Category: General

Practical Ethics – The New Way to Advance an Ethical Culture

I have always been struck by the “feel good” advocacy and advice from so-called ethics “experts.”  Sure, it is great to talk about moral values, ethical principles, and other high-minded ideas that inspire an audience to embrace the value of an ethical culture.  But that is not really the point of promoting an ethical culture as part of a corporate culture. Let’s start with a...

Sanctions Updates: Cuba, North Korea, Russia, Sudan, Venezuela

Sanctions compliance is challenging because of the changing nature of sanctions regulations and individuals identified as Specially Designated Nationals. With each new administration, foreign policy priorities are usually played out in a variety of sanctions regimes and policies. This year, however, saw Congress enter the regulatory fray, when it imposed detailed regulatory requirements and procedures designed to constrain the current administration from making major changes...

Foreign Agents Registration Act Enforcement

One consequence of the ongoing Russia investigation against the current administration is increased focus and probable enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). For Washington insiders, FARA was a known requirement but strict compliance was never the rule. FARA’s purpose was aimed at encouraging disclosure of hidden relationships with foreign governments that are intended to influence US government officials. With the increased enforcement of...

SBM Offshore Finally Reaches the Finish Line and Settles FCPA Case for $238 Million

In a follow-on prosecution and end to a twisted investigation and enforcement path, SBM Offshore agreed to settle an FCPA enforcement matter for $238 million (including a $500,000 criminal fine and $13.2 million forfeiture). Under the agreement, SBM offshore entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA, copy here), and a US subsidiary entered a guilty plea to one count of FCPA conspiracy. The Justice...

Five Key Takeaways from DOJ’s New FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy

In a significant FCPA enforcement development, DOJ’s Deputy Attorney General (“DAG”) Rod Rosenstein announced the implementation of a new FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy last week. (Here).  The announcement was not a surprise based on earlier statements made by DAG Rosenstein. Before outlining the specific five takeaways, there are a few issues surrounding the release of the new policy that require some comment. DAG Rosenstein implemented...

New Episode — Everything Compliance: The Regulatory (Or Not) Edition

Tom Fox, the Compliance Evangelist and Guru, has posted a new episode of Everything Compliance, a roundtable discussion led by Tom and including Matt Kelly, Jonathan Armstrong, Jay Rosen, and myself. During this episode, we discuss Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Paradise Papers, corporate monitors, and the AT&T-Time Warner merger. Here is a link to the episode. Thanks to Tom, Matt, Jonathan, and Jay!

Incorporating AML Compliance Into a Compliance Program (Part III of III)

Global companies should implement an AML program and KYC practices that follow the general outline for best practices, though it does not need to be as rigorous as a financial institution.  For most companies, AML risks can be addressed in existing policies and procedures and would not require extensive additions to a compliance program. However, a company has to document its risk assessment, mitigation strategies...

Addressing AML Risks in Your Third-Party and Vendor/Supplier Relationships (Part II of III)

Global companies should incorporate AML risks into their risk analysis of their third-party distributors, agents and other intermediaries. The basic questionnaire, due diligence risk analysis, contractual provisions, training, and partner code of conduct should reflect attention to this risk. To the extent that global companies rely on a network of third-party distributors and sub-distributors, global companies should include contractual provisions to flow-down policies and requirements...

Anti-Money Laundering Risks for Global Companies (Part I of III)

Non-financial institution companies operating in the global marketplace face ever-increasing risks of money laundering. Sophisticated criminal organizations have developed their own mechanisms and strategies to skirt money laundering rules and regulations. The Justice Department has targeted transnational organized crime for investigation and prosecution. As a consequence, non-financial institutions have to examine their policies and procedures to protect against handling proceeds of criminal activity or otherwise...

DOJ Continues Run on Individual FCPA Criminal Prosecutions

The Department of Justice announced criminal FCPA charges against two individuals in connection with bribery payments to foreign officials in Chad and Uganda. The Justice Department’s announcement occurred on the heels of unsealing criminal FCPA charges against 7 individuals arising from two separate investigations or enforcement actions. The FCPA Unit’s recent actions underscore that the Yates Memorandum appears to have had an impact on the...