Category: General

Justice Department Settles Gaddafi-Libya FCPA Cases with Société Générale and Legg Mason (Part I of III)

In a one-two punch of FCPA enforcement actions, the Justice Department announced two related FCPA settlements involving Société Générale and Legg Mason for Gaddafi-era bribery payments to Libyan officials. In the first settlement announced, Société Générale agreed to pay a total of $860 million in criminal penalties, $585 million for FCPA violations and $275 million in a separate investigation for manipulation of London InterBank Offered...

When Corporate Leaders Fail to Listen

There are an infinite number of ways that corporations can end up violating the law resulting in a government enforcement action.  There is no way to define the nature and extent of all of these possibilities. But one thing for sure is that when a company’s leadership is not committed to compliance, falsely believes that its compliance program is effective, or simply ignores information suggesting...

Compliance and Technology

We need to start giving compliance a better foundation of basic knowledge, strategies and practical approaches. The compliance profession can adopt common solutions to problems for different companies.  The fact that companies have their own distinct risk profiles and operations does not mean that they have to rely on distinct compliance solutions.  No two companies are alike – that does not mean that the same...

Leadership Support Provides Compliance Credibility

We often hear the compliance refrain on the importance of tone-at-the-top – meaning when the board, the CEO and senior executives demonstrate by communications and by conduct their commitment to a culture of ethics and compliance. This single idea carries with it enormous importance to the success or failure of a compliance program.  A positive tone-at-the-top permeates every aspect of a compliance program and specifically...

DOJ Charges Two Additional Individuals in FCPA Rolls Royce Case

The Justice Department added to its roster of criminal FCPA defendants.  Going back to 2017, it is clear that the Yates Memorandum requirements have resulted in an increase in criminal FCPA prosecutions. Last week, the Justice Department unsealed a superseding indictment adding two individuals to the Rolls Royce criminal FCPA case in Ohio.  The criminal investigation centers on bribes to a Kazakh official to win...

Compliance and the Reckoning

The compliance profession cannot rest on its achievements and become complacent.  There are two significant events that are on the horizon and inevitably will occur. Compliance professionals have grown in number and in influence.  At the same time, compliance professionals are enjoying unprecedented independence and authority.  As the compliance profession rises, however, so will accountability – fair or unfair, it is soon about to hit....

The Vital Role of Internal Audit to Compliance

A chief compliance officer can only succeed with the support of other important compliance partners.  Another way to put it – in the words of Blanche Dubois from A Streetcar Named Desire, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”  This observation, while dramatic in license, applies to the place of the compliance officer in the corporate governance world. A key partner for compliance...

Sunshine, Disinfectant and SEC Guidance on Cybersecurity Disclosures

The fundamental principle of SEC’s market regulation is the power of sunshine, transparency and disclosure.  In other words, the SEC seeks to ensure that companies disclose important information to the public so that securities markets operate efficiently.  Whether the SEC has appropriately applied this principle in regulating the securities industry is a debate for another day.  The SEC, however, has used this policy goal to...

CEOs Under the Criminal Spotlight – More C-Suite Misconduct

We live in a bizarre time — an information age where lines are blurred between truth and lies — a strange era in which our daily doses of information are dominated by scandals, corruption, and repeated claims of “fake news.”  One of the unfortunate consequences is that otherwise important issues often fade in competition with these ever-pervasive scandals.  Please do not misunderstand me – the...

Tom Fox’s Valuable Contribution to the Compliance Profession – The Complete Compliance Handbook

Tom Fox has been called the “Compliance Evangelist.”  Whatever title may be given to Tom, one thing is for sure – Tom is a steady force, providing practical advice to advance the compliance function. To that end, Tom’s latest contribution is a new tome – The Complete Compliance Handbook: A Guide to Operationalizing Your Compliance Program.  I recently received my autographed copy of Tom’s new...