Penalties, Monitors, and More

penalties

Last week the head of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission made notable remarks about more aggressive use of monetary penalties in SEC enforcement actions. A friend of mine then asked an excellent question: Could more aggressive use of penalties also affect how companies deal with the Justice Department?  For lots of compliance officers,…

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CFTC Stresses Compliance Programs

cftc

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission updated its enforcement manual last week for the first time in 26 years, with a heap of attention paid to the importance of corporate compliance programs when firms are looking to reduce potential monetary penalties.  The update, published as a four-page memo from the CFTC Enforcement Division on May 20,…

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TRACE Report on 2019 Anti-Corruption

anti-corruption

At long last, we have some non-Covid news for the ethics and compliance world. TRACE International just published its report of global anti-corruption enforcement in 2019, showing a “relatively slow year for enforcement” but nothing far outside the normal, slow-rolling patterns of government investigations. As usual, the majority of anti-corruption enforcement actions conducted last year…

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Cooperation Policy for Sanctions Violations

ofac

Compliance officers have a new cooperation credit policy from the Justice Department to consider, this one addressing sanctions and export control issues. It differs just enough from other cooperation policies we’ve seen from the Trump Administration that compliance officers need to give this one more attention. The policy was announced last Friday by David Burns,…

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DOJ on FCPA and Agent Liability

fcpa

The Justice Department’s top criminal prosecutor talked FCPA compliance at conference in Washington this week, raising a few points to consider about oversight of third parties and the importance of compliance program. Let’s get into them.  Assistant attorney general Brian Benczkowski, head of the Criminal Division, made his remarks at the annual FCPA Conference happening…

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New Guidance on Inability to Pay Penalties

inability

The Justice Department has published fresh guidance about how it will evaluate a company’s claims that it can’t afford to pay monetary penalties, for all you legal and compliance officers trying to convince everyone that your firm lives in the poorhouse.  Assistant attorney general Brian Benczkowski announced the new guidance Tuesday while giving a speech…

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DOJ Hints at New Enforcement Ideas

compliance

The Justice Department is considering new approaches to handle companies that can’t pay monetary penalties as part of a corporate misconduct settlement; and is also warning securities and commodities traders to step up the data analytics they do to uncover market abuses. So said deputy assistant attorney general Matthew Miner during a speech he delivered…

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Carnival Dinged $20M on Compliance

Here’s a tale of corporate misconduct on the high seas that compliance officers will want to see: Carnival Corp. has agreed to pay a $20 million fine and hire a chief compliance officer for violating a corporate probation agreement over environmental pollution. The headline is that Carnival had agreed in 2017 to a court-appointed compliance…

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Next: New False Claims Act Guidance

compliance

Another day, another piece of guidance from the Justice Department about corporate compliance programs — this time, explaining how companies might win cooperation credit when facing violations of the False Claims Act. The Civil Division of the Justice Department posted the guidance Tuesday afternoon. The the material hews closely to what the Criminal Division has…

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Bankrate Pays $28.5M in Fraud Case

bankrate

Yes, yes, the compliance community is buzzing today about the $850 million FCPA settlement announced Wednesday evening between U.S. authorities and Russian mobile phone company MTS. We’ll get to MTS another day. The Justice Department also settled a securities and accounting fraud case yesterday with the owners of personal finance website Bankrate.com, and that one…

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