Featured Articles:

Och-Ziff Failures in Due Diligence and Transaction Compliance (Part II)

The Och-Ziff enforcement action is replete with examples of failures in due diligence and transaction monitoring compliance. Och-Ziff’s bribery schemes were elaborate and intricate and involved complex transactions, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), designed to funnel large bribery payments. In the DRC, Och-Ziff executed the scheme primarily through two senior employees and an Israeli partner (DRC Partner), who were committed to...

DOJ and SEC Deliver Body Blow to Private Equity and Hedge Funds: Och-Ziff Settles FCPA Violations for $412 Million (Part I)

The Justice Department and the Securities Exchange Commission delivered a powerful FCPA enforcement message to private equity and hedge funds. Och-Ziff settled with the DOJ and SEC for total penalties of $412 million. The comprehensive enforcement action and settlement included: (1) a 3 year deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”); (2) a criminal plea to four criminal counts, two FCPA conspiracy counts, and a books and records...

The Recalibration of Compliance: What is the Definition of Success?

We often hear a chorus of criticism relating to the compliance function. How do you define success? Some of this is the result of a political backlash. Chief compliance officers are the darlings in the corporate governance world, and there are forces aligned to challenge the importance of the compliance function. There are a number of internal political forces that want to undermine the growth...

GSK Settles SEC FCPA Case for $20 Million

The SEC finished with the last nail in GSK China’s coffin by announcing a $20 FCPA million settlement for GSK’s violations in China. The Justice Department declined to prosecute this case. In 2014, a Chinese court fined GSK $490 million for domestic bribery. GSK’s former China executive was given a three year suspended sentence and deported. A number of Chinese nationals were given prison sentences...

Double Play, Double Declinations: DOJ Pushes FCPA Pilot Program Benefits

DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program was panned when it was announced in April 2016. Critics contended that the incentive for voluntary disclosure of FCPA violations to DOJ was inadequate. Under the FCPA Pilot Program, a company can earn up to a 50 percent reduction from the bottom of the applicable range for calculation of a criminal fine. DOJ also noted the possibility of a declination with...

5 Key Takeaways from AB InBev SEC FCPA Settlement

The Justice Department and the SEC have been busy over the last 2 weeks in the FCPA arena. For those who have raised doubts about DOJ and the SEC’s continuing commitment to FCPA enforcement, you should forever hold your peace. The SEC announced a $6 million settlement with Anheuser-Busch InBev (“AB InBev”) for FCPA violations that occurred in India, along with a precedent setting (in...

Dig a Little Deeper: The Importance of Beneficial Ownership

Companies interact with a large number of entities in the outside world – customers, third party intermediaries and vendors and suppliers to name the most significant ones. These relationships are the lifeblood of a company. In today’s world, companies have to know with whom they are dealing – not just the name of the company, not just the officers of the company, but the natural...

Free webinar: Unravelling Corporate Structures: Understanding beneficial ownership and introducing new tools for due diligence

Beneficial ownership remains a compliance hot topic. While understanding beneficial ownership of an entity – a corporate or fund – is a key element in many compliance activities, it’s a daunting challenge. Countries vary in the amount of financial data private companies are required to disclose, and disclosure of ownership is not yet mandatory. Join us for a free webinar on October 12 (Register Here) during...

Match Made in Heaven: Compliance and Human Resources

The corporate compliance function is only as successful as its partnerships with key internal constituencies. Depending on the company and the personnel involved, compliance has to establish and maintain effective working partnerships with key functions, such as human resources, legal, finance, and security. All of the relationships are mutually beneficial. Each component works better when it is able to partner and work seamlessly with another...

Who is Responsible for a Company’s Mood in the Middle? – the Wells Fargo Fiasco

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us again for a posting on the Wells Fargo scandal.  Lauren can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. Wells Fargo’s cultural tone is not easily segregated between “top,” “middle” and “bottom.”  Despite the recent cross-selling scandal, in which the CFPB led an enforcement action whose fines total a whopping $185 million, Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf reluctantly...