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Justice Department Settles First Post-HLOGA LDA Enforcement Case

January 2012

The U.S. Department of Justice recently reached an agreement with WayPoint Consulting, a lobbying firm, to settle a civil enforcement case involving violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA).  The settlement, which was executed on behalf of WayPoint in early November, appears to be the first instance of LDA enforcement following the enactment of the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA).  HLOGA, which was passed in the wake of scandals, made significant changes to congressional ethics  laws and the LDA, including harsher penalties for noncompliance.

The settlement notes that WayPoint violated the reporting provisions of the LDA by failing to timely file quarterly reports disclosing its lobbying activities.  The settlement further notes that both WayPoint and its registered lobbyist failed to timely file semiannual reports of political contributions.  According to databases maintained by the Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate, it appears that WayPoint had filed some quarterly reports over a year after the applicable deadlines and some semiannual reports of political contributions nearly three years after the applicable deadlines.  As part of the settlement agreement, WayPoint agreed to pay a civil penalty of $45,000.