Featured Articles:

Goldman Sachs and the 1MDB Criminal Prosecutions

The 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal (“1MDB scandal”) has been making headlines for the past few years.  The turning point for US prosecutors was the cooperation of Malaysian law enforcement and the corruption allegations surrounding Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak.  At the center of this scandal is Goldman Sachs, which profited from $3 billion in bond issues on behalf of the 1MDB fund. The interesting...

Episode 63 — The Epsilon Case and Third-Party Sanctions Risks

The Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) recently settled a long-active enforcement action with Epsilon relating to alleged violations of the Iran Sanctions Program.  After a mixed decision from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, OFAC negotiated a $1.5 settlement for 39 violations of the Iran Sanctions Program.  Along the way, however, OFAC secured favorable rulings affirming...

Japanese Electrolytic Capacitor Manufacturer Sentenced to Pay $60 Million for Criminal Price-Fixing

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division had a slow year in criminal antitrust cases.  There are a number of explanations for the slowdown in criminal cases – the most persuasive is that such a slowdown is part of normal case processing ups and downs, especially as several significant investigations (e.g. auto parts suppliers) are coming to a close. One criminal antitrust investigation is picking up speed...

Speak Up is Great – Is Anyone Listening?

Chief compliance officers face a mountain of tasks – it is easy to get overwhelmed.  Add to the mix the fact that CCOs are under extraordinary pressure to “prevent and detect” potential violations of the company’s code and any law or regulation.  When you think about it, that is quite a heavy responsibility. In the ebb and flow of ethics and compliance ideas, one constant...

Ethics and Compliance as a “Marketing” Program

Right up front, I want to confess.  I am a lawyer, and I love being a lawyer.  So forgive me for this posting and perhaps my narrow-minded view but I have to take a moment to express some concerns about ethics and compliance. I am continuing to hear CCOs, especially at global companies, who describe their ethics and compliance program as a “marketing” program or...

University of St. Thomas Law Graduate Programs in Organizational Ethics Compliance

Colleen Dorsey, JD, Director, Organizational Ethics & Compliance, University of St. Thomas Law, joins us for a guest posting on the University of St. Thomas Law graduate programs in Organizational Ethics and Compliance.  Colleen can be reached via email at colleen.dorsey@stthomas.edu.    A Head for Law A Heart for Integrity Every business exists by virtue of the trust of its customers and employees.  Without strong ethics, companies not...

Episode 62 — Update on the Cuba and Venezuela OFAC Sanctions Programs

The Trump Administration has aggressively restricted commerce with Cuba and Venezuela.  With respect to Cuba, the Trump Administration has re-imposed strict regulations on commerce with Cuba, reversing several Obama-era regulations easing such restrictions.  At the same time, the Trump Administration has continued Obama era policies tightening trade with Venezuela and opposing the Maduro leadership in Venezuela. In this episode, Michael Volkov discusses recent updates to...

Health Management Associates Pays Over $260 Million in Criminal and Civil Penalties for Pervasive False Billing and Kickback Charges

Healthcare Management Associates (HMA) settled criminal and civil charges with the Justice Department for illegal fraud and kickback schemes.  HMA billed federal government healthcare programs for inpatient services that should have been billed as outpatient or observation services, paid illegal remuneration to physicians in exchange for patient referrals, and inflated charges for emergency department facility fees.  HMA was acquired by Community Health Systems (CHS) in...

Doctor and Two Medical Equipment Officers Head to Jail for Illegal Kickback Scheme

The Justice Department’s commitment – resources and public statements – has continued at a steady pace in the Trump Administration.  Some might diminish the effort by recognizing that fraud is so pervasive that it is like shooting fish in a barrel.  In the end, however, criminal cases require investigation, organization, resources and hard work. As you would expect, Florida is a prime geographic target for...

Managing Your Supply Chain: Turning “Do No Harm” Into “Doing Good”

I am definitely an optimist.  Frankly, there is no alternative.  Pessimists, by definition, ensure that the result they fear will occur.  Another way of saying the same thing – karma is destiny. Chief compliance officers see the world in terms of risks – they share a worldview with lawyers who are always asked to examine the worst case scenario.  For some reason, worst case scenarios...