Category: Podcasts

Episode 62 — Update on the Cuba and Venezuela OFAC Sanctions Programs

The Trump Administration has aggressively restricted commerce with Cuba and Venezuela.  With respect to Cuba, the Trump Administration has re-imposed strict regulations on commerce with Cuba, reversing several Obama-era regulations easing such restrictions.  At the same time, the Trump Administration has continued Obama era policies tightening trade with Venezuela and opposing the Maduro leadership in Venezuela. In this episode, Michael Volkov discusses recent updates to...

Episode 61 — How to Implement and Promote a Speak Up Culture

Companies face a myriad of risks that can cause significant legal and reputational risks.  A company’s employees are critical sources of concerns to prevent and detect problems.  Employees have to be encouraged to raise concerns to help the company address these problems proactively.  As a result, it is critical for companies to invest and promote its speak up culture to maximize employee communication and prevent...

Episode 60 — A Deep Dive into the SEC’s FCPA Settlement with United Technologies

United Technologies recently settled an FCPA enforcement action with the SEC by paying $13.9 million for bribes paid by its elevator and aircraft businesses. UT disclosed the investigation to DOJ and the SEC in late 2013 or early 2014. DOJ declined to prosecute in March 2018. UT agreed to disgorge $9 million, plus interest of about $919,000 and to pay a penalty of $4 million. The SEC’s FCPA settlement contains...

Episode 59 — Implementing an Internal Investigation Program

To promote a culture of integrity and a commitment to organizational justice, companies have to implement an effective, efficient and reliable internal investigation program.  Such a system has to respond to employee concerns promptly and investigate these concerns fairly and consistently.  Companies have to devote adequate resources and attention to its internal investigation program. In this episode, Michael Volkov discusses how to design and implement...

Episode 58 — Interview of Donna Boehme — The Future of the Independent, Empowered Chief Compliance Officer

Donna Boehme is our guest on this week’s podcast.  She is an advocate for an independent, and empowered Chief Compliance Officer. Donna is an internationally recognized authority in the field of organizational compliance and ethics with over 20 years’ experience designing and managing compliance and ethics solutions, within the US and globally. As Principal of Compliance Strategists LLC, she has advised a wide spectrum of private,...

Episode 57 — A Review of the Russia Sanctions and Recent Changes

Since 2014, the United States has put into place a comprehensive set of sanctions against Russia.  In response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its hostile activities in the Ukraine, President Obama put in place a set of sanctions focused against various sectors of the Russian economy.  Since the Trump Administration came to power, Congress enacted additional sanctions, and the Department of Treasury adopted targeted...

Episode 56 — Catching Up with Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia Investigation

Since my last update on the Russia investigation in December 2017, Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation has been gaining momentum — Paul Manafort has plead guilty and agreed to cooperate after he was convicted in the Eastern District of Virginia.  Michael Cohen entered into a plea agreement with the Southern District of New York prosecutors, including a specific admission that President Trump directed him to make...

Episode 55 — Update on the Iran Sanctions Program

On May 8th, 2018, the Trump administration withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA and began to reimpose the U.S. nuclear-related sanctions.  All of the sanctions in existence prior to the JCPOA including nuclear-related secondary sanctions will be effective on November 5, 2018.  The wind-down of Iran-related activities pursuant to authorizations provided by the JCPOA is required in two wind-down periods – a 90 day...

Episode 54 — A Deep Dive into the SEC’s FCPA Settlement with Beam Suntory

In June 2018, the SEC announced an FCPA settlement with Beam Suntory for violations in India.  Beam’s settlement totaled over $8 million.  Beam’s conduct involved illegal payments made through third-party representatives to increase Beam’s sales, product placement and secure appropriate registrations and approvals needed to distribute liquor in India.  Beam also did not receive any remediation credit for its failure to adequately respond to and...

Episode 53 — How to Test and Evaluate Your Compliance Program

An effective compliance program requires that companies review and improve their compliance programs. A company should regularly review and test its controls, and address potential weaknesses in its compliance program. The Justice Department and the SEC have encouraged companies to conduct regular tests and reviews to create a sustainable compliance program. Companies should design and implement a proactive evaluation program to ensure that their compliance...