Category: General

Sterling Bank’s ex-General Counsel hit with OCC Cease-and-Desist over Longstanding BSA/AML Shortcomings

The Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) has taken action against the former General Counsel of Michigan-based Sterling Bank and Trust in the agency’s latest action against an individual corporate officer for failure to maintain an adequate Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) compliance program. Between 2012 and 2023, Colleen Kimmel was employed in various compliance-related capacities at Sterling Bank, including as General...

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On the Horizon: EU Puts Final Touches on Risk-Based Artificial Intelligence Regulatory Overhaul

In a significant development, the European Union (EU) is set to implement the most comprehensive suite of regulations seen to date governing the use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) technology. The proposed regulatory overhaul aims to address a wide range of concerns surrounding AI, including ethical considerations, accountability, and potential risks to individuals and society writ large. The forthcoming “AI Act”––the final text of which was...

Supreme Court’s Unanimous Decision Provides Important Protections for Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the whistleblower protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the case, Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC et al. (February 8, 2024).  The Supreme Court’s decision reaffirms an ongoing trend — to protect and encourage whistleblower reporting as a means to enforce proper corporate governance.  The European Union’s Whistleblower Directive and new United States whistleblower incentive programs continue to...

UFLPA in Focus: Lessons to Be Learned from Volkswagen’s Recent Experience

News recently published by multiple media outlets suggest that certain subcomponents incorporated into a variety of Volkswagen-owned vehicles—including cars manufactured by luxe brands Porsche, Bentley and Audi—were sourced from an unspecified region in “western China” (“PRC”) presumed to be the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“XUAR”). According to these sources, Volkswagen itself was not aware of the origin of the part, which, according to the Financial...

Preparing for the Storm — Effective Compliance in the New Sanctions Era (Part II of II)

If companies operated with perfect governance mechanisms and controls, they would all be ready for the coming sanctions enforcement storm.  However, that is not the corporate reality.  Even after several companies are the subjects of these aggressive enforcement actions, corporate boards, senior risk managers and senior executives will turn to the chief compliance officer and ask — “do we have an effective sanctions compliance program?”...

The Coming Corporate Sanctions Enforcement Storm (Part I of II)

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.  Willa Cather I know I sound like a broken record.  The Justice Department’s white collar criminal enforcement  has been trending down over the last few years.  The reasons for that are unclear — is it resources, difficulty and length of investigations or just lack of initiative?  Whatever the cause may be, one...

New Executive Order Prohibitions Targets Violence in West Bank 

On February 1, 2024, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. promulgated Executive Order 14115 (“E.O. 14115), the effect of which is to impose economic sanctions on individuals ostensibly contributing to gratuitous violence and political unrest in the West Bank. Finding that the “situation in the West Bank” involved unacceptably “high levels of extremist settler violence, forced displacement of people and villages, and property destruction,” the President...

Licencia 43a: reimposición de sanciones en Venezuela

Por: Matt Stankiewicz socio en Volkov Law Group ([email protected]) y Daniela Melendez asociada en Volkov Law Group ([email protected]) El 18 de octubre de 2023, la Oficina de Control de Activos Extranjeros (“OFAC”) del Departamento del Tesoro de los Estados Unidos tomó varias medidas para proporcionarle a Venezuela un alivio limitado a las sanciones económicas impuestas. El alivio incluyó Licencias Generales que autorizaban transacciones y negocios...

OFAC Begins to Roll Back Venezuelan Sanctions Relief, Again Prohibiting Transactions with CVG Minerven

Matt Stankiewicz, Partner, and Daniela Melendez, Associate, provide key updates on the Venezuela Sanctions Program. Matt can be reached at [email protected] and Daniela can be reached at [email protected]. Easy come, easy go.  On January 29, 2024, OFAC published General License 43A under the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations, which partially rolled back a piece of the sanctions relief it provided to the country only a few months prior. ...

BIS Imposes $153,175 Penalty Against Wabtec Corporation to Resolve Multiple Violations of Antiboycott Regulations

By: Alex Cotoia, Regulatory Compliance Manager at the Volkov Law Group ([email protected]) and Daniela Melendez, Associate at the Volkov Law Group ([email protected]) Wabtec Corporation (“Wabtec”)—a global manufacturer and supplier of rail technology headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—recently settled an administrative enforcement proceeding with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) involving forty-three (43) apparent violations of the antiboycott provisions of the Export...