Author: Michael Volkov

Broadcat: A New and Innovative Tool to Promote the Compliance Message

Ricardo Pellafone, a long-time compliance professional, has created a new and exciting company — Broadcat (link here) — to provide new and innovative products to promote the compliance message.  I asked Ricardo to contribute a post on his new venture. What’s the best kind of compliance information? The kind your executives and board of directors will listen to. As an in-house practitioner, your wheelhouse is...

Corruption and Foreign Government Institutions

The FCPA can create a very one-sided view of corruption. The bribe payer is punished and most times the recipient is not. The Justice Department has used creative approaches to ensnare recipients as in the Direct Partners enforcement action, but for the most part the recipients are not punished nor even publicly identified. Bribery demands can occur in a variety of contexts; sometimes they are...

Focusing on Internal Investigations

A speak up culture is an important component of a company’s commitment to organizational justice. All of the pieces of an internal justice system have to fit together and are interdependent. When one part does not work, the whole system does not work. A robust internal investigation system is a critical component of organizational justice. Companies often pull together the basic components of an internal...

Learning from Schlumberger’s Mistakes: Doing Business Under Iran General License H

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, rejoins us for a posting on sanctions compliance.  She can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. Implementation Day has been hailed as a new stage in Iran-US relations. There has been significant media coverage of how sanctions are being lifted, with various outlets suggesting that Iran is now “open for business.” In reality, that is far from true....

Beneficial Ownership: Sanctions and FCPA Compliance

Financial institutions have been pushing back hard on FinCEN’s proposal to require banks, investment banks and other financial institutions to identify beneficial owners of account holders. As time goes on the impact of FinCEN’s proposal is diminishing. Why? In general, businesses have other reasons to secure beneficial ownership information. One key concern is sanctions compliance. To the extent an account holder engages in international transactions,...

Webinar: Review of Iran and Cuba Sanctions Programs — Compliance Challenges

Review of Iran and Cuba Sanctions Programs — Compliance Challenges February 16, 2016 12 Noon EST Sign Up Here The US government has implemented major changes to the Iran and Cuba sanctions programs. Recently, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets implemented major revisions effective on Implementation Day under the US-Iran Nuclear Agreement. For compliance professionals, the revised restrictions raise serious compliance challenges.  In addition...

Prosecuting Individuals – The Coming Wave

When the Justice Department adopts new strategies and policies, it takes time for results. Rest assured, however, that the Justice Department’s focus on individual accountability is going to have real and significant consequences. The political blowback to DOJ’s prosecution strategies started with the failure to indict or seriously investigate senior executives connected to financial institutions involved in the financial crisis of 2008 to 2009. The...

Fraud and Bribery: Segregation of Duties

Some things go together. Chocolate chip cookies and milk, Hepburn and Tracy, Lewis and Martin (I know, I am showing my age, but you get the point), and many other favorite combinations. So, you get the point – in the world of anti-bribery compliance, and another in my series of profound grasps of the obvious – fraud and bribery go hand in hand. One of...

How to Keep Your Whistleblower(s) “Happy” (or Satisfied)

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony – Mahatma Gandhi Happiness is an elusive concept – for some. For others who may be more enlightened or lived for years, happiness is a feeling that can be attained by commitment, determination and awareness.  My keys to happiness are love, gratitude and empathy. Some people are “content” being...

Bribery Requires – Money

I have to confess – I love the show Shark Tank. Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, is my favorite Shark. Mr. Wonderful often reminds the contestants and other Sharks that the central issue in considering business proposals is – How do I make M-O-N-E-Y? The same focus on money has to be at the core of any anti-corruption compliance program. In examining a company’s risk profile,...