Category: General

Is Your Chief Compliance Officer Lonely?

Compliance officers have a tough job. In most cases, they are overworked, under-resourced, and accountable for significant risks and issues. In the recent compliance vernacular, a CCO has to “operationalize” the company’s compliance program. That requires a CCO to go out and make friends inside the company. CCOs have “natural” friends – legal, internal audit, human resources, and security – which share many common objectives...

“Too Important to Jail,” the Yates Memorandum and FCPA Criminal Prosecutions

The Justice Department’s continuing lack of individual criminal prosecutions in the FCPA arena continues to raise serious questions. DOJ’s issuance of the Yates memorandum was seen as a new and important reiteration of DOJ’s commitment to individual prosecutions. In several significant areas, healthcare and antitrust, individual prosecutions have continued at a significant rate. One could argue that such prosecutions were already occurring in these areas...

DOJ’s “Filip” Factors and Corporate Prosecutions

Companies that experience a Justice Department criminal investigation undergo a long and painful process. DOJ prosecutors hold the cards when reviewing the facts and deciding whether to indict a company. The United States Attorneys’ Manual (“USAM”) is a comprehensive collection of DOJ policies regarding civil and criminal enforcement issues. The USAM includes specific policies concerning corporate prosecution guidelines.  Specifically, whether to criminally charge a corporation...

Criminal Prosecutions of Individuals Outside the FCPA

When you look outside the FCPA arena and examine DOJ criminal prosecutions in healthcare, antitrust, tax, fraud, and other white-collar areas, there is no shortage of cases against individual violators. I am perplexed, to say the least, why DOJ cannot aggressively prosecute individuals for FCPA crimes in the same manner that prosecutors bring cases against doctors, executives and other individuals for a variety of criminal...

Justice Department Resolves Two Cases Under FCPA Pilot Program

The Justice Department recently resolved two separate FCPA investigations under its Pilot Program. To be sure, DOJ’s resolution of these two matters reinforces the real and tangible benefits of its Pilot Program. Linde In the first case involving Linde North America Inc. and Linde Gas North America (“Linde”), two private New Jersey companies that are subsidiaries of a public German company, the Justice Department issued...

La Bella Vita in Sicilia

In the immortal words of Goethe, “To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.” In my experience, I would add to have experienced Sicily is to understand one’s own heart and soul. On this Fourth of July holiday, it is helpful to focus on gratitude and thankfulness. In these turbulent...

Will the Justice Department Continue to Use DPAs and NPAs?

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw With a new administration at the Department of Justice, practitioners and commentators are looking for signs of change. Given the current politics of the new administration, the Justice Department will undergo changes in civil rights, antitrust, and criminal enforcement. These “new” or return to old policy announcements were not surprising since they went hand-in-hand...

The Importance of Compliance Program Audits

Chief compliance officers spend a significant amount of time comparing their compliance programs with other companies’ programs. CCOs often find solace when benchmarking their respective programs against other companies’ programs. I often refer to “benchmarking” as a process designed to reduce anxiety. CCOs need feedback on their efforts. CCOs want to know where they stand and develop priorities for initiatives. So where should CCOs turn?...

Working in a “Happy Talk” Corporate Culture

Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it. – Mark Twain Compliance professionals encounter a diverse range of corporate personalities in their work. To be sure, compliance officers have to rely on their abilities to analyze, lead, persuade, understand and motivate different functions in a company to contribute to the company’s ethics and compliance function. In doing so, compliance officers have...