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Department of Justice Announces Two Settlements with Lobbying Firms for Violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act
On September 21, 2012, the Department of Justice announced that it had reached settlement agreements with two lobbying firms in connection with repeated violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). The two firms, Lussier, Gregor, Vienna & Associates and the Da Vinci Group, were referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.
Both firms repeatedly filed quarterly LD-2 reports and semiannual LD-203 reports late. Some reports were filed as late as three years after the applicable deadline. The firms will pay a total of $80,000 in fines in connection with the settlements.
These are the second and third enforcement cases involving the late filing of LDA reports to be settled since the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) took effect. Among other things, HLOGA increased the maximum civil penalty for the late filing of LDA reports and added jail time and criminal penalties as potential punishments for knowing and willful violations of the LDA.
The first enforcement case involving the late filing of LDA reports since HLOGA was settled last year. As part of the settlement agreement in that case, WayPoint Consulting, a lobbying firm, agreed to pay a civil penalty of $45,000. WayPoint Consulting had also repeatedly filed both quarterly LD-2 reports and semiannual LD-203 reports well after the applicable deadlines.