Federal Sentencing Guidelines

News & Analysis as of

New Guidance from the DOJ on Your Compliance Program

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Criminal Division, Fraud Section, recently released new guidance associated with its Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The guidance, entitled Evaluation of Corporate...more

DOJ Releases New Guidance on Compliance Programs

On February 8, 2017, the Fraud Section of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) quietly published pointed and specific guidance on how it assesses – and intends to assess – compliance programs in a report titled “Evaluation of...more

Unpacking the Justice Department’s Compliance Remediation Standards (Part I of II)

The Justice Department has a lot to be proud about when it comes to its FCPA enforcement program. In one area in particular – promoting effective ethics and compliance strategies – DOJ’s FCPA prosecutors have played a...more

In Summary Order, Court Vacates Above-Guidelines Sentence for Lack of Justification, But Denies Request to Remand to Different...

Franco Lupoi was sentenced to 156 months on money laundering conspiracy and heroin trafficking conspiracy charges, in excess of the applicable Guidelines range and the 135 month sentence requested by the government. In its...more

New Health & Safety Sentencing Guidelines One Year On – Lessons Learned

On 1 February 2016 the Sentencing Council introduced new Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines representing the biggest shake up to health and safety since the 1970s. Violation of the Guidelines means that corporates now...more

Compliance Officer and Legal Counsel Relationships

I am often asked my opinion whether a general counsel can also serve in the role of compliance officer. At first blush, it seems the general counsel would be a perfect fit for the role because of general knowledge of...more

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2016 Developments and Predictions for 2017

The past year was consequential for FCPA enforcement in numerous respects, including blockbuster penalties, new policy initiatives, and the SEC’s first DPA with an individual for FCPA violations. In April 2016, the DOJ’s...more

Understanding the Benefits of Benchmarking & How to Do It Successfully

To begin, let’s define “benchmarking.” There is often confusion regarding the difference between benchmarking and assessment. ...the process of benchmarking is a subset of compliance program assessment....more

Second Circuit Affirms “One-Book Rule”: No Sampling from Different Versions of the Sentencing Guidelines

Yesterday the Second Circuit affirmed, in United States v. Ramirez (No.15-2570), the so-called “one-book rule”: if sentenced criminals want to seek a reduction in sentence based on changes in the Sentencing Guidelines, they...more

Court Vacates Term of Supervised Release

In a short summary order, the Court (Winter, Jacobs, Cabranes) vacated a term of supervised release because the district court had improperly calculated the advisory Guidelines range. Defendant Raddy Breton pleaded guilty to...more

The Second Circuit Limits the Application of Two Guidelines Enhancements

In United States v. Huggins,15-1676, the Second Circuit (Winter, Cabranes, and Restani, sitting by designation) limited the scope of two Guidelines enhancements often applicable to white-collar crimes: (1) U.S.S.G....more

Top 10 Ethics & Compliance Predictions and Recommendations for 2017

Once again it’s time for our annual review of trends and events that will impact your Ethics and Compliance (E&C) program in the year ahead. This year presents a unique challenge. We are preparing our predictions...more

The Board of Directors’ Compliance Committee

Yesterday, together with Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) Jay Martin, I wrote about a new and innovative compliance committee BHI has initiated, the GeoMarket Compliance and Ethics Committee. In...more

Shortchanging the Compliance Function

A company that does not back up its words with deeds is doomed to suffer compliance and cultural breakdowns. When a company commits to building a culture of trust and integrity, the company has to keep its word. This is not a...more

Divided Court Withdraws Opinion Vacating 60-Year Child Pornography Sentence and Affirms the Sentence as Procedurally and...

In United States v. Brown, No. 13-1706, the Second Circuit (Pooler, Sack, and Droney), withdrew the Court’s June 14, 2016 opinion, vacating Nathan Brown’s sixty year prison sentence on three counts of production of child...more

Food For Thought: Court of Appeals Questions Relevance Of Guidelines To Case Of Fraud Involving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance...

In United States v. Algahaim, No. 15-2024(L), the Second Circuit (Newman, Winters, Cabranes) upheld the conviction of two defendants for misconduct involving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”), but...more

A rise in health and safety fines in Scotland?

In a recent ruling the Criminal Appeal Court in Scotland determined that Scottish Courts should fix penalties for health and safety offences by reference to not only existing Scottish case-law, but also the new 2015...more

JPMorgan Sons and Daughters FCPA Enforcement Action, Part III-St. Mark’s Revealed

This week I am exploring the JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and its subsidiary, JPMorgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited (JPM-APAC), (collectively ‘the company’) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action which...more

JPMorgan Sons and Daughters FCPA Enforcement Action, Part II

Today I will consider the superior result achieved by JPM in its FCPA resolution. Not only did it receive a 25% discount off the bottom of the US Sentencing Guidelines fine range but it received a NPA and not even a Deferred...more

JPMorgan Sons and Daughters FCPA Enforcement Action: Part I – Venice and Fog

JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and its subsidiary, JPMorgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited (JPM-APAC) resolved its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matter last week, obtaining a Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA) from the...more

Compliance isn’t Going Away (and Neither Should You) – Part III

I continue what has now become a week-long explanation of why the compliance function in a corporation and the compliance profession in general is not going anywhere, even with the election of Trump as President and a full...more

Compliance Isn’t Going Away (and neither should you) – Part I

Yesterday I presented my views on why I believe that Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement will continue under the new administration. Today, I want to begin a multi-part series (sorry I don’t know how long it will...more

Hallmark 5-Communications and Training

I. Training - The communication of your anti-corruption compliance program is something that must be done on a regular basis to ensure its effectiveness. The FCPA Guidance explains, “Compliance policies cannot work...more

Hallmark 3 – Oversight, Autonomy and Resources

I. Autonomy - The DOJ has made clear over the years the importance of this hallmark. In the FCPA Guidance it states, “In appraising a compliance program, DOJ and SEC also consider whether a company has assigned...more

Hallmark 1 – Commitment from Senior Management and a Clearly Articulated Policy Against Corruption

Over the next two weeks I will be revisiting the Ten Hallmarks of an Effective Compliance program, as laid out in the 2012 A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ( FCPA Guidance) authored by the Criminal...more

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