ENI

You all may have been at a Zoom virtual happy hour on Friday afternoon, but not the folks at the SEC Division of Enforcement! They quietly settled an FCPA case with Italian energy firm ENI that nicked the company for $24.5 million. In some ways the case is ho-hum. In the late 2000s an ENI…

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disgorgement

The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday about the disgorgement powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The justices seemed to be looking for some way to keep the SEC’s powers alive, even if the agency might need to be more constrained in how it pursues disgorgement.  The case, Liu v. SEC, isn’t likely to see…

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cardinal

The Securities and Exchange Commission has served up its first FCPA enforcement action of the year, an $8.8 million slap against Cardinal Health for failing to address bribery risks caused by a cosmetics business Cardinal ran in China. What happened? In November 2010, Cardinal entered the Chinese market by acquiring the Chinese subsidiaries of an…

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sec

Today we get more pedestrian with Wells Fargo and its unauthorized accounts scandal. Sure, the misconduct was egregious and leadership was a disgrace — but how, precisely, did Wells Fargo violate securities law and get a $500 million wallop from the SEC?  By sketchy use of non-financial metrics.  You almost have to laugh. Wells Fargo…

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internal control

Talk about going on a bender: the SEC just fined spirits maker Diageo $5 million for forcing its distributors to buy more liquor than they needed, and then neglecting to tell investors that Diageo’s inflated sales numbers would eventually dry out.  In the world of funny numbers, what Diageo did is known as channel stuffing,…

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enforcement

Several hundred securities enforcement professionals gathered in Washington on Wednesday for the 2019 Securities Enforcement Forum. Radical Compliance couldn’t be there in person, so we gathered a bundle of dispatches from social media to give a flavor of what was discussed. After all, when under SEC investigation, you want the experience to be as enjoyable…

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fcpa

A global printing and graphics business based in Wisconsin has agreed to pay $10 million to settle FCPA charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in an eye-popping case with misconduct that included bribes to judges, sales to Cuba, and just about every corporate compliance mistake a company could make. The company in question is…

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sec

Talk about CFOs who are just a lot of hot air: the SEC has filed charges against the former head of a Houston energy business for fabricating the existence of the company’s CFO for at least 18 months, when the firm had no CFO at all.  Tom Simeo, who actually does exist and lives in…

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Microsoft has agreed to pay $25.3 million to settle FCPA charges against subsidiaries in Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Turkey — the latest in a long line of cases where poor procedures to document sales discounts offered by local resellers paved the way for bribery of foreign government officials.  Microsoft will pay $16.5 million to…

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Oh, look. Another accounting enforcement action from the SEC, where poorly designed internal controls led to management’s abuse of estimates. Everyone put on your shocked face.  The SEC settled a case on Monday with Conn’s, a rent-to-own retailer based in Texas with $1.55 billion in annual sales. Conn’s agreed to pay $1.1 million in a…

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