Author: Michael Volkov

Anti-Kickback Enforcement – Steady and Aggressive

When commentators criticize the FCPA for its broad coverage of international business operations, these same commentators would have real trouble with the US Anti-Kickback statute. Talk about broad coverage and then complicate it with specific exemptions that are challenging to interpret and apply. When it comes to fraud enforcement in the healthcare industry, the Justice Department wields a mighty stick – the False Claims Act....

Drug and Medical Device Corruption Risks in China

Medical device and pharmaceutical companies know the risks of conducting business in China. Company after company has had to settle FCPA enforcement actions in China. Many of these enforcement actions include fact patterns that are pretty consistent. At the heart of these bribery cases are distributors who are used to funnel bribery payments to healthcare professionals. The expectations and modes of operation are fairly consistent...

Food Safety Criminal Prosecutions: When Compliance is a Matter of Life and Death

Over the last ten to twenty years, we have witnessed the expansion of federal criminal prosecution of health and safety matters. Environmental and food and drug regulatory enforcement has been supplemented by aggressive criminal enforcement. In the last few years, we have seen some landmark criminal cases involving companies and executives for food safety violations. Compliance programs in these high-risk industries can literally be a...

Olympus: A Culture of Bribery and Kickbacks

When compliance officers read about a major Justice Department settlement action, we can all hear the collective sigh of relief – “Thank goodness, that did not happen here in my company.” The recent Olympus settlement is another in a long line of cases where any shred of corporate culture of integrity has been replaced with a culture of bribery and kickbacks, or other kids of...

Derailing Internal Reviews, Audits, Assessments and Investigations

Following FCPA enforcement actions provides important insights that can be translated into corporate compliance program best practices. One key element of an effective ethics and compliance program is conducting periodic assessments, and implementing an efficient and responsive internal investigation protocol. Under the Sentencing Guidelines, an effective ethics and compliance program has to prevent and detect potential violations of law and the company’s code of conduct....

A Teaching Moment Inside VimpelCom’s Boardroom

The VimpelCom FCPA settlement underscored the importance of Compliance 2.0 and the need to reform board deliberations and governance. No one can read the facts without shaking their heads and asking – what was the VimpelCom board thinking? The VimpelCom board’s failure to act reflects the key driving force inside the corporate boardroom – defense. When a company is not being led by the board...

Individual Criminal Prosecutions and Deterrence

The issue of deterrence is easy to boil down – a company pays a fine of $500 million for illegal conduct and continues on its merry way. If the same company pays the same fine of $500 million and three of its top executives are prosecuted, convicted, and sent to jail, then the value of deterrence has increased significantly. Common sense tells us that deterrence...

PTC Settlement: Compliance Reminders for Internal Controls, Travel and Gifts

PTC, a Massachusetts software company, reached settlements with the SEC and DOJ last week for FCPA violations for a total of $28 million. Interestingly, the SEC announced a DPA with a PTC official who assisted in the investigation. DOJ also reappeared on the FCPA enforcement radar with a non-prosecution agreement and collection of a $14 million fine. The SEC reached a $14 million settlement with...

The Force Awakens: Vimpelcom’s FCPA Settlement and the Wreckage Left Behind (Part II of II)

The Vimpelcom FCPA enforcement action is stunning in its breadth and the brazen nature of the bribery scheme. It is hard to accept that such conduct stretched into 2011 to 2013, given the significant emphasis placed on anti-corruption enforcement in the corporate governance world. It is easy to ask but hard to imagine how many other major companies are operating with such flimsy attention to...

Webinar: Compliance Program Pointers from Recent FCPA Enforcement Actions

Webinar: March 9, 2016, 12 Noon EST Sign Up Here FCPA enforcement actions provide important compliance tips and reminders for anti-corruption compliance programs. In this webinar, we will review FCPA enforcement actions for the last few years and present a number of important compliance program tips and reminders. Join Michael Volkov, CEO of The Volkov Law Group, for a discussion of FCPA enforcement actions and...