Category: General

Reflections on the Cognizant FCPA Resolution: Does DOJ Mean What it Says? (Part III of IV)

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. — Mark Twain The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible. — Mark Twain We live in an era where credibility and truthfulness are character values that are often challenged, questioned and indeed overrun.  Trust and integrity are values of utmost value and importance.  In an...

The Anatomy of a Bribery Scandal: Digging into the Cognizant Bribery Scheme (Part II of IV)

The Cognizant bribery scheme is another in the line of illegal conspiracies orchestrated by senior management – but this one is even more disturbing for a number of reasons.  Cognizant’s former president and general counsel directed the scheme in full consultation and with full knowledge and intent with the chief operating officer and the vice president of administration.  Add Cognizant to the list of companies...

Tom Fox and Michael Volkov Discuss Cognizant Technologies FCPA SEC Settlement, Declination and Criminal Indictment of Two Executives

Tom Fox and I discuss the recent FCPA enforcement action involving Cognizant Technologies. Cognizant settled FCPA violations with the SEC for approximately $25 million, received a declination from the Justice Department under the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, and Cognizant’s former president and general counsel were indicted for criminal FCPA violations and charged by the SEC with civil violations. Tom and I recorded a podcast to...

Cognizant Technology Pays $25 Million for FCPA Violations and Earns Declination — Two Executives are Indicted for Criminal FCPA Violations (Part I of IV)

In the first corporate FCPA action of 2019, Cognizant Technology Solutions Company settled its long-running FCPA case, agreeing to pay the SEC $25 million.  (SEC Settlement Here).  At the same time, the Justice Department announced: (1) its declination under the FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy (Here); and (2) the indictment of its former President and General Counsel for criminal FCPA violations (Here). The charges arose from...

OFAC Announces Two Sanctions Enforcement Settlements

What a difference a year makes — The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) announced two sanctions settlements in the beginning of 2019, a stark difference from 2018 when OFAC announced its first enforcement action in June 2018. ELF Cosmetics  On January 31, 2019, OFAC announced a $996,080 settlement with e.l.f. Cosmetics, Inc. (“ELF”), a California cosmetics company for violation of the North...

Corruption Risks and the Issue of Foreign Government Officials

Global companies are expending more time and resources to understanding their relationships with foreign officials.  This is a key focus of every anti-corruption compliance program. Foreign government officials create different risks dep[ending on the relationship and the nature of the interactions.  A helpful way to examine the issue is by dividing government officials into two categories – foreign government official (FGO) owners and FGOs that...

Four Audi Executives Indicted for Emissions Cheating Scandal

In January 2019, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan returned an indictment against four executives from Audi, a Volkswagen subsidiary, for their participation and direction of Audi’s emissions-cheating scandal.  In December 2018, Audi paid a fine of 800 million euros to settle charges with German prosecutors.  Audi’s CEO, Rupert Stadler, was arrested and has been charged in Germany with alleged fraud and...

The Urgency of Now: Corporate Ethics and the #MeToo Movement

The corporate scandal landscape is littered with important examples of governance failures surrounding corporate ethics and mishandling of harassment and sexual assault controversies.  Major corporate governance failures surrounding the handling of these issues have occurred at Google, CBS (Les Moonves), U.S. Gymnastics team, and U.S Congress, just to name a few of the many.  If there was ever a compelling argument for ethics and compliance...

New U.S. Sanctions Against Nicolás Maduro Place Venezuelan Oil Squarely in the Crosshairs

Noah Smith, an Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us for an interesting post on OFAC’s new Venezuela sanctions.  Noah can be contacted at nsmith@volkovlaw.com. Venezuela is undergoing a political upheaval. Since his rise to power in 2013, the embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has precipitated a humanitarian crisis that has driven some 3 million Venezuelans to flee abroad. Widespread protests have erupted (yet again) against the country’s chronic violence,...

Hospitals and Physician Relationships – Navigating Stark, AKS and Fraud Risks (Part III of III)

Chief compliance officers at hospitals face a crushing burden of risks.  The HHS-OIG has vigorously scrutinized hospitals compensation of physicians, especially for potential anti-kickback and Stark law violations.  Most of these suspect situations involve compensation for physician practice groups.  Unlawful compensation and influence arrangements have involved favorable leasing and facility payments, such as below-market office leasing arrangements in exchange for exclusive referral of patients to...