Tagged: FCPA

The Importance of Risk Ranking to Compliance

We all face a number of risks every day. Yet, we do not respond to each and every risk. We engage in risk-ranking our responses. Some are more risk than others and some are more catastrophic than others. So, we engage in risk ranking each day and allocate our time and attention accordingly. The same applies, or should apply, when managing a compliance program. Resources...

Johnson Controls Pays $14 Million for China FCPA Violations: DOJ Declines Prosecution

There’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear – “For What It’s Worth,” Buffalo Springfield At first glance, the SEC’s recent enforcement action against Johnson Controls for $14 million for FCPA violations in China, along with a Justice Department declination under its new Pilot Program, appears to be a “routine” enforcement matter. Unfortunately, this case was anything but routine and there are...

The FCPA Implications of the Supreme Court’s McDonnell Decision – A Mountain Out of a Molehill?

The Supreme Court’s decision in the McDonnell case was expected. It was evident that the Supreme Court was going to reverse the convictions when it granted a stay of McDonnell’s sentence and agreed to hear the case. Sometimes we all suffer from FCPA myopia and see the world only through the FCPA lens. The McDonnell case has very little that is directly applicable to the...

The SEC’s Love Affair with Internal Controls

The SEC has been flexing its muscles lately. If you had some of the enforcement tools the SEC has, you would be doing the same. What am I referring to? The FCPA statute includes broad provisions requiring companies to maintain adequate internal controls and accurate books and records. If taken literally, these prohibitions can be applied to many situations to support aggressive SEC enforcement actions....

Analogic FCPA Settlement – From Russia With(out) Love

Analogic Corp. and its Danish subsidiary, BK Medical ApS,  settled an FCPA enforcement action last week with the Justice Department and the SEC for approximately $14 million. Analogic agreed to pay $3.4 million to the Justice Department as part of a non-prosecution agreement (NPA), and paid the SEC approximately $11.4 million in disgorgement and interest. Lars Frost, a former CFO at BK Medical, settled an...

A Fair Assessment of the Impact of the Yates Memorandum

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. – Mark Twain If only Mark Twain were alive today, he would have many opportunities to articulate his wisdom, especially when it comes to politicians. Not to say that the compliance field is as important as politics (or would have been a good target), but I...

Do Former Prosecutors Make Good CCOs?

A number of companies have adopted the requirement that a new Chief Compliance Office come from the ranks of former federal prosecutors. I am not sure exactly why companies have adopted this requirement. Perhaps company leaders think this will give the company an advantage when dealing with the Justice Department or the SEC. With full disclosure here, I admit my bias in favor of federal...

Global Standardization of Enforcement

Maybe I am a Luddite; maybe I just do not understand the new world and the impact of globalization. New ideas do not scare me, like others we know. New ideas present real opportunities for progress and innovation. I understand the impact that globalization has had on our economy, our society and our country. There are many positive benefits that flow from this incredible transformation...

Corruption Risks and Corporate Social Responsibility Spending

Global companies have been embracing socially responsible spending projects to build stronger relationships with local communities. The idea makes a lot of sense and real projects can result in real benefits. As with any significant source of money, there are risks. Major global companies have been caught in some embarrassing situations, some of which can have real legal and reputational consequences. Think of the irony...

The Evolving Due Diligence Standards and Beneficial Ownership

In case you are not following all the latest scandals – Unaoil and the Panama Papers being two significant ones – we are seeing an evolution and possibly a revolution in due diligence expectations. No matter what context or what your specific concern may be, the need for every compliance department to identify the beneficial owners of joint venture partners, third party intermediaries, distributors, agents...