Tagged: internal controls

The Force Awakens: Vimpelcom’s FCPA Settlement and the Wreckage Left Behind (Part II of II)

The Vimpelcom FCPA enforcement action is stunning in its breadth and the brazen nature of the bribery scheme. It is hard to accept that such conduct stretched into 2011 to 2013, given the significant emphasis placed on anti-corruption enforcement in the corporate governance world. It is easy to ask but hard to imagine how many other major companies are operating with such flimsy attention to...

Digging Into Your Internal Controls

Corruption risks follow the money. If a company has effective controls over money, then the company has a good chance of mitigating corruption risks. A key indicator of a company’s internal controls is to ask if the company has suffered any significant fraud in the last five years. If your company has experienced a high fraud rate, the company’s controls may be weak and corruption...

Fraud and Bribery: Segregation of Duties

Some things go together. Chocolate chip cookies and milk, Hepburn and Tracy, Lewis and Martin (I know, I am showing my age, but you get the point), and many other favorite combinations. So, you get the point – in the world of anti-bribery compliance, and another in my series of profound grasps of the obvious – fraud and bribery go hand in hand. One of...

Bribery Requires – Money

I have to confess – I love the show Shark Tank. Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary, is my favorite Shark. Mr. Wonderful often reminds the contestants and other Sharks that the central issue in considering business proposals is – How do I make M-O-N-E-Y? The same focus on money has to be at the core of any anti-corruption compliance program. In examining a company’s risk profile,...

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...

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?...

Preventing Terrorism with AML Accountability AND Budgeting

Lauren Connell, Managing Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us again for a posting about anti-money laundering (AML), terrorism financing and CCO certifications.  Lauren’s profile is here, and she can be reached at lconnell@volkovlaw.com. Preventing money from getting to terrorists is a chief goal of AML programs. But at a basic level an AML program is only as strong as its budget, regardless of...

Asking the Right Questions: How to Measure Corporate Culture

As a federal prosecutor with lots of trial experience, I generally know what questions to ask a witness or a defendant.  In the compliance arena, there is much more leeway in how and what questions you ask. Many companies conduct employee surveys. These surveys are usually administered by human resources across the organization every year or two. I do not oppose these surveys but recommend...

Business Ethics as an Effective Control

Integrity has no need of rules. – Albert Camus Corporate decision-making ignores important principles and sometimes, common sense. With the increase in corporate compliance programs, corporate boards and senior executives need to take a moment to address one important issue – the importance of creating an ethical culture. For some reason, corporate boards and leaders like to focus on the tangible aspects of ethics and...

Dissecting a Bribery Violation: Two Important Questions to Answer

In the wreckage of a corporate FCPA enforcement action, a company has to answer two important questions. First, how did the conduct occur without senior executives and the Board learning or suspecting that such conduct was occurring or could occur? Second, how did the wrongdoers obtain access to the money needed to fund the bribery scheme? I know these two questions are fairly obvious, but...