Category: General

Double Play, Double Declinations: DOJ Pushes FCPA Pilot Program Benefits

DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program was panned when it was announced in April 2016. Critics contended that the incentive for voluntary disclosure of FCPA violations to DOJ was inadequate. Under the FCPA Pilot Program, a company can earn up to a 50 percent reduction from the bottom of the applicable range for calculation of a criminal fine. DOJ also noted the possibility of a declination with...

5 Key Takeaways from AB InBev SEC FCPA Settlement

The Justice Department and the SEC have been busy over the last 2 weeks in the FCPA arena. For those who have raised doubts about DOJ and the SEC’s continuing commitment to FCPA enforcement, you should forever hold your peace. The SEC announced a $6 million settlement with Anheuser-Busch InBev (“AB InBev”) for FCPA violations that occurred in India, along with a precedent setting (in...

Dig a Little Deeper: The Importance of Beneficial Ownership

Companies interact with a large number of entities in the outside world – customers, third party intermediaries and vendors and suppliers to name the most significant ones. These relationships are the lifeblood of a company. In today’s world, companies have to know with whom they are dealing – not just the name of the company, not just the officers of the company, but the natural...

Match Made in Heaven: Compliance and Human Resources

The corporate compliance function is only as successful as its partnerships with key internal constituencies. Depending on the company and the personnel involved, compliance has to establish and maintain effective working partnerships with key functions, such as human resources, legal, finance, and security. All of the relationships are mutually beneficial. Each component works better when it is able to partner and work seamlessly with another...

Who is Responsible for a Company’s Mood in the Middle? – the Wells Fargo Fiasco

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us again for a posting on the Wells Fargo scandal.  Lauren can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. Wells Fargo’s cultural tone is not easily segregated between “top,” “middle” and “bottom.”  Despite the recent cross-selling scandal, in which the CFPB led an enforcement action whose fines total a whopping $185 million, Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf reluctantly...

Trust But Verify — Due Diligence with a Jaded Eye

Ronald Reagan’s mantra with respect to US-Soviet relations in the 1980s applies with equal force to today’s world of due diligence. (I know it shows my age that I can recall this statement).  Not all due diligence cases require a skeptical eye. But most compliance professionals know when they are digging into a due diligence review that will require a substantial investigation. Government enforcement agencies...

Three Key Takeaways from the Nu Skin FCPA Settlement for a Corrupt Charitable Donation

In a rare enforcement action, the SEC settled an FCPA enforcement action for $766,000 for a charitable donation of $154,000 to improperly influence a high-ranking Chiese Communist party official to prevent a provincial agency investigation of Nu-Skin’s Chinese subsidiary. Nu-Skin China was being investigated in China for violating provincial direct sale restrictions. The Chinese Administration of Industry and Commerce investigated the matter and proposed to...

Sampling as a Compliance Strategy

In the technology age in which we live, CCOs often come face to face with a new phenomenon – too much information or data. TMI is not something to laugh at nor ignore. CCOs often face situations where they need to understand what is occurring through a monitoring or audit function. In those cases, CCOs have to decide whether it is worth the cost in...

President Obama Pledges to Lift Myanmar Sanctions

Jacqui Merrill, an associate at The Volkov Law Group, rejoins us for a posting on the Myanmar Sanctions.  Jacqui can be reached at jmerrill@volkovlaw.com. On September 14, 2016, President Obama met with Myanmar’s leader, State Counsellor Daw Aung Suu Kyi, at the White House and announced the United States’ intent to remove economic sanctions against Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in the near future.  The President...

Talking with Your Feet – The CCO’s Ethical Dilemmas

Chief compliance officers are optimistic and committed to “doing the right thing.” It is in their blood and may be at the core of their professional fabric. My guess is that there are far fewer CCOs who like to push the envelope than their legal counterparts. Some lawyers are capable of accepting certain levels of risk for defined benefits. CCOs are more risk averse. The...