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Episode 159 — The Steve Bannon “We Build The Wall” Fraud Scheme

In a surprise indictment, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced that Steve Bannon, Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea were indicted for defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors in response to the “We Build The Wall” online fundraising campaign.  The indictment charges the defendants in defrauding donors from more than $25 million. In this Episode, Michael Volkov reviews...

OFAC Settles Enforcement Action with Individual for $5000

I often remind readers – government prosecutors regularly tell you what they  plan to do in advance, and then they do it.  So do not be surprised when the government does something they told you they would do. In May 2019, OFAC issued its Framework for Sanctions Compliance Commitments.  As part of its Guidance. OFAC noted that it intended to increase enforcement actions against individual...

Herbalife’s FCPA Settlement: Lessons Learned (Part III of III)

Herbalife’s FCPA settlement is another one for books – the wreckage left includes two criminal indictments for Chinese officials who may never be apprehended, along with $123 million in penalties.  When going through the wreckage, there are serious issues of corporate failures at senior levels of the company along with pervasive and systemic misconduct in China.  What is surprising is the obvious red flags of...

Herbalife’s China Bribery Scheme (Part II of III)

Herbalife’s bribery scheme in China stretched across the 28 provinces of China and even involved an Herbalife senior executive in its headquarters in Los Angeles, California.  DOJ has indicted Yangling Li, aka Jerry Li, and Hongwei Yang, aka Mary Yang, two Chinese nationals who carried out the scheme. The Statement of Facts provides some important details about the scheme.  Herbalife’s business in China depended on...

Herbalife Settles FCPA Charges and Agrees to Pay $123 Million (Part I of III)

DOJ and the SEC settled their long-pending FCPA investigation of Herbalife Nutrition Ltd (“Herbalife”).  Herbalife entered into a 3-year deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) with DOJ and an administrative order with the SEC, and agreed to pay $55 million in criminal penalties and $67 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest to the SEC.  In light of the criminal penalties, the SEC declined to impose any civil...

Teva Pharma Charged with Antitrust Conspiracy in Generic Pharmaceuticals Industry

Teva, the global pharmaceutical giant, was indicted last week as part of DOJ’s expanding criminal conspiracy investigation focused on illegal price-fixing and customer allocations. Teva and DOJ sought to resolve the case in advance of indictment but were unable to reach agreement.  DOJ then decided to indict Teva in a broad conspiracy.  Given the broad legal implications of such an indictment, Teva is unlikely to...

Episode 158 — Improving Corporate Board Governance

It has been almost one year since the Business Roundtable Restatement of Corporate Purposes to underscore expansion of broad governance and sustainability principles.  Yet, one year later, not much has changed.  Corporate board governance needs to improve and initiate reforms in response to recurring problems and scandals. Corporate boards can no longer represent resting places for business executives at the end of their respective careers. ...

Tom Fox’s 500th Podcast Episode Celebration

Congratulations to my good friend and colleague Tom Fox for his extraordinary accomplishment — his 500th Podcast Episode. Tom has been a leader in the ethics and compliance industry for over a decade. Tom’s 500th Episode is Here. I was honored to participate with Tom and my friends and colleagues, Jonathan Marks, Matt Kelly, Jonathan Armstrong, and Jay Rosen in recording a series of podcasts...

DOJ Secures Guilty Plea and Charges A Second Former PDVSA Official with Money Laundering

The Justice Department continues to pursue criminal cases against Venezuelan officials at Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) in an attempt to strangle President Nicolas Maduro.  DOJ has been pursuing a three-pronged strategy by bringing cases in the New York, Miami and Houston federal courts.  DOJ has been pursuing officials who have left Venezuela and now reside in Spain and other European locations.  DOJ has charged...

Three Individuals Charged with Fraud and FCPA Violations in International Adoption Scheme

FCPA cases can arise in un usual situations.  DOJ has focused two separate prosecutions on bribery and fraud involving adoptions from Uganda and Poland.  At the heart, the defendants bribed Ugandan and Polish authorities to secure children who were not orphaned and deceived prospective parents as to the orphaned status of the children placed for adoption. In the end, innocent children were removed from their...