Featured Articles:

Episode 64: Stryker’s SEC FCPA Settlement

Stryker Corporation has suffered a second FCPA enforcement action, and will now bear the stigma of FCPA “recidivist.”  In reaching a settlement with the SEC and agreeing to pay a $7.8 million civil penalty, Stryker will now be subject to an SEC-imposed compliance monitor. In this episode, Michael Volkov reviews the facts surrounding the Stryker SEC settlement.

Webinar: Measuring Your Compliance Program: Data and Analytics

Webinar: Measuring Your Compliance Program: Data and Analytics December 4, 2018, 12 Noon EST Sign Up HERE As companies’ ethics and compliance programs mature, chief compliance officers are focusing on important questions relating to compliance program performance, how to measure program performance and what types of data should be collected and analyzed. Join Michael Volkov, CEO of The Volkov Law Group, as he discusses best...

The Tangible Benefits of a Positive Ethical Culture

We all enjoy citing Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s famous description relating to obscene materials, “I know it when I see it.” To apply this maxim in the corporate compliance field does not take much imagination.  Let’s start with the most important corporate control for any organization – its culture? How do we define a positive culture of ethics and compliance?  We can throw out...

Human Resources and Criminal Antitrust Prosecutions

As companies seek to attract talented employees in a competitive market, Human Resource officers have to be aware of and avoid serious potential antitrust risks.  The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has put everyone on notice – corporations will be criminally prosecuted if they enter into anti-competitive agreements with competitors concerning hiring and retention of employees. The Antitrust Division and the FTC have prosecuted companies under...

Justice Department Recalibrates Corporate Monitors and DOJ Compliance Position

In a recent speech (here), Brian Benczkowski, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division outlined the Justice Department’s new policy governing imposition of a corporate compliance monitor.  (Here). The Justice Department has faced criticism concerning the circumstances and the manner in which it decides to require a corporate monitor as part of a settlement agreement. Some have suggested that the Justice Department has not...

Goldman Sachs and the 1MDB Criminal Prosecutions

The 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal (“1MDB scandal”) has been making headlines for the past few years.  The turning point for US prosecutors was the cooperation of Malaysian law enforcement and the corruption allegations surrounding Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak.  At the center of this scandal is Goldman Sachs, which profited from $3 billion in bond issues on behalf of the 1MDB fund. The interesting...

Episode 63 — The Epsilon Case and Third-Party Sanctions Risks

The Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) recently settled a long-active enforcement action with Epsilon relating to alleged violations of the Iran Sanctions Program.  After a mixed decision from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, OFAC negotiated a $1.5 settlement for 39 violations of the Iran Sanctions Program.  Along the way, however, OFAC secured favorable rulings affirming...

Japanese Electrolytic Capacitor Manufacturer Sentenced to Pay $60 Million for Criminal Price-Fixing

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division had a slow year in criminal antitrust cases.  There are a number of explanations for the slowdown in criminal cases – the most persuasive is that such a slowdown is part of normal case processing ups and downs, especially as several significant investigations (e.g. auto parts suppliers) are coming to a close. One criminal antitrust investigation is picking up speed...

Speak Up is Great – Is Anyone Listening?

Chief compliance officers face a mountain of tasks – it is easy to get overwhelmed.  Add to the mix the fact that CCOs are under extraordinary pressure to “prevent and detect” potential violations of the company’s code and any law or regulation.  When you think about it, that is quite a heavy responsibility. In the ebb and flow of ethics and compliance ideas, one constant...

Ethics and Compliance as a “Marketing” Program

Right up front, I want to confess.  I am a lawyer, and I love being a lawyer.  So forgive me for this posting and perhaps my narrow-minded view but I have to take a moment to express some concerns about ethics and compliance. I am continuing to hear CCOs, especially at global companies, who describe their ethics and compliance program as a “marketing” program or...