Tagged: Department of Justice

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 Promotes Value of Cooperating Witnesses

Change does not occur overnight. The SEC, as much as any other government agency, has touted its hiring of former prosecutors and use of aggressive investigation tactics. I always took those statements with a grain of salt – after all, the SEC is enforcing civil laws and regulations. A prosecutor can only do so much in the civil enforcement arena. In a recent Wall Street...

Meaningful Measurement of the Effectiveness of an Ethics and Compliance Program

Talk is cheap, especially when it comes to ethics and compliance programs. Words are easy but action and commitment are even harder. The compliance industry needs to put more meat on the bones of compliance. It is not enough to rely on subjective standards for determining whether an ethics and compliance program is effective. Compliance professionals need to design meaningful measurements and standards for ethics...

The 5 Most Common AML Compliance Program Deficiencies

Anti-money laundering compliance is a very difficult task. The number of risks is exponential. AML compliance officers have an innovative and rich history of compliance techniques and strategies. In the end, AML compliance depends on: accurate and comprehensive risk assessments; pre-screening of customers through appropriate KYC programs; and audit and monitoring of transaction and customer activity. Despite the commitment and dedication of AML compliance professionals,...

Supreme Court Called Upon to Review the Newman Case and Address Insider Trading Liability

The Supreme Court is very likely to enter into the fray over the Second Circuit’s controversial Newman decision concerning insider-trading liability. The government has filed a petition for certiorari, and the stakes are high. Insider trading liability for unauthorized disclosures to tip recipients (‘tipees”) flows from the common sense notion that an insider cannot engage, directly or indirectly, in insider trading by personally benefitting from...

The Time is Now to Amend the US Sentencing Guidelines on Corporate Ethics and Compliance Programs

We all know the importance of the sentencing guidelines and the impact the revisions, especially the 2010 amendments, have had on corporate governance and compliance. The history behind the sentencing guidelines tracks the rise of the compliance profession. The time is now for the Sentencing Commission to launch a further review of the guidelines to reflect the rapid changes in the compliance profession. The Sentencing...

5 Signs Your Anti-Corruption Compliance Program is Suffering from “Tunnel Vision”

Many companies, depending on the industry, have implemented anti-corruption compliance programs. Some of the programs meet the standard for an “effective” anti-corruption compliance program. There is a vast difference between getting a program implemented on paper and an “effective” anti-corruption compliance program. After all, when you boil it down, anti-corruption compliance is not as difficult a task as everyone thinks. Some programs are immature, some...

Berger FCPA Settlement: Back to the Future

The recent Louis Berger International FCPA settlement highlighted once again the serious consequences from systemic bribery violations, the ease with which bribery schemes can be carried out, and the risks facing all global companies, especially those involved in high-risk industries like construction projects. Berger agreed to pay $17 million to settle the case and agreed to a three-year corporate monitor. Interestingly, at the same time...

Private Equity’s Corruption Risk Underbelly — Portfolio Companies

FCPA enforcement will likely take a turn into the private equity industry. I know this is a regular claim by FCPA practitioners but we already can see the beginning of the trend. The “princeling” investigations are ongoing and the industry is fighting back, claiming that internships awarded to family members of foreign officials were not given with corrupt intent or were not of any value...