Tagged: Corporate Governance

Pain in the App: Messaging Apps Lead to Large SEC Enforcement Actions

Pain in the App: Messaging Apps Lead to Large SEC Enforcement Actions

On September 29, 2023, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged several firms with recordkeeping failures. These recordkeeping failures relate to pervasive and longstanding off-channel communications.  Generally, all of these actions relate to the widespread use of various messaging apps that ultimately violate SEC requirements and circumvent internal corporate controls.  These are the latest enforcement actions in a string of similar penalties by the SEC...

Corporate Crime and National Security – The Confluence of Prosecution and Foreign Policy (Part I of III)

Corporate Crime and National Security – The Confluence of Prosecution and Foreign Policy (Part I of III)

To restate the obvious – DOJ has prioritized prosecution of national security crimes.  For the business world, every company touches the international economy.  Even a domestic company might sell products or services outside the United States, or such companies depend on foreign products or services in their supply chain.  It is rare indeed to find a company that is not dependent on one way or...

A Five Step Program for Every Company to Address the New Enforcement Threats

A Five Step Program for Every Company to Address the New Enforcement Threats

Companies have to demand a new focus from their CEOs, senior executives and legal compliance team in response to the new DOJ and regulatory initiatives.  These steps are not just suggestions nor items that can be prioritized based on resources.  Instead, these are essential and basic requirements that will inevitably result in significant benefits across the company.  Step 1: Define, Embed and Monitor Corporate Culture...

Corporate Governance Challenges in an Evolving Risk Era

Corporate Governance Challenges in an Evolving Risk Era

We are living in a rapidly changing economic landscape. Companies are under the gun to navigate “traditional issues,” such as challenging economic conditions ranging from inflation, and a predicted recession, to supply chain disruptions.  It has been a long and difficult path in responding to two significant crises – first the pandemic in 2020 and then Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting global sanctions...

Promoting Your Corporate Culture – Accountability and Messaging (Part II of III)

Promoting Your Corporate Culture – Accountability and Messaging (Part II of III)

As a company’s most valuable intangible asset, we have witnessed the wreckage of companies that have fallen victim to reputational damage, scandal and ultimately the wasteland of a rotten corporate culture.  In these situations, employee misconduct rates increase, wrongdoing and scandal surround the company, and corporate leaders ultimately fall from failing to sail the corporate ship in the right directions. There are tell-tale signs of...

Making Corporate Culture a Reality: Define and Embed (Part I of III)

Making Corporate Culture a Reality: Define and Embed (Part I of III)

Everyone has jumped on the corporate culture bandwagon.  For some new converts, they like to espouse corporate culture as a recent discovery, or a new-fangled approach for compliance programs. The story of corporate culture as a talismanic tool for ethics and compliance is really nothing new.  Chief compliance officers knew the importance of corporate culture from the beginning.  A number of companies separately called out...

The Department of Justice Charges FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried in the Southern District of New York (II of IV)

The Department of Justice Charges FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried in the Southern District of New York (II of IV)

Matt Stankiewicz, Partner at The Volkov Law Group, continues blog series on the collapse of FTX, looking at the criminal charges filed against founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.  He can be reached at [email protected]. Following FTX’s stunning collapse, federal prosecutors have quickly taken steps to hold FTX’s founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (“SBF”) accountable.   On December 13, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a criminal...

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...

Where Does Your Compliance Program and CCO Fall Under DOJ’s Independence, Authority and Resources Test? (Part IV of IV)

Where Does Your Compliance Program and CCO Fall Under DOJ’s Independence, Authority and Resources Test? (Part IV of IV)

As we enjoy the remainder of the summer and get ready to launch into a new fall season (no, not football) but a time for renewal and recommitment, this may be a good opportunity to examine and analyze your own compliance program.  DOJ’s framework provides a valuable set of questions and issues needed to conduct this analysis.  It is important to note the critical ability...

The Effective CCO: Independence, Authority and Resources (Part III of IV)

The Effective CCO: Independence, Authority and Resources (Part III of IV)

As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart eloquently opined in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964), on the legal definition of obscenity, “I know it when I see it.”  This same test applies to other issues as well — when it comes to an effective ethics and compliance program, and an effective CCO, “[We] know it when [we] see it.”  Or conversely (and perhaps confusingly), “[We] know it...