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US Coal Company VP Arrested and Charged with FCPA, Money Laundering and Wire Fraud Violations

The Justice Department announced the arrest and indictment of Charles Hunter Hobson for violating the FCPA, money laundering and receiving kickbacks arising from a bribery scheme to pay government officials in Egypt in exchange for contracts for coke and chemicals with Al Nasr, an Egyptian state-owned company. Last year, Frederick Cushmore, the former VP and head of International Sales at Corsa Coal Corporation, pleaded guilty...

DOJ Issues Declination to Global Insurance Company Under FCPA Enforcement Policy

The Justice Department continues its enforcement “silence” with no major corporate prosecutions announced this year.  It is an interesting question but it appears that the wheels have ground to a halt, with one major exception – prosecutors are bringing cases against individuals.  Inside the Justice Department corporate criminal FCPA enforcement has been held up. For FCPA practitioners and commentators, that leaves individual cases and corporate...

Putin’s Puppets Pick on Peppa Pig: Intellectual property rights are collateral damage in the economic war between Russia and the nations supporting Ukraine

Jessica Sanderson, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, joins us for an interesting posting on the impact of Russia sanctions on intellectual property. Jessica can be reached at [email protected] As we’ve reported elsewhere in our blog, the U.S., EU, and other nations recently have enacted significant economic sanctions against Russian individuals and entities in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia is striking back, and...

Interpreting OFAC Sanctions: The Fine Line Between Compliance and Evasion

Matt Stankiewicz, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, joins us for a posting on compliance with OFAC Sanctions. Matt can be reached at [email protected] Unsurprisingly, we’ve been fielding a significant number of inquiries regarding the latest Russian sanctions.  Most companies seek black and white answers – what can we do and what can’t we do.  However, sanctions are very rarely, if ever, that black and...

Boeing Technical Pilot Acquitted on Criminal Charges from 737 Max Safety Scandal

The Department of Justice criminal prosecution of Mark Forkner, chief technical pilot at Boeing responsible for the 737 Max, ended in quick acquittal.  DOJ prosecutors suffered an embarrassing loss in an attempt to hold Forkner responsible for misleading FAA officials on the training level required for pilots flying the 737 MAX. DOJ’s loss ends its prosecutions stemming from the Boeing 737 Max safety scandal.  In...

DOJ Charges Russian Officials for Two Historical Hacking Campaigns

The Justice Department continues to prosecute Russian-related crimes.  Since the Ukraine Crisis, DOJ has steadily been announcing criminal charges against defendants connected to Russia.  In its most recent action, DOJ unsealed two indictments charging four Russian nationals who were employed by the Russian government with two separate computer hacking conspiracies that targeted the global energy sector between 2012 and 2018.  In sum, these hacking campaigns...

The Power of a Corporate Mission, Values-Based Leadership and the “S” of ESG

The ESG movement presents numerous opportunities for organizations to promote and improve overall performance.  By injecting the important focus on “sustainability,” organizations can take a broader view of their respective corporate missions to advance numerous objectives, including the financial bottom line. Under “traditional” economic analysis (e.g. Milton Friedman and a shareholder-interests only), a corporation’s sole mission was to increase shareholder value.  The market rules and...

FinCEN Settles with USAA Federal Savings Bank for $140 Million for Willful AML Violations

FinCEN enforcement actions for anti-money laundering violations are often interesting because of the scope of violations and the large penalties imposed.  For most financial institutions, CCOs read these enforcement actions with an eye to distinguishing their own AML programs from the target involved in the enforcement action.  I would urge some caution here – it is easy to breathe a sigh of relief and whisper...

FINRA Issues Guidance on CCO Liability

I am reluctant to wade into the issue of CCO liability because I gravitate toward a simplistic answer to a complex question – when does a CCO cross the line to warrant civil or even criminal prosecution?  My simplistic response is trite – “When they break the law or when the facts warrant prosecution.” Based on my simplistic view, I have resisted dramatic warnings and...

Episode 229 — DOJ Charges TV Producer with Violating Crimea-Related Sanctions

In another indication of DOJ’s aggressive approach to enforcement of sanctions against Russia, DOJ announced the indictment of a TV producer for violations of the Crimea-Related Russian sanctions program. As outlined in the indictment, Jack Hanick, a former Fox News executive, was indicted for a sanctions violations stemming from his long-time relationship with a prohibited Russian oligarch (Specially Designated National) relating to the creation and...