Author: Michael Volkov

Webinar: Update on OFAC’s Iran Sanctions Program

Webinar: Update on Iran Sanctions Program Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 12 Noon EST Sign Up Here On May 8, 2018, the Trump Administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and to began to reimpose the U.S. nuclear-related sanctions that were lifted to effectuate the JCPOA sanctions relief, following a wind-down period. Global companies have to update their trade compliance programs to ensure...

Textbook Lessons Learned from the Société Générale and Legg Mason FCPA Enforcement Action (Part III of III)

Sometimes it takes a large enforcement action to underscore basic and important anti-corruption compliance principles.  The Société Générale enforcement action demonstrated two important principles – the dangers of a weak corporate culture and the need to apply basic third-party risk management practices to respond to and resolve red flags when they occur. Absence of Culture of Ethics: Société Générale’s culture, as described in the Statement...

Société Générale and Legg Mason Pay the Price for Bribery in Libya (Part II of III)

Société Générale and Legg Mason carried out a massive bribery scheme to pay Gaddafi-era government officials in Libya in exchange for large investments by Libya government funds.  In total, Société Générale and Legg Mason paid over $90 million in bribes in exchange for over $3.6 billion in investments and profits of over $500 million. The Bribery Scheme In a lengthy factual statement, the government, Société...

Justice Department Settles Gaddafi-Libya FCPA Cases with Société Générale and Legg Mason (Part I of III)

In a one-two punch of FCPA enforcement actions, the Justice Department announced two related FCPA settlements involving Société Générale and Legg Mason for Gaddafi-era bribery payments to Libyan officials. In the first settlement announced, Société Générale agreed to pay a total of $860 million in criminal penalties, $585 million for FCPA violations and $275 million in a separate investigation for manipulation of London InterBank Offered...

Episode 42 — How to Manage Your CEO on Compliance Issues

An increasing number of chief compliance officers report directly on a monthly basis to the Chief Executive Officer.  As the compliance profession has earned independence and empowerment, CCOs are now part of the C-Suite and need to develop a positive relationship with the CEO to support the company’s ethics and compliance program. In doing so, CCOs need to ask themselves two important questions: (1) what...

When Corporate Leaders Fail to Listen

There are an infinite number of ways that corporations can end up violating the law resulting in a government enforcement action.  There is no way to define the nature and extent of all of these possibilities. But one thing for sure is that when a company’s leadership is not committed to compliance, falsely believes that its compliance program is effective, or simply ignores information suggesting...

Compliance and Technology

We need to start giving compliance a better foundation of basic knowledge, strategies and practical approaches. The compliance profession can adopt common solutions to problems for different companies.  The fact that companies have their own distinct risk profiles and operations does not mean that they have to rely on distinct compliance solutions.  No two companies are alike – that does not mean that the same...

Leadership Support Provides Compliance Credibility

We often hear the compliance refrain on the importance of tone-at-the-top – meaning when the board, the CEO and senior executives demonstrate by communications and by conduct their commitment to a culture of ethics and compliance. This single idea carries with it enormous importance to the success or failure of a compliance program.  A positive tone-at-the-top permeates every aspect of a compliance program and specifically...

Episode 41 — Compliance and Technology

Compliance professionals are learning about new technologies that are quickly evolving to aid the compliance function.  We hear regularly about the promise of artificial intelligence and block chain technology.  These new developments will have a significant impact on compliance.  But for now there are other areas where technology can help compliance programs today, including automation, data collection and analytics and monitoring capabilities. In this episode,...

DOJ Charges Two Additional Individuals in FCPA Rolls Royce Case

The Justice Department added to its roster of criminal FCPA defendants.  Going back to 2017, it is clear that the Yates Memorandum requirements have resulted in an increase in criminal FCPA prosecutions. Last week, the Justice Department unsealed a superseding indictment adding two individuals to the Rolls Royce criminal FCPA case in Ohio.  The criminal investigation centers on bribes to a Kazakh official to win...