Tagged: Ethics and Compliance

Las Vegas Sands $9 Million SEC Settlement: An Easy Mark

The SEC continues its cutting edge FCPA enforcement program, bringing in a variety of enforcement cases and employing some new strategies. In its latest foray, the SEC settled with Las Vegas Sands, owned by Sheldon Adelson, for $9 million for deficiencies in its internal accounting controls concerning its operations in China and Macao. The SEC’s enforcement action reflects one important theme – they could not...

New and Important Compliance Standards in DOJ’s Recent FCPA Guidance (Part II of II)

The importance of DOJ’s hiring of Hui Chen as Compliance Counsel was recently confirmed by DOJ’s release of new compliance remediation standards for FCPA compliance programs. DOJ has, once again, raised the bar on FCPA compliance programs. Compliance practitioners have a real and significant voice on behalf of the compliance function inside the Justice Department. In adopting a new pilot program for FCPA enforcement and...

Misconduct in the C-Suite: SEC Settles FCPA Case with CEO

The SEC is setting its sights on individual prosecutions. Both the Justice Department and the SEC have reiterated the importance of prosecuting individuals. DOJ’s Yates Memorandum promises to deliver an increase in civil and criminal prosecutions. The SEC is delivering on its stated goal of increasing individual prosecutions. In a busy FCPA enforcement week, the SEC settled the SciClone Pharmaceuticals case and a separate prosecution...

Focusing on Internal Investigations

A speak up culture is an important component of a company’s commitment to organizational justice. All of the pieces of an internal justice system have to fit together and are interdependent. When one part does not work, the whole system does not work. A robust internal investigation system is a critical component of organizational justice. Companies often pull together the basic components of an internal...

Prosecuting CCOs v. Holding CCOs Accountable

There has been a lot written about CCOs fearing prosecution for compliance failures. Not to say there is no risk, but the truth lies really in the middle.  From my perspective, there is too much fear-mongering around this issue. Let’s look at one extreme – a CCO who engages in misconduct should be prosecuted. A good example of this case is the prosecution of Thomas...

The Antitrust Leniency Model and FCPA Enforcement

I am always wary of simplistic policy proposals – often the simple idea to apply one policy to another subject matter, just does not work. Instead, policy debate will turn to the simple idea and how it can easily be applied in other circumstances. Not to get too cute, but the inquiry requires deciding on which idiom to apply: Is this a situation where: “If...

Cyber Security Compliance: The Role of the CCO

For years, cyber security has been the province of IT specialist and technicians. Those days are long gone. If you ask a Board of Directors to identify a company’s most significant risk – cyber security is tops. That is no big surprise. When you consider the consequences of a cyber intrusion or a more likely breach, companies suffer serious reputational and financial harm. Directors, senior...

Defining Business Ethics

One of the more frustrating topics for discussion is defining business ethics. It is frustrating to see how complex and unhelpful the discussion turns when defining business ethics. I have two tests for how to deal with this issue. Do you use simple terms that can be easily communicated internally in a company? Do the terms embrace the kind of values important to the company?...

The Person (Idea) of the Year – Corporate Ethics and Culture

Each year I have identified the so-called “person” of the year to capture the most significant enforcement and compliance trend. In the past, I have given the award to the Chief Compliance Officer, the Ethics Officer, the Prosecutors, and others. This year is not an easy choice. In my view, there have been three significant events or trends, each of which could easily be named...

Ethics and Compliance Predictions for 2016

The New Year brings new promise for compliance professionals. I always sympathize with compliance officers because of their inevitable conflict – their idealism often is confronted by corporate realities – a CEO who fails to live by his or her promise of support for compliance, or the slow assignment of personnel and resources needed to implement an effective compliance program. When you add to these...