Tagged: Department of Justice

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...

The Ins and Outs of the Ghana Bribery Scheme (Part II of II)

This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous. And, uh, a lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder’s head. – The Dude, The Big Lebowski Each FCPA case provides valuable lessons in the mechanics of bribery schemes and the common techniques used by violators to secure funds and make illegal payments to...

Goldman Sachs Official Indicted Over Ghana Bribery Scheme (Part I of II)

Talk about a reminder of the past, Asante Berko, a former Executive Director in Goldman Sachs, recently was arrested in London on criminal FCPA charges arising from his involvement in a bribery scheme in Ghana. The surprising part of the case was the delay in his arrest – over 2 years.  In 2020, Berko was charged by the SEC for FCPA violations.  He settled the...

Bribery in the Pharmaceutical Industry — Avanir Pharma

We always focus on foreign bribery — the FCPA and corporate bribery of foreign officials.  It is certainly a problem that undermines economic development and human rights. However, bribery and corruption is real and significant in the United States, from local to state to federal government officials, the news is filled with instances of bribery and corruption.  Wherever there is money flowing, there is sure...

The Importance of Independence to a CCO’s Role

It is easy to be dogmatic in blog postings — to express an unvarnished opinion that sounds valid.  While it may not be supported by hard data or valid evidence, compliance officers are used to trusting their “gut feelings,” when it comes to compliance.  Compliance professionals with experience agree largely on big ticket issues, and this view often reflects lots of real-world experience.  Sometimes the...

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)

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)

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...

The Chief Compliance Officer: The Blueprint for Success in the Future (Part I of IV)

OK, I admit it.  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...

DOJ Compliance Program Certification Requirements (Part I of III)

The Department of Justice continues to respond to the compliance community’s concerns about the new certification requirement adopted as part of the Glencore FCPA enforcement action.  DOJ has adopted this new requirement to “empower” CCOs and to ensure that CCOs have a “seat at the [senior management] table.”  While these are all laudable goals, CCOs continue to question whether DOJ’s new certification requirement will undermine...