Tagged: internal controls

FinCEN Expands Crackdown on Real Estate Buyers

Building on early successes, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) announced new rules targeting buyers of high-end real estate properties.  (Here). Earlier this year, FinCEN adopted rules focusing on high-end buyers of real estate in Miami and New York City. The new rules required title companies to report the beneficial owners of limited liability companies and shell companies which use cash to purchase high-end real...

DOJ and SEC Collect $22 Million from LAN Airlines for Conduct in Resolving Labor Dispute

Last week, the Justice Department (here) and the SEC (here) announced parallel FCPA settlements totaling $22 million in fines, penalties and disgorgement against LAN Airlines, a Chile-based airline, for conduct in resolving a labor dispute in Argentina. In March 2016, the SEC settled a case with LAN’s CEO for approving payments to a consultant, an advisor to the Secretary of Argentina’s Ministry of Transportation, to...

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....

Creating a Real Incentive for Self-Reporting FCPA Violations (Part II of II)

Let’s start with a big “If.” I know that sounds like a real turn off but bear with me. Assuming that the Justice Department is ready to turn over a new approach to criminal enforcement and aggressively prosecute culpable individuals in white collar crime investigations, would it be a good idea to offer a pass, or leniency to the company if the company self-reports the...

Internal Controls Enforcement: Hoisting Yourself on Your Own Petard

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet included this often used  phrase – hoist with his own petard (a small bomb). Shakespeare never knew that his eloquence would apply to today’s SEC enforcement of internal controls. The FCPA requires companies to make and keep accurate books and records and to devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls. The FCPA also prohibits individuals and businesses from knowingly...

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...

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,...