Tagged: SEC

SEC Adopts Final Rule Implementing Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act

Alex Cotoia, Regulatory Manager and Compliance Consultant, rejoins us for a blog post of the SEC’s adoption of foreign issuer disclosure rules. Alex can be reached at acotoia@volkovlaw.com. On December 3, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced the adoption of a final rule that fully implements the requirements of the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act (“HFCAA”) enacted by the Congress and signed...

The Fraud Hammer: DOJ and SEC Prosecute CEO of Silicon Valley Start Up

When prosecutors turn on you, watch out. The economy is full of fraudsters, many of whom escape detection.  Conmen, liars and cheats abound – when they get caught, however, the consequences can be severe. Interestingly, the SEC’s enforcement regime extends beyond the public markets and includes private companies.  In the technology sector, there are numerous technology start-ups, all living for the dream to be acquired...

Judge Lamberth Sanctions Paul Weiss and Former Partner Alex Oh

Lawyers can “Break Bad” and veer from ethical and professional standards.  Somehow this is not so hard to envision.  Legal misconduct occurs more than most expect.  And the system reacts in variety of ways – professional responsibility enforcement actions and judges stand as the two most important watchdogs over legal professional conduct. In a curious and headline-making case, Judge Royce Lamberth, who is known for...

A Personal Tribute to Judge Stanley Sporkin (Part I of II)

Judge Stanley Sporkin was a mentor, a professional colleague and a friend.  I admired Judge Sporkin, respected his commitment to integrity and valued our professional collaboration and personal friendship. Judge Stanley Sporkin died on March 23, 2020.  He was 88 years old.  I am compelled to write about my friend.  I will miss him. Judge Sporkin’s reputation for fairness and integrity was beyond reproach.  His...

Microsoft FCPA Settlement Underscores Third-Party Risks (Part II of III)

Microsoft’s bribery and controls violations reflect significant risks facing companies that rely on distributor and reseller networks to sell their products.  Companies often enter and operate in emerging markets through complex networks of third parties.  Such distribution systems create significant anti-corruption risks that have to be managed and mitigated. It is worth taking the time to examine the precise outlines of the conduct at issue...

Lessons Learned and Trends from MTS FCPA Enforcement Action and Criminal Indictment of Karimova and Akhmedov (Part III of III)

The MTS FCPA enforcement action stands as one of several significant prosecutions in FCPA history.  The breadth and depth of MTS’ corruption scheme stands as another example of systemic bribery cultures.  The details of the enforcement action underscore several important trends and enforcement policies.  Let’s review some of the more significant lessons learned and trends. Application of FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy: MTS was not able...

Anatomy of MTS, Karimova and Akhmedov Bribery Scheme in Uzbekistan (Part II of III)

The MTS bribery scandal in Uzbekistan represents the culmination of several significant FCPA violations involving VimpelCom, Telia Sonera, MTS, and Gulnara Karimova, the notoriously corrupt daughter of the former Uzbek President.  Karimova is perhaps one of the most notorious corrupt offenders in the world.  She has been under house arrest in Uzbekistan since 2014. (Indictment Here). According to MTS’ admissions, MTS and its subsidiaries, Uzdunrobita...

UBS Pays $15 Million for AML Compliance Deficiencies

UBS Group agreed to pay a combined $15 million penalty to the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”)and the SEC for regulatory deficiencies in its anti-money laundering compliance program.  UBS is required to pay $5 million to the Treasury Department; $5 million to the SEC and another $5 million to FinCEN. UBS’ broker-dealer unit, UBS Financial Services, Inc. (“UBSFS”), violated the Bank Secrecy...

Legg Mason Pays $34 Million to Resolve SEC’s Libyan FCPA Investigation

Legg Mason can finally close its books on the Gaddafi-era, Libyan bribery scandal.  In June 2018, Legg Mason entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and agreed to pay $32 million for its role in the bribery scheme.  Société Générale entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and paid $585 million for FCPA violations. Société Générale and Legg Mason admitted to paying over $90...

Who’s on First, What’s on Second – Who is Regulating ICOs, Cryptocurrencies and Exchange Platforms?

Abbott and Costello’s famous routine — Who’s on First, What’s on Second — puts cryptocurrency regulation and enforcement risks in perspective.  Here is the classic comedy routine. When new technologies appear on the scene, Washington regulation is sure to follow.  The exact configuration can take years to sort out, especially when it comes to financial products, given the labyrinth of regulatory bodies seeking to lay...