Author: Michael Volkov

Under the Dark of Night, DOJ Moves the Compliance Ball (Part I of IV)

In an unusual move, the Justice Department issued an important document in the dead of night – Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs. (Available Here). We have no explanation from the Justice Department for the issuance of this document.   I can speculate but I suspect there was a personnel issue that explained why the issue was released without notice nor explanation. Whatever the reason, the...

Parallel Universes: Antitrust Leniency and the FCPA Pilot Program

The world of science fiction can be exhilarating. If you ever read The Foundation Trilogy or Martian Chronicles, you know what I mean. The concept of parallel universes has always been an intriguing idea where believers can aspire to correct events in one universe by fantasizing about their own life in the parallel universe. How I am going to twist this concept into a compliance...

Unpacking the Justice Department’s Compliance Remediation Standards (Part I of II)

The Justice Department has a lot to be proud about when it comes to its FCPA enforcement program. In one area in particular – promoting effective ethics and compliance strategies – DOJ’s FCPA prosecutors have played a leadership role in promoting ethics and compliance programs. When reviewing the history of compliance, most practitioners point to the impact of the Sentencing Guidelines as the most significant...

The FCPA Pilot Program Disciplinary Standards (Part II of II)

Returning to the FCPA Pilot Project requirements for timely and appropriate remediation, the Justice Department added three new elements, one of which reinforces the CCO “independence” requirement. The two other elements for an effective ethics and compliance program focus on the qualifications and compensation of compliance officers. First, with respect to the structure of the company’s compliance program, the Justice Department listed the reporting structure...

Yikes: The Perils of Remediation and Corporate Monitors

The Justice Department has raised the stakes on anti-corruption compliance. In other words, DOJ prosecutors expect companies to have more sophisticated and mature compliance programs. If a company walks into the Justice Department to begin the voluntary disclosure process, the company better have a mature compliance program. If the company presents only a paper program that has not been “operationalized,” the company can expect a...

Focus on the Issue of “Corrupt Intent”

Legal and compliance practitioners are often asked to review a set of facts and determine whether the actors will potentially violate the FCPA. A lot has been written on the vagueness or lack of clarity surrounding the FCPA. Those opinions are not very persuasive and ignore common sense, legal concepts and good faith. A legal and compliance professional knows the importance of good faith. They...

The Test for Bad Actors in a Bad Company

Some business people are “bad,” meaning they engage in misconduct and either feel no remorse or rationalize why their conduct is acceptable. In a company that embraces bad acting, breaking rules or cutting corners, bad actors are likely to flourish. A bad company is the breeding ground for bad actors. How do you define a “bad” company? We all know examples of bad companies that...

Webinar: Update on Healthcare Enforcement and Compliance Strategies

March 1, 2017, 12 Noon EST Sign up HERE The Justice Department continues to reap great benefits from its aggressive False Claims Act — civil and criminal — enforcement program.  2016 was another multi-billion dollar year for False Claims Act recoveries, especially against healthcare providers, hospitals, skilled nursing and hospice facilities. The Supreme Court also delivered an important decision on False Claims Act implied certification...

The Challenges Facing the Antitrust Leniency Program and the Yates Memorandum

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has a long history of independence within the US Department of Justice. Antitrust enforcement was considered a unique area requiring a specialized understanding of markets and economics. In the civil enforcement area, this expertise and understanding of economics, competition and business makes sense. As a former prosecutor, the Antitrust Division’s prosecution of criminal violations is not so unique. Antitrust prosecutors...

SEC Snares Two “Masterminds” Behind Och-Ziff Bribery Scheme

The SEC recently filed a lengthy civil complaint against two Och-Ziff executives: Michael Cohen, who headed Och-Ziff’s European office, and Vanja Barros, an executive responsible for Africa-related transactions, charging them with participation in a massive bribery scheme in Libya, Chad, Niger, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last year, Och-Ziff settled with the Justice Department and the SEC, and agreed to pay fines and...