Featured Articles:

Third Party Risk Management: Balancing Due Diligence Screening and Monitoring

In response to aggressive FCPA enforcement and recurring problems with third parties, companies have spent substantial resources and time to design and implement comprehensive ethics and compliance programs. A key part of this effort was to implement robust due diligence programs to screen and identify potential risks created by third party intermediaries. Hui Chen, DOJ Compliance Counsel, called 2015 “The Year of Due Diligence.” Many...

A Fair Assessment of the Impact of the Yates Memorandum

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. – Mark Twain If only Mark Twain were alive today, he would have many opportunities to articulate his wisdom, especially when it comes to politicians. Not to say that the compliance field is as important as politics (or would have been a good target), but I...

DOJ’s Pilot Program – The Five Factors Designed to Nurture the Compliance Function

Perhaps the most positive and important aspect of the FCPA Pilot Program was the announcement of forward-looking and innovative remediation requirements for corporate compliance programs. As an aside, DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program was a disappointment and failed to deliver meaningful incentives for companies to self-disclose FCPA violations to the Justice Department. The difference between 25, 50 and 75 percent from the bottom of the sentencing...

RESCHEDULED Webinar: Conducting Internal Investigations in the Yates Memorandum Era

New Date: June 21, 2016, 12 Noon EST Sign Up HERE The Justice Department’s release of the Yates Memorandum will have a significant impact on corporate internal investigations. Under the new requirements of the Yates Memorandum, investigators will have to prioritize the investigation’s focus on culpable individuals. This new focus will require careful consideration of a range of issues that arise when conducting an internal...

Addressing AML Risks in the Era of Aggressive Enforcement

The resurgence in anti-money laundering enforcement in the last few years reflects the overall improvement in the banking industry and recovery from the financial collapse. Federal prosecutors and regulators have renewed their interest in AML compliance lapses, particularly in the area of sanctions/OFAC violations. FinCEN, the primary regulatory agency responsible for enforcement, has both diversified its targets and increased its enforcement efforts. For years, FinCEN...

Do Former Prosecutors Make Good CCOs?

A number of companies have adopted the requirement that a new Chief Compliance Office come from the ranks of former federal prosecutors. I am not sure exactly why companies have adopted this requirement. Perhaps company leaders think this will give the company an advantage when dealing with the Justice Department or the SEC. With full disclosure here, I admit my bias in favor of federal...

AML Risks and Foreign Correspondent Banking

With the Panama Papers scandal and government promises of continued aggressive AML enforcement, financial institutions face a variety of risks that require increased vigilance and mitigation strategies. One of the most challenging risks facing all financial institutions is foreign correspondent banking. In essence, a foreign correspondent banking relationship is built on the effectiveness of a foreign bank’s AML compliance program and ongoing monitoring capabilities. Such...

FinCEN Issues New Beneficial Ownership Regulations

Under the dark cover of the Panama Papers scandal, FinCEN moved quickly to issue its beneficial; ownership regulations. For all of the US regulatory and financial industry bluster, it is about time. The United States stands far behind other countries in requiring transparency with regard to financial ownership. It is unfortunate that it took the Panama Papers scandal to give FinCEN the political opportunity to...

Global Standardization of Enforcement

Maybe I am a Luddite; maybe I just do not understand the new world and the impact of globalization. New ideas do not scare me, like others we know. New ideas present real opportunities for progress and innovation. I understand the impact that globalization has had on our economy, our society and our country. There are many positive benefits that flow from this incredible transformation...

Global Construction and Corruption

With increasing focus on infrastructure projects and greater public demand for improvements, governments are preparing to ramp up construction projects. Part of the budgeting process has to acknowledge the cost of corruption. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that construction and corruption go hand-in-hand. Corruption occurs in construction projects because of the incendiary mix of money, government bureaucracy, and lack of...