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Webinar: Maintaining a Reliable and Effective Internal Investigation Program

Webinar: Maintaining a Reliable and Effective Internal Investigation 12 Noon EST,March 24, 2020 Sign Up HERE A company’s commitment to implementing an effective ethics and compliance program must include a reliable internal investigation program. In order to build trust and a speak up culture, an internal investigation program has to respond promptly and fairly to employee concerns. Companies that operate a bare bones or ineffective...

“Paralysis” and a Culture of Wrongdoing

We all are familiar with the “horror” stories circling numerous infamous corporate scandals – Wells Fargo, Boeing, General Motors, Airbus, Ericsson, HSBC and on and on.  When you read about each of these scandals, layer by layer, the corporation is infected with a culture of wrongdoing.  In these situations, senior management, middle management and employees embrace differing levels of commitment to wrongdoing, ranging from intentional...

The Pandemic Crisis – A Note of Support

I have to admit that it is hard to maintain this blog under the current circumstances.  It is hard to ignore the “elephant in the room.”  The coronavirus crisis is having a serious impact on our country, society, communities and families.  I am deeply troubled by the current handling of this crisis at the federal level and the coming tsunami for our healthcare system.  In...

Episode 131 — Third-Party Risk Monitoring and Auditing Strategies

An effective third-party risk management program has to include robust monitoring and auditing strategies.  This episode is a companion to Episode 129 on creating a third-party risk profile. In this episode, Michael Volkov outlines strategies for monitoring and auditing your third-party population.

Addressing the Coronavirus Crisis and Corporate Response

In this global pandemic crisis, every company is being tested.  No matter how much time was put into emergency planning it is difficult to imagine that anyone could have foreseen the scope and nature of the current crisis.  But we are about to experience and witness an important test. Companies have to recognize the nature of the crisis, the impact on their operations, prepare consumers,...

United Bank Risk Officer Agrees to $450k Penalty for AML Compliance Failures

Compliance professionals face extraordinary risks – not just for the enterprise but personal risks.  CCOs should not panic or overreact when the government brings an enforcement action against a compliance officer for a company’s compliance failure. The lesson for compliance officers who work in regulated industries is fairly straightforward – when faced with real compliance problems, compliance professionals have to document efforts to address the...

The Danger of a Hyper-Focused Sales Culture

We all know that economic incentives are critical to promoting performance.  Going back to the days of Adam Smith, the U.S. economic growth is the result of a basic motivation – hard work can result in significant revenues/profits. Companies create incentives for their employees as well – sales performance is linked to salary, bonuses and promotions.  We have observed skewed sales incentives, such as the...

DOJ Catches Big Fish in Generic Pharmaceutical Criminal Antitrust Investigation

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division announced a major guilty plea with Sandoz, Inc., in its expanding criminal investigation of the generic pharmaceutical industry.  DOJ has been pursuing this investigation for several years with some progress, but the Sandoz guilty plea is a major accomplishment in the investigation.  Sandoz agreed to pay $195 million in exchange for a three-year deferred purchase agreement (“DPA”).  DOJ filed a...

Episode 130 — Practical Strategies for OFAC Sanctions Risk Assessments

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) is aggressively enforcing OFAC sanctions rules.  Last year, OFAC issued its Framework for Sanctions Compliance Programs, which includes a specific requirement for companies to conduct a “holistic” risk assessment. In this episode, Michael Volkov outlines practical strategies for conducting a sanctions risk assessment.

Swiss Telecomm Company Pays $7.8 Million to Settle OFAC Sanctions Violations

OFAC continues to aggressively enforce its sanctions programs.  In its latest enforcement action, OFAC agreed with Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques SCRL (“SITA”), a Swiss telecom company, to an approximately $7.8 million civil penalty for 9,256 violations of the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (“GTSR”). SITA provides telecommunications services to companies in the civilian air transport industry.  Membership in SITA is open to industry operators worldwide...