Tagged: third party risks

Five Lessons for Third-Party Distributor Risk Management from Microsoft FCPA Settlement (Part III of III)

The Microsoft FCPA settlement, while not significant in the total penalty of approximately $25 million, provides some important instructions concerning distributor and re-seller risks and mitigation strategies.  Here are five important lessons learned:  Discount Controls and Customer/End User Pricing: Microsoft agreed to provide significant discounts based on false justifications.  Microsoft failed to confirm the justification for the discounts that permitted the bad actors to create...

Microsoft Pays DOJ and SEC $25 Million to Resolve FCPA Violations (Part I of III)

Microsoft finally resolved its FCPA enforcement action with a whimper.  Notwithstanding prior suggestions that Microsoft’s investigation uncovered global conduct, Microsoft’s liability focused primarily on Microsoft’s conduct in Hungary.  Even with the tailored settlement agreement,  DOJ and the SEC reiterated robust expectations surrounding third-party distributor networks, particularly in the software industry. To resolve a lengthy six and one-half year investigation, Microsoft entered into a non-prosecution agreement...

Tying Mitigation to Third Party Risks

Managing your third-party risks requires a wide-angle view of your third parties.  What do I mean by that? Companies are hyper-focused on identifying risks during the onboarding process, the use of automated platforms to organize and conduct such screening, and continuous monitoring through an automated platform.  Such a perspective, however, is far too narrow in scope and scale.  Too many third-party risk management strategies ignore...

Episode 63 — The Epsilon Case and Third-Party Sanctions Risks

The Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) recently settled a long-active enforcement action with Epsilon relating to alleged violations of the Iran Sanctions Program.  After a mixed decision from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, OFAC negotiated a $1.5 settlement for 39 violations of the Iran Sanctions Program.  Along the way, however, OFAC secured favorable rulings affirming...

Episode 54 — A Deep Dive into the SEC’s FCPA Settlement with Beam Suntory

In June 2018, the SEC announced an FCPA settlement with Beam Suntory for violations in India.  Beam’s settlement totaled over $8 million.  Beam’s conduct involved illegal payments made through third-party representatives to increase Beam’s sales, product placement and secure appropriate registrations and approvals needed to distribute liquor in India.  Beam also did not receive any remediation credit for its failure to adequately respond to and...

Beam Settles FCPA Violations with SEC for $8 Million for Pervasive Third-Party Bribery Schemes

After a lengthy investigation conducted by the SEC, Beam Suntory agreed to pay $8 million to settle FCPA violations in India.  (Copy of SEC order Here).  Beam’s settlement took over 5 years from initial disclosure to resolution – a long-time to say the least.  Interestingly, there has been no resolution or mention of a parallel DOJ investigation. Beam’s conduct follows similar conduct by other liquor companies...

FCPA Compliance: Automate and Audit Third Parties (Part IV of V)

Third-party risk dominates the anti-corruption compliance landscape.  And for good reason – companies do not exercise significant control over their third parties, at least in comparison to company employees.  I know this is obvious but from a theoretical standpoint a company has greater legal authority over the conduct of its employees in contrast to its third parties. Relying on third parties is a two-edge sword. ...

FCPA Compliance: The Importance of Relativity to Risk Ranking (Part I of V)

Any fool can know.  The point is to understand. – Albert Einstein Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. – Albert Einstein This week I am posting a five-part series on FCPA compliance issues.  While there have been many advances in the anti-corruption ethics and compliance field, there is still more work to do to advance...

Justice Department Closes Out 2017 with 2 FCPA Actions: Keppel Offshore and Marine and Embraer Individual

The Department of Justice finished 2017 with two significant FCPA enforcement actions, and fittingly, one was a corporate settlement and another was an individual criminal guilty plea.  The Justice Department’s final FCPA enforcement actions for 2017 included an interesting settlement with Keppel Offshore and Marine Ltd. (KOM), a Singapore based, global shipyard and repair company, and a criminal guilty plea from a sales executive involved...

Effective Compliance and the Importance of Accounts Payable Function

As the compliance function has matured, Chief Compliance Officers have built important relationships with related functions that are critical to the compliance function. Over the last few years, we have seen the Justice Department and the SEC focus on company invoice to payment functions as a key area of concern when assessing the effectiveness of a compliance program. Last week, I had the honor of...