Author: Michael Volkov

May 2018: D-Day for FinCEN Customer Due Diligence and EU’s General Data Privacy Regulations

Chief compliance officers for financial institutions are going to have a rough May 2018. First, on May 11, 2018, the new CDD Rule for beneficial ownership becomes effective.  Two weeks later, on May 25, 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation becomes effective. FinCEN CDD Rule FinCEN’s new Customer Due Diligence rules will have a significant impact on the collection of beneficial ownership information and...

Calculating the New Balance Between Disclosure and Non-Disclosure of Potential FCPA Violations

The Justice Department’s new FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy has altered the balance between disclosure and non-disclosure of FCPA violations.  How is that for a profound grasp of the obvious? All kidding aside, the question is how much has the balance been changed?  I am not sure there will be a significant increase in the number of companies deciding to seek the benefits under the new...

Sponsored Product Update: NAVEX Global’s RiskRate 6.0

I am excited to announce a recent product development launch for our sponsor, NAVEX Global, an innovative leader in the ethics and compliance field.  We are proud to work with NAVEX Global, a company that works hard to create products that deliver practical solutions for ethics and compliance professionals. Although third-party risk management is a top  concern for many organizations, it is common to hear that...

Pushing Ethics and Compliance Programs in the New FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy

The Justice Department’s aggressive enforcement program, particularly in the FCPA arena, has been the primary impetus to the growth and empowerment of the corporate compliance function.  The Justice Department and SEC’s FCPA Guidance, and the specific Hallmarks of an Effective Compliance and Ethics Program is the most definitive statement on compliance expectations ever released by US prosecutors.  Since 2012, the Justice Department has built on...

Episode 14 — What Every Compliance Officer Needs to Know About Data Privacy and the EU’s GDPR

Compliance officers have to be mindful of new and emerging threats.  In the past few years, cyber security and data privacy have been quickly rising as new and significant threats that corporations face in the global marketplace. The European Union has adopted a far-reaching new regulatory regime applicable to companies that conduct business in the European Union and collect any sensitive data relating to EU...

Practical Ethics – The New Way to Advance an Ethical Culture

I have always been struck by the “feel good” advocacy and advice from so-called ethics “experts.”  Sure, it is great to talk about moral values, ethical principles, and other high-minded ideas that inspire an audience to embrace the value of an ethical culture.  But that is not really the point of promoting an ethical culture as part of a corporate culture. Let’s start with a...

Sanctions Updates: Cuba, North Korea, Russia, Sudan, Venezuela

Sanctions compliance is challenging because of the changing nature of sanctions regulations and individuals identified as Specially Designated Nationals. With each new administration, foreign policy priorities are usually played out in a variety of sanctions regimes and policies. This year, however, saw Congress enter the regulatory fray, when it imposed detailed regulatory requirements and procedures designed to constrain the current administration from making major changes...

Foreign Agents Registration Act Enforcement

One consequence of the ongoing Russia investigation against the current administration is increased focus and probable enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). For Washington insiders, FARA was a known requirement but strict compliance was never the rule. FARA’s purpose was aimed at encouraging disclosure of hidden relationships with foreign governments that are intended to influence US government officials. With the increased enforcement of...

Webinar: How to Implement An Effective Sanctions Compliance Program

How to Implement an Effective Sanctions Compliance Program Tuesday, December 19, 2017 Sign Up Here The Department of Justice and the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) have aggressively enforced comprehensive and complex sanctions statutes and regulations. Global companies have to design and implement an effective sanctions compliance program in order to avoid sanctions enforcement risks. Join Michael Volkov, CEO of The...

SBM Offshore Finally Reaches the Finish Line and Settles FCPA Case for $238 Million

In a follow-on prosecution and end to a twisted investigation and enforcement path, SBM Offshore agreed to settle an FCPA enforcement matter for $238 million (including a $500,000 criminal fine and $13.2 million forfeiture). Under the agreement, SBM offshore entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA, copy here), and a US subsidiary entered a guilty plea to one count of FCPA conspiracy. The Justice...