Featured Articles:

How to Monitor a Compliance Program? (Part II of IV)

Frankly, this is a topic that requires more than a single blog-post.  Books and podcasts can be organized around this topic with helpful ideas and guidance.  In this respect, I will try to synthesize some important ideas that may be helpful.  We all know that many companies “monitor” their third-party risks, for example, by subscribing to data services as part of risk-management platform that notify...

Compliance Program Monitoring, Testing, Audits, Assessments and Continuous Improvement (Part I of IV)

Chief compliance officers have a lot of issues to balance on their plate.  Experienced CCOs know that it is not possible to complete every objective, balance every changing risk, and continuously improve their respective compliance programs on a real-time basis.   If you review the Department of Justice’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs, there is more than a mouthful of requirements designed to ensure that CCOs...

Russian Sanctions Update: Five Months into the War in Ukraine

Jessica Sanderson, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, re-joins us for a posting on the current state of sanctions against Russia. Jessica can be reached at [email protected] It’s been five months since Russia invaded the Ukraine, and the United States has imposed a succession of increasingly severe economic sanctions on Russia and Belarus. A recent study published by Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Professor in the Practice...

Episode 241 — Continuous Improvement, Testing and Auditing of Your Ethics and Compliance Program

The Justice Department and various regulatory agencies continue to emphasize the importance of continuous improvement, testing and review as part of robust assessment procedures in an effective compliance program.  The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control has specifically stated that a sanctions compliance program should include “a comprehensive, independent, and objective testing or audit function” so that a company can determine “how their program[]...

OFAC Enforcement Action: Double Check Your Screening Tools

Jessica Sanderson, Partner at the Volkov Law Group, re-joins us for a posting on a recent OFAC enforcement action. Jessica can be reached at [email protected] Some may dismiss OFAC’s recent announcement last week that it issued a Finding of Violation to MidFirst Bank for violations of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators sanctions regulations as insignificant because OFAC did not impose any civil monetary penalties,...

Commerce Department Tacks to New Aggressive Enforcement Program

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) has decided to join the enforcement club.  BIS’s recent announcement of new policies to administrative actions should not be surprising.  Matthew Axelrod, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement, promised to ramp up enforcement during his confirmation hearings. The Biden Administration has promised an increase in regulatory enforcement, and there is no question that enforcement...

DC Circuit Court Rejects Federal Express Challenge to Civil Liability for Violations of Export Regulations

The D.C Circuit Court of Appeals sits in a unique position as the primary reviewing court for federal government agency actions.  As a result, the D.C. Circuit sits in a high-profile position and several judges have eventually ended up at the Supreme Court. Given the rising importance and enforcement of export sanctions and controls, the D.C. Circuit Court is addressing important issues on appeal relating...

OFAC Settles for $430,500 with American Express National Bank for Violation of Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions

Since its last enforcement action against Banco Popular in late May, OFAC has been quiet on the enforcement front.  Notwithstanding its silence, OFAC has been managing a robust and complex coordinated economic sanctions program against Russia.  On its face this effort is more than Herculean, given the need to coordinate with the EU, Allies and partners.  It has been truly unprecedented and OFAC’s performance has...

Episode 240 — The CCO’s Role in an Effective Compliance Program

I have been — and continue to be– hyper-focused on the proper role and responsibilities for Chief Compliance Officers. Not that I see any cause for alarm, but it is easy to lose focus in the sea of so-called hot issues — ESG, Diversity, Climate Change, Threats to Democracy, Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, each of which is an important component and focus for organizations. All of these...

BioReference Laboratories and Parent Company Agree to Pay $9.85 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Violations for Illegal Payments to Referring Physicians

When it comes to the healthcare sector, the Justice Department and the HHS-Office of Inspector General have no shortage of investigations and targets for prosecution.  The more resources made available to DOJ and HHS-OIG, the more money made for the federal government from medical care fraud.  It is a very simple equation.  It is like shooting fish in a barrel. BioReference and OPKO Health, Inc....