Category: General

A Holistic Look at Third Party Risks

In the FCPA world, we tend to get myopic. We see complex issues and business operations through the prism of anti-corruption risks. Businesses and Chief Compliance Officers, however, have a very different perspective. When pontificating on life lessons to my children (who are no longer children), I frequently cite the importance of seeing issues from another person’s perspective. Many issues come into focus when you...

Recent FCPA Enforcement Actions: The Layne Christensen Case and SBM Offshore

The Fourth Quarter of 2014 has been a busy one for DOJ and SEC in the FCPA arena.  We are all praying that DOJ and SEC resolve the Avon case soon so that we do not have to include the case on our lists for predictions for 2015 FCPA enforcement actions. One thing for sure in the enforcement area is that DOJ and the SEC...

Significant Trends from Recent FCPA Enforcement Actions: The Bio-Rad Case

The FCPA enforcement doomsayers can add another notch to their belt – their predictions and suggestions of “enforcement slow downs,” “significant policy changes,” and other misguided claims can be added to the ash heap of erroneous predictions. It is amazing how supposed “analysis” is produced to fill the gaps in time when no enforcement activity occurs. DOJ and the SEC are proving once again that...

Working in the Compliance Field – The Need for Practical Solutions

With the rise of the compliance professional, there is a real need for strong support as they design and implement new and innovative compliance programs. Compliance professionals are stretched thin – they have a mountain of responsibilities but only an anthill of resources to commit to the job. They are constantly putting out fires, prioritizing tasks and allocating scarce resources or urging other parts of...

The Curious World of the Antitrust Division and Credit for Compliance Programs

The Antitrust Division is a world unto itself. Ask anyone who works there (including me) or worked there and they will tell you that everyone refers to the Antitrust Division as “The Division,” like it is the only Division in the Department of Justice. That attitude, however, occasionally carries into substantive areas. The Division is the recognized expert in the Justice Department on antitrust issues...

Voluntary Disclosure: The Continuing Debate

For years (okay 3 years), I have written about the need for DOJ to address its policies surrounding voluntary disclosure. DOJ and the SEC regularly urge companies and FCPA practitioners to disclose FCPA violations to DOJ in order to earn a possible declination, deferred prosecution agreement, or a reduced penalty. DOJ has been criticized for failing to define exactly how it assesses cooperation and how...

Politics and the FCPA

The 2014 mid-term elections were over in a snap. Now everyone is focused on the Presidential contest for 2016. After all, the Iowa causes are not very far away. In the last thirty years, DOJ’s agenda has become more political with each new Administration. For example, the Antitrust Division’s enforcement approach changes with a Republican versus a Democrat President. In some important areas, however, the...

Gratitude and — 1001 Beers on the Wall . . . .

I am not one to contrive milestones.  Life is full of important events and we do not need to make up any more.  So with humility and more importantly, gratitude, I am marking my 1001 posting on Corruption, Crime & Compliance. The journey has been amazing and the future looks even more incredible. At the ripe old age of 57, one important principle of life...

The Jodi Arias Sentencing Hearing: Can it Get Any Worse?

Even without television coverage, it is clear that the Jodi Arias sentencing hearing is yet again spinning out of control. It is amazing that Judge Stephens can continue to find new ways in which to bungle a trial. And remember, we are only talking about a sentencing proceeding, not even a criminal trial to determine guilt or innocence. The Jodi Arias debacle is a textbook...

Culture of Compliance: A Low-Cost Compliance Strategy

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest – Mark Twain Mark Twain would have been a terrific chief compliance officer. His words would have inspired people, and for those that obstruct rational decision-making, his words would have cut them into shreds. We always hear about the cost of a compliance program, and the lack of resources available for the...