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Episode 111 — How to Design and Implement an Antitrust Compliance Program

In July 2019, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division issued its Guidance for Evaluation of Compliance Programs.  Based on this comprehensive document, companies need to review and enhance their antitrust compliance programs to address risks of anti-competitive cartel activity, including price-fixing, bid-rigging, territorial and customer allocations. In this Episode, Mike Volkov reviews the elements of an antitrust compliance programs and provides practical advice for implementing an...

Canadian Fuel Technology Company and Former CEO Settle SEC FCPA Case

Westport Fuel Systems, a Canadian clean fuel technology company, and its former CEO, Nancy Gougarty, agreed to settle FCPA charges with the SEC for $4.1 million and $120k, respectively. Starting in 2016, Westport, through Gougarty and others, engaged in a scheme to bribe a Chinese foreign government official to obtain business and a cash dividend from Westport’s joint venture in China.  Westport’s largest joint venture...

Quad/Graphics Settles SEC FCPA Case for Nearly $10 Million

Quad/Graphics, a Wisconsin print and digital marketing company agreed to pay the SEC almost $10 million to settle FCPA charges for foreign bribery violations in Peru and China. (Here).  Quad/Graphics also violated OFAC sanctions violations for transactions involving a Cuban telecommunications company.  The Justice Department declined to prosecute Quad/Graphics under its FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy (Here). During the period of 2011 to 2016, Quad/Graphics failed...

Barclays Agrees to Pay the SEC $6.3 Million to Settle FCPA Offenses for Hiring of Relatives of Foreign Officials in Asia

Barclays joined the club of global financial institutions settling FCPA violations for hiring of relatives of foreign officials in Asia.  Barclays agreed to disgorge $3.8 million and paid prejudgment interest of nearly $1 million and a $1.5 million civil penalty. As outlined in the SEC settlement order (here), Barclays Asia Pacific Region hired 117 job candidates referred by or connected to foreign government officials or...

Episode 110: SEC Settles Three FCPA Cases on One Day

In a record setting FCPA enforcement day, the SEC settled three separate FCPA enforcement actions on Friday, September 27, 2019.  The three cases involved: Quad/Graphics, a Wisconsin company; Barclays Bank, a global bank, and Westport Energy, a clean energy company, and its former CEO, Nancy Gougarty.  Each of the cases involved interesting enforcement facts and situations. in this Episode, Michael Volkov reviews each case and...

Cooperating Cognizant COO Pays $50K to Settle SEC FCPA Action

In an interesting SEC FCPA settlement action, Sridhar Thiruvengadam, the former COO of Cognizant Technology, agreed to pay a $50K penalty for his role in the bribery scheme involving the payment of $2 million to a government official in India in exchange for the issuance of a planning permit needed for the construction of Cognizant’s new office location in Chennai, India.  Early this year, Cognizant...

UK Bank Agrees to Pay $4 Million to Settle OFAC Sudanese Sanctions Violations

Last week, British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB), located in the United Kingdom, agreed to settle an OFAC enforcement action for $4 million.  (Here and Here).  BACB has no presence in the United States but was cited for processing 72 transactions in violation of the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations. In reaching the settlement, OFAC reduced significantly the penalty amount of approximately $228 million under OFAC Enforcement Guidelines...

Fixing a Toxic Corporate Culture

We all know about the high-profile scandals that lawyers and compliance officers point to as examples of weak to non-existent ethical corporate cultures.  The case studies read like a train wreck, where everything goes wrong, controls are circumvented, crimes are committed with impunity and gatekeepers and lines of defense are either ignored or co-opted into the misconduct.  Almost every story includes failures of oversight by...

Episode 109 — The Business Roundtable Restatement of Corporate Purposes and the Importance of Ethical Leadership

In a significant development, the Business Roundtable issued a restatement of general corporate purpose.  The restatement embraces a number of important social trends and awareness of ethical culture and broader principles.  While the statement is laudatory, the proof will be in tangible actions taken to implement the broad and important purposes.   In this Episode, Michael Volkov examines the Business Roundtable Restatement and reflects on the...

Corporate Board Strategies for Monitoring and Promoting a Company’s Ethical Culture (Part III of III)

Corporate boards all want to believe that their companies maintain an ethical culture.  Each board members knows the right words, platitudes and buzz words to use.  No one can fault them there.  But like every issue in life, when push comes to shove, what actual commitment of time and effort do board members actually devote to the specific issue?  And if they do commit to...