Category: General

Lessons Learned and Compliance Trends from the VW and Takata Scandals (Part III of III)

When unraveling a major corporate scandal, especially multi-year schemes involving senior executives, the blame game or lessons learned approach can easily turn into a fruitless exercise. The VA and Takata scandals are important reminders of basic compliance and governance requirements. If carefully considered, they underscore the reasons why compliance programs exist and why an effective program is so critical in today’s global economy. My list...

Takata – Criminal Airbag Scheme and Innocent Consumer Harm (Part II of III)

In my continuing review of corporate misconduct in the automobile industry, today we examine the Takata Corporation scandal for its airbag scheme. Takata is a manufacturer and supplier of automotive safety equipment. It agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and pay $1 billion in criminal penalties for its long-time scheme to sell defective airbag inflators. At the same time, the Justice Department announced the...

Volkswagen: When Car Companies Veer Off Course (Part I of III)

Corporate misconduct occurs in a variety of forms. Starting with the basic truism – companies act through people, and when companies engage in misconduct it requires the coordination and collaboration of multiple actors. The scope of such misconduct can vary, of course, and the greater the extent of the misconduct, the more actors are involved. The auto industry’s record on safety misconduct is legendary, stretching...

Multi-Jurisdictional Prosecutions and the SFO Show Teeth in Rolls Royce Settlement

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at the Volkov Law Group, joins us again for a posting on the Rolls Royce Anti-Corruption Settlement.  Lauren can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. Rolls Royce’s $800 million global settlement further solidifies what the future of anti-bribery and corruption enforcement looks like: multi-jurisdictional prosecutions based on egregious conduct supported by strong evidence. The similarities to the recent Odebrecht – Braskem $3.5 billion...

Mondelez FCPA Enforcement Action — An Abuse of Prosecutorial Discretion?

The first FCPA enforcement action for 2017 landed with very little fanfare. The SEC reached a settlement with Mondelez International for $13 million. The facts surround the hiring of an agent in India and the failure of Mondelez to monitor and conduct basic due diligence on the third-party agent. Kraft Foods acquired Cadbury, a UK candy and beverage company. Kraft Foods renamed itself Mondelez after...

The Real Explanation for the Record Year for FCPA Enforcement

I am not an “I told you so” person – frankly, it is a very unattractive character trait. I am more comfortable with the old adage – even a broken clock is correct twice a day. I fall into that category. All the FCPA prognosticators, predictors and paparazzi have missed the boat on understanding what happened this year – 2016, to make this a record...

Predicting the Future: What Would Truly Global Anti-Corruption Enforcement Look Like?

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us with a posting on the recent Odebrecht settlement. Lauren can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. Within the SEC and DOJ’s blockbuster ending to 2016 was the Odebrecht settlement.  The amount involved, a stunning $4.5 billion (pending a possible reduction for inability to pay), grabbed headlines around the world.  But more interesting than the final figure...

Compliance Trends and Predictions for 2017

The past year was another great success for the compliance profession and related technologies. Compliance continues to grow as the “professionalization” of compliance continues to skyrocket. As my good friend Donna Boehme always reminds me, compliance professionals have the requisite subject matter expertise that many other professionals such as lawyers and auditors lack. I often remind compliance professionals of the old saying – “Be careful...

FCPA Predictions for 2017 (Part III of III)

With the new incoming administration, everyone is busy predicting major changes in DOJ FCPA enforcement. I do not share this view. Frankly, FCPA enforcement is more bipartisan than other controversial enforcement programs (e.g. civil antitrust and merger enforcement), and DOJ’s FCPA program is very profitable. While there may be a renewed effort by the Chamber of Commerce to raise FCPA reform again, I do not...