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DOJ Snares Two More Guilty Pleas in Ongoing Criminal Investigation of Commercial Flooring Business

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has had a rough year in the criminal arena.  While the Antitrust Division has aggressively blocked several proposed mergers, it has lost several significant criminal cases.  The Antitrust Division lost two significant cases for price-fixing in the labor market and is now in the middle of a third criminal trial against five defendants in the chicken producing industry.  The Division...

SEC Joins DOJ in Probe of Ericsson ISIS Bribery Payments

Ericsson is having a tough time.  First, in 2019, Ericsson settled FCPA charges with the Justice Department and the SEC for a total of $1 billion (with a B).  Second, Ericsson had an independent compliance monitor appointed for a three-year term under its deferred prosecution agreement.  And then — last year, Ericsson was notified by DOJ that it failed to conduct a proper internal investigation...

NAVEX Annual Hotline and Incident Report: A Mixed Bag of Reporting Trends

NAVEX recently released its annual Hotline and Incident Management Report.  Given NAVEX’s strong position in the hotline service market, NAVEX has access to a large volume of reporting data.  As a result, its annual report is always interesting and a must-read ethics and compliance report. NAVEX’s report revealed several important trends: A larger number of employees are willing to report misconduct.  Overt the last ten...

Episode 237 — The Tenaris SEC FCPA Settlement

The SEC announced another FCPA settlement in 2022. FCPA enforcement, in general, is picking up. Tenaris, a global supplier of steel pipes and related services for the energy industry agreed to pay the SEC $78 million to resolve FCPA violations that occurred in Brazil. The US Department of Justice closed its investigation without bringing charges. In this Episode, Michael Volkov reviews the SEC settlement.

Avoiding Compliance Overkill — Properly Assess and Manage Tangible Risks

Alex Cotoia, Regulatory Manager and Compliance Consultant, rejoins us for a timely posting on compliance overkill in this era of aggressive sanctions enforcement. Alex can be reached at [email protected] The uptick in recent sanctions activity caused in large part by the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unilateral invasion of Ukraine has caused absolute pandemonium in many compliance circles. While the U.S. Department of Justice (and the...

Banco Popular de Puerto Rico Settles with OFAC for $255,937 for Violations of Venezuela Sanctions Program

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) is a busy enforcement agency.  OFAC has implemented the comprehensive Russia Sanctions Program in response to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.  The scope and pace of this process has been unprecedented.  Along the way, OFAC is continuing a steady pace of sanctions enforcement actions.  In a recent action, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (“Banco Popular”), a...

Deciphering FCPA Enforcement Trends

In following the Justice Department and the Securities Exchange Commission FCPA enforcement actions, I am always reminded of the popular phrase — “reading the tea leaves.” (or “tasseography,” a fortune-telling method based on tea leave patterns in tea sediments).  Despite a slow initial year in 2021, the Biden Administration’s stamp and push on FCPA enforcement is becoming clear.  Keep in mind, DOJ and SEC officials...

Tenaris Pays SEC $78 Million to Resolve FCPA Violations

The SEC announced another FCPA settlement in 2022.  FCPA enforcement, in general, is picking up.  Tenaris, a global supplier of steel pipes and related services for the energy industry, agreed to pay the SEC $78 million to resolve FCPA violations.  The US Department of Justice closed its investigation without bringing charges. The resolution of Tenaris’ case is interesting because of Tenaris’ recidivist status.  In 2011,...

The Glencore Settlement: Lessons Learned (Part V of V)

The Justice Department has resumed FCPA enforcement with a bang.  The new enforcement approach has been unveiled and the message for CCOs and corporate business leaders is clear — anti-corruption compliance should be a critical compliance priority.  Companies that fail to do so will be severely punished.  The new DOJ approach stands as one of the most important events elevating the importance of corporate compliance...

Glencore’s Commodity Trading Fraud Scheme (Part IV of V)

Glencore’s settlement with DOJ and the CFTC revealed a plethora of manipulative, deceptive and corrupt conduct, which spanned from at least 2007 to 2018 and occurred in the United States and global oil markets, including manipulation of four U.S. based S&P Global Platts physical oil benchmarks and related futures and swaps. From 2007 to 2018, Glencore sought to increase profits from physical and derivative oil...