Category: General

The Double Whammy: Cubist’s Recent FCPA Disclosure

In the FCPA enforcement world, corporate disclosures of potential violations carrying significant messages. Cubist Pharmaceuticals (Cubist) disclosed in a Form 10-Q that its subsidiary, which it acquired last year, Optimer Pharmaceuticals (Optimer) may have violated the FCPA in payments made to a research laboratory in 2011. Cubist’s disclosure is another in the continuing saga of pharmaceutical and medical device companies that have long-suffered FCPA investigations...

The Value of Due Diligence Certifications

As companies wrestle with designing and implementing due diligence screening and monitoring programs, several organizations have been pushing the value of certifications. The certification services come in different forms and with different levels of review. Plus they come with a range of legal caveats. For now, these programs are valuable but only for a limited purpose. Companies that solely rely on certification services are definitely...

The Absence of a CECO and the GM Fiasco

This is a posting that I have wanted to write since the GM scandal occurred. I have to start with a rhetorical question – Would the GM debacle have occurred if GM had an independent and empowered Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer? The answer to this is not as easy as you think. Having an empowered CECO does not necessarily mean that all legal violations,...

Five Essential Improvements to Corporate Governance

Continuing with my list theme for the week, it is important to remind everyone that a culture of compliance begins with the board of directors, filters to the CEO who commits to promoting ethics and compliance in the company, and finishes with a fabric of ethics and compliance that is built on trust and integrity. I recognize I have said more than a mouthful but...

Four Ways to Improve Antitrust Compliance Programs

In the era of global antitrust cartel enforcement, antitrust practitioners often scratch their collective heads and ask why is antitrust compliance so ignored by government enforcement agencies. Instead of promoting antitrust compliance programs by offering real and meaningful incentives, antitrust enforcement agencies offer no carrots to companies to enhance their antitrust compliance program. Antitrust enforcement leaders often promote a simplistic argument – if a company...

Five Ways for CCOs to Enhance Their Professional Qualifications and Status

Chief Compliance Officers are the rising professional stars in the corporate employment landscape (along with IT professionals who have practical perspectives). The profession is at an important test – where will the profession go from here and what steps do CCOs need to take to prepare for these challenges? I always say that CCOs are a confident group of people. They are committed to not...

Five Most Common Weaknesses in Anti-Corruption Compliance Programs

In this Internet-age of ADHD and simplistic thinking, I thought I would contribute this week by putting together some lists of common themes in the ethics and compliance world. Unfortunately, we are all addicted to quick analysis, rapid descriptions, and targeted thinking. It is one of the downsides of our new information age. In fairness, I have to admit there are significant upsides to our...

Complaints to Investigations to a Speak Up Culture: Maintaining Important Connections

Like Tinkers to Evers to Chance completing a double play, compliance programs need to maintain important links among three key elements – its complaint system, the handling of such complaints, and the publicized resolution of such complaints to encourage its Speak Up culture. Complaint Reporting Channels: Many companies have more than one avenue for officers, managers and employees to complain. That is a good thing....

The Intractable Problem of Medicare Fraud

You have to admire the vigilance and dedication of prosecutors and law enforcement investigators who fight Medicare fraud. There is no question that they have ramped up enforcement and promoted a strong message of deterrence. Consider the nature of the problem. The FBI estimates that between five and ten percent of all healthcare expenditures (government and private) are fraudulent. Medicare suffers huge annual losses from...

Senior Associate Needed: The Volkov Law Group

The Volkov Law Group is offering a great opportunity for experienced attorneys seeking a position with a nationally-recognized boutique law firm.  A leader in anti-corruption compliance and defense, the Volkov Law Group offers an innovative work environment with virtual offices on both east and west coasts.  The Firm specializes in ethics and compliance services, including anti-corruption, trade compliance and AML services, as well as white...