Tagged: Chief Compliance Officer

Asking the Right Questions: How to Measure Corporate Culture

As a federal prosecutor with lots of trial experience, I generally know what questions to ask a witness or a defendant.  In the compliance arena, there is much more leeway in how and what questions you ask. Many companies conduct employee surveys. These surveys are usually administered by human resources across the organization every year or two. I do not oppose these surveys but recommend...

Five Requirements for Organizational Justice

Ethical companies, by definition, have a robust system for internal organizational justice. A company that suffers from unequal treatment of similarly situated executives, managers, and employees cannot maintain an ethical culture. Unequal justice will undermine  employee morale, reporting of misconduct, and overall productivity rapidly. Cynicism breeds contempt, and there is nothing like employee discontent when it comes to the sustainability of corporate productivity. To ensure...

The Compliance Dangers of Cheerleaders and Nay-Sayers

Compliance always boils down to people and interpersonal relationships. No man is an island, and no one can go it alone in compliance. One essential requirement for effective compliance is the ability to engage colleagues and your audience. Many senior executives are smart people –we all understand that. But too often senor executives embrace an interpersonal style of cheerleading. It allows them to appear to...

Five Ways to Ensure Board Support for Compliance

A Chief Compliance Officer has a number of important relationships to maintain in an organization. Aside from the support of senior level executives, the CCO has to build an effective working relationship with the board and the relevant board committee responsible for ethics and compliance. From an operational standpoint, a CCO has to use the board to advance an issue when frustrated by senior management....

Compliance Fatigue — A Dangerous Concept

I have a lot of pet peeves, especially when it comes to lawyers and compliance professionals. Do not worry — this is a not a column about all of my pet peeves; I would never bore you with all those issues. My current pet peeve in the compliance field is the expression “compliance fatigue.” I am not a paranoid person but anyone who claims that...

Checking In on Sanctions Enforcement

The Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control continues to ramp up sanctions enforcement. Even with the likely relaxation of the Iran and Cuba sanctions, OFAC has been continuing its aggressive enforcement program. Thus far, OFAC has collected approximately $270 million in civil penalties, and participated in several major criminal investigations, including Commerzbank and Schlumberger. Commerzbank agreed to pay a total of $1.45 billion...

The True Impact of DOJ’s Individual Prosecution Memo

The Justice Department can surprise you – the release of the Yates Memo (here), as it is commonly referred to since it takes on the name of the Deputy Attorney General (e.g. McNulty Memo), is another strange example of DOJ responding to political winds. If anything, DOJ’s action appears a little bit late. The controversy surrounding DOJ’s failure to prosecute an appropriate number of individual...

Hiring Practices: A New or Old FCPA Compliance Challenge?

Contrary to the opinion of many in the FCPA space, the BNY Mellon settlement and the looming actions against six major financial institutions for hiring practices is not a big shock or surprise. The SEC is not raising a new or novel interpretation of the FCPA. After all, assuming an actor has corrupt intent, there is no real question as to whether hiring a person...

DOJ’s Warning to High-Tech Companies: SAP Official Pleads Guilty To FCPA Violation

When DOJ acts, they like to make a splash. While the FCPA Paparazzi have been lamenting the “slow down” in FCPA enforcement actions and the increase in case closings, DOJ still makes its mark when it acts, and I expect more DOJ actions in the last quarter of 2015. DOJ’s latest salvo was the criminal plea of a former SAP official, a US citizen, for...

SEC Unveils First FCPA Enforcement Action Focused On Hiring Practices: BNY Mellon

The SEC is having a good year in the FCPA enforcement arena. As a former prosecutor, my eyes would sometimes glaze over when discussing civil enforcement actions. The SEC, however, has turned its FCPA enforcement program into a productive and important component of its overall mission. BNY Mellon agreed to pay $14.8 million for the hiring of three interns in order to curry favor with...