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”).

The suit is the first civil action initiated by the DOJ since 1991. It alleges that Wynn worked with Chinese officials from June to August 2017, engaging in political activities in the U.S. on China’s behalf. Specifically, Wynn is alleged to have relayed China’s request to remove from the U.S. a Chinese national who had sought ...

Richard Olson, a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) during the Obama administration, has been criminally charged for failing to disclose his role in...

On March 30, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the unsealing of an indictment against Sun Hoi Ying, a Chinese national, alleging that from 2017 through 2022, Sun acted in the United States as an agent of the Chinese government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General as required by law.

According to the DOJ...

On April 5th, the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing entitled “Enhancing the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.” The Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”). The hearing—the first dedicated to FARA in 30 years—focused on potential changes... 

On March 8, the court of the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment charging Elena Branson, a dual citizen of Russia and the United States, with FARA violations, as well as visa fraud and making false statements to the FBI.

According to the indictment, beginning in 2011, Branson worked on behalf of the Russian government to advance Russian interests in the United States. Branson is alleged to have corresponded with Putin and met with a high-ranking Russia minister before founding a Russian propaganda center in New York City, using the center to host events and engage in ...

On January 6, 2022, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) unsealed an indictment charging Pierre Girgis, a dual U.S.-Egyptian citizen, with acting and conspiring to act in the U.S. as an unregistered agent of the Egyptian government, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 951.

From approximately 2014 to 2019, Girgis is alleged to have tracked and obtained information about Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s political opponents in the U.S. The indictment also alleges that Girgis used his connections within U.S. law enforcement to obtain non-public information, arranged ...

On December 8, 2021, the National Security Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced it was seeking public comment on making “modernizing” changes to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”), in advance of an anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The DOJ will keep the notice period open for 60 days. It seeks comment on the following questions:

  • Question 1: Should the Department incorporate into its regulations some or all of its guidance addressing the scope of agency, which is currently published as part of the FARA Unit’s FAQs on its website ...

The American Bar Association created a task force on the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) made up of attorneys who deal with FARA related matters and inquiries. Yesterday, that task force released the report "FARA: Issues and Recommendations for Reform" which outlines in 53 pages the reforms they say are needed to fix the law.

Matthew Sanderson, editor of FARA.us and co-leader of the Political Law Group at Caplin & Drysdale, services as the co-chair of the Task Force on Foreign Agents Registration Act. Below is the executive summary from the report.

SECTION II: EXECUTIVE ...

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced on July 20 that several defendants—including Thomas Barrack, a former adviser to the 2016 Trump presidential campaign—were charged with engaging in a conspiracy to illegally advance and promote the interests of the United Arab Emirates in the U.S. while failing to notify the Attorney General that their actions were taken at the direction of senior UAE officials, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 951.

Barrack reportedly was an informal adviser and fundraiser to former president Trump’s 2016 campaign then chaired his presidential ...

Michael Flynn associate Bijan Rafiekian, whose conviction under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) was overturned in September 2019, had his conviction reinstated by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 18, 2021.

Rafiekian, who ran a consulting a consulting firm with Michael Flynn hired by the Turkish government to advocate for the extradition of Turkish dissident cleric Fethullah Gulden, was convicted of acting as an unregistered foreign agent in the U.S. and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The district court judge found ...

An Informational Resource in a New Era of Foreign Agents Registration Act Enforcement.

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