Category: General

Future of Corporate Monitors

No company wants a corporate monitor. If you ask any General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer or Chief Executive Officer, they can list an infinite number of alternative punishments they would rather suffer than have a corporate monitor. The idea of a corporate monitor is a good one. If you ask a company after the corporate monitor departs about the experience, many will tell you that...

Third Party Audits: Biting the Bullet

The next compliance frontier in anti-corruption enforcement is third-party audits. We have spent the last few years fashioning third-party audit contractual provisions to define when and how such audits can be conducted. The issue now is for compliance professionals to work with their internal audit teams to adopt a third-party audit strategy. The first constraint is the obvious one – how much money can we...

The Compliance Revolution and Improving Board Oversight

We all know there has been a sea change in the compliance profession. No longer are compliance professionals relegated to the backwater of corporate governance. Instead, they are now front and center and being asked to design and implement effective systems to detect and prevent violations of a code of conduct and the law. The compliance profession should give itself a big pat on the...

Sanctions Enforcement – Facilitation Violations

As sanctions enforcement continues to mature, the permutations of risks become more complex. One area where companies have significant exposure is when they can be accused of “facilitation.” It is a unique risk for logistics companies and other professionals who assist companies in moving goods across borders. An individual cannot facilitate a transaction with a person or entity sanctioned by the US government. A violation...

A Most Violent Year – Doing What is Most Right

It is rare to say but Hollywood occasionally can provide us with ethics and compliance lessons. My wife and I recently saw the movie, A Most Violent Year. It is worth seeing – not just for entertainment, but also for the ethics and compliance lesson. (Of course, you know your life needs a little jolt when you go the movies only to walk out muttering...

Is Your Board Engaged on Compliance or Not? Be Honest!

We all can cite situations in which we avoid the truth. Part of the reason is we want to believe and cannot accept the truth. With age, we supposedly acquire wisdom and become more realistic about personal and professional situations. For the compliance professional, it is easy to sink into the “happy talk” defense and avoid realistic assessments. I have met and worked with many...

Judicial Oversight of Deferred Prosecution Agreements

With the increasing criticism of DOJ’s use of deferred prosecution agreements (“DPAs”), it was inevitable that the courts would assert themselves in this area. Last week, Judge Richard Leon on the District of Columbia rejected a DPA involving Fokker Services under which Fokker agreed to pay $21 million in penalties for violation of OFAC sanctions involving Burma, Sudan, and Iran. During the period 2005 to...

Corruption in America

The focus on the FCPA provides a myopic view of corruption. Bribery of foreign officials is only one slice of the corruption pie. Even though the United States ranks number 19 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, there is plenty of domestic corruption that occurs at the federal and state level. There are two major federal corruption prosecutions that are ongoing and getting significant national...

Ethics Are Contagious: It Isn’t Just About the FCPA

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us again with a posting on ethics and compliance.  Her profile is here.  She can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. I work in the corporate compliance field – land of concern about potential FCPA violations. After the DOJ/SEC collected approximately $1.5 billion in criminal fines, an all-time record for yearly FCPA settlement amounts, CCOs have even...

Value of (Non-) Cooperation in FCPA Cases

The Department of Justice has encouraged companies to voluntarily disclose potential FCPA violations and cooperate in the investigation, of FCPA violations.   Many companies have responded positively to the Justice Department’s urgings and have been rewarded for their cooperation. I have suggested that DOJ should adopt and publicize guidelines for how cooperation will be measured and specific discounts to be earned for levels of cooperation....