Featured Articles:

AML Compliance Lessons Learned from US Bancorp and Rabobank Enforcement Actions

Global banks have been the focus of enforcement actions, focusing on AML and sanctions violations.  With the new beneficial ownership regulations effective May 11, 2018, we are about to see a significant transformation in AML compliance and enforcement. I have scheduled a free webinar, The New Era of AML Compliance: The Need to Refresh Your AML Compliance Program, May 15, 2018, at 12 Noon EST. ...

Webinar: The New Era of AML Compliance — The Need to Refresh Your AML Compliance Program

The New Era of AML Compliance: The Need to Refresh Your AML Compliance Program May 15, 2018, 12 Noon EST SIGN UP HERE Anti-Money Laundering compliance programs are evolving to take into account new government expectations and regulations, including FinCEN’s new beneficial ownership regulations and recent enforcement actions. Recent AML enforcement have raised important issues for financial institutions as well. Join Michael Volkov, CEO of...

CCOs and Compromising Positions

The chief compliances officer is the guardian of a company’s most important intangible asset – its culture.  Everyone at a company is responsible for a company’s culture; the board of directors, CEO, senior executives play an important leadership role and have to exercise responsibility for preserving and promoting a company’s culture. CCOs, however, are responsible for a company’s ethics and compliance program.  I have regularly...

FinCEN Issues Guidance for Beneficial Ownership Regulations

Financial institutions face an important deadline – May 11, 2018 is the effective date for the new customer due diligence regulations governing beneficial ownership requirements.  FinCEN provided financial institutions nearly two years to prepare for the implementation date. FinCEN issued comprehensive guidance on the new regulations and has sought to clarify as many issues as possible.  (See HERE for Copy).  There is no question that...

The Cohen Search Warrants – DOJ Procedures for Approval

With all the recent hoopla and commentary on the Michael Cohen criminal investigation and the execution of search warrants against Cohen, it is important to focus on what is true, what is exaggerated and what is outright false. My related podcast on the Cohen Criminal Investigation and Search Warrants is Here. First, it is not unusual to execute a search warrant at an attorney’s office...

Episode 34 — The Cohen Criminal Investigation and Search Warrants

On August 9, 2018, FBI agents executed search warrants at Michael Cohen’s office, hotel, residence, safety deposit box and electronic devices.  Since then, we learned that the US Attorney’s Office in New York City have an ongoing criminal investigation against Michael Cohen.  The full scope of this investigation has yet to be disclosed but it is clear that Cohen will face significant and serious charges....

Supreme Court Narrows Criminal Tax Obstruction of Justice Statute

The Supreme Court ruled in a criminal tax case, Marinello v. United States, that a criminal tax obstruction of justice was overly broad.  In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Government must prove that the defendant was aware of a pending tax-related proceeding, such as an investigation or audit, or could reasonably foresee that such a proceeding would commence.  The Supreme Court’s...

OFAC Hits Russia with New Sanctions

On April 6, 2018, OFAC announced a new round of sanctions against Russian individuals and companies.  (For Press Release Here; new FAQs Here; and new General Licenses 12 Here and 13 Here).  Relying on its authority under existing executive orders, OFAC designated seven Russian oligarchs and 12 companies they own or control, 17 senior Russian government officials and a state-owned weapons trading company, and its...

The New Test for CCOs

These are inspiring times for the compliance profession.  Looking back on the last ten years, it is amazing to observe the growth and influence of the compliance profession.  Many of the original advocates for the compliance profession must be impressed.  Corporate leaders are now embracing a new mantra – ethics and compliance. Business ethics is a new focus and language all to itself. At the...

Bringing a Compliance Program to Life: Connecting the Dots

A compliance program is an interdependent function that gains exponentially from coordination and cooperation with key functions.  CCOs have to be politicians and they have to develop effective interpersonal skills.  Without an ability to connect with other individuals in a company, a compliance program will suffer some real and substantial difficulties. Compliance officers have to develop a target list of coordinators and cooperators.  A CCO...