Internal Controls

News & Analysis as of

Time for an antitrust checkup: FTC announces 2015 thresholds under HSR Act and Clayton Act

January is a good time to take stock of compliance programs and set aside dated opinions and guidance to avoid relying on old rules, and antitrust is no exception to that. Because the FTC announces revisions to HSR Act and...more

Welcome to COSO and the World of Internal Controls – Part I

I have intentionally avoided a Top Five or Top Ten prediction list for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement going forward from 2014 into 2015. However there is one area of FCPA enforcement, which I think underwent...more

Alstom Guilty Plea Sends Strong Message that DOJ Has Harsh View of Inadequate Internal Controls and Failure to Fully Cooperate

On December 22, 2014, French power and transportation company Alstom S.A. (“Alstom”) pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and agreed to pay $772.29 million, the largest criminal fine ever...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 121-FCPA Year in Review, Part II [Video]

In this episode I review the two Opinion Releases, Esquenazi court decision, DOJ communications via speeches on FCPA enforcement. I end with a look at 2015. ...more

Bridging the Week - January 2015 #2

FINRA Highlights Member Examinations Focus for 2015 - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued its annual letter to broker-dealers setting forth its regulation and examination priorities for the new year....more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 119-FCPA Year in Review, Part I [Video]

In this episode I begin a two-part review of the 2014 FCPA year. In this episode I review some of the significant corporate enforcement actions. ...more

Uncovering the “Why” in FCPA Compliance Issues [Video]

Jan. 8, 2014 (Mimesis Law) -- With the consequences of FCPA noncompliance ranging from “huge” to “catastrophic,” compliance should be top-of-mind for U.S. companies doing business with third-party intermediaries and...more

Avon Settles FCPA Charges

On December 17, 2014, Avon Products, Inc. (“Avon”) resolved Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations being conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with a...more

FCPA Predictions for 2015 (Part II of II)

The key to being a successful (FCPA) prognosticator is never to keep score. If you do, you are likely to be disappointed. Instead, I follow the strategy of calculated distraction – for example, I predicted last year...more

5 steps to encourage internal whistleblowing

Did you know that only 8 percent of employees report wrongdoing externally without first reporting it internally? Yet, when a frustrated whistleblower does turn to government regulators, the outcome can be harsh....more

Byzantium and the Alstom FCPA Settlement – Part III

Porphyry is a type of stone that was much favored in the Roman world. In a review of several books in the New York Review of Books, entitled “The Purple Stone of Emperors”, Peter Brown looked into the history of the lithic in...more

Germany in the World Cup and the Alstom FCPA Enforcement Action – Part II

“It was important that we played our game for 90 minutes.” That line was found in a The Daily Telegraph article entitled “The unthinkable scoreline: Brazil 1, Germany 7” by Jeremy Wilson. It was a quote from Mats Hummels,...more

Pow! Whack! Slam! Bam! – DOJ Finishes the FCPA Year with a Bang

Giving away my old age, we all loved the 1960s Batman series starring Adam West. Thanks to the Batman show we were given a long list of words to underscore Batman and Robin’s slugfests with the weekly villain (e.g. Penguin,...more

Disclosure, Internal Controls, Cooperation - The SEC Continues Anti-Corruption Enforcement Themes

On December 15, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Bruker Corporation with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by making $230,000 in improper payments to Chinese government officials to win business....more

Gifts, Meals and Then . . . FCPA Enforcement

Life can be very humbling. The SEC has definitely humbled me. For years now, I have been claiming that companies spend too much time worrying about gifts, meals and entertainment expenses under the FCPA, rather than...more

FinCEN Fines Small Credit Union for BSA Violations

On November 25, FinCEN fined a small Florida-based credit union $300,000 in civil monetary penalties for violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). From 2009 through 2014, FinCEN charged that, among other deficiencies within its...more

Kickbacks and Bribery

Companies can become hyper-focused on anti-bribery compliance. It is easy to do – just look on the Internet, Twitter and Linked In. There are plenty of groups, hash tags, postings and discussions on anti-corruption issues....more

Heightened Supervision of Branch Offices — Tips for the Coming Year

In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have heightened their expectations of what constitutes a “comprehensive” branch self-inspection program. Firms...more

Inspector General’s Report Criticizes the Department of Homeland Security for Inadequate Privacy Policies and Controls

On November 14, 2014, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a report critical of the agency’s performance in protecting personally identifiable information (PII) and...more

New COSO Internal Control – Integrated Framework Implementation Date Approaches

The framework used by many public companies to measure internal controls over financial reporting is sunsetting. As of December 15, 2014, the Internal Control – Integrated Framework originally published by the Committee of...more

Perspectives - November 2014

In this issue: - Not-for-Profit Spotlight - Top Compliance Challenges in Church Accounting - 10 Ways to Lose Your Not-for-Profit Status - Not-For-Profit Fleet Management - Events -...more

2014 FERC Enforcement Report Emphasizes Internal Compliance Procedures, Self-Reporting, and Importance of Cooperation

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) 2014 Report on Enforcement (Report), issued on November 20, 2014, provides an overview of and statistics regarding FERC’s enforcement...more

Bridging the Week - November 2014 #4

Broker-Dealer and Two Senior Officers Fined US $2.5 Million for Market Access Violations - Wedbush Securities Inc. and two senior officers resolved an enforcement action previously filed against them during June 2014...more

DOJ and SEC Officials Focus on Enforcement, Self-Reporting and Compliance at International FCPA Conference

From November 18 to 19, 2014, the American Conference Institute held its annual U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) conference outside of Washington, D.C. Keynote speakers including U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)...more

Shoring Up Your Internal Controls to Keep Your FCPA Compliance Program Current

We recently hosted a webinar featuring noted FCPA expert Tom Fox. Tom explained exactly what the DOJ and SEC look for when enforcing the FCPA and how organizations can stay within the FCPA regulations. Jimmy Lin, our VP of...more

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