Featured Articles:

Commerce Department Tacks to New Aggressive Enforcement Program

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) has decided to join the enforcement club.  BIS’s recent announcement of new policies to administrative actions should not be surprising.  Matthew Axelrod, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement, promised to ramp up enforcement during his confirmation hearings. The Biden Administration has promised an increase in regulatory enforcement, and there is no question that enforcement...

DC Circuit Court Rejects Federal Express Challenge to Civil Liability for Violations of Export Regulations

The D.C Circuit Court of Appeals sits in a unique position as the primary reviewing court for federal government agency actions.  As a result, the D.C. Circuit sits in a high-profile position and several judges have eventually ended up at the Supreme Court. Given the rising importance and enforcement of export sanctions and controls, the D.C. Circuit Court is addressing important issues on appeal relating...

OFAC Settles for $430,500 with American Express National Bank for Violation of Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions

Since its last enforcement action against Banco Popular in late May, OFAC has been quiet on the enforcement front.  Notwithstanding its silence, OFAC has been managing a robust and complex coordinated economic sanctions program against Russia.  On its face this effort is more than Herculean, given the need to coordinate with the EU, Allies and partners.  It has been truly unprecedented and OFAC’s performance has...

Episode 240 — The CCO’s Role in an Effective Compliance Program

I have been — and continue to be– hyper-focused on the proper role and responsibilities for Chief Compliance Officers. Not that I see any cause for alarm, but it is easy to lose focus in the sea of so-called hot issues — ESG, Diversity, Climate Change, Threats to Democracy, Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, each of which is an important component and focus for organizations. All of these...

BioReference Laboratories and Parent Company Agree to Pay $9.85 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Violations for Illegal Payments to Referring Physicians

When it comes to the healthcare sector, the Justice Department and the HHS-Office of Inspector General have no shortage of investigations and targets for prosecution.  The more resources made available to DOJ and HHS-OIG, the more money made for the federal government from medical care fraud.  It is a very simple equation.  It is like shooting fish in a barrel. BioReference and OPKO Health, Inc....

Where Does Your Compliance Program and CCO Fall Under DOJ’s Independence, Authority and Resources Test? (Part IV of IV)

As we enjoy the remainder of the summer and get ready to launch into a new fall season (no, not football) but a time for renewal and recommitment, this may be a good opportunity to examine and analyze your own compliance program.  DOJ’s framework provides a valuable set of questions and issues needed to conduct this analysis.  It is important to note the critical ability...

The Effective CCO: Independence, Authority and Resources (Part III of IV)

As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart eloquently opined in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964), on the legal definition of obscenity, “I know it when I see it.”  This same test applies to other issues as well — when it comes to an effective ethics and compliance program, and an effective CCO, “[We] know it when [we] see it.”  Or conversely (and perhaps confusingly), “[We] know it...

The Importance of Ethics and Compliance to the Overall Corporate Mission (Part II of IV)

There are lots of sources for compliance guidance — prosecutors, regulators, compliance organizations, and many others have set forth important and valuable guidance for the design and implementation of an effective ethics and compliance program.  All of this guidance is helpful and has advanced the cause of corporate compliance.  After all, for decades now, the importance of corporate ethics and compliance has steadily grown.  It...

The Chief Compliance Officer: The Blueprint for Success in the Future (Part I of IV)

OK, I admit it.  I have been — and continue to be– hyper-focused on the proper role and responsibilities for Chief Compliance Officers.  Not that I see any cause for alarm, but it is easy to lose focus in the sea of so-called hot issues — ESG, Diversity, Climate Change, Threats to Democracy, Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, each of which is an important component and...

What Happens When the CCO is Buried in the Organization?

Let me paint a picture for you.  It is not pretty.  Unfortunately, this picture occurs all too often in the corporate governance landscape.  The first picture captures the presence of chief compliance officer in a stand-alone office in a mid-size public company.  The company is not subject to any robust regulatory regime.  The CCO has a staff of one or two people, coordinates some compliance...