Category: General

The Often Ignored Importance of Antitrust Compliance (Part I of II)

If you ask any Chief Compliance Officer whether their compliance program includes antitrust laws, they will respond quickly and tell you – “Of course we do.” If you follow up you initial question and ask how do you ensure compliance you will hear a single response – “We conduct training.” When you scratch the surface on antitrust compliance at major companies, you will usually hear...

DOJ and SEC Collect $22 Million from LAN Airlines for Conduct in Resolving Labor Dispute

Last week, the Justice Department (here) and the SEC (here) announced parallel FCPA settlements totaling $22 million in fines, penalties and disgorgement against LAN Airlines, a Chile-based airline, for conduct in resolving a labor dispute in Argentina. In March 2016, the SEC settled a case with LAN’s CEO for approving payments to a consultant, an advisor to the Secretary of Argentina’s Ministry of Transportation, to...

The Real Value of Lawyers to Compliance

The legal profession is transforming itself, especially in the area of compliance. Lawyers are an invaluable part of a compliance program. They provide important perspective and understanding of risk, they help a company to assess and navigate legal risks and they interface with regulators and enforcement agencies. The most effective compliance programs usually are built around a strong partnership between a chief compliance officer and...

The Power of a Justice Department Declination

Tom Fox and I recorded a podcast recently on the Johnson Controls enforcement action. In our podcast we discuss a number of issues relating to the Justice Department’s decision to reward Johnson Controls with a declination. You can listen to our podcast here. It is always a pleasure to work with Tom and our discussion centered on a number of issues, including DOJ’s FCPA Pilot...

Building a Company Culture of Trust

The messaging behind the need for companies to implement robust compliance programs continues to suffer from a narrow conception of the overall compliance function. It is easy to get lost in the weeds on compliance programs and focus on compliance tasks, policies, resources, assessments and audits. I have promoted a different messaging approach – one that gives full credit and priority to a robust compliance...

The Importance of Risk Ranking to Compliance

We all face a number of risks every day. Yet, we do not respond to each and every risk. We engage in risk-ranking our responses. Some are more risk than others and some are more catastrophic than others. So, we engage in risk ranking each day and allocate our time and attention accordingly. The same applies, or should apply, when managing a compliance program. Resources...

Check Up on Healthcare Fraud Prosecutions

Chief compliance officers face an overwhelming level of risk in the healthcare sector. I do not mean to belittle the risks of corruption, AML, sanctions and other risks typically associated with global companies. Healthcare companies face an extraordinary mix of risks, including fraud, data security, bribery/anti-kickback, and Stark Law violations. The False Claims Act statute is a prosecutor’s dream, and organizations and individuals face extraordinary...

New York Department of Financial Services Issues New AML and Sanctions Regulations

The New York DFS finalized its new AML and Sanctions screening regulations. Interestingly, the NYDFS backed off its original proposal to require a Chief Compliance Officer to certify to a compliance “finding” that the bank or other covered entities maintain an adequate AML and sanctions compliance program. In its place, the NYDFS regulations require an annual certification from senior management, i.e. those responsible for “management,...

Johnson Controls Pays $14 Million for China FCPA Violations: DOJ Declines Prosecution

There’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear – “For What It’s Worth,” Buffalo Springfield At first glance, the SEC’s recent enforcement action against Johnson Controls for $14 million for FCPA violations in China, along with a Justice Department declination under its new Pilot Program, appears to be a “routine” enforcement matter. Unfortunately, this case was anything but routine and there are...

White Collar Criminal Sentencing – What A Difference Cooperation Makes

The political campaign season has included plenty of discussion surrounding reforming our criminal justice system, and in particular sentencing for drug offenses. We have not heard much discussion about white-collar criminal sentencing. There is a fair amount of controversy surrounding while collar criminal sentencing as well. Ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Booker, in which the Supreme Court relegated the U.S....