News & Analysis as of

Volkswagen Compliance

Justice Department Charges Former Volkswagen CEO in Diesel Vehicle Emissions Cheating Scheme

by Michael Volkov on

We all know the saying – A fish rots from the head. Sometimes a clear and simple statement says it all. The Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal is yet another example of C-Suite, even CEO, misconduct....more

Criminal Enforcement Against Senior Executives: The Fish Rots from the Head

by Michael Volkov on

The compliance community is well aware of the risks in the C-Suite. As you move up the corporate ladder, the level of risk from executive misconduct increases. A rotten executive can quickly bring down a company, destroy...more

Compliance into the Weeds-Episode 62, Sentencing of VW Employee Oliver Schmidt

by Thomas Fox on

As many of you all know, Matt Kelly can rant with the best of them, right up there with Howard Sklar. I was quite intrigued when I read Matt’s December 11, 2017 blog post entitled, “At What Cost Dishonesty? For VW Exec, Seven...more

Day 20: What Does Innovation in Compliance Look Like?

by Thomas Fox on

As I end this section on innovation, I want to conclude by laying out a road map which allows a CCO or compliance practitioner to make more effective and better operationalize a corporate compliance program. With the DOJ’s...more

Tales from the Corporate Scandal Crypt: GM, VimpelCom, VW and Wells Fargo

by Michael Volkov on

We are fascinated by corporate scandals. Since the 1980s, the US public has enjoyed unraveling corporate scandals, and vilifying corporate leaders caught in the web of deceit and misconduct. I am sure there are historical...more

“Too Important to Jail,” the Yates Memorandum and FCPA Criminal Prosecutions

by Michael Volkov on

The Justice Department’s continuing lack of individual criminal prosecutions in the FCPA arena continues to raise serious questions. DOJ’s issuance of the Yates memorandum was seen as a new and important reiteration of DOJ’s...more

The “New” Face of Corporate Misconduct

by Michael Volkov on

As we look across the corporate governance landscape and focus on the spikes of corporate scandals, I started to wonder if there was any pattern or trend to the nature of corporate scandals....more

The FCPA Enforcement Run Continues into 2017

by Michael Volkov on

Just when we thought 2016 was over and we could all breathe a sigh of relief, DOJ and the SEC have continued to run with a string of new enforcement actions. To all of those prognosticators, paparazzi, commentators, chicken...more

Lessons Learned and Compliance Trends from the VW and Takata Scandals (Part III of III)

by Michael Volkov on

When unraveling a major corporate scandal, especially multi-year schemes involving senior executives, the blame game or lessons learned approach can easily turn into a fruitless exercise. The VA and Takata scandals are...more

VW's $4.3BN Plea to Obstruction for Botched Litigation Hold

by Burr & Forman on

One of three counts in Volkswagen’s recent $4.3 billion guilty-plea was for obstruction of justice arising from a litigation-hold botched by house counsel. As VW prepared to admit the defeat-device problems to US...more

Volkswagen: When Car Companies Veer Off Course (Part I of III)

by Michael Volkov on

Corporate misconduct occurs in a variety of forms. Starting with the basic truism – companies act through people, and when companies engage in misconduct it requires the coordination and collaboration of multiple actors. The...more

Honey, I Think We Should Vacation at Home This Year

by Thomas Fox on

That may well be the line most used by Volkswagen (VW) executives after the arrest of their fellow executive, Oliver Schmidt, this past week at the Miami airport. According to an article in the New York Times (NYT), entitled...more

#Cheatingisachoice

Looking at my twitter stream over the weekend I saw Roy Snell’s tweet “If people cheat simply because of performance goals why do some people with performance goals refuse to cheat?” followed by #cheatingisachoice...more

For An Effective Ethics and Compliance Program — First, Train Your Board and Senior Executives

by Michael Volkov on

Compliance professionals are familiar with the phrase “tone at the top,” but what exactly does it mean? Unlike other compliance program components, it cannot be easily formalized and implemented in a policy or procedure....more

VW: The Challenge of Whistleblowing

The following guest post is by Wendy Addison. A hand shot up from the lecture hall: ‘I don’t understand’, a young economics undergraduate said, looking perplexed, ‘surely a company’s executives would want to know...more

New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest, Origins of Corporate Culture and Compliance

by Thomas Fox on

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. One of the small pleasures I take each week is reading the New Yorker’s Cartoon Caption contest. I have entered most weeks for the past 10 years or so when the spirit moved me with a...more

Shakespeare Week – Part V: Lear’s Fool and Power Points

by Thomas Fox on

I conclude my week honoring the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare by using my favorite character in all his work to introduce today’s post. He is The Fool from King Lear. Of Shakespeare’s many theatrical...more

Prog Rock Week – Part V: Pink Floyd and VW’s Trip the Dark Side of the Moon

by Thomas Fox on

There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.” If you went to college in the 70s or 80s (or maybe even the 90s) you know what the next album is, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. For in the...more

The VW Scandal: Crisis and the CCO

by Thomas Fox on

One of the areas where my thinking has evolved in the compliance arena is around the area of reputational damage. Of course commentators, such as Andrea Bonime-Blanc, have written and spoken about preventing damage to a...more

What Good Compliance Looks Like: Part II

In a prior post, I shared the view of a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, who launched his talk at a compliance event by asking “what does good look like?” In that post, I concluded with how “I spent the better part of my career...more

Tribute to David Bowie and VW’s Cooperation Posture

by Thomas Fox on

We interrupt this week’s Travel Edition blog posts to honor David Bowie, who died yesterday. To say his album Diamond Dogs was a revelation is simply because it is the only word which comes close. During my final semester in...more

The Five Top Compliance Related Events of 2015

by Thomas Fox on

Having gone through the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement year for the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), I would now like to turn to my Top Five compliance related events...more

Star Wars Week Part V – Mistakes of the Galactic Empire (and VW)

by Thomas Fox on

Today, we conclude our week long exploration of the original Star Wars trilogy, all posted in conjunction with three podcasts, subtitled May The Podcast Be With You, where we use one movie as a staring point to review Foreign...more

VW Scandal Bears Out Emphasis on “Culture of Compliance”

by Burr & Forman on

Last week, VW blamed its “culture” for allowing “individual misconduct” that lead to the emissions-testing-evasion scandal engulfing the company. It reminded me of a couple of corporate-compliance mantras and of DOJ’s recent...more

Brother Can You Spare Some (Compliance) Advice?

by Thomas Fox on

Usually I have Houston professional sports teams to hold high as example of true bone headedness around compliance issues. However, as my beloved Houston Astros took the World Series Champions, KC Royals, to the 7th inning of...more

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