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Ripple and SEC Joint Letter Indicates Sides Far Apart in Settlement Talks

Matt Stankiewicz, Managing Counsel at The Volkov Law Group, joins us for continued updates regarding the SEC enforcement action against Ripple. Matt can be reached at [email protected] On Monday, Ripple Labs, Inc.; Brad Garlinghouse, CEO; Christian Larsen, board chairman; and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a joint letter with Judge Analisa Torres in the Southern District of New York.  While this letter...

OFAC Starts New Year with Enforcement Action against French Bank for Violations of Syrian Sanctions Program

In the new Biden Administration, companies should expect aggressive enforcement of trade sanctions.  At the same time, in response to Russian aggression and the Solar Winds cyber-attack, OFAC is likely to implement new and even more restrictive sanctions against Russia.  In anticipation, companies should elevate the importance of their sanctions compliance programs (SCPs) pursuant to the May 2019 OFAC Framework.  Unfortunately, for many companies, sanctions...

The Rise of ESG In Response to Investor Demand

Corporate governance sometimes is the subject of “fads,” or initiatives that gain traction with dubious evidence-based justifications.  Sometimes companies engage new theories or strategies because they “sound good,” or give corporate leaders a way to avoid or mollify tackling hard issues or difficult tasks. Corporations are quickly embracing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues.  Whether this is “right” or the most effective use of corporate...

The Urgency of Ethics and Compliance – The Biden Administration and Enforcement

The Biden Administration has a lot on its plate – that is obvious.  Tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring economic growth is one of the most difficult challenges ever facing our country.  Across the government, a new administration poses significant changes in priorities. The Justice Department will be tough on corporate crime and compliance.  With the exception of a failure to prosecute individuals responsible for...

Episode 181 — Cryptocurrency Review: Matt Stankiewicz Discusses the SEC’s Case against Ripple, Predictions under the Biden Administration, and Bitcoin’s Corporate Surge

Matt Stankiewicz, Managing Counsel, The Volkov Law Group, and Michael Volkov discuss the latest events and trends within the cryptocurrency industry. Several major enforcement actions have hit the news recently, such as the CFTC’s case against BitMEX and the SEC’s high-profile action against Ripple and its XRP cryptocurrency.  We also discuss potential regulatory movement under the Biden Administration and what may be coming in the...

Tom Fox Releases The Compliance Handbook 2nd Edition

Tom Fox, the Compliance Evangelist, has announced the release of his Compliance Handbook, Second Edition.  Tom is a compliance leader and his handbook is a must read for all ethics and compliance professionals.  The Second Edition provides practical and helpful solutions on important ethics and compliance issues.  It is comprehensive, accessible and a must-have for every ethics and compliance professional.  Tom has teamed up with...

Corruption and Coronavirus – A Toxic Combination

Alex Cotoia, who recently joined The Volkov Law Group, as a Regulatory Manager and Compliance Consultant, joins us for a posting on Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index. Alex can be reached at [email protected] On January 28, 2021, Transparency International (“TI”), a non-governmental organization globally renowned for its work in combatting corruption in both the public and private sectors, released its much-awaited Corruption Perceptions Index...

CCOs Have a Target on Their Backs: The Coming Storm (Part III of III)

I have always played down the issue of CCO liability and prosecutions. I dismiss these concerns often because the reporting of CCO prosecutions are usually exaggerated and meant to instill fear in compliance professionals.   In my simplistic approach, I have followed the general rule of thumb – if you do something wrong, you pay the price.  In a number of cases involving compliance officer prosecutions,...

Troubling Trends: The CCO’s Authority, Independence and Access to Resources (Part II of III)

While my first posting highlighted the positive developments in the CCO’s role and professional development, the next two postings present troubling concerns.  We have to recognize that 2020 was a difficult and unusual year for CCOs, given the panoply of risks, the disruption to every organization, and devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  CCOs were forced into a new environment where health and safety issues,...

The State of the Chief Compliance Officer: Looking Back and to the Future (Part I of III)

To start the New Year, it is a good idea to review the trends in the role and status of Chief Compliance Officers.  As we witness the continuing growth in stature of the CCO, we need to exercise caution.  Some troubling concerns are becoming apparent.  With a new Attorney General and Biden Administration, CCOs have to be mindful of their ever increasing responsibilities and concomitant...