Is Regulation By Enforcement Coming Next?


Here’s a hypothetical: What if the Supreme Court’s recent curbs on regulatory power turn out to be a mess for Corporate America? What if those limits lead to more regulation by enforcement? What would the implications be for corporate compliance programs and legal teams?  Those questions are on my mind today thanks to an intriguing…

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New Sweeteners for Disclosure, Cooperation


The U.S. Justice Department is amending its Corporate Enforcement Policy, offering more incentives for companies to self-disclose misconduct even if their cases involve aggravating factors that might tempt those companies to keep quiet. Companies in that predicament might still be able to secure a declination to prosecute from the Justice Department if they (1) self-disclose…

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DOJ Pushes Enforcement Reforms


Here we go, compliance officers! The Justice Department has unveiled a sweeping new set of practices for enforcement against corporate misconduct, with an emphasis on taking a stern approach to repeat offenders and giving more rewards to companies that truly embrace a culture of compliance. Deputy attorney general Lisa Monaco announced the enforcement shifts in…

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Carnival, Princess Cruises Busted Again


Here we go again: Princess Cruise Lines has pleaded guilty to a second violation of a probation deal imposed by the Justice Department in 2017 for environmental crimes, will pay another $1 million in criminal penalties, and undertake even more remedial measures to strengthen its compliance program.  If all this sounds familiar, that’s because Princess…

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Penalties, Monitors, and More


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


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


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


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


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


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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