Category: General

House of Representatives Passes Bill Aimed at Marijuana Industry Financial Reforms

Noah Smith, an Associate at The Volkov Law Group, rejoins us for an update on the banking and marijuana industries. Noah can be reached at nsmith@volkovlaw.com. A new bill that would make it easier for financial institutions to provide services to “marijuana-related businesses” has passed the U.S. House of Representatives 321-103 with strong bipartisan support. The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 (colloquially...

Sign Up for NAVEX Global’s 2019 Ethics & Compliance Virtual Conference

When: October 24, 2019 Sign Up HERE On October 24, 2019, NAVEX Global is holding its 2019 Ethics & Compliance Virtual Conference, an online conference that gives you access to multiple educational tracks, over a dozen webinars, solution experts and a huge resource library. I will be conducting a session on Supply Chain and Third Party Distributor Sanctions Risks. ECVC2019 has all the perks of an in-person conference, without...

What Does “Business Ethics” Mean?

Forgive me for the title of this posting – I am trying to make a point; a rather obvious one.  I confess I did not take philosophy classes in high school or college.  So, I may have missed the boat on this issue.  But from my limited vantage point with respect to the compliance industry, everyone needs to take a breath and reevaluate their use...

The Importance of Whistleblowers to a Speak Up Culture

The twist and turns of our political world amid the ongoing controversy surrounding whistleblower reporting has focused  attention on an important issue – encouraging whistleblowers as part of a speak up culture and protecting them from retaliation is critical. Without getting into the merits of the specific allegations raised by the CIA whistleblower, the political debate concerning the identity, motives and protection of the whistleblower...

How to Implement an Effective Ethics and Compliance Committee

Most compliance programs include some form of internal compliance committee separate from the company’s audit committee.  An internal compliance committee can play a very important role in advancing a compliance program.  But there are a number of pitfalls in how such committees are organized and how they operate. Let’s start with one critical preliminary question: Does your company’s compliance program have the full support of...

Technology and Compliance: The Magic Bullet?

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. – Albert Einstein The human spirit must prevail over technology. – Albert Einstein Technology is nothing.  What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them. – Steve Jobs Believe it or not, these quotes concerning...

General Electric Pays OFAC $2.7 Million for Violations of Cuba Sanctions Program

OFAC’s aggressive enforcement program continues to bear fruit.  The latest settlement involved GE and three of its subsidiaries, which agreed to pay $2.7 million for 289 alleged violations of the Cuba Sanctions Program.  (Copy of Settlement Notice Here).  So far this year, OFAC has settled 22 cases for a total of approximately $1.28 billion (Statistics Here). Between 2010 and 2014, the GE companies accepted payment...

Canadian Fuel Technology Company and Former CEO Settle SEC FCPA Case

Westport Fuel Systems, a Canadian clean fuel technology company, and its former CEO, Nancy Gougarty, agreed to settle FCPA charges with the SEC for $4.1 million and $120k, respectively. Starting in 2016, Westport, through Gougarty and others, engaged in a scheme to bribe a Chinese foreign government official to obtain business and a cash dividend from Westport’s joint venture in China.  Westport’s largest joint venture...

Quad/Graphics Settles SEC FCPA Case for Nearly $10 Million

Quad/Graphics, a Wisconsin print and digital marketing company agreed to pay the SEC almost $10 million to settle FCPA charges for foreign bribery violations in Peru and China. (Here).  Quad/Graphics also violated OFAC sanctions violations for transactions involving a Cuban telecommunications company.  The Justice Department declined to prosecute Quad/Graphics under its FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy (Here). During the period of 2011 to 2016, Quad/Graphics failed...

Barclays Agrees to Pay the SEC $6.3 Million to Settle FCPA Offenses for Hiring of Relatives of Foreign Officials in Asia

Barclays joined the club of global financial institutions settling FCPA violations for hiring of relatives of foreign officials in Asia.  Barclays agreed to disgorge $3.8 million and paid prejudgment interest of nearly $1 million and a $1.5 million civil penalty. As outlined in the SEC settlement order (here), Barclays Asia Pacific Region hired 117 job candidates referred by or connected to foreign government officials or...