Category: General

Social Media, Employees and Reputational Risks

Organizational risk does not exist in a vacuum – social forces have a direct and immediate impact on company risks, especially when it comes to employee conduct.  Social media has transformed our society, making information sharing instantaneous. For companies, social media risks exist on internal communications platforms and on individual employee platforms outside of work.  Many companies find the issue so difficult and complex that...

ESG and Business Risks – Leveraging Compliance Resources

Chief compliance officers are creative professionals.  This is one of many areas of expertise.  But when it comes to corporate politics, many CCOs know how to package and promote their mission. CCOs faced real constraints and challenges during the pandemic. CCOs were challenged as to why compliance was an important function to preserve in the time of a pandemic which threatened many companies’ very existence. ...

HR and CCOs Watch Out!! — The Antitrust Division Doubles Down on Labor Market Criminal Cartel Activity

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has targeted collusion in labor markets for criminal prosecution.  This was not unexpected.  Indeed, the Antitrust Division gave plenty of warning to companies that criminal prosecutions were on the horizon. Over ten years ago, DOJ brought civil cases to stop illegal labor market collusion. Out of an abundance of caution, DOJ recognized that it wanted to provide “fair warning” of...

Former Schlumberger Company Settles OFAC Case for $160k for Violation of Sudan Sanctions (Part II of II)

In the second OFAC enforcement action released on the same day, September 27, 2021, Schlumberger Rod Lift, Inc. (“SRL”) (now d/b/a Lufkin Rod Lift, Inc.), and formerly a subsidiary of Schlumberger Lift Solutions LLC (“SLS”), a U.S. subsidiary of Schlumberger Curaçao, Netherlands, agreed to pay $160,000 to settle an OFAC violation of the Sudan Sanctions Program (since repealed in October 2017) stemming from one shipment...

Cameron Settles OFAC Case for $1.4 Million for Violation of Ukraine-Russia Sanctions (Part I of II)

In a pair of enforcement actions, here and here, OFAC settled two separate actions involving Schlumberger Limited subsidiaries – the first involving Cameron International Corporation, and the second, Schlumberger Rod Lift, Inc., a former subsidiary, that was acquired by Lufkin Rod Lift, Inc. Cameron agreed to pay $1.423 million to settle OFAC charges for providing services to the Gazprom-Neft Shelf for an Arctic offshore oil...

DOJ Ends Standoff & Agrees to DPA with Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng

The long political and prosecution standoff between the U.S. Government/Department of Justice and Huawei/China ended abruptly last week when Wanzhou Meng, CFO of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. appeared in federal district court in Brooklyn and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) and admitted to misleading global financial institutions. Meng was immediately released and returned to China. The resolution of Wanzhou Meng’s case resolved a...

WPP SEC FCPA Enforcement Action: Lessons Learned (Part III of III)

The SEC’s FCPA enforcement action against WPP presents a number of important lessons learned, ranging from third-party risk management, properly responding to employee complaints and red flags, and failure to integrate acquisition targets into existing compliance programs.  At bottom, WPP and its subsidiaries lacked any culture of compliance.  While it is easy to cite all the deficiencies in the WPP subsidiaries, such a focus misses...

A Deep Dive into WPP’s Bribery Schemes in India, China, Brazil and Peru (Part II of III)

The SEC’s FCPA settlement with WPP for over $19.2 million provides a variety of bribery schemes in several high-risk venues. The schemes are instructive because they remind anti-corruption compliance professionals of the number of ways in which bribery can be carried out.  In this way, the SEC’s enforcement action is informative and contains helpful reminders on various risks in the anti-corruption arena.  India: In July...

WPP, the Largest Global Advertising Group, Settles FCPA Charges with SEC for $19.2 Million (Part I of III)

After a long hiatus, the SEC announced a settlement with WPP plc, the world’s largest advertising group, for FCPA violations in India, China, Brazil and Peru for $19.2 million.  The SEC’s resolution charges WPP with violations of the anti-bribery, books and records and internal accounting controls provisions of the FCPA. The Justice Department’s investigation of WPP appears to be ongoing. WPP has dual headquarters, in...

4 Requirements for a Healthy Relationship Between a CCO and the Corporate Board

Chief compliance officers need the support and advocacy of the corporate board to have a chance to succeed.  A CCO has many important relationships to protect and nurture within the company.  None is more important that the CCO’s relationship with the Board.  In recognition of this basic requirement, CCOs have to dedicate themselves to building a strong and positive relationship.  A basic list of four...