Featured Articles:

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...

Trust But Verify — Due Diligence with a Jaded Eye

Ronald Reagan’s mantra with respect to US-Soviet relations in the 1980s applies with equal force to today’s world of due diligence. (I know it shows my age that I can recall this statement).  Not all due diligence cases require a skeptical eye. But most compliance professionals know when they are digging into a due diligence review that will require a substantial investigation. Government enforcement agencies...

Three Key Takeaways from the Nu Skin FCPA Settlement for a Corrupt Charitable Donation

In a rare enforcement action, the SEC settled an FCPA enforcement action for $766,000 for a charitable donation of $154,000 to improperly influence a high-ranking Chiese Communist party official to prevent a provincial agency investigation of Nu-Skin’s Chinese subsidiary. Nu-Skin China was being investigated in China for violating provincial direct sale restrictions. The Chinese Administration of Industry and Commerce investigated the matter and proposed to...

Sampling as a Compliance Strategy

In the technology age in which we live, CCOs often come face to face with a new phenomenon – too much information or data. TMI is not something to laugh at nor ignore. CCOs often face situations where they need to understand what is occurring through a monitoring or audit function. In those cases, CCOs have to decide whether it is worth the cost in...

President Obama Pledges to Lift Myanmar Sanctions

Jacqui Merrill, an associate at The Volkov Law Group, rejoins us for a posting on the Myanmar Sanctions.  Jacqui can be reached at jmerrill@volkovlaw.com. On September 14, 2016, President Obama met with Myanmar’s leader, State Counsellor Daw Aung Suu Kyi, at the White House and announced the United States’ intent to remove economic sanctions against Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in the near future.  The President...

Talking with Your Feet – The CCO’s Ethical Dilemmas

Chief compliance officers are optimistic and committed to “doing the right thing.” It is in their blood and may be at the core of their professional fabric. My guess is that there are far fewer CCOs who like to push the envelope than their legal counterparts. Some lawyers are capable of accepting certain levels of risk for defined benefits. CCOs are more risk averse. The...

Third-Party Risk Management – Part 2: Contract Termination

Cristina Muehl’s second part of her series addresses third-party risk management relating to contract termination.  Cristina is a Senior Corporate Auditor at Delphi Corporation.  Her Linked In profile is here.  She can be reached at cristina@muel.info. This second part of the series will take a look at the last phase in the lifecycle of third-party business relationship and that is contract termination. This is a...

Third-Party Risk Management – Part 1: Contract Extension

I am pleased to welcome Cristina Muehl as a guest contributor.  Cristina has provided a two-part series on third-party risk management relating to contract extensions and contract termination.  Cristina is a Senior Corporate Auditor at Delphi Corporation.  Her Linked In profile is here.  She can be reached at cristina@muel.info. Risk Management is a constant theme for top management as it might make the difference between...

When Diligence is Not Given its “Due”

I find myself quibbling with compliance terms – hyper focus on small issues is not a positive trait. I often urge clients and colleagues to focus on issue of more significance and leave the smaller ones for another day. Hence, my recent criticism over “due diligence” policies and procedures for third party intermediaries. A more appropriate title is “risk management.” A due diligence inquiry of...

The Risk of a Cooperating Witness Left Out in the Cold

Last week, the Justice Department reported a guilty plea in the VW emissions scandal prosecution. By this one announcement, DOJ signaled that it is planning to build a bigger case against VW. Ironically, the Justice Department has exceeded the number of guilty pleas and cooperating witnesses in many of its high profile FCPA and AML/Sanctions cases. A senior VW engineer entered a guilty plea to...