Category: General

ITAR Brokering Activities Demystified

Alex Cotoia, Regulatory Manager at The Volkov Law Group, rejoins us for a posting on ITAR brokering activities. Alex can be reached at acotoia@volkovlaw.com. Part 129 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) requires certain persons engaged in “brokering activities” to register with, and pay a fee to, the U.S. Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”). ITAR Part 129.2 broadly defines...

DOJ Takes Stock of Criminal Cartel Prosecution Program

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has a long and rich history.  For years, “the Division” as it liked to refer to itself, charted its own path in antitrust enforcement, especially when it comes to criminal prosecutions. The transformative event was the Antitrust Division’s revision and expansion of the Corporate Leniency Program in 1993 and prosecution of international cartel cases. The Antitrust Division’s Leniency Program was...

Internal Investigation Trap – When Does “Oversight” Turn into Control

Corporate boards face a number of risks.  In the face of a high-stakes or important internal investigation, corporate boards, a designated committee, or a special committee often are assigned the important role of authorizing and monitoring the investigation.  Board supervision is reserved for important internal investigations, especially when an investigation focuses on potential senior management misconduct or other high-risk issues. Law firms welcome these assignments...

The CEO Sets, Defines and Manages a Company’s Performance and Culture

We always read about the superstar CEO.  The company’s leader who is paid millions and is the rock star of business success.  Board members, shareholders and stakeholders support the leader because he/she has brought “success,” meaning the company’s stock price is increasing, the company continues to grow and no one would ever challenge the company’s reliance on the CEO to lead the company. But there...

DOJ’s Criminal Cartel Prosecution of Chicken Industry Expands Net — Koch Foods and Four Pilgrim’s Pride Executives Charged

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division continues to target a sprawling cartel investigation of the chicken industry.  In its most recent action, the Justice Department announced an indictment of Koch Foods and four individual executives from Pilgrim’s Pride tying them into the broad price-fixing conspiracy for the sale of broiler chicken products to the restaurant and retail industries. The expanding Justice Department investigation has charged 14...

A Basic Question — Where is the CCO’s Office?

Sometimes compliance issues are simple.  Most times they are nuanced.  This is a simple issue but it carries with it a significant message.  So here goes – where is the CCO’s office? To clarify rather than complicate, let’s take ourselves out of the remote workplace.  In the physical office, where is the CCO’s office located? I am a big fan of the movie Office Space...

Unraveling Trade Compliance Issues Involving China’s Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang

Companies with supply chains stretching into China and Xinjiang are facing a mountain of compliance challenges.  Over the summer, the Biden Administration has taken numerous aggressive steps to pressure China to address human rights violations in the Chinese province of Xinjiang focusing on the repression of more than a million Uyghurs in that region. Those companies that maintain  supply chains anywhere in Xinjiang have to...

When a CCO Fails to Speak Up

We often discuss the importance of a “Speak Up” culture.  We encourage employees to report their concerns, we emphasize the important of such reporting to the life of an organization. Chief Compliance Officers are a key messenger to spread the message of speaking up.  But what happens when the CCO hesitates or even fails to speak up?  After we all take a little truth serum,...

Alfa Laval pays over $432K for Violations of OFAC’s Iran Sanctions Program

In two separate enforcement actions, OFAC announced settlements with Alfa Laval Middle East Ltd., a Dubai, UAE company (AL Middle East), and Alfa Laval, Inc., a Virginia-based company (AL US) for violations of OFAC’s Iran Sanctions Program. AL US enlisted its then subsidiary (now operating unit), Alfa Laval Tank, Inc, based in Exton, Pennsylvania (AL Tank), to participate in the scheme.  The Alfa Laval enforcement...

Company Kool-Aid, Misconduct and a Misfiring Corporate Culture

We all know (and repeat every day) that corporate cultures reflect social trends and pressures.  Companies face extraordinary political and social pressures, and this translates into its corporate workforce. Without being overly dramatic, we are witnessing a fundamental social decay in belief in our institutions.  This is not a recent phenomenon – it has accelerated over the last twenty years, and interestingly, has fluctuated over...