Category: General

Beneficial Ownership: Identification and Mitigation (Part IV of IV)

We are finally reaching the end of the road on the beneficial ownership path.  In this last posting on the issue (for now), let’s start with a third-party population (third parties, vendors, suppliers) which have been classified into three categories, the first two of which fall into high-risk (foreign government interaction/representation and government ownership).  The bulk of the population, usually around 80 to 85 percent...

Practical Risk-Based Ranking Strategies to Beneficial Ownership Issues (Part III of IV)

At the outset, if you have a headache after reading my first two posts on the beneficial ownership issue, I apologize.  The issues twist and turn depending on whether the situation involves OFAC sanctions or corruption risks, and reflects the variety of ownership situations that occur. Given the overwhelming nature of the burden of a beneficial ownership risk mitigation strategy, we have to return to...

Unraveling Beneficial Ownership Risks (Part II of IV)

When discussing the importance of beneficial ownership with compliance professionals, there is often a disconnect between the theory and reality.  Everyone understands the legal and compliance risks and how they apply to third-parties, vendors and suppliers.  But when a compliance officer considers the burden of uncovering beneficial ownership interests, they quickly resist the need for such an analyses across the population.  And for good reason....

Addressing Beneficial Ownership Requirements in Your Compliance Program (Part I of IV)

We repeatedly hear about the importance of beneficial ownership, and the requirement that companies confirm beneficial ownership of its third-parties, vendors and suppliers.  At the same time, there is increasing pressure from regulators and law enforcement to identify and unravel beneficial ownership when dealing with business partners. There is no question that beneficial ownership is a critical issue.  I have frequently stated (i.e. repeated myself)...

In a Unanimous Decision, the Supreme Court Reverses New Jersey Bridgegate Convictions

The Supreme Court continued its clear commitment to trimming aggressive criminal prosecutions in high-profile cases by issuing a unanimous decision reversing the criminal convictions of two Bridgegate convictions in the New Jersey prosecutions of then-Governor Chris Christie’s Administration. The case grew out of former Governor Chris Christie’s 2013 re-election campaign.  Bridget Kelly, Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff, and William Baroni, the Deputy Executive Director of...

Cancer Treatment Center Agrees to DPA and $100 Million Penalty for Criminal Antitrust Violations in Florida Market

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division recently announced a $100 million settlement with Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (“FCS”) for an illegal conspiracy to allocate cancer patients in Southwest Florida.  FCS conspired with various competitors to allocate medical and radiation oncology treatments. The $100 million criminal penalty is the statutory maximum under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. FCS also reached a settlement with Florida...

Despite Pandemic, OFAC Settles with Animal Nutrition Company for $257k for Violations of Cuban Sanctions Program

OFAC announced a $257k settlement with Biomin America, Inc. (“Biomin”), an animal nutrition company based in Overland, Kansas, to settle violations of the Cuban Sanctions Program. OFAC recently issued guidance suggesting that organizations may re-allocate or reduce sanctions compliance operations based on the impact of the pandemic on an organization’s business activities.  Notwithstanding this guidance, OFAC announced this enforcement action, the first in several months,...

Privacy and Employee Issues During the New COVID-19 Pandemic Era

The global pandemic has created unique risks for handling employees’ exposure to, or positive testing for, COVID-19.  To ensure a safe workplace, companies have to address delicate issues surrounding employee safety.  The United States does not have a federal privacy law to address this specific situation (unlike Europe and Canada) and the treatment of employees personal information.  Interestingly, the HIPAA laws do not cover employers...

Chipotle Mexican Grill Enters Three-Year DPA and Pays $25 Million Penalty for Food Safety Violations (Part II of II)

In the Chipotle Mexican Grill case, DOJ entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) in exchange for the payment of a $25 million penalty stemming from a string of foodborne-illness cases between 2015 and 2018 involving its restaurants in which more than 1100 people became ill. The charges against Chipotle stem from outbreaks of norovirus, a highly infective pathogen that is easily transmitted by...

DOJ Resolves Two Important Food Safety Criminal Cases: Blue Bell Creameries and Chipotle Mexican Grill (Part I of II)

In an important set of criminal prosecutions for food safety violations, the Justice Department recently announced resolutions with Blue Bell Creameries and Chipotle Mexican Grill.  While these cases were not related to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are indications of DOJ’s aggressive prosecution for food safety issues and are important reminders of the need for organizations to prioritize health and safety issues.  Corporate boards and senior...