Author: Michael Volkov

FCPA Compliance: Automation and Mitigating Gifts, Meals, Entertainment and Travel Expenditures Risks (Part III of V)

The laundry list of companies that have been prosecuted for FCPA violations surrounding gifts, meals, entertainment and travel expenditures is lengthy. Consider just two examples: In SEC v. Diageo (2011) (copy Here), Diageo agreed to a $16 million settlement for a variety of illegal bribe payments and GMET expenses, including $64,184 spent on rice cakes and other gifts for the South Korean military over a four-year...

FCPA Compliance: When a Foreign Official is a Third-Party (Part II of V)

Compliance officers are trained to spot risks.  They have an eagle eye and keen sensitivity.  In some cases they have to overcome inaccurate designations – my favorite is a “PEP,” a politically exposed person.  I sometimes hear the compliance equivalent of an “Oh, no, we can’t do business with him or her – he or she is a PEP.”  Of course, we all know that...

FCPA Compliance: The Importance of Relativity to Risk Ranking (Part I of V)

Any fool can know.  The point is to understand. – Albert Einstein Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. – Albert Einstein This week I am posting a five-part series on FCPA compliance issues.  While there have been many advances in the anti-corruption ethics and compliance field, there is still more work to do to advance...

Episode 35 –Update on AML Compliance from Recent AML Enforcement Actions

In the early part of 2018, the Justice Department brought two significant AML criminal enforcement actions against US Bancorp and Rabobank, respectively. These two cases, coupled with the new beneficial ownership regulations effective May 11, 2018, raise significant changes in the AML compliance and enforcement landscape.  In addition, the SEC and FINRA brought AML enforcement actions against Aegis Corporation and three individuals, two of whom were...

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....