Category: General

A Compliance Priority — Watching Where Your Money Goes

His money is twice tainted: taint yours and taint mine – Mark Twain In a number of enforcement contexts, I am always struck by a common theme – crooks are able to obtain access to corporate money for improper purposes.  You never hear about a crook who uses his own money to pay bribes or secure any illegal advantage. Companies have to maintain vigilant financial...

United Technologies SEC FCPA Enforcement Action: Gifts, Meals, Entertainment and Travel Abuse and Bribery (Part II of II)

When you read through the United Technologies SEC FCPA enforcement action, you cannot help but shake your head – the level of abuse and participation by senior managers in the UT companies – Pratt & Whitney and Otis Elevator is disturbing. As outlined in the SEC settlement, from 2009 to 2015, Pratt & Whitney and Otis Elevator improperly provided trips and gifts to various foreign...

United Technologies Pays $13.9 Million to Settle FCPA Charges (Part I of II)

The SEC’s FCPA Unit had a good week last week – they announced a second FCPA settlement along with the Sanofi case.  The latest to fall was United Technologies that agreed to pay $13.9 million for bribes paid by its elevator and aircraft engine businesses. The SEC FCPA settlement focused on Azerbaijan and China relating to third-party bribery payments.  In addition to these two bribery...

Sanofi Coughs Up $25 Million to Settle SEC FCPA Charges

Well, add another pharmaceutical company to the FCPA healthcare “sweep.”  Frankly, the term “sweep” makes it sound like a coordinated enforcement effort – instead, it is more accurate to think of it as multiple prosecutions against a high-risk industry. Whatever the enforcement background, Sanofi settled an FCPA case with the SEC for $25 million.  DOJ closed its investigation of Sanofi in March 2018.  The SEC...

The Real Focus for Compliance: Post-Acquisition Integration of an Acquired Company (Part III of III)

In light of the evolving (or evolved) DOJ and SEC approach to FCPA enforcement in the merger and acquisition context, global companies have to emphasize their post-acquisition process.  Obviously, this is not limited to ethics and compliance issues.  An acquiring company has a long list of tasks needed to complete in order to integrate the new company into the existing company’s operations. Global companies that...

The Importance of Pre-Acquisition FCPA Due Diligence (Part II of III)

Several years ago (or in the recent past as some would say), pre-acquisition due diligence was a major compliance focus for global companies that grew through aggressive merger and acquisition strategies.  In some respects, and perhaps in reaction to relaxation of some of DOJ’s strict requirements that applied ten years ago (i.e. Halliburton Opinion Letter 08-02), companies appear to be adjusting their compliance priorities and...

FCPA Risks and Merger and Acquisitions: The Evolving Policies (Part I of III)

Global companies that grow through a deliberate merger and acquisition strategy continue to face significant anti-corruption risks.  The list of FCPA enforcement actions includes numerous examples of companies that settled FCPA matters because of post-acquisition conduct, which usually reflects inadequate post-acquisition procedures. Despite the obvious risks and the Justice Department’s and SEC’s efforts to afford some flexibility in this area, global companies usually fail to...

Noah Smith Joins The Volkov Law Group

I am excited to announce the addition of Noah Smith as a new Associate at The Volkov Law Group. When I launched the firm, I was committed to providing high-quality ethics and compliance, and enforcement defense services. With the help of my existing members we have been fortunate to grow and develop our services and capabilities.  I am proud to announce that Noah Smith will...

State Department Announces Additional Sanctions Against Russia

Okay, I have to admit – it is getting hard to keep up with all the changes to the Russia Sanctions Program.  The Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Asset Control’s imposition of the Oligarch Sanctions (here) and Congress’ passage of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”) (here) has made life difficult.  There is no way anyone can really follow the bouncing ball in...

Legg Mason Pays $34 Million to Resolve SEC’s Libyan FCPA Investigation

Legg Mason can finally close its books on the Gaddafi-era, Libyan bribery scandal.  In June 2018, Legg Mason entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and agreed to pay $32 million for its role in the bribery scheme.  Société Générale entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and paid $585 million for FCPA violations. Société Générale and Legg Mason admitted to paying over $90...