Category: General

The Criminal Chicken Price-Fixing Conspiracy (Part II of III)

The recent indictment of four executives involved in a long-running price-fixing scheme among broiler chicken suppliers provides an important window into how such conspiracies work and evade detection.  Antitrust compliance programs have to be crafted with appropriate consideration of industry concentration and practices, attendant risks, and effective monitoring and audit programs. Broiler chickens are supplied to grocers, restaurants and cooperatives.  Some fast-food restaurants participate in...

Justice Department’s Antitrust Division Charges Four Executives in Chicken Price-Fixing Investigation (Part I of III)

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division recently announced the indictment in Colorado federal court of four executives from two chicken producer companies for participation in a long-running price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy. The indictment charges Jayson Penn, president and CEO of Colorado-based Pilgrim’s Pride, and former Vice President Roger Austin, and Georgia-based poultry producer Claxton Poultry’s President Mikell Fries and Scott Brady, a Claxton Poultry Vice President. ...

Treasury, State Department and Coast Guard Issue Advisory and Guidance on Maritime Industry Deceptive Shipping Practices

In response to an increase in deceptive shipping practices, on May 14, 2020, the State Department, Treasury Department and the Coast Guard issued a warning to the maritime industry, and those involved in the energy and metals sectors, concerning deceptive shipping practices used to evade sanctions.  The focus of concerns appears to be actors seeking to circumvent  sanctions against Iran, North Korea and Syria. The...

The Fish Rots from its Head Down – Review of Criminal Charges Against Blue Bell’s Former CEO Paul Kruse

We all use dramatic language to present important ideas – and one that I always cite – “A fish rots from its head down.”  The meaning of this well-known phrase is clear in the corporate culture context – an organization with “rotten” leadership will inevitably perform poorly and managers and employees will likely engage in misconduct.  The often-used phrase of “tone at the top” is...

DOJ’s Compliance Message: Implement Technology Solutions

DOJ’s revised Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Program Guidance (“DOJ Guidance”) is yet another reminder on how far compliance has evolved and the path forward.  Compliance programs have to incorporate real-time monitoring, rapid data analysis, emphasis on corporate culture and organizational justice build on employee engagement, prompt investigations and consistent discipline.  A compliance program is like a shark – it has to keep moving and evolving. ...

DOJ Plays Catch Up in Revised Compliance Program Guidance

Let’s face it – DOJ’s revised Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Program Guidance reflects an attempt (although an important one) by DOJ’s leadership to catch up with the compliance industry.  In recent years, I have argued that the compliance industry is rapidly eclipsing DOJ Guidance and expectations for the compliance industry. As more professionals enter the compliance industry, and as spending by companies increase on compliance...

The Five Most Important Issues in DOJ’s Revised Compliance Program Guidance

The Justice Department’s revised Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Program Guidance (“DOJ Guidance”) was released with little fanfare.  It is difficult to find the press release that accompanied the release.  No one at DOJ flagged the issue in advance of the release.  No speech or event accompanied the release.  All was relatively quiet from the DOJ front. Do not be fooled by the relative silence of...

DOJ Revisions to Corporate Compliance Guidance: Training, Third-Party Risk Management, Mergers/Acquisitions and Data (Part II of II)

DOJ is catching up to compliance officers and evolving best practices.  Say what you want, DOJ is behind the curve of the compliance industry.  But you have to give DOJ credit – they are moving quickly to update its Guidance.  Compliance is a fast-moving profession – innovation and technology continue to define the industry.  Compliance officers are willing to embrace change and the industry is...

DOJ Revises its Corporate Compliance Guidance (Part I of II)

If anyone thought that DOJ was planning to relax its expectations regarding corporate compliance programs, forget it – DOJ has removed all doubt.  In an announcement on Monday, June 1, 2020, DOJ released revised guidance, Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, June 2020. DOJ issued the new guidance to reflect its own experiences and feedback from the compliance and business community.  According to Assistant Attorney General...

Drug and Medical Device Fraud Risks Increase in Pandemic Era

The drug and medical device/testing industry is under significant pressure to develop new products to address the COVID-19 pandemic.  The federal government is increasing spending and support of drug and device companies in anticipation of developing a new vaccine, treatment products and testing.  As a result, pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic and laboratory tests will be subject to federal scrutiny and monitoring for proper use...