Important Case on Investigations

investigations

An important update from the world of internal investigations: a federal judge has ruled against two former executives of Cognizant Technologies, who had been arguing that Cognizant had acted as a de facto arm of the government when the company investigated the two about their role in a corruption scheme.  The ruling came down from…

Read More

Snoozer of an FCPA Settlement

fcpa

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I spent the long weekend very much relaxed and far from the news. So let’s ease back into the workweek with the most pipsqueak FCPA enforcement action the compliance community has seen in a long while.  At least, I think it’s pipsqueak. Read the breakdown of…

Read More

Philips Settles FCPA Case With SEC

fcpa

Manufacturing giant Philips has agreed to pay $62 million to settle FCPA charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission, for a rather ho-hum corruption scheme in China that compliance officers have seen many times before. The case is still interesting, however, because this is Philips’ second FCPA settlement in 10 years. That raises the question…

Read More

More on ‘Extraordinary’ Cooperation

fcpa

Still wondering what the Justice Department means when it says it wants “immediate” self-disclosure of corporate misconduct and “extraordinary” cooperation and remediation for severe FCPA cases? Good news: we now have a bit more understanding of those terms, straight from the Justice Department official who coined them. Assistant attorney general Kenneth Polite, who has been…

Read More

The Latest FCPA Declination

corsa

We have yet another example of the Justice Department trying to put its new corporate misconduct policies into practice, allowing a Pennsylvania coal company to pay only $1.2 million to settle FCPA charges thanks to the company’s voluntary self-disclosure and other cooperative actions. The company in question is Corsa Coal Corp., a company that does…

Read More

2022 Corruption Perceptions Index

FEPA

Transparency International has released its annual ranking of corruption levels in countries around the world, with Scandinavia and New Zealand leading as usual while the United States place a rather underwhelming 24th. TI publishes its Corruption Perceptions Index at the start of every year, and the index has become a standard reference work that compliance…

Read More

Musings on ‘Aggravating Circumstances’ 

Aggravating

Today I want to return to the Justice Department’s new policies meant to encourage more self-disclosure of corporate misconduct, even from companies whose violations include aggravating circumstances. Those policies are a welcome step forward, but they create just as many questions for compliance officers as they answer. Let’s first review what these new policies are.…

Read More

Ye Olde CCO Certification Idea

fcpa

Here’s an intriguing question about compliance officers certifying the effectiveness of their compliance programs: Could we trace this idea, at least partly, back to an FCPA opinion release the Justice Department published in 2020?  This notion came to me from a sharp-eyed compliance officer who was reading the opinion release the other day. It involved…

Read More

New Sweeteners for Disclosure, Cooperation

fcpa

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…

Read More

Honeywell Pays $160M on FCPA Case

Honeywell

Industrial manufacturing giant Honeywell International has agreed to pay $160 million to settle civil and criminal FCPA charges that the company bribed foreign government officials in Brazil and Algeria.  The case has lingered like a cloud over Honeywell’s head for years. The misconduct itself happened in the early 2010s, and Honeywell first disclosed more than…

Read More