Category: General

LRN and Tapestry Networks Issue Important Guidance for Corporate Boards and CEOs to Build and Manage Ethical Cultures

You can always count on LRN.  No ifs, ands or buts, LRN continues to issue the highest-quality and most meaningful research and guidance on ethics and compliance programs.  LRN digs in to ask the hard questions, measures important trends and consistently provides importance support and guidance for corporate governance.  LRN is a must read in these areas. Now that I finished by promotional rant, let’s...

Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security Brings Enforcement Actions Reflecting New Policies

The Commerce Department has adjusted its export control enforcement program.  The Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced the new administrative policies and gave notice to the industry and public.  BIS is now bringing enforcement actions under this new regime. Luis Fernando Garcia BIS entered into a settlement agreement with Luis Fernando Garcia, the owner of GE Equipos de Seguridad, who sought to illegally export...

Second Circuit Affirms District Judge Dismissal of Alstom Official’s FCPA Convictions

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district judge’s post-conviction dismissal of FCPA counts against Lawrence Hoskins, a former Alston executive, for his involvement in bribery scheme to secure a $118 million energy contract in Indonesia.  The Hoskins FCPA case has had a long and tortious path through the court system, and the Second Circuit’s decision, which was decided by a 2 to 1...

DOJ Targeting Crypto Industry for Enforcement

A basic truism — you do not want to become the subject of a Justice Department investigation.  The wheels of justice — prosecutors and law enforcement — can cause real harm to organizations and individuals that violate the law. DOJ is aligning resources to investigate and prosecute cryptocurrency criminal activity.  This should not come as a surprise to anyone. The Justice Department announced with much...

The Growing Tension Between Compliance and Financial Controls

Compliance professionals are used to internal struggles for influence and resources.  Chief compliance officers have devoted years and years to justifying the need to elevate and empower the compliance function.  For years, compliance professionals were relegated to back-room positions where they were cabined by structural and political restrictions.  One of the early struggles was between the chief legal officer and the CCO.  Eventually, CCOs were...

Wells Fargo’s Woes Continue — A Rotten Culture that Continues to Stink

It is hard to write yet another posting about Wells Fargo’s misconduct.  Wells Fargo’s troubles continue unabated.  I am not exaggerating — I promise.  Every few months, we hear about another problem, another enforcement action, another uncovering of misconduct.  I do not intend to attempt to even recount all of Wells Fargo’s horrible history.  We all know it, and like a rotten fish, we all...

Ethics and Compliance not Compliance … Oh, and Ethics

I have a pet peeve in the compliance world.  It may be symbolic; it may be petty at the same time; and it may just be a function of my old(er) age.  I apologize in advance for this posting, i.e. this rant.  Call it my moment on the front lawn yelling at passing cars in the neighborhood.  My moment of frustration. Let’s start with two...

DOJ’s Antitrust Division Begins Trials to Block Two Large Mergers

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division continues to push its aggressive civil and criminal agenda.  While the Division has lost several high-profile criminal cases in the chicken processing industry and the labor market, the Antitrust Division just recently started civil trials seeking to block two proposed mergers or acquisitions. The first case involves United Health Group’s proposed acquisition of Change Healthcare, a provider of health insurance...

Assessing Your Audit and Testing Program (Part IV of IV)

Continuous improvement of a compliance program requires robust auditing and testing.  The Justice Department and regulatory agencies have articulated a number of key issues and principles to assist CCOs and Internal Auditors in this area.  It is likely to become an area for DOJ and regulatory agency focus — what steps does the company take to review its compliance program to ensure that it is...

Compliance Program Monitoring: Leveraging Data and Analytics (Part III of IV)

Chief compliance officers are visionaries.  They define a vision with multiple objectives and then they execute on that vision.  At all times, CCOs have to maintain that vision and adjust as circumstances change.  By definition, CCOs who have a line-of-sight across the organization must define their role and objectives through this holistic vision.  Frankly, in the absence of such a vision, CCOs will lose  their...