Category: General

OFAC Fines US Company for Iran Sanctions Violations

There is no question that OFAC continues to dominate the enforcement landscape this year.  OFAC has provided plenty of warning and notice to global companies, especially those in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.  OFAC has exercised its prosecutorial discretion to underscore the risks global companies face in their distribution channel, i.e. use of third party distributors, and in its supply chain.  These twin risk areas...

Commerce Department Blocks Export Licenses to Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

In a controversial decision, on May 15, 2019, the US Commerce Department announced the addition of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (“Huawei”) and 68 affiliates to its Entity List.  As a result, export licenses for Huawei are subject to a presumption of denial. The Commerce Department cited a number of reasons for its decision, including alleged violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), conspiracy...

Michael Volkov Releases New E-Book: The Road Ahead — The Justice Department’s Path to a Balanced White-Collar Enforcement Policy

I am pleased to announce the release of my new e-book: The Road Ahead: The Justice Department’s Path to a Balanced White-Collar Enforcement Policy. The new e-book can be downloaded HERE. Thanks to Corporate Compliance Insights for publishing the book and its continuing support. The Justice Department’s FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, adopted in November 2017, was a watershed moment in criminal justice.  Over the last...

Telefônica Brasil Pays $4.125 Million for Hospitality-Related FCPA Violations

As the old adage provides – better late than never.  (Same applies for my somewhat tardy posting on this case). Telefônica Brasil settled FCPA violations with the SEC for a pretty penny — $4.125 million in civil penalties in connection its hospitality program for the 2014 World Cup and 2013 Confederations Cup According to the settlement agreement, Telefônica Brasil failed to maintain adequate internal controls...

OFAC’s New Sanctions Compliance Training and Testing Requirements (Part IV of IV)

When providing compliance program guidance, the Justice Department and OFAC, like every compliance practitioner, will pay homage to the relatively obvious point that there is no one-size-fits-all compliance solution.  In other words, as is often repeated, a company’s compliance program will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the company’s size, sophistication, products and services, and geographic configuration.  These factors eventually form the basis...

Making Sure Your Internal Controls Address Sanctions Risks (Part III of IV)

The term “internal controls” is a loaded one – it morphs in various ways depending on the context.  Sometimes it is a shorthand for financial accounting controls; other times it encompasses a company’s compliance controls (i.e. policies and procedures). OFAC embraced the term to equate with a company’s policies and procedures for sanctions compliance.  OFAC recognized that OFAC compliance functions have to begin with the...

Conducting a Sanctions Risk Assessment: A New Era for Analyzing Your Risks (Part II of IV)

OFAC’s new framework guidance for sanctions compliance programs stretched into new territory with its risk assessment requirement.  This new approach reflects OFAC’s recent aggressive enforcement programs. In recognition of the importance of various economic sanctions programs, particularly Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, OFAC has laid out some important markers.  These enforcement actions, e.g. the Epsilon case (here), and the elf Cosmetics case (here), and the...

Remediate and Enhance Your Internal Investigation Program (Part III of III)

An audit program of a company’s internal investigation function provides valuable insights for its internal investigation program and the company’s overall ethics and compliance program.  It is a critical part of ensuring that a companies speak up culture is adequately supported and promoted by an efficient and reliable internal investigation function. A company learns a lot about its overall operations from its employee complaints and...