Featured Articles:

OFAC Enforcement: The Epsilon Case and Third Party Risks

The Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) recently announced the settlement of the Epsilon enforcement action.  (Here).  This case requires a theme song and there is none better than Truckin (here) from Grateful Dead’s second compilation album — What a Long Strange Trip its Been. This case involved two separate OFAC investigations for violations of the Iran Sanctions Program, an appeal to...

Cryptocurrency 101 for Lawyers – What is Mining?

Matt Stankiewicz, a senior associate at The Volkov Law Group, rejoins us for another posting on cryptocurrency.  He can be reached at mstankiewicz@volkovlaw.com. As we have continued with our cryptocurrency posts, we are often asked questions about the foundational elements of the technology behind cryptocurrency.  This is not surprising really, it’s a new technology that’s still finding itself and innovations are occurring monthly, if not...

Episode 57 — A Review of the Russia Sanctions and Recent Changes

Since 2014, the United States has put into place a comprehensive set of sanctions against Russia.  In response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its hostile activities in the Ukraine, President Obama put in place a set of sanctions focused against various sectors of the Russian economy.  Since the Trump Administration came to power, Congress enacted additional sanctions, and the Department of Treasury adopted targeted...

A Compliance Priority — Watching Where Your Money Goes

His money is twice tainted: taint yours and taint mine – Mark Twain In a number of enforcement contexts, I am always struck by a common theme – crooks are able to obtain access to corporate money for improper purposes.  You never hear about a crook who uses his own money to pay bribes or secure any illegal advantage. Companies have to maintain vigilant financial...

United Technologies SEC FCPA Enforcement Action: Gifts, Meals, Entertainment and Travel Abuse and Bribery (Part II of II)

When you read through the United Technologies SEC FCPA enforcement action, you cannot help but shake your head – the level of abuse and participation by senior managers in the UT companies – Pratt & Whitney and Otis Elevator is disturbing. As outlined in the SEC settlement, from 2009 to 2015, Pratt & Whitney and Otis Elevator improperly provided trips and gifts to various foreign...

United Technologies Pays $13.9 Million to Settle FCPA Charges (Part I of II)

The SEC’s FCPA Unit had a good week last week – they announced a second FCPA settlement along with the Sanofi case.  The latest to fall was United Technologies that agreed to pay $13.9 million for bribes paid by its elevator and aircraft engine businesses. The SEC FCPA settlement focused on Azerbaijan and China relating to third-party bribery payments.  In addition to these two bribery...

Sanofi Coughs Up $25 Million to Settle SEC FCPA Charges

Well, add another pharmaceutical company to the FCPA healthcare “sweep.”  Frankly, the term “sweep” makes it sound like a coordinated enforcement effort – instead, it is more accurate to think of it as multiple prosecutions against a high-risk industry. Whatever the enforcement background, Sanofi settled an FCPA case with the SEC for $25 million.  DOJ closed its investigation of Sanofi in March 2018.  The SEC...

Episode 56 — Catching Up with Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia Investigation

Since my last update on the Russia investigation in December 2017, Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation has been gaining momentum — Paul Manafort has plead guilty and agreed to cooperate after he was convicted in the Eastern District of Virginia.  Michael Cohen entered into a plea agreement with the Southern District of New York prosecutors, including a specific admission that President Trump directed him to make...

The Real Focus for Compliance: Post-Acquisition Integration of an Acquired Company (Part III of III)

In light of the evolving (or evolved) DOJ and SEC approach to FCPA enforcement in the merger and acquisition context, global companies have to emphasize their post-acquisition process.  Obviously, this is not limited to ethics and compliance issues.  An acquiring company has a long list of tasks needed to complete in order to integrate the new company into the existing company’s operations. Global companies that...

The Importance of Pre-Acquisition FCPA Due Diligence (Part II of III)

Several years ago (or in the recent past as some would say), pre-acquisition due diligence was a major compliance focus for global companies that grew through aggressive merger and acquisition strategies.  In some respects, and perhaps in reaction to relaxation of some of DOJ’s strict requirements that applied ten years ago (i.e. Halliburton Opinion Letter 08-02), companies appear to be adjusting their compliance priorities and...