investigation

All you criminal procedure mavens out there might be interested in a ruling from a federal district court in New Jersey this week, where two business executives facing FCPA charges were quibbling over whether the Justice Department and the SEC conducted a “joint” investigation into their alleged crimes.  Apparently that question matters because the defendants…

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investigations

Heartbreaker of a tale unfolding at the Romance Writers of America this week: a misconduct complaint filed against the head of the RWA’s ethics committee has backfired, leading to a revolt of the group’s membership, half the board resigning in protest, and the organization’s flagship event canceled for 2020.  Ethics and compliance professionals should give…

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investigation

On Wednesday I had the privilege of moderating an executive forum in Philadelphia on corporate governance and investigations. Roughly 40 compliance and audit executives were there, hosted by audit firm Baker Tilly and law firm Morgan Lewis. Our goal: hash out some of the current challenges in managing complex investigations. Granted, you could talk about…

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Carrasco

Compliance and audit professionals can rejoice at yet another pop TV show that captures what you do so brilliantly: Homecoming, a stripped-down, fast-paced drama on Amazon where the action rests on the shoulders of a Defense Department compliance officer. The stars of the show are Julia Roberts, who plays troubled social worker Heidi; and Bobby…

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Kavanaugh

Exactly one week ago, all we knew about Brett Kavanaugh’s personal conduct was that one woman had accused him of sexual assault 35 years ago when they were both high school students; and that Kavanaugh denied the allegations. Well, a lot can change in one week. Today we have a broader collection of allegations against…

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Kavanaugh

Now that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court has turned into a #MeToo meltdown, ethics and compliance officers should roll up their sleeves. Peel away the political dimension to this mess, and plenty of lessons emerge about investigations, whistleblower reports, and corporate values that are worth contemplating. We have several threads to pull: how…

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We should never underestimate the Trump Administration’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of ethical victory. That certainly seems to be the case with last week’s firing of David Shulkin, now former secretary of Veterans Affairs. Compliance officers in the corporate realm should take note, so your CEO doesn’t shoot your ethics program in…

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zte

Compliance officers wondering whether the Trump Administration would still enforce egregious corporate misconduct with big fines, here’s one answer: the administration today whacked a Chinese telecom firm with nearly $900 million in fines and penalties for export control violations. The firm is ZTE Corp., which pleaded guilty to re-exporting sensitive communications technology to Iran without…

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rankings

Washington gave the compliance community a bucket of FCPA enforcement actions to study last week, from the Ochs-Ziff settlement (holding a chief executive personally liable for misconduct) to the HMT and NCH Corp. deals (declining to file charges, but taking ill-gotten gains back from the companies anyway). To my mind, however, the most interesting FCPA…

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Big news from the Securities and Exchange Commission this afternoon: Sean McKessy, the agency’s first and only director of the Office of the Whistleblower, is stepping down after five years on the job. The SEC’s prepared statement says McKessy will leave by the end of July, and does not say what he may do next.…

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