Fresh Glimpses Into SEC Enforcement

enforcement

The head of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission has been on a bit of a publicity tour this week, making several speeches about the importance of strong compliance functions, enforcement measures such as monetary penalties and “compliance consultants,” and other issues dear to compliance professionals’ hearts.  Most notably, enforcement chief Gurbir Grewal spoke…

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More on Risk Assessments

risk assessments

Well this is convenient: just days after the chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission urged companies to do better at performing risk assessments, the SEC fined an alternative energy business for accounting improprieties where poor risk assessment played a starring role.  This is useful news for internal audit and corporate accounting teams, because…

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Breaking Down 3M’s FCPA Case

3M

Manufacturing giant 3M Corp. is our latest addition to the annals of FCPA enforcement, agreeing last week to pay $6.5 million to resolve civil charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission that the company’s China subsidiary wined and dined government officials with tourism junkets. By now it’s an old story to compliance professionals: U.S. company…

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Messaging Crackdown Continues

waivers

Securities regulators sanctioned another dozen Wall Street trading houses on Tuesday for employees’ usage of unauthorized messaging systems. They are the latest targets in an ongoing crackdown over the practice, and further proof that management teams need to take this issue seriously. The Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned 11 firms, imposing a total of $289…

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SEC’s Cyber Disclosure Expectations

enforcement

While we all wait for the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt new rules for cybersecurity disclosures later this week, we should also heed a recent speech from the SEC’s head of enforcement, where he outlined five principles that will guide how the agency thinks about corporate liability for cyber attacks. Enforcement chief Gurbir Grewal…

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The Messaging Crackdown Continues

waivers

In case any compliance professionals out there assume that the crackdown on employee use of improper messaging apps is over, the Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned two more Wall Street trading firms late last week for the same offenses, and imposed the same punishments of monetary penalties and extensive compliance reviews.  The broker-dealer firms in…

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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…

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Another Cyber Disclosure Sanction

qualitatively material

Words matter in SEC filings. The Securities and Exchange Commission gave us another example of that point recently when it fined a technology company $3 million for misleading disclosures about a ransomware attack the company had suffered — and the confusion arose from how the company used the word “could.”  The company in question is…

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On Boards, Disclosures, and Corporate Ethics

boards

The Securities and Exchange Commission dropped a subtle hint this week about its latest expectations for corporate boards and what they disclose to investors. Corporate governance professionals might want to take a look, since I suspect we’ll be hearing more on this issue in the future. The case involves McDonalds and its former CEO, Stephen…

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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…

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