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Happy Holidays!

The Volkov Law Group wishes our clients, colleagues, subscribers, readers and friends and families a wonder, happy holiday season. We are grateful for your support and your friendship. While this has been a very difficult year, we look forward to a New Year filled with hope, recovery, and a bright path forward. Our blog will return after the New Year. Thank you again from all...

Episode 175 — A Deep Dive into the Vitol FCPA Settlement

The Justice Department continues to produce FCPA resolutions in a record year for enforcement.  The latest is DOJ’s settlement with Vitol, Inc. (Vitol), an energy trading company. DOJ agreed to a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in exchange for a criminal penalty of $135 million.  One-third of the payment, or $45 million, would be credited if Vitol pays $45 million to Brazil prosecutors for resolution of the case....

Episode 174: Five Basic Steps to Implement a Sanctions Compliance Program

Companies have to implement a sanctions compliance program (SCP). The Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control’s sanctions guidance issued in May 2019 is an extraordinary document and includes numerous prescriptive requirements.  Companies ignore the SCP Guidance at their peril.   The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has a robust and mature enforcement program.  Over the last few years, OFAC has successfully expanded its enforcement...

BitMEX Trading Exchange Earns Criminal and Civil Prosecution for AML Violations

We all have been following the rapid growth of cryptocurrency and the creation of lucrative trading platforms.  Cryptocurrency has earned the scrutiny of regulators and criminal prosecutors – not for run-of-the-mill fraud schemes, but for compliance with applicable anti-money laundering laws and regulations. Late in 2020, the Justice Department and the Commodities Futures Trade Commission (“CFTC”) slammed BitMEx and its principals with a coordinated criminal...

New Year Webinars: 2020 FCPA and OFAC Enforcement and Compliance Reviews

2020 FCPA Enforcement and Compliance Trends January 5, 2021, 12 Noon EST Sign Up HERE 2020 OFAC Enforcement and Compliance Trends January 6, 2021, 12 Noon EST Sign Up HERE For FCPA enforcement, 2020 was a record year. The Justice Department collected a record-setting amount of criminal fines for anti-corruption violations, while continuing its aggressive criminal indictment of individuals for FCPA and other criminal offenses....

California Mandates Increased Diversity on Corporate Boards

The United States continues to lag in corporate board diversity.  Many corporate boards are dominated by white males.  Progress on this issue has been slow. The number of women on Russell 3000 boards rose from 15 to 19 percent.  Most of the increase occurred on boards of mid- and large-cap companies.  In 2019, 45 percent of new board members were female and only 15 percent...

The Danger of Internal Controls Enforcement: The Andeavor SEC Settlement

The internal controls provision in the FCPA statute has broad application to a variety of situations beyond foreign bribery.  The Securities and Exchange Commission knows full well the power of the internal controls provision and has readily applied it in a variety of circumstances. One recent example is the SEC’s settlement with Andeavor LLC for failure to publicly disclose the status of its negotiations to...

FTC and 48 States File Antitrust Case Against Facebook

The Trump Administration has focused on competition and the technology sector.  First, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division filed a monopolization case against Google. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission and 46 states filed a monopolization case against Facebook. These are two major antitrust cases.  When the Biden Administration takes over, it will be interesting to monitor how DOJ and the FTC handle these two cases....

Episode 173 — Review of HHS-OIG Fraud Alert on Speaker Programs

In a far-reaching action, the Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) issued a Special Fraud Alert underscoring the “inherent fraud and abuse risks” associated with company-sponsored speaker programs.  In this Episode, Michael Volkov reviews the HHS-OIG Fraud Alert. The Episode is available Here.

Maintaining Perspective: Enterprise and Compliance Risk Management

It is always interesting to watch the flow of risk management trends, particularly as they impact ethics and compliance issues.  Financial companies have been the target of regulatory enforcement actions for risk management and control deficiencies.  Citigroup and JP Morgan were two recent targets of banking regulatory enforcement actions.  We will probably see a few more banks subject to regulatory enforcement actions. Apart from the...