Featured Articles:

Attention U.S. Exporters to Hong Kong: Have you Reviewed Your Export Licenses and Trade Compliance Program to Account for Recent Changes?

Jessica Sanderson, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, rejoins us for a posting on recent changes to export regulations involving Hong Kong. Jessica can be reached at [email protected] Until recently, the U.S. government treated Hong Kong and China as two separate destinations for export control purposes and in many cases provided Hong Kong with preferential treatment.  At the end of 2020, however, on December 23,...

New Criminal Antitrust Whistleblower Law Enacted

Two days before Christmas, President Trump signed the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, which prohibits retaliation against employees who report criminal antitrust violations internally or to the government.   The Act was sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley from Iowa, a long-time supporter of whistleblowers, and Patrick Leahy. From 2010 to 2019, the Antitrust Division has brough criminal enforcement actions that resulted in over $9 billion in criminal...

SEC Launches Enforcement Action Against Cryptocurrency Company Ripple

Matt Stankiewicz, Managing Counsel at The Volkov Law Group, joins us for a posting on the SEC enforcement action against Ripple. Matt can be reached at [email protected] In December 2020, three days before Christmas, the SEC filed a significant case against Ripple, the major cryptocurrency company. Ripple is a major cryptocurrency company, utilizing the technology to create a global digital payment network – an alternative...

The “Person” of the Year: Goldman Sachs

Bear with me for a second, but remember Presidential Candidate Romney’s statement in 2011 that “Corporations are people.” Starting with that premise, my so-called “Person” of the Year award for 2020 goes to, drumroll . . . Goldman Sachs, for its defining ethical and compliance lapses, leading to the largest ever FCPA Settlement.  With tongue in cheek, the story of 2020 has to be the...

DOJ’s Antitrust Division Launches Two Criminal Prosecutions of Illegal No-Poach and Wage-Fixing Agreements

The Antitrust Division has warned companies that it would bring criminal indictments against companies that enter into illegal no-poach or wage-fixing agreements.  The Antitrust Division has now put its money where its mouth is, announcing two significant criminal cases at the end of 2020 and at the beginning of 2021, respectively.    The SCA No Poach Case On January 5, 2021, a federal grand jury...

2020: A Year of Ethical Challenges

If ever there was a year that challenged corporate leaders on their commitment to business ethics, 2020 was the year.  The number of difficult issues facing corporate leaders were challenging and ran the gamut – from health and safety concerns, to business continuity, and to economic disruptions and lay-offs or reductions in force.  Even outside the organization, social concerns, supply chain management and community needs...

Episode 176 — 2020 FCPA Enforcement and Compliance Trends

The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission had another record year of enforcement.  In fact, the last four years of FCPA enforcement included two years of record enforcement – 2019 and 2020.  After those two years, 2016, 2014, 2010 were larger enforcement years (as measured by total fines) than 2017 and 2018, the first two years of FCPA enforcement under the Trump Administration. In this...

OFAC Ends 2020 with Two Enforcement Actions

OFAC reported two new enforcement actions in the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  The two new enforcement actions are interesting examples of sanctions enforcement, one of which involved the first against a digital currency company. BitGo Settlement BitGo, Inc. a technology platform that provides digital asset wallet management, agreed to pay $98,830 to settle 183 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs, including the Crimea...

2021 FCPA Predictions (Part IV of IV)

Well, it is that time again.  I get to put on my Carnac the Magnificent Hat and offer my FCPA predictions for 2021. I should get a pass on my 2020 FCPA Predictions posting because no one could have anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic.  Although even with the asterisk, I correctly predicted the Goldman Sachs enforcement action (which was not so hard given Goldman Sachs disclosure...

2020 Year in Review: Interesting Enforcement Actions (Part III of IV)

DOJ and the SEC each had a great year in FCPA enforcement.  But it is important to acknowledge that the blockbuster case, Goldman Sachs, was the driver of this successful year.  Goldman Sachs Goldman Sachs paid DOJ and the SEC nearly $4 billion in fines and disgorgement.  DOJ has reccivered nearly $1` billion in assets through its forfeiture initiative. Goldman Sachs was a massive and...