Category: General

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...

A CCO’s Vision Needs to Include “Line of Sight”

With the rise of chief compliance officers, come new terms and concepts. That is a good thing because it represents a maturation and standardization of the profession. One of my favorite terms is “line of sight.” It is an interesting concept when you start to think of it. I suffer from literal interpretations – I am not a figurative person. So when I think of...

Sharing the Spotlight: M&A Due Diligence

Everyone likes to talk about the importance of due diligence. A whole new due diligence industry has grown, starting with initial anti-money laundering requirements and stretching into corruption and sanctions issues. Do not misunderstand me – due diligence procedures are critical for a company, especially when it comes to third parties. The focus, or perhaps even the obsession, has been with third parties. Once you...

The Important Distinction Between Ethics and Compliance

I know that I can be a stickler for details sometimes. Ask my children. Ask my wife. So, when it comes to compliance, I repeat myself often when I remind everyone: it is ethics and compliance, not just compliance. Let’s be honest – it is more than mouthful to say chief ethics and compliance officer, as opposed to just chief compliance officer. But as I...